How To Find Your Niche
First of all, what is a niche? Your niche is the thing (or things) that you’re naturally drawn to, and love doing. Sometimes it’s obvious what that is but other times we need to do a little “soul searching” in order to discover it. The founder of Co Gear, Kym O’Leary, stumbled across her niche through her passion for solving a problem. As talked about in her recent interview on Ticker TV, the idea for maternity hi-vis women's workwear came to her on site one day when she saw her pregnant manager having to wear layers under her uniform, during summer.
“It started 5-6 years ago when I was working on site as an accountant and my manager was walking around in an opened hi-vis shirt with a singlet on underneath, she was about 7 months pregnant. It just got me thinking, we were sitting in a meeting and there were all the men, comfy in their hi-vis - then there was Steph in the middle of summer having to wear additional layers whilst pregnant. I thought - so we’re an industry that’s trying to promote female participation and are strong believers in inclusion and diversity, yet we weren’t providing workwear to suit everybody on site. After a little bit of research, we bought out the first maternity hi-vis range worldwide. From there we teamed up and collaborated with a lot of companies to keep refining our women’s workwear range.” – Kym O’Leary
The definition of Niche according to the all-knowing and wise Google - “A comfortable or suitable position in life or employment”. Well that sounds a little… deflating. The word niche to me is exciting, it’s daring, it’s you and when you find it - it’s home. Sorry Google but we think you’ve missed the mark on this one. Your niche stems from what you’re passionate about, the things in life that light you up and what you feel your called to do. It’s not always a natural skill or talent you’ve been blessed with. If you feel your niche is to play the piano but you’ve never given it a go – there’s only one way to find out. If you haven’t found your niche in life yet, we have some practical and simple steps for you to try.
Step 1 (and the most cliché) – Discover what you’re passionate about.
Write a list of what you love doing and what brings you joy. I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it does help to see it listed in front of you. You might not be an amazing cook but you enjoy baking banana bread on a Sunday afternoon. Write it down! Maybe you love having guests over and hosting events that make people feel welcome. Write that down too! So you’ve studied for 4 years in a field that you ended up hating and even with your qualification, the thought of working in that industry for the rest of your life sends you into a spiral of misery? Okay leave that one off the list. Hint - if you feel obliged to list something, it's probably not your niche!
Step 2 – Ask others what your good at.
I did this recently and wow did it help! Sometimes you need to take a step back and try to see yourself the way others do. You may have a niche for something you didn’t even know about. Plus it will give you a major confidence boost. It’s always nice to return the favour by mentioning something you think they’re good at too. Share the love!
Step 3 – Find the problem. Find the gap in the market and find the demand.
If you are looking to make your niche your work or business (and who wouldn’t want to), find out how you can help people by using your passions. What comes easily to you but is hard for others? I love this question because it really makes you think about how you can be of service.
Step 4 - Do the work. Research, plan and collaborate.
It may not happen overnight, but small steps lead to large changes. If you need some motivation, try reading autobiographies or listening to podcasts from people that inspire you and how they started their journey from the ground up.
It may not come to you straight away but if you actively look, you will have your moment of clarity. It may take a moment like Kym’s, where the problem was right in front of her, for you to find your niche through a solution for change. My final advice for those still searching is don’t settle for compliant or even comfortable. In an age where anyone can be almost anything - reach high!