Are you having trouble finding your niche?
If so, then you, along with myself and many others are having this difficulty.
I have read a lot in the blog-o-sphere about finding your niche ever since I started blogging.
‘Niche’, that place in the creative and business landscape where you choose to reside. It’s your focus, your topic.
However, for two years my efforts to try and find my niche have resulted in minimal success.
It’s not that I haven’t tried. It’s just that so many things fascinate me, so much I want to say, that finding a pigeon-hole for myself is difficult.
But it’s more than trying and failing. I have noticed a rebellious streak in me that resists the drive to be defined.
I also wonder if this idea of a niche is a legacy of the past. When the economics of society meant job specialisation which you held for life.
Today is very different. Job security is at its lowest and individuals may have more than one income stream or job over their lifetime. People are more complicated than a niche suggests.
Having a particular vocation seems to be a desire for the old days when you knew your place in the order of things.
What I feel is now that ‘niching down’ is perhaps the legacy of an economic system that’s unravelling.
The motivation to find our niche now seems so different than it once was.
Back then it was economic and social pressures that compelled us to squeeze ourselves into a role. You became a cog in a giant industrial machine because that’s how society was conceptualized and organised. That is you didn’t have much of a choice.
What’s different now is the pressure to conform no longer comes from society, but other creatives. From bloggers and entrepreneurs all who keep regurgitating that same line. ‘You have to find your niche.’
It’s ironic, there’s all this talk about non-conformity, individuality and authenticity from the business world and blogging.
Yet the advice, the pressure is still to simplify yourself to the point where you can be squeezed into becoming a ‘proper’ creative.
Do children worry about niche when they create? I doubt it.
This is not to say that advice is worthless or that all advice is equal. But when I see the umpteenth post on ‘finding your niche’ I become jaded to the whole idea.
It may be that for some individuals finding a narrow place in this world is unsuitable, even an anathema. I have often felt that we need big picture thinkers just as much as we need specialists, perhaps more so.
Which brings me to the idea of the polymath, ‘renaissance individuals’ who have interests that cover many topics.
I don’t know if I am such an individual but after two years of trying to find a niche and only a partial success I do wonder.
All is why I’m pleased to have come across Emily Wapnick and her idea of a Multipotentialite.
Sometimes people resist strict definitions because we are complex individuals. It’s not easy or perhaps possible to narrow the focus of our working lives for some of us.
A solution, multiple niches? a multi-nicher? Let me check a thesaurus. A poly-vocationer?!!!
So what’s is my niche?
That’s my niche. The wonder, majesty, uncertainty and fear. It’s the best I can do for now.
I can see the appeal of a niche, once inside the box, it makes you feel safer, focused and less uncertain.
But I am tired of trying to find my niche and failing. Attempting to squeeze myself into a mould that feels too small to accept me.
We seem to think the business world is like a jigsaw. All you have to do if find out which piece you are so you can fit in.
I started blogging to get out of a box. I wanted to express myself and live a more authentic life. The job I am in doesn’t let me do that.
To be told I have to find my niche seems like swapping one prison for another. Following rules in a profession where you’re told to find your own path seems paradoxical.
I’m done with niche, at least for now.
I’ll say what I came here to say and just hope someone takes notice.
What are your thoughts on finding a niche? How successful have you been?
Let me know in the comments below your experiences.
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