If you want to compete in a game someone else created you’ll probably want to find a nice cozy, safe niche that has a history of predictable success.
Choosing a niche and differentiating yourself is safe and comforting. And besides, isn’t that what all the experts tell you to do? Find your niche.
Well, that’s fine if you want to do something that’s already been done. But I’m guessing that you were brought here to do something bigger. Something more.
Maybe your vision is bigger than just following in someone else’s footsteps, or being #2 in a crowded market. That’s probably why you’re reading this.
Let me be straight up with you here. I’m not advocating blindly targeting everyone or not having clarity about your “unique value proposition.” That’s simply a prerequisite to any solid business strategy.
Verifying that the market wants and is interested in what you have to offer is smart. But it’s not everything, especially if you want to blaze your own trail and create your own market.
Because often times the areas ripe with the most opportunity are those that are uncharted. You can’t verify success in a field that hasn’t been created (Netflix couldn’t know for certain that people would really want DVDs in their mail, they had to try it out and find out). There’s going to be a certain amount of unavoidable risk involved no matter how much trend-watching and data-mining you do.
So if settling on an established, well-researched niche is too safe, what’s the alternative?
Create your own niche.
When you stop playing other people’s game and stop competing on other people’s terms, something incredible happens. You move from being left in the dust, to being the only one in the race.
When you make a conscious choice to be a pioneer, you move from a path of dead-ends and competition, to an infinite path that’s created on your own terms.
When you own your own niche, you dominate it. Competition becomes obsolete when you’re trailblazing.
Eventually others will follow and attempt to mimick you. (Example: Apple’s iPad in the tablet market.)
- Amazon dominated the market by creating the first eReader.
- Instead of playing the same as everyone else, Michael Jordan made other people play his game.
- Thomas Edison didn’t try to build a better lamp, he created the lightbulb.
- Muhammad Ali didn’t try to beat others at their own game, he brought people into his game.
Is trailblazing and creating your own niche easy? No, not by any means. It’s one of the challenging endeavors you can embark on in your life. It’s also one of the most enjoyable, and most fulfilling.
That’s because you’re leveraging your own genius. You are living at full expression, rather than trying to express yourself in a certain set of predetermined paramaters.
In essence, it’s the adventure of a lifetime.