Why Choosing a Niche is Pretty Dumb (and Why You Should Create One Instead)

Why Choosing a Niche is Pretty Dumb (and Why You Should Create One Instead)

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.

Follow a proven framework to earning a living from your passion

My bestselling course on making your first $1k from your passion helped a community of over 2000 adventurers. You can be our next success story.


Comment & Add Your Voice

livingauthentically January 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm

The problem with creating your own niche is that it is uncertain and can take lots of time and resources. Apple didn’t invent the tablet and Edison didn’t invent the light bilb – they both took what was already available and improved it. I’m agreeing that it is about testing the market, so I’m looking forwards to the call


Loran Hills January 26, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Hmmm, this is a good question. I have notions about my niche but am also unsure. In trying to be unique I think I lose people. On the other hand I don’t want to be a clone either. I’d like to be a trailblazer – if I knew how. Guess that’s what the free event if for?


JasonSmalley January 26, 2012 at 3:50 pm

@Loran Hills We are all trailblazers if only we know it.

dikedrummond January 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Creating your niche is a measure of your membership in the “hopeless romantic’s club” unless it happens to be matched by a check-writing-demand for what you are offering. There is no substitute for massive market research to understand the lay of the land … that is foundation for doing something no one has done before. A tweak, a twist a different take on a known subject.And that “create your own niche” impulse has to be matched by the two points you made in the video – clear destination and ideal client targeting. Just know that if people have never bought your transformation before … you are taking them into new territory. The iPad didn’t burst on the scene without years of failed similar hand held computing devices. Sure we all want to be the next personal development iPad and those of us who are hopeless romantics will give it our best shot. Get ready to work hard.

my two cents,


Dike Drummond MD



jaxiwest January 26, 2012 at 4:21 pm

super blog post! I am all for blazing my own way :) Been living my life that way for a while – should be no different for what you want to do in life (career/work). Creating your own niche is the only way! The future is about moving forward, not staying where you are. If you stay with predefined niches, you aren’t leading or moving forward. Innovation only works in ‘new’ – you can’t innovate and create and be within the paramaters of old school thinking or concepts.


DwayneTWC January 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I think I kinda just fell into the niche I’m in. I just wanted to help people and it has definitely been working out for me. This is a great post for anyone who may be thinking about falling in line with everyone else. Create your own line.


alison528 January 26, 2012 at 10:29 pm

This is a great topic for me because I was under the impression that you had to have a niche. I like the idea of having a blog and posting about whatever I know about as a way to help others improve their lives. I don’t know how to make someone rich, but I do know what it took for me to take control of my anxiety and get off of too many xanax a day, and too much alcohol to deal with the problems I was having at the time. I still have the problems, I just don’t deal with them that way anymore.


JonathanMead January 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

@alison528 Just to be clear, I’m not saying that you don’t need any sort of niche. You do, but it’s much more effective to create one than to try to cram yourself into and compete in a preexisting one.

MagnoliasWest January 27, 2012 at 11:23 am

Thank you, this is a powerful message!


JonathanMead January 27, 2012 at 4:48 pm

@MagnoliasWest Thanks for stopping by :)

brookeyool January 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

wish I weren’t working then immediately going to band rehearsal at the same time…. :(


JonathanMead January 27, 2012 at 4:49 pm

@brookeyool There will be another time I’m sure.

Minky January 27, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Jonathan this is such a great blog! I wish I knew about you 2 years ago. I have created my own niche and it has been a roller coaster ride. My path has been very convoluted and I went through a lot of time, money and sweat; but finally I know I’ve found my own niche. I look forward to your future work for validation and of course, more great content from you to help me to keep refining my offer to my tribe. Thank you for what you do.


ravisagar January 29, 2012 at 1:46 am

I registered for the event. Looking forward to it!


Oluwo Brian January 30, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Great insights. In order to do what I love I’ve had to rethink the limits I place on myself and one of them was finding an existing niche. I think creating a niche is the only way to go if we going to fulfill our unique potential. Looking forward to the new video.


Silverlite January 30, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Just tuned into your site and have to say that there is here a huge opportunity for magnification of that space in between what is and what can be made possible. Most of us see that space as rather small and imperceptibly insignificant, yet it holds the most promise of all when its flame is illuminated. I don’t know just how I came upon you and your site, but glad I did and will be in presence for your web cast. Thanks!


