In the 1900's to make a lot of money you had to be the best in the world or one of the best at big, broad things. Today, to make a lot of money, you don't need to be the best footballer, or the best doctor, or the best car manufacturer. You could be the best hip & knee replacement physiotherapist in the country and make enough to live well above average, or just film yourself playing video games and post it on YouTube or Steam. In other words, to make a lot of money in 2022, you can do what I call 'Super Niching'.
I call it Super-Niching because it does, as it sounds, go deeper than just finding a niche like dog toys or sports physiotherapy. Super-Niching is taking a niche to the extreme, where the most passionate and/or most hungry customers are found! If you can find a way to solve a problem like no one else can, or in a way no one else has thought of, and can do this for as little as 100 customers (or even 10 per month), you are set, and the key is actually counterintuitive - be your most authentic self!
The key to Super-Niching, to find that market that desperately wants your product or service, is to find what the Japanese call your 'Ikigai'. Ikigai can be translated simply as 'your reason for being.' Ikigai as per the book of the same name by Hector Garcia & Francesc Miralles is the cross-section of what you are good at, what you love, what the world needs, and what you can be paid for. What we are focusing on in particular in this process when Super-Niching is 'what you love' - the rest takes care of itself when you go to find your marketplace. In a practical sense, first find the intersection of 2, 3, or 4 of your most passionate subjects, become the best at that, and then provide the most value to the marketplace of people who are passionate about that same thing. Your Ikigai, your Super-Niche, your cross-section of your top 3-4 passions, will lead you down a path to the one thing you will enjoy doing the most, and therefore the thing you can most easily become the best at and provide the most value to the marketplace for.
As an added bonus, this intersection of your natural interests is also part of the process that Steven Kotler, a leading Flow & Peak Performance Researcher, describes in his book 'The Art of Impossible' on how to find activities that are most likely to drop you into the flow state. So not only will you find a marketplace that you can provide the most value for, you will have more flow in your life doing it! Flow is a burst of neurochemicals that make the body feel amazing, and in further passages in Mr. Kotler's book, research has found that people with the most flow in their lives seem to be the happiest, most productive, and most fulfilled!
There is one quick caveat to this - it also depends on what lifestyle you want: if you want to travel the world while making money, then you will need to form a location-independent business, like an online business, or if you want to create a fortune right where you are, or in one place, you can do that too! You can use either online only, or physical location only, as an extra step for Super-Niching - either way, clarity is the path.
You don't have to build a software giant or the next Facebook, all you have to do is find what you love more than anything else in the world, and serve people who also love that same thing, in your own unique way, with your own unique spin on it. Where you can be your most authentic self, you are the most motivated to learn and improve, and you are the most motivated to provide the most value to people who are also passionate about that one area.
For example, my personal intersection of values is human behaviour & psychology, peak performance, philosophy, and sport, and my background was a young athlete towards the top of the junior ranks, in Australian Junior squads and so forth, but I struggled with my own mental game, beating myself up after every mistake, never thinking I was good enough, and so I never got to that next level. So who do I best help and how? I personally bring the most value to young athletes who struggle getting in their own way, with self-criticism and self-doubt, by using my knowledge and experience in human behaviour, sports psychology, and philosophy, ultimately leading to giving athletes a new perspective on their sport and life, and get them back to enjoying their training, playing at their best and most importantly, having fun doing it!
My value is in the service of others, your value might be in inventing a new product that solves a problem that is specific to you (and many others), creating a youtube channel testing the best dog grooming products, or a podcast exploring the extraterrestrial!
There is an abundance of opportunities for you to be your authentic, best self and provide a tonne of value to the market in a way that only you can! Escape competition with authenticity, drill down to find the intersection of your passions, and find the ONE thing you love more than anything else, then become the best at bringing value to that market.
So take a moment now for yourself to brainstorm a few things;
What are your top 3-4 most passionate subjects? Things that you could do, practice, or learn about, all day? Things that you have always loved or wanted to do?
How do these areas intersect? What are some of the topics of overlap? Do any of them jump at you as something you could pursue, research further and execute on?
Combining these passions, use the Ikigai template to form your Ikigai, the thing you love most in the world, combined with what you are good at (or would want to get very good at), what the world needs, and what you can be paid for.
Once you've got this down, it's all about execution and providing value to the market, if you've read my previous article on The First Principles of Money, you'll know that the better you get, and the more value you provide, the more you will be paid! Remember, your most authentic self is the thing you can become the best in the world at the quickest.
This is a major step in creating your own success, good luck and happy creating!