BEFORE niching down, do this
We often get the message that we need to narrow our focus, find a specific target market, or niche down in order to build a successful business.
But when we are multi-passionate and have a bunch of different passions and interests, doing this can feel very restricting.
Most of us started our own businesses in order to experience more freedom or to get out of the corporate box. But these marketing experts seem to be telling us that we need to put ourselves in yet another box in order to “make it.”
Multi-passionate entrepreneurs need a different approach
The main message we get from “experts” is that we need to stop thinking so big, to stop getting so carried away, and to be more “realistic.”
You hear, “You gotta just pick a niche! Just pick the one you most enjoy for now. It doesn’t mean you can’t do all the other ones later on down the line.”
Meanwhile, we are tearing our hair out screaming, “But I enjoy all the things I do! There is no best one! And I don’t want to do any of them later, I want to do them all now!”
So we are a special breed of entrepreneurs that needs a different approach to choosing a target audience. I’m not saying that niching down is ineffective or wrong - in fact, it is crucial for building a successful business.
But the mainstream information out there is missing a crucial step that we as multi-passionate entrepreneurs need to take before deciding where to focus.
Trying it all (it was not fun)
When it comes to find a niche, I’ve had my fair share of struggles that lasted over 3.5 years.
I tried to run a business without identifying a niche (I was a wellness coach for “anyone who needed any kind of help with health or wellness.”), and it did not go well. I made zero dollars.
I tried going with the advice out there and “just picked one niche.” But after putting my blood, sweat, and tears into that focus and not getting the results I wanted, I felt burnt out, overwhelmed, and still broke. Then I sat around feeling terrible, before forcing myself to go back to the drawing board and picking yet another niche.
This happened a total of at least 6 or 7 times. Probably more. (I lost count.)
This meant that I was making videos, writing posts, sending a ton of emails, holding free webinars, making courses - all the things they tell you to do - for 5 or 6 different audiences over the course of 3.5 years.
I was BURNT OUT...and get this - I was still only making between ZERO to $500 a month. What.
This was so discouraging, and every time I went to the drawing board, I felt more and more like a failure. I actually started questioning whether I truly had it in me to be a successful entrepreneur.
Then I figured out what was missing…
Finally, when I turned 30 and was feeling a little lost and a lot introspective, I put down all of these “rules” I had learned about niching down and just let my mind and heart wander and daydream.
Letting myself dream BIG
I let myself daydream as big as possible, and felt surprised at how much the dream just kept growing and growing. I had to fight the urge to “tone it down” and “be responsible/realistic.”
The BIG DREAM I finally landed on and felt SO GOOD about was a fantasy that I visited in my mind repeatedly over the past 4 years. Until that moment, I never entertained the idea of turning it into reality because it was “too unrealistic.”
The dream was to open up a coffeeshop - a beautiful gathering place for a local community where I could host events or rent out to local entrepreneurs after hours as a meeting or workshop space in an effort to give back to the small business community.
Soothing my doubts and fears instead of giving in or fighting them
And this time, instead of dismissing it as usual and filing it away under “fantasy only,” I let myself imagine turning this dream into reality.
Self doubts and fears definitely came up. They said, “You’ve never done that before. What makes you think you can do it? What makes you think it will be easy and successful? This is just a fantasy; it’s not real. You better stick with occupational therapy and coaching. It’s what you know. A coffee shop is way too uncertain.” And on and on.
Before, I hated hearing that voice, so I always made it go away by agreeing with it and dropping the desire to explore this coffeeshop idea.
But this time, I decided to let it say its piece, and I soothed it through each of its statements. I told it, “It’s ok. I may not know how, but I can always learn. I can talk to coffeeshop owners and ask them what I need to learn to run a shop successfully. I’m a great learner. I can do this. It’s going to be ok.”
The voice calmed down a bit, and what was left over was the very strong desire to open up a coffeeshop.
Instead of stuffing that fantasy down, I took action, and what I discovered blew my mind
I decided this time to act on it. I decided to research how to start a coffeeshop and even reached out to coffeeshop owners all over the US for a chat. I spoke with a bunch of owners and learned a ton.
Speaking with them helped me realize that I had rose colored glasses on when thinking about building this gloriously fun coffeeshop and in thinking that it would easier than continuing to build my coaching business.
And after the fantasy simmered down, I realized that what I truly wanted to do was actually both - coaching and the coffeeshop. I knew that the coffeeshop would come to fruition at a later time in life when I have decided where my permanent residence will be. And in the meantime, who’s to say I can’t keep learning more about the industry as it fuels and satisfies my curiosity and creativity?
Now the most surprising piece was, the overwhelm and burnout that I had been feeling about my coaching business was nowhere to be found. In its place was a brand-new sense of confidence, clarity, and focus. I came back from taking action towards my bigger dream with a very specific focus - I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to help other multi-passionate entrepreneurs get focused in their business, to build their confidence in themselves and their inner voices, and create their most soul-aligning businesses.
Somehow, by allowing myself to dream as big as possible, and to take actions towards that grander vision, I gained more clarity and focus!
And this is the stop that nobody talks about! Everyone is always telling us to narrow down, but they don’t teach us to DREAM BIG BEFORE doing so.
I truly believed this changed everything in my business, and I hope it help you too!
Dreaming bigger and taking action allows you to learn more about yourself
So BEFORE narrowing yourself down, let yourself dream as big as you can, and then EVEN BIGGER STILL.
Then start taking actions to turn that dream into reality.
When you start taking action, you’ll start learning about whether it’s even a direction you truly want to go in. Either way, you can use the experience to gather more information on what you like, what you don’t like, and where you want to focus.
You’ll come back from the experience with a renewed sense of clarity, confidence, and focus!
If this is something you are currently struggling with, my free Free to Impact Masterclass Series in which you learn how to find your soul-aligned business idea and turn it into a thriving, soul-aligned business. This starts next week, Monday, November 19, 2018 - you can register for it here.
I’d love to hear about your experience dreaming bigger! Drop a comment below, and if you like these posts, please take a moment to scroll all the way down and subscribe to the newsletter!