How to Discover the Power of One

It’s guest post Monday!!! This post is written by Jared Latigo who writes about impacting the world with your purpose, passions, and talents. He is the author of Symphony, A Manifesto of Purpose. You can read his blog here and follow him on Twitter and Facebook. If you would like to be featured as a guest poster on my blog click here.

I’ve read countless blog posts that have been all over the place. Ones that leave me thinking, what was that article about?

Then I’ve read ones that honed in on a subject to the point it was super clear as to exactly what the writer wanted me to know.

So I started thinking, why can’t things besides articles be that way? Why can’t businesses be that way? Or are the people and businesses that are succeeding doing this very thing?

Back In Recent History

I went off on my own about 3 years ago to start my own web design agency. I had a vision, goals and a dream of what I wanted it to be. But that was quickly shattered due to the fact that I had to take on any work that came my way.

Projects would come in that I had no desire to do, but I needed money, so I had to do it. And it turned into a pretty viscious cycle, one that I’m still coming out of today.

There were two things that were offered to me in the form of business advice. I took neither to heart. They are:

1. Figure out a niche industry and focus solely on it.

2. Focus on one core service.

Point one would give me expertise and a “name” in that industry. Point two would have allowed me to do what I truly was great at and wanted to do, user interface design.

It wasn’t until recently that I found myself doing backend development, hosting websites and even handling marketing for some of my clients. Don’t let this scare you. I know enough about them to work it, but it’s not my strength. I had fallen off the wagon of user interface designer and have become the “web guy.”

I never wanted to be that. Aside from the terms, does this sound familiar?

The Super-Duper Niche

Had I taken the advice and honed in on a niche industry, I could be doing awesome work in my chosen field today. An example that comes to mind is one I recently heard from Michael Hyatt where he talks about a company that does slideshow presentations.

That’s all they do. Slideshow presentations for speakers.

I mean, seriously, how much more niche can you get?!?

But they’re rockin’ it. They do an incredible job and it’s so focused I wonder how they ever got there.

And then I remember to…

Have One Takeaway

Distractions can kill us. They can steal our focus and rob us of our dreams if we’re not careful. And the world is full of distractions. Just check out twitter…or the mall…or your email. Wait, don’t, you’ll forget what you started out doing.

What my business experience has taught me is that if I had focused on one core offering, I would have fared much better. I would have been very niche, but the more niche the better.

As leaders, we are required to remain in focus. Anytime we lose focus of where we’re taking our tribe, we risk losing them, or worse, they get off on a rabbit trail never to return. And it’s our fault.

My suggestion is to always focus on your one core offering. Maybe it’s the subject of a blog post. Maybe an entire business model. Maybe, your life.

The one takeaway here: Focus on One.

Question: What’s the one core thing you are focusing on in each of these areas? And, more importantly, do they all work together?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Jared, you couldn’t be more spot on! As entrepreneurs, writers, bloggers, free-thinkers, etc… it’s often easy to have an “I want it all right now” mentality. This may seem like a great decision off the bat until you find yourself head over heels, losing capital, or stuck in an environment you didn’t initially anticipate! Personally, I’ve started 5 businesses that have all failed thus far, due to my attempt to have a little slice of everything. It’s been quite a learning experience. Your lessons on slowing down, focusing in on a singular niche/goal, and seeing it through to fruition will help many more, I’m sure of it. Thank you for sharing – Ryan

    • Thanks Ryan! Love to have someone with more experience than I have recognizing the power of niche. Btw, got your email. I’ll get back with you today. No worries bud!

  • Jared, you are rocking the guest post everywhere! Great one as usual. On my blog, I wonder if I’m not focused enough. My theme is: LIVEwell. I write on my big 4: God, Family, Career, and Health. I spread it over those 4 because I believe that is what it takes (at a minimum. ) Your thoughts?

    • “My goal is motivate you to want to live a life worth living. I believe that God created each of you for a very special reason, and that your value is found in the image of the creator who made you.”

      I think that from your site sums up what you’re doing. At a glance, I’d say you are spot on with the focus. I know from reading your about page who you really are and from scanning through some blog posts, it’s all about helping me.

      The only one that is really broad in the list is career. I see you’ve gotten into selling and such…which is a topic in a of itself. I think it’s important in light of it being a major part of our life though. Just be careful you don’t get too far out to focus there. Make sure that all your posts have a core message of motivating me to have a life worth living. πŸ˜€

      It’s funny you ask this though. I am considering a teleseminar on something along this subject…we’ll see what comes of it though. Would anyone else be interested in that?

      • Jared,

        Just let me know the details. Thanks.

  • DS

    It’s an interesting thought – narrowing your focus. This pertains to delivering a speech as well. Sometimes we want to do to much, and then end up not being able to do any of it.

    I think if you can determine what really and truly excites you – energizes your batteries – that is a good place to start. I love communicating with others and helping them unlock their real life.

    • Agreed! Sounds like we have similar passions πŸ˜€

      • DS

        After checking out some our site – and remembering that I’d seen your posts elsewhere – yes we do!

