Still struggling to find your “niche”?

findyourniche2

“Do what you love and the money will follow” – we’ve all heard that, right? Did you know that if you heed that advice, you are actually setting yourself up for struggle (or worse, failure?)

I’ve seen it before and I’ll see it again – people focus on what they want to DO. Then they start doing it. They get excited! They’re happy! They’re in the honeymoon period with their business, and nothing could bring them down – people are buying!

Then reality starts to catch up with them. 1AM, 2AM, 4AM rolls by and they’re still working. Up at 6AM for the next task. Weight lost, weight gained. Customers frustrated that things aren’t happening as quickly as they’d like. Income has reached its peak based on the current effort, so the entrepreneur hires staff.

A relief. They let go. They work more regular hours, but take on more – because after all, they love what they do!

Then the employee trips up…

Now the entrepreneur feels like they can’t sleep if they have to complete everything on their plate. Stress takes its toll. That thing they loved isn’t a passion anymore, its a grueling job for less than they would earn in the 9-5 world. They contemplate giving up. They are fearful. They feel numb, lost, and confused.

This is the scenario often created by “do what you love, and the money will follow.” It is not an exaggeration – it is very real.

What is the alternative? How can you avoid this fate?

STOP thinking about SELLING what you want to DO.

A successful business can incorporate the things you love to do. That is never the issue. But by focusing on what you want to do, you’re putting yourself at the center of your business. Without your time, effort, and energy (yes, even with info products – somebody has to create them, right?!) the business stops. Income stops. Clients leave. The business fails.

Instead, you need to figure out what you want to create – for OTHERS. For your customers.

Do you want to help people lose weight? Do you want to give people more time with their children? Do you want to help people travel, overcome emotional trauma, or get more organized?

You need to discover the outcome you want your clients to have!

THEN your business becomes a machine to produce that outcome, not you.

THEN you can choose any outcome you want, and hire or partner with the expertise to make it work – you’re not limited by your own knowledge, skills, or confidence issues.

THEN you can build the things you want to do with your life into your business model.

THEN you can successfully scale a business that works, even when you’re not there.

THEN you avoid falling in love with your own products, and your own way of doing things.

THEN you are free to create whatever your clients request, with no emotional attachment to the “how” – because this is *their* outcome, and *they* are designing it.

THEN – and only then – does your business become a vehicle to fulfill the vision you see for the world, bringing you and your clients more success than “the old way” ever could.

Discovering what you want to create for others is the first key to a happy, healthy, thriving business.

But what if you’re still stuck? How will you know when you’ve found your purpose?! Isn’t this just as confusing as figuring out what I want to do?!?!?

Relax – there is a tool for that!

This simple test will help you determine if your purpose is spot on, close to the mark, or way off – so you can finally figure it out!

The Curse Test

Yes, this is unconventional – but it WORKS. What have you got to lose by giving it a try? Set aside 5 minutes alone, and follow these steps…

1. Think of your first-choice niche. You know the one – you’re back and forth about whether or not it is right for you, right? Not being 100% sure of this niche is the reason you’ve even looked at others. Get it into your head.

2. Start talking about the impact your business will have on people in this niche. “They’ll lose weight! They’ll be more confident and happy! They’ll be awesome superheroes in the world of business!” Whatever it is.

3. Are you starting to get excited? Good! Top 5. No excitement? Go to step 6.

4. Keep talking. Keep getting excited. Now, try to add in a few curse words. “They’ll be so damn happy!” or “This shit is for real!”

5. Assess yourself. Did it feel natural? Did you struggle to curse while talking about this result?  Did it sound fake or phony or forced? Or did it get you even more pumped, ready to yell “HELL YES!!!”?

If this niche gave you that “HELL YES!!!!” moment, your work is done. That is your niche. You’re passionate enough about creating that result that you’ll be able to push through and succeed. And since people are willing to pay for results, you only need to do minor research on how this will be profitable – no intensive “will people even buy this?” research.

Now your task is to determine how to best deliver that outcome with your business (NOT YOU!) by asking potential customers, or putting something out there and seeing how people respond.

6. If that niche *didn’t* give you that HELL YES moment, that is not the niche for you. Sure, it may be profitable, but when push comes to shove… I’d bet money you wouldn’t stay up until 3AM working away on your business without slipping into a serious scarcity mindset (aka OMG how am I going to pay my billlssssss?!?!?!)

Start over again at step 1, but this time, focus on your next choice. Repeat this process until you get your HELL YES!! moment.

Then you have your niche!

One last piece of wisdom. You’ve probably been struggling with your niche for a long time, and wondering WHY on Earth is it so important? And what is this “purpose” stuff people keep throwing out there with “niche” stuff, to confuse you even more?

I’ll tell you why it is vitally important. Because through this process, you’re not choosing a “target market” – you’re choosing a specific outcome for a specific group of the population, and one that you’re passionate about creating.

By determining what you want your business to create for others, you’ll know exactly where to find the people who need it. You’ll know the language to use to help them discover your solution. You’ll know – almost instinctively – that your role is to create what they ask for, to help them achieve this outcome through your business, and to foster a community of people sharing their success. You’ll know which marketing tactics will work, and which won’t – because you know how your target market thinks and what they do.

You’ll be able to make snap decisions on marketing, business growth, product creation, and more – because you’ll know your “tribe” like a best friend.

Now that sounds like a recipe for success, doesn’t it?

Shine bright, my troublemakers!

- Cheryl

The following two tabs change content below.
An ex-corporate marketing maven gone rogue, Cheryl Woodhouse has spent over a decade as a Business Growth Mentor and Entrepreneur. Her latest startup trains entrepreneurs and executives to implement the same high-growth strategies of today's most successful co's - you can find out how at projectRADIANT.com
  • http://www.facebook.com/thefearslayer Kimberly Reid

    Great job, Cheryl, very helpful.

    • http://cherylwoodhouse.com/ Cheryl Woodhouse

      Thanks Kim! I hope you got some value from it :-)

  • @KimJGaneWCPosse

    HELL, YEAH!!! :D That’s awesome, Cheryl! Fantastic advice!

    • http://cherylwoodhouse.com/ Cheryl Woodhouse

      Thanks Kim! And thanks for visiting!

  • charmaine

    I love it!!! Thanks Cheryl.

    • Cheryl Woodhouse

      You’re very welcome Charmaine!

  • Michelle L Jacobs

    Hehe…great way to energise the topic, thank you Cheryl :-) I am wondering if I haven’t become so self absorbed that all I can see are my needs…and have just been assuming they’re the same as a target market out there “just like me”. Have to say it helps when the lights go on, but I still hear myself questioning the various approaches and wondering if it’s just time to choose one at a time, set up each market’s offerings, and then the proof will surely be in the pudding? Or the clients’ eating?! Lol xx

    • http://cherylwoodhouse.com/ Cheryl Woodhouse

      Focus is key here, but don’t discount something just because it is your need. Surely you are not the only person out there with that need!

      Here is a thought – rather than focusing on your needs vs. your skills, just focus on a need you share with others. Something you’re passionate about (that passes the test.)

      There are always ways to find others to fulfill the need, whether that is staff, outside experts, reselling other people’s products, etc. Your niche could be something you know *nothing* about – as long as you’re passionate about making an impact by creating a specific outcome for people.

      Do you think the CEO of McDonalds knows the steps to assemble a cheeseburger? The Regional Director for Chevron gas in your area knows how to ring in $40 worth of fuel? Your favourite actor knows how to operate a camera? Of course not! But they all know what their company delivers – the outcome – to their target market, and they know how to get others to create it for them.

      We all have a tendency to focus our business around what we know how to do, but that is a relic of the J.O.B. world we come from. You can only get a job if you have the skills to do the tasks. You could start a space travel business right now if you wanted to – there are plenty of people out there with the expertise to fulfill your vision, if you’re passionate enough to enroll them!

      (Plus, not focusing so much on your skills means you won’t focus so much on what you’ll DO in the business – which is the fastest path to screw yourself and own your own job. Seriously.)

      I smell another blog post coming on that very topic!