How to Choose a Niche for Your Business

I’m sure there a lots of articles out there on how to choose a niche market for your small business, but I am going to just shoot from the hip.

First thing you have to drop from your mind is, “stick with what you know best.” It might work, but if it is the top keyword on your cogitation about which direction to point your life, you may just end up just doing more work in an industry you hate.

How many people hate their jobs? I don’t know, but I would imagine there has to be more than fifty of them. I’m pretty sure I’ve even known a few.

Picture of angry man.

Find a niche that this picture will not cause you to look like.

Work, especially work that is for you and by you, would ideally also be somewhat about you. Find out what excites you, motivates you and is something that, while working at, you could still derive pleasure from. Think about whether working doing an activity you enjoy will ruin your happiness at doing it when you’re not working at it.

I have known quite a few cooks and chefs. I have known zero who cooked at home. I can only assume that most of these people enjoyed cooking at one time and so decided to do it as a job. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever worked in a restaurant before, but cooks are not known for their friendly attitudes while doing their jobs. In fact, the first descriptor often used when describing a cook is a**hole or jerk, or mean-tempered.

Working as cooks made them hate cooking. Don’t be like them. I went into bartending instead, and still enjoy a cold beer to this day. Now I enjoy the inherent esotericism of writing, SEO and social media marketing. I get satisfaction from it when it works, and when it does not work, I am driven to make it better until it does, because I like it.

While we do have to work out of necessity, we do not have to necessarily take the enjoyment out of work.

Figure out some of the things you really love, and then think of ways you can make a profit while incorporating as many of those things as possible into your work.

Sigmund Freud, sadly, hit the nail on the head with this quote from Civilization and Its Discontents that I think you should consider:

“…No other technique for the conduct of life attaches the individual so firmly to reality as laying emphasis on work; for his work at least gives him a secure place in a portion of reality, in the human community. The possibility it offers of displacing a large amount of libidinal components, whether narcissistic, aggressive or even erotic, on to professional work and on to the human relations connected with it lends it a value by no means second to what it enjoys as something indispensible to the preservation and justification of existence in society. Professional activity is a source of special satisfaction if it is a freely chosen one if, that is to say, by means of sublimation, it makes possible the use of existing inclinations, of persisting or constitutionally reinforced instinctual impulses. And yet, as a path to happiness, work is not highly prized by men. They do not strive after it as they do after other possibilities of satisfaction. The great majority of people only work under the stress of necessity, and this natural human aversion to work raises most difficult social problems.”



Posted on July 20, 2011, in Business, Small Business, Social Media and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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