Owen Marcus January 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm

You are your niche.

It’s risky starting a niche… but it’s the only way to go. You are 100% right. When you name it, you own it.


nochnoch February 1, 2012 at 7:09 am

yeh i think creating niche is awesome, and in th eprocess, to pull people together with their respective skills to help build a niche. it doesn’t have to be lonely job

Noch Noch


taylorsbarrett February 1, 2012 at 8:31 pm

great post. need to make a niche.

im trying to make mine!! –> http://www.onewonderfulthing.com


AnnaLynn February 15, 2012 at 9:18 am
Jr. March 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

This article is spot on. When you start going, and start to do things with passion, you forget about your competition at times, and maybe always. You feel free and start to excel on whatever you happen to be doing. You become the race itself. It is liberating and is almost impossible to feel unless you do it. Thanks for writing this!


boardofus March 29, 2012 at 4:26 am

You are your own blue ocean [strategy]. 


BecRobbins March 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

I find this post so inspiring! It reminds me of how an original painting has so much more power than a print or replication. The challenge within the creative process AND the uniqueness of the end result make the painting irresistible to it’s perfect ‘buyers.’  The act of creating our own niche and then sharing it with the world is practical (biz) magic. Luvvit thx JM.


Matthew Loomis December 5, 2012 at 10:26 am

Each of us can learn from others and yet still produce our own unique niche. Our unique niche may not necessarily be a topic or field of work that no one has ever thought of before… You create your own niche by allowing your own personality to flow through the niche, instead of trying to be like someone else.

Like Jason said, “We are all trailblazers if only we know it.”

Looking forward to next week’s event.


Nick February 10, 2013 at 11:27 pm

My wife and I both did this and although it took a few years it will take 5 more for anyone to compete with us, if they started now – which they aren’t it seems. It takes time and you have to ignore a lot of advice but I totally recommend it.


Jennifer July 24, 2013 at 10:59 am

I have been going crazy trying to figure out what niche I fit in. The problem is I don’t “fit in” anywhere! Thanks for letting me know that it’s ok to just be myself.


bry January 10, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I have problem whether to continue or change my current niche, your right choosing a niche with many competition will give you headache of unending challenge. I try my best to excel but those who established first are far better than someone like me who copied their success.


Rakib Hossin August 31, 2016 at 4:08 am

This article is right on the money. When you begin going and begin to do things with energy, you disregard your opposition now and again, and perhaps dependably. You feel free and begin to exceed expectations on whatever you happen to do. You turn into the race itself. It is freeing and is practically difficult to feel unless you do it. Much obliged for composing this!


Loran Hills January 26, 2012 at 4:19 pm

@JasonSmalley You are quite the trailblazer, Jason!


Loran Hills February 1, 2012 at 7:16 am

@Loran Hills @JasonSmalley You know what, Jason? You’re right. I am a trailblazer! Honk it through!!


alison528 January 27, 2012 at 11:54 pm

@JonathanMead What I am getting at is that you have a niche but as time goes by your blog grows just as a person does. The blog’s initial niche being a tree and then the subtopics that come up as time goes by are the branches. As long as they belong to the tree it would work. Many personal blogs start off as sharing your daily life and before you know it people are following along and you are sharing your recipes, decorating ideas, money saving ideas and you now have six or more topics(categories) that you are blogging about. That’s just how I personally want to create my blog.


MelodyKiersz January 31, 2012 at 6:39 pm

@JonathanMead @alison528 “It’s much more effective to create one than to try to cram yourself into and compete in a preexisting one.”

Ahh… yes! Same goes for living life in general. It’s much better, liberating and downright enjoyable to be a free expression of yourself than to try to fit into preexisting ideas of who you should be or how you should behave.


alison528 February 1, 2012 at 9:04 pm

That is exactly what my blog is about “living your life your way” I don’t know if I can give the name here but I have only been doing it for a month and I really need to dedicate myself a little more. (procrastinator) I am also starting another blog and I am going to do that one from the hip as well. @MelodyKiersz @JonathanMead


MelodyKiersz February 6, 2012 at 8:10 pm

@alison528 @JonathanMead Beautiful! I guide people to heal their shame, and make conscious choices to create what I call an ‘Orgasmic Life.” A life that revolves around their expression of their authentic self.

So yeah…. I hear ya! And wish you the best of luck with your blogs.


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