Free the Niche

Hey You,

For years I’ve been telling you that you need a niche. So why am I here abandoning my super nice niched down niche? 

Because I want to break free. I really hope that triggered a certain scene from Sherlock in your brains, because it did mine. Is Moriarty not the most lovable villain in the history of evil masterminds? 

Anyway, I want my work to reflect all the things that I love to do, and none of the things that I have done because they fit the niche, though they bring me no joy. I want to trust in the Mich Niche – the Mitch Neesh in case you’re wondering how to pronounce either of those words. You’ll mix it up and call me Meesh, I will for sure sometimes say nitch, or nitch-neesh-nitch-whatever, because saying words is hard. 

I am, at my core, a strategist. Finding the outcome I desire (FREEDOM) means looking for the solution to the problem – the problem being a world that believes so fully in the single-focus individual. I’m a multi-passionate meddler, this is why I fell in love with branding! It allows me to support the launch of business after business, and then move on because it’s “ solving the problem” of connecting people to the experiences that satisfy their soulparts. I love the creation process, and the storytelling process, the systemization process – but the actual daily management? Not so much. That’s the juice for other people, my loves, my clients

Wait wait. At my core I am a creative. Creative, strategist, same difference. Strategy demands creative approaches to problems, it asks that you not only think outside of the box, but turn on the box and transform it into a fortress, a rocket ship, a platform on which to do very bad breakdancing. Just kidding I can’t breakdance, I would definitely break something. 

Then there is wonder – and is this the most coriest core of all, the thing that contains and infuses every part of everything else. Creative, strategy – all entwined with such a deep sense of curiosity and wonder that sometimes I moved to tears because the sky is just so blue and the world is just so green and do you see, do you see how they play together? I just want to play in my work – there is nothing as exciting for me as when a client or I have a potentially terrible, potentially genius idea … and we just try it and fail, and try again with brand new lessons in mind. Until something clicks and we have created something magical.  I’m looking at you, Stacey Andon. 

So there I am – curiosity, wonder, exploration, all through the filter of creative expression, storytelling, and problem solving. With a dash of wordy rambling. The Mich Niche.

But wait, there’s more. 

Because the kicker is this: a niche is not one damn bit about me. A niche is all about you. It’s about who you are, dear client. The real secret sauce to finding freedom in your work is to understand the people who want exactly what you want to offer. So who are the people who want to show up to play in The Mich Niche?

Well – you have to have the desire to break rules. You might not be a natural rule breaker – you might have a long history of coloring safely within the lines. Now, however, you find yourself suffocating in that confining ticky tacky box. So the first rule of the Mich Niche is that you want to pull a Moriarty – you want to break free

Or, perhaps, you have been breaking rules all over the place and making not much more than messes – in your finances, in your wellness, in your relationships. Often, these are women who have been preached at about hustle mode, and you’re hustling and authenticity-ing yourself into madness but without the anchor of strategy. You’re just throwing shit at the wall, not learning lessons along the way, just becoming more desperate and lost. Damn girl, I feel that shit. You should see my walls. No but really- who paints walls in matte paint and then doesn’t tell me that matte paint doesn’t wipe clean? In an artist’s loft. Fools, that’s who. Security deposit, who? We don’t know her. 

So what else. Who you be? Well, clearly you have a high tolerance for bad jokes – because of all the things I bring to the table, that’s my signature dish. If you got puns, we can have ourselves a productive giggle potluck.

You are chill. You want to feel good in your work, not burned out and confused – and hear me here. Some people thrive in that mode. That’s why so many preach it, and we don’t realize that not every approach works for every person or business. If you’re those people, I am probably not for you. If the hustle harder message is not serving you, you might be my people.

Working smart (that’s strategy, friend) means bringing ease into the game – ease does not mean we aren’t working our butts off, it means we’re working our butts off with such joy that we don’t notice we are doing what other people believe is impossible. 

