[Podcast] The Niche Debate with Jeffrey Shaw

I love talking about niches!

I am forever trying to explain how I think about what a niche is and how you go about choosing one (and how it sometimes chooses you -- which is what happened to me 30 years ago).

That was the topic of "debate" when I was a guest on Jeffrey Shaw's Creative Warriors podcast.

(This interview is actually part 2 in a "debate" that started on the HOW Design Live podcast.)  

It's all about focus... 

So many creative professionals hate the idea that you need a “niche.” 

“Why do I need to choose just one thing!” 

I hear this all the time and I get it! You don’t want to feel be painted into a corner. You are driven by feeling fulfilled by the creative work that you do. You don’t want to sacrifice that. 

But you do need to focus. And it takes time to figure out exactly where. 

The key to a niche is that it does not come from inside (What do I want?), it comes from outside (What does the market need?).

If you’re sensitive and empathetic, you will be able to see where your skills can be best used. It doesn’t have to be just one thing. That's the message I am forever trying to convey. Listen and see how close I came!

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • People rarely pick the right niche first.
  • Finding your niche means refining your focus little by little over time.
  • Often a niche is so deep that there is infinite work to be done.
  • The obstacle between you and your ability to focus is an inability to say no.

To learn what it means to choose your niche and how it can help you focus, listen here.

And for more on Jeffrey Shaw, who will also be speaking at HOW Design Live in Chicago, May 7-10, 2019: