As I discovered during my Niching for Hippies six week coaching program, people have a lot of fears around niching. And then coaches encourage them to push through those because ‘niching is so important’.
But I’ve been learning that those fears are actually important to listen to. Sometimes the very thing that seems like it’s in the way of your progress is the way to progress. If you feel stuck in your niching efforts, don’t just push through it. Don’t discount it. Consider how your experience of resistance to the niching process could also be connected to the challenges your clients face.
One client told me they felt so stuck in their niching and I invited them to consider how that particular feeling of stuck might relate to how their clients felt about their own problems. Eyes widened, ‘Oh.’
In the example below, my client (in an actual chat transcript) realizes that her fear of being seen as a fraud might actually be connected to her clients’ burn out. That her fear of being a fraud might be her flavour of how she goes about burning out: ‘I don’t want to be seen as a fraud, so I will over compensate by working so hard to prove myself . . . and then burn out.’
It doesn’t mean this will be true of all her clients.
But it does mean that she now has a much more personal connection to and understanding of burn out and how it can happen. There’s more compassion and understanding. There’s more empathy. She’ll be able to see their situation much more clearly because she sees herself more clearly. The thing which seemed like the wall, became a doorway.
I am finding, more and more, that this is very often the case.
When a fear comes up you can dismiss it and say that fear is bad. Or . . . you can really listen to it and hear the wisdom it has for you. Your fears and resistances might surprise you. They’re often some part of us that is wanting to be acknowledged for their gifts. They might be trying to tell you it’s not the right niche. Or that your approach isn’t quite right. Or that there’s something you’re not seeing.
Instead of trying to ‘get over it’ try really sitting with it. Get still and quiet. Pour yourself a cup of tea. Bust out your journal.
Here’s our conversation . . .
Client: Ok, I have a quick niche question
me: yay! thank you so much!
Client: if you have a sec
Client: ok, so I’ve been working on my website free resource, I think it’s really awesome and it actually really naturally rolled to a place where offering a free intro session felt good and valuable (yay!) anyway, I know generally who the market is and the result, but I haven’t crystallized it into a clear statement yet, I’m working on that now
Client: So my niche is burned out entrepreneurs – but I love working with experts – you know authors, speakers, etc burned out experts
Client: but I think I’m having the “it’s too specific” fear
Client: but I love them…
me: tell me more about the fear?
Client: there won’t be enough.. which I know is irrational because I’ve been working with a bunch already
me: is there anything underneath that? or anything else coming up around that? these things are good to pay attention to
Client: yeah I think part of me is scared, I finally found something that I love and I want it to work… and for some reason get specific leads the brain to think I’d cutting people out . . . just typing this stuff to you is helping:D
me: and what would it mean to you to be cutting people out?
Client: it’s really weird, because I know that the original thought was I wouldn’t get clients because there probably isn’t enough people who are experts that are burned out… but then when you asked me the question, the first thing that popped into my head was I’d get to work with exactly the people I wanted to – the people that excite me most. and since I’m not financially dependent on my business, that’s really the only way I want it
me: got it. so . . . what else might stop you from really focusing on these people?
Client: my fear of being seen as a fraud...like by getting specific, those people are all somehow connected to each other and if one person thinks I’m a fraud they all will. that’s a simplistic way of thinking about it, but the essence of the emotion is that
me: that’s so real and honest. i totally get that. so that if you narrow in and focus on this community it’s like a much faster track to implosion. like if you don’t do anything or just help friends in general ways then no worries
me: but if you really focus on something then shit – it acccelerates you being exposed
Client: right it’s the exposure thing…I’ve been really trying to focus on what I need to feel safe
me: so then it’s inevitable that you’ll be shpwn as a fake and everyone will be talking about you. i totally get it!being exposed as a fraud does not feel safe
me: i imagine that might be one of the least safe things that you could feel in your life
Client: although I’m not sure why I feel like a fraud.. because the work I’ve done has completely changed my life and now it’s working on others who were feeling burned out and lost hope for their businessand most of all I figured it out on my own and I’ve tested it.. that’s the least fraud-like behaviour ever
me: i invite you to keep sitting with it. you might look at where else in your life you’ve felt like a fraud. or when you first felt that.
Client: yeah ok
me: but also – i’m curious if you can see any connection between the FEAR of being seen as a fraud and burning out
Client: oh GREAT question
me: like does the fear of being seen as a fraud cause you to overwork which then causes burn out?
Client: totally... I think I’ve made this connection before… at least the over-compensating and burn.. not the fraud part
me: i think that this fear isn’t in the way to you finding your niche – i think it might actually be a doorway into going much deeper into this niche and finding our perfect authentic relationship to it
Client: you are so right… when I read that my whole body relaxed..
me: that is a good sign
Client: that was awesome
You can learn more about my perspective on niching in my Niching 101 for Hippies ebook.
Want Help? If you’d like some more direct guidance and hand holding on figuring out your niche then go and check out my Niching for Hippies coaching program http://marketingforhippies.com/niching-for-hippies/