Whatever you are doing – and that is the niching game I refuse to play, I am not here to tell you what you do. I am done limiting myself to one industry. I’m here to specialize in you, not the what that you do, but how and why you do it. So whatever you are doing, whether you are brewing coffee in a little hipster joint, or teaching women to bend in unnatural ways – you are hellbent on building community, on making people’s days, lives, and worlds just a little better. You want to stand out in, and stand up for, the silly little hopeful world you want to see built. You want to help build that world, through whatever uniquely you spark sets you ablaze. I believe we all have the potential to change the world through our own brand of magic – and look at the world, we need every drop of magic we can summon. This is why you come to me, if you do. I want to help you show your fiery heart to the world, so that your fire acts as a beacon, your own personal bat signal, calling your people in. 

The Illusion of Productivity

What does spinning your wheels and practicing the illusion of productivity look like? What does it mean for your business?

I have had a lot of personal practice in the art of not moving forward. Sometimes we don’t know what to do, or what we need to do is so overwhelming that we stick to the things that are familiar – even when we know they don’t work! Even more often, I believe we are so deeply afraid of success that we keep ourselves mired in the comfortable and predictable. It can be scary to break free! 

Even so, consciously I know you want to start breaking walls, your own limitations, and out of the patterns you play out on a loop in your life. Recognizing and owning the habits that are not serving you is a key first step. So let’s break down some of the ways it manifests! 

✓ Not being “ready” to start – engaging in prolonged periods of education and research. You have started to notice the information you are consuming is starting to feel like a broken record, because you know your shit, but you still don’t trust yourself!

✓ Endless “tweaking” of your branding, website, pricing, photos, copy, or message. Tweaking is a great way to hone your offerings! However, it should be done from a point of understanding. That means you have tested and acquired feedback or results that inform your new direction. Making changes without new information is just not knowing what else to do, or being afraid. 

✓ Engaging in marketing activities that have proven themselves as totally ineffective, or low performers. Are you dropping links in every possible place, without considering if they will hit your target? Are you posting endlessly in groups where you get “validating” engagement but little-to-no actual leads/sales? 

At this point I also want to mention things like ladders, like for like, and facebook games. Algorithms decide when to actually show your posts to your followers based on a measurement of how many followers you have and how often they engage. If you have inflated followers who are not interested in your brand, algorithms see that you are not interesting to your followers, and not worth showing! These types of activities are not only ineffective, they are actually hurting you.

✓ Occupying spaces filled with peers, instead of finding and engaging with your true market. 

✓ Latching onto gurus who tell you, directly or indirectly, that you can’t succeed if you don’t do things their way or hire them. There are as many paths to success as their are people dreaming of it. Trust yourself first. 

✓ Playing small. Every single person is spectacular in their own ways. I truly believe our world would be a better place if we all honored and lived fully in our personal power and let ourselves SHINE. You’re a pretty big deal, stop pretending. 

✓ Accepting bad sales. These are sales that undervalue the time, effort, experience, and the heart you pour into your work. They may also be sales filled with red flags, clients or customers you know are out of alignment, but accept out of desperation or low confidence.

✓ “Investing” in low end services, education, or assistance that ends up costing you more in the long run. There is a common line of thinking that says, “I will invest real money in my business when it proves it can be successful” – ignoring that investing can help us get that success sooner.

✓ Jumping off bridges with your friends. This is often connected to gurus, again, but so often you can predict that a guru has spoken when suddenly you see businesses making identical announcements and changes at once….and then reversing them days, weeks, or months later when they realized they didn’t think it through. 

There are people who might read this and think, “well fuck, this is literally all I do” – and yea. That’s why you’re stuck AF, my friend. You’re just wasting your time and setting yourself up to fail! Knock it off. 

What do you do instead of these things? Well, it depends on your business! It depends on your market and where you are stuck. There absolutely is not a single one-size-fits-all answer. 

My usual suggestions are:

✓ Clarify your market, message, and brand – once and for all (do you know how many people are trying to sell their work without ever even taking this step?!)

✓ Establish yourself as an expert in something relevant to your work that you care deeply about

✓ Push yourself outside of your comfort zone. If you feel safe and comfortable – shake it up somehow.

✓ Stop accepting your limiting beliefs as reality. Get a no bullshit friend or coach who will slow your roll and give you a big dose of what is real.

✓ If you catch yourself complaining, ground yourself in gratitude, and then take steps to change what you’ve damn well been complaining about for the past however many months.