Focusing energy on your niche

>> Sunday, December 20, 2009

Aileen Santos

Take it from the experts: entrepreneurs who succeed are those who have a solution to a specific problem For big corporations it's called "branding," but for currently small- and medium- sized businesses it's called "nichefying." Either way, we're talking about the same thing: the process of building a reputation for having the best product or being the best company to go to if you want a solution to a specific problem.

A recent survey of entrepreneurs found that the most successful ones are those who embrace an important truth: Entrepreneurship is about solving the problems of society, not just starting a business for one's own sake.

In his seminars, entrepreneurial coach and author Mike Litman often tells his audiences that "You are all problem solvers!" and points out that everything in this world was created as a solution to a problem.

The telephone (and all its descendants), for example, was created to solve a communication problem. The razor solves a grooming problem, specific medications solve specific health problems, and games or gadgets solve the problem of boredom. Litman recommends that, when thinking about which specific problem you solve through your product, service, or business, you become as focused and as concise as possible.

"The narrower you go," says Litman, "the more uniform the challenges get, and the more easily you become an expert in the specific field versus a generalist in several [fields]." It now actually seems like a compliment when you say that someone is a Jack (or Jill) of All Trades. There's nothing wrong about this for most people.

But if you want to become a success at the business that you're in, being a Jack means people can't tell you apart from every other business out there; while being a Master could mean people talk about your business to their family and friends, AND remember you for a long time.
Millionaire Coach Milana Leshinsky says that many people in her industry never get past the start up phase of their business and continue to struggle for a long time simply because they refuse to pick and focus on a niche.

"Working inside a niche market does not mean that you will not work with anyone else," says Leshinsky. "It simply means that you make a decision to focus all your time, efforts, and resources on becoming THE solution in one given area."

"One of the quickest ways to get over (entrepreneurial worry and being overwhelmed) is to think not in terms of what you want to get, but what you're giving," says Thomas L. Harrison, author of Instinct: Tapping Your Entrepreneurial DNA to Achieve Your Business Goals. "Entrepreneurs who are successful genuinely believe they are offering a way to do things better -- a better product, a better service, a better talent."

And when you focus on what you're offering to make the world a better place, you not only take your focus away from yourself: you also become more inspiring to the people you?re trying to help.

(Aileen Santos is an internationally certified Work-Life ReInvention Coach and A-Ha! Trainer who helps overwhelmed leaders and entrepreneurs achieve balance and success in the things that truly matter. If you want more "LightBulb Moments" of clarity and direction for your own situation, sign up for her free tips at


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