When you wake up in the morning, you have two choices: You can go back to sleep and dream your dreams; or you can wake up and chase those dreams. As Walt Disney said ‘All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.’ My question is. Do you want to build your own dreams? OR, work for someone else to build their dreams?
Rainbows are ephemeral. Some see them as a sign from God, a sign of hope of a brighter future. Others see them for what they are: an optical illusion. We can easily create our own rainbows with a glass prism in the sunshine. My cupboard handles in the kitchen are made of glass prisms. It looks so beautiful lots of dancing rainbows, but, unless we capture them on film, they disappear when the sun moves or a cloud appears.
It’s exactly the same with dreams. Dreams are ephemeral. Unless we capture them on paper, that’s all they will remain, dreams. Writing down your dreams turns them into goals. Adding an action plan with a timescale can turn those goals into a reality.
Your life is a Blank Canvas on which to write your goals
Your life is a blank canvas, use it wisely. You may end up staring at it for a while, sometimes a long while, but inspiration will come. You have the freedom to create the life you really want. To realise your full potential, you must challenge your creativity and knowledge, and fully utilise all the resources you have accumulated over the years, including feedback from your clients, peers and mentors.
To understand what is needed, you need to communicate effectively with your potential clients. Find your people and you find your purpose. Ask them what they want. Listen, really listen, to what they say then refine, test and refine again.
BUT, how do we know who our people are? Many coaches when they first start are so excited they think they can solve every problem for every person. Very soon they come to realise that they are serving no-one well. You can call yourself a life coach, but you probably won’t get many clients unless you’re a Tony Robbins, so we look for a niche.
So what is a niche? Some think a niche is calling themselves a health and wellness coach. That is a speciality not a niche. That tells people you know about health and wellness and will help them reach their health goals. A speciality might get you some more people but still not attract the people you really want to work with. I trained as a health and wellness coach and my sub-specialism is as a divorce coach but that’s still too broad. My target market is women over 40. Is this now a niche? I’m getting there. Women over 40 going through divorce is still a bit too broad. My real niche is women over 40 going through divorce who have been stay-at-home mums and are now looking to rebuild their life, their career and their self-esteem. Now my tribe can identify themselves clearly.
What if you don’t know what your niche is? It’s ok to have a preliminary niche for now and refine it as you go along. Your niche can either be the speciality you coach (area of expertise) or the way you coach (the unique way you work) or a combination. The important part is to be authentic, that’s that foundation on which the seed of your niche will grow.
Don’t try to be someone else or copy someone else just because they are successful. People will see right through it. Even more importantly, you will just not feel it. Your lack of authenticity will lead to a lack of confidence. So which road will you choose?
Choosing your niche
- What do you feel most confident talking about? What are you most passionate about? What do people tend to ask you for help with? Write this down but don’t do anything until you get past the next stage.
- Ask the people who know you best what they think are your strengths. Where have they seen you at your most passionate and energised? Why do they pick you to come to for advice?
- Now take the answers to both questions and tease out where the overlaps are. What are the common themes?
- Your niche is buried somewhere in the overlap. What resonates with you the most? For the moment just pick one that really causes butterflies in your stomach.
Remember your niche may change over time as you refine it further. Mine certainly did. I started off thinking I was just health and wellness, then refined it to thinking about relationships. Then narrowed down to divorce, then narrowed to women over 40, then to women over 40 finding they have to reinvent themselves after their divorce as they find they have to have a career in order to pay the bills. It may not be the most lucrative niche, but it’s the one that really resonates with me as this was my own story 20 years ago.
And now for the fun part
This is where the creativity starts. Growing your niche is a process. You need to develop your style of coaching, your methodology, your voice, your language, your structure. As you coach, try different things until you find something that is uniquely you. You may succeed or fail at times but you must always learn and grow. Your niche will rise to the top, just like the cream always finds its way to the top of the milk.
Once you have refined your niche now write your mission statement, your vision and design your signature system. You will need a signature talk too. Start with your story to show your audience you are just like them. Then cover two or three of their big pain points with case studies showing how your signature system solved the problems. End with the success part of your own story showing how you overcame adversity to be the successful person you are.
Enjoy the journey and find your pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.