    • Great point about about being narrow when delivering a speech. The best speeches are specific and to the point. Thank you for sharing.

  • Niche is tough for me. I’m creative. I write fiction, poetry, songs, play music, take photos, etc. I’m also able to write the first type of blog post you mentioned (most of the time, I think), but I struggle with “niche” on my won blog. I want to support my creative talents, but I also want to give my audience something that works to help them become better writers. So, although writing is my niche, it doesn’t seem “tight” enough to me. Any ideas?

    • What about having a creative writing blog with categories that are focused on fiction, poetry, songs, etc…I’m a creative as well so focus is hard for me too. It definitely takes time to hone…i’m still getting there honestly.

      You could also focus your blog on one of the types of writing…but I’m not sure you’d be able to write about fiction writing 4 days a week for 5 years….maybe but seems like you might run out of ideas for it. I once heard the best way to determine if you’re too tight (which is important to prevent burn out) is to think of whether you could write about the same subject at least 3 times a week for for the next 10 years. Could you do that with fiction or poetry…or would the slightly larger focus of “creative writing” be better suited?

      Just some thoughts.

      • Thanks Jared. Just writing in general seems to be better suited, as it provides a wider spectrum, but even then I feel a sense of parroting myself over time. I recently changed the name of my blog from “an intentional life in words and music,” to “intentional rhythms” to provide “more” freedom and diversity. My categories are “life in writing, poetry, songwriting, excerpts, and guests,” so it’s close to what you mentioned.

        It’s interesting, I started writing a post last night about finding your niche, too. I’m sure I’m getting closer, but it takes time.

        • Definitely takes time. Like I said, I’m still getting there. I think sometimes our strengths pull us one way when we feel more passionate about something slightly different. I know my strength lies in web design and little marketing…but I want to help people understand their gift they’ve been given and how we all need to use it. I just have to be very intentional about getting to the core of that everytime I do something that’s related to branding or something like that.

          Sounds like maybe your focus should be on living intentionally. Then you could cover that core in all your topics. Something to think about for sure. I have an exercise I’m going to be posting up sometime this week for marketing/branding…maybe that will help you to figure out niche person you’re talking to. That’s where your message needs to go.

        • Writing, playing music, and taking pictures are all technically art. You could brand yourself on helping people express their creativity through multiple medias perhaps? “Your Life Is A Canvas – Bring It To Life” sounds pretty cool, or something along those lines. That’s just my 2cents. Your posts are great regardless though, and if you’re seeking change, I’m sure you’ll find it soon :)

          • I’m not really seeking change, as I’m just trying to find the best combination of creativity and outreach to others. It’s a constant work in progress.

  • This is great advice. A needed reminder to contemplate in all aspects of life. I do pretty well when it comes to writing. Business is a different matter. It’s harder to push two sleds than it is one, especially at the same time!

  • Great post Jared! I am passionate about helping others take charge of their lives and reach their full potential. I write about intentional growth and relationships (primarily marriage) on my blog. I train and coach. True, niche can sometimes feel narrow and limiting. Yet that’s the thing that makes most sense – you can’t reach ‘everyone’. For me, niche also means impacting one person, one heart at a time. Great thoughts, as always.

    • Very true Ngina. Thanks so much for your time and feedback! Keep encouraging!

  • I think this is a strong business model, but in my opinion it’s just one business model. I also know a few other companies who are doing well precisely because they didn’t get so niched out. But I do think that as time goes on, our world becomes increasingly connected and thus smaller – so I think the niche direction is where everything is going.
    As a business owner too, I can tell you that the niche model is more attractive because you can specialize in things you find fun. I’ve been where you were – doing random things for money. And while that’s fun, working in a niche your passionate about is often more interesting.

    • I agree, people and business are focusing more on niche areas. I think it helps when it comes to staying focused. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

    • Thanks for your reply Loren. Agreed that it’s just one business model. There will always be multiple ways to achieve success πŸ˜€

  • This post really speaks to me…it’s an answer to a prayer. I won’t go into the details, but thank you. This will help me as I pray about my focus for the next year.

  • I can see the value of focusing on one niche – but I have a hard time doing it. After I write a certain amount on a subject I can’t think of anything else to write. I guess overall my niche is the renewing of the mind which covers a lot of different subjects – so in that sense I do have a niche. Actually, now that I read your questions again, I think I do have a niche – the renewing of the mind. Oh-oh – I’m rambling. I better stop!

    • Your doing a great job being specific in your niche area Barb. I agree “the renewing of the mind” is a niche area. It’s very relevant in society. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • There is such a thing as too niche…but often I think you can back up a few feet so to speak and you’ll find a slightly larger niche that will allow for more topics within it. Hope that helps, let us know what you come up with.

  • I have been thinking of this in terms of career coaching through my side business quite a bit lately. This may have been the “push” I needed to clarify a smaller target group to reach out to…good find tonight!

    • That’s great to hear Tom. Focusing on a smaller niche area might really be beneficial.Thank you for stopping by.