How you become your niche (or your niche becomes you)
By Lian Brook-Tyler
Seven years ago when I first became a coach I honestly didn’t have anything resembling a niche, though I suspect the delusions of grandeur baked into the copy on my website said otherwise. Really, I just “helped people” – typically they were people with anxiety, depression, OCD or stress and I helped them to have peace of mind.
I’d just experienced a nigh on miraculous recovery from chronic pain and anxiety so it made complete sense to help others like me.
The work was effective and rewarding and I felt like the luckiest woman on earth. I honestly imagined back then that I would continue doing that work for the rest of my life.
Then six years ago, Jonathan and I teamed up and created Happy School (that was when the photo below was taken), the focus became, you guessed it… helping people to be happier!
Let’s fast forward through several more evolutions… from specifically focusing on anxiety (via The Anxiety Antidote) and then helping people to thrive in every way (via Thrive)…. we were constantly learning, changing and growing and the work we were drawn to do reflected that.
Then we noticed more and more people coming to us wanting help with creating a living doing their Soul Work.
And not just any people, there was a clear trend of people who had always felt a bit different… dreamers, mavericks, round pegs in square holes… exactly the same as Jonathan and I had each been in our own way.
Given we had successfully made that transition from feeling like misfits to being our Medicine doing our deepest Soul Work, it felt perfectly aligned for us to help others do the same.
We’d become so busy with that work that the waiting list was growing – we realised we could create a way to help more people in a uniquely powerful way through creating a Circle dedicated to this path, so we created Waking The Wild Medicine, the first one begins in January.
Simultaneously, there’s been another growing strand to our work, helping men and women to reclaim their Wild Masculine and Feminine. For me, this work was inspired by one of the most profound parts of my own path – going from being armoured up, always in control and operating almost entirely from the archetypal Masculine (thinking, logical, linear, penetrative, mentally-focused), to allowing that armour to drop away, to soften and fall back into the archetypal Feminine (feeling, instinctive, non-linear, receptive, body-focused).
As the years have gone on this work has evolved into many of our clients being brilliant, successful women and men (often in finance or law) who want our help creating or healing an intimate relationship. We’re now so busy with this work that we don’t have space for new 1:1 clients until next summer… who knows, maybe we’ll create a Circle specifically for this path at some point?
Suffice to say, this point in our journey, I’ve noticed a few patterns about niches that could be helpful to illuminate:
- I often hear coaches say they’re struggling to find clients: There’s always someone you can help, and it’ll be obvious if you’re willing to pay attention to where you are on your path, where you’ve come from and who is there right now.
- This requires some humility and honesty. We’re often attracted to doing the work of people who are ahead of us on the path. That rarely has a happy ending. Be and do the work you’ve already embodied rather than what you’re still in the process of learning.
- But do continue learning, changing and growing – and then allowing your niche to evolve with you. Yes, that’ll mean risk which usually feels scary and sometimes foolhardy. It could mean losing loyal fans who aren’t growing at a similar pace or take a different path (tho’ it thrills me how many of our people have been with us since Happy School six years ago!), it could mean the cost and hassle of redesigns and rebrands (we’re about to do our third – only a year later than planned!), and it’ll almost certainly mean testing out new programmes that could take time to develop, sell and most importantly, create the results you want for your clients. But it’s SO worth it… I still feel like the luckiest woman on earth to be doing what I do but if I’d stayed doing the work of seven years ago I very much suspect I’d feel bored, dried up creatively and having much less of a positive impact.
If you’re busy trying to figure out your niche, here’s some questions that might help…
- Where are you on your path?
- Where have you come from?
- Who can you help who is there now?
And what are you feeling called to learn or experience (that’s the next breadcrumb of your Soul Path and ultimately might well become your next niche… in other words… your Soul Work)?