We currently live in a world filled with so
many opportunities and different career paths to take. This variety can
overwhelm us and make us highly indecisive. Indecisiveness is awful because it
lends us no direction and with no direction, you go anywhere but where you
would like to be. The variety of options exist not only because of the numerous
careers that avail themselves but due do the several directions within each
career. You cannot become a doctor without knowing exactly what kind of doctor
you want to be in the same way that you cannot become a writer without picking
a genre. What does all of this say? It says that each one of us needs to pick a
certain segment within the whole and specialize in it so as to achieve maximum
results. You can become anything you want to be but you cannot become
everything you want to be. Everything implies every single part of the whole
career genre which unfortunately, is unattainable with the limited time,
resources, and energy we posses. Your niche refers not only to a specific
career path but also a specific specialization within that career path. This
will not only save you from indecisiveness but also allow you to perform to the
fullest within your niche and shine like a star.
Folonrusho quit her job in the 80s to study fashion design in England, returning to her native country a few years later to set up Supreme Stitches, a fashion label that catered for elite Nigerian women and that was the start of her career.
In 2014 she unseated Oprah Winfrey as the world’s richest woman of African descent. She is currently estimated by Forbes to be worth $2.1 billion.
Simbogile Sambo applied for a job as a flight attendant at South African Airways and was rejected due to not meeting the minimum height requirements. She then decided to start her own aviation company namely SRS.
She is now the founder and managing director of SRS aviation which is the first ever 100% black female owned aviation company.
As a teenager, Chimamanda Adichie read books by Chinua Achebe for the first time and realized that people like her existed in literature; she discovered her authentic voice as a novelist within African literature.
She is now heralded as one of the literary voices of African culture or as Chinua Achebe said, “She has the gift of an ancient story-teller” whose stories grip your reminiscence of the African culture all but forgotten by westerners. Chimamanda is also an outspoken advocate for women and her stance on many social issues is edible food for thought.
As you read through the inspiring stories of these amazing women, what stood out to you? In other words, what is the common denominator among all of them? Each one of them has a particular niche which they chose and performed within it to the maximum. Simbongile is the founder and managing director of an aviation company. Folonrusho does not just have any fashion label; she possesses a fashion label catering for elite Nigerian women. Chimamanda found her voice in African fiction. This is not to say that one niche is the only key to success. It’s just that a niche establishes your scope of opportunities and acts as a reference for your strategic plan and platform for excellence. This does not make diversification a sin but rather an option that can be successful if one can also diversify their abilities to the fullest.
But the main question is: how do you find your niche? With such a wide scope of opportunities and paths, how do you zoom in to what’s truly important to you?
Your niche is often what makes your heart skip a beat and your mind awake in the deepest of sleep. Your niche is what you like. In other words, your niche is something you are passionate about. Passion is such an important part of the niche equation because your niche is what you will spend most of your time building and enhancing. Your niche will require dedication and perseverance and one can only have these for something they are passionate about. It could be a problem that needs solving or a skill and an art. Your response may be that you like a range of things from the bisecting of a frog in a scientific laboratory to choosing the best fashion label. This is why there is a step further from passion and that is what you are willing to spend your life on. You may be passionate about something but not necessarily willing to spend a day on. This is not your niche; it is simply your passion. Is this passion something you are willing to spend your time and efforts on?
Your niche is also where your strengths lie. Can you write very well? Do you have a sharp mind? Do you have an outgoing and bubbly personality? When it comes to choosing a niche it is your strengths as well as personality that can do you a great favor. However, do not be mistaken to think that all abilities and strengths are God-made. Some can be learnt. You may be an introvert by nature but can be an extrovert by choice. You can learn how to write very well or how to possess a sharp mind. Your niche is not limited to natural abilities as these abilities can be what you choose.
Figuring out your niche is one thing, but acting on it is another. After understanding your niche, the next biggest step is to ask yourself what exactly you need to fulfill your niche to the fullest and achieve your objectives. Dream hard but work even harder. Make your strategic plan based on your niche to achieve your inner most ambitions.