“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off you.” -MAYA ANGELOU
Money isn’t everything. You know that, I know that & most sane folks do, too. But it sure starts to stand out as a sore point when you don’t seem to have enough to cover your basics. It can bring you to question why you pursue your art form in the first place- which, for most creatives, is a real soul crusher.
Let me assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong for wanting more of this resource, especially when it comes to using it to propel you further into your journey of art-making & creativity. Give yourself permission to view it as something to help you build your platform towards creative sustainability. Make peace with that before you fully dive in or you’ll find yourself spinning your wheels.
Entire books can be & have been written on the many ways in which to manifest money energy your way, & I’m certain I will cover at least a handful of blog posts on this very subject at some point or another. Right now, however, I am honing in on some specifics to help put some actionable energy behind your money flow mojo– specifics based on business… with a twist of soul ’cause that’s how I roll.
The first of these eleven essentials is about defining just what is that you do & what makes you epic at it. It’s the thing you’d eat, sleep, breathe & dream if you could make it so.
Go on. Name it.
NAME YOUR NICHE.
Do not let this marketing term scare you away. It is just a word, after all, & one I just today realized I’d been saying wrong since I first heard it. (I was giving it a french feel, rhyming it with “quiche.” It, in fact, rhymes with pitch. I promise I am not as dumb as I seem).
In biology, a niche refers to the unique role or location occupied by an organism. Your niche is simply what puts the GO in the FLOW of YOUR unique role . It’s what you (more often than not) do with ease, joy, excitement & anticipation. It’s what people seem to inevitably connect you with when they are first getting to know you.
“Oh, yeah, I met her. She’s the writer with the funny dating column that waits tables at Blue Heaven, right?”
“Is he the guy that takes awesome black & white iphone portraits I see on Facebook sometimes?”
“She does those vivid images of people & their prayers spelled out with uplifting, funky text, right?”
“I think I’ve heard him play before. He’s got upbeat, lovestruck, surf style to him, doesn’t he?”
And so on.
I know some of you are twitching. I am actually just getting over some serious bouts of it myself, & my left eye still twitches something fierce. Because niche doesn’t just rhyme with pitch- it rhymes with that OTHER profane word for a reason. Frankly, naming your niche can be a real bitch. It makes most artists feel boxed in, pinned down, eternally tied to this idea that they themselves have named.
The good news is that YOU are the namer of your niche. You want out of that box? Why then, step on out. Any old time you want to. There’s no lock, no key, no required timeline. You can shift gears whenever you want, however you want, free to reinvent yourself at any time you please.
Naming your niche simply gives you focus & helps those you would like to have support you (& become your best customers) know what it is they’re in for. It’s your calling card, so to speak, or to coin another term- your elevator pitch.
Imagine: you are in an elevator with someone who could help elevate you to the place of your professional potential. You’ve got thirty seconds in which to tell your story. What’s it going to be?
You’ve got to be clear. Confident. Centered. Collected (but still passionate).
In short, you’ve simply got to be YOU, in your state of most shining glory, in your most CONNECTED state of space. Connect within at its most amplified state & you’re well on your way to connecting with the world & that energy source that will continuously propel you forward.
Which is really quite easy to be in when you are working with the next essential in this 11 part series.
I KNOW some of you are STILL scoffing. I can hear you, even with my one deafish ear. What happens if you’re the creative sort with a myriad of interests, right?
Oh, are you ever asking the right person. And yet, what I can say is that is one tough question only YOU can answer.
I have recently had to take a long, hard look at my mix of creative/artistic interests & gauge myself on two things: my passion for them & my ability to be epic within them.
Dance/performance. Yoga. Photography. Mixed media art-making. Ukulele playing. Writing.
Yoga, for my own reasons, is something I don’t focus on capitalizing on. Yes, I do teach, & yes, I do make money to teach. But I do not aspire to make a full time career out of it. & may never choose to do so.
Ukulele? Ha. Let’s be serious. It takes more than four chords to become savvy. Not to mention my propensity to sing completely out of tune. (But I still LOVE it, just the same).
My passion for mixed media art-making is alive & kicking. Unfortunately, it only occurs in sporadic moments, & usually with my two young children who I have to constantly check to make sure they’re not eating glue, throwing glitter or drawing on themselves with non-washable sharpies. Someday…
While I would prefer, above all else, to be a modern dance performer for the rest of my life, the fact remains that while my passion is there, my skill set is not particularly strong. This and I’m no spring chicken.
As I apply this sort of thinking to all of my passions & consider my history with each, the bottom line is that I have not only invested loads of time, finances & resources to develop my craft of writing, I am also pretty good at it.
Do I adore it? Not always (shhhh! Don’t tell anyone). It is actually very challenging for me to get words on the page in the order I need them to be in to say what I want to say in the way I want to say it. It may have something to do with the fact that I couldn’t actually comprehend language well until fourth grade.
It may also be that language comprehension is driven by the left side of the brain, which is a lot less lucid or robust than the right- & the right side of my brain is much happier when activated.
But am I passionate enough about it to invest time & energy to help cultivate it? Yes.
Which is exactly what I’ve done over the last twenty years. Thus, my niche has niched itself in some ways. I have developed a muscle in that arena that grows in strength as I nurture it.
Just in case you’re still scoffing, trust me when I say there are ways to cross over to other art forms, which can, in fact, support your niche.
For me, it’s photography, which is a fantastic supplement to any journalism I do. And a great form of visual respite when the abstraction of words becomes too much. & yoga plays its part, too, helping nurture my spirit & my physical form to help contain the energy for my creativity.
Consider Madonna. She may not be the world’s greatest actress or even singer, but holy smokes, can she perform like nobody’s business. She’s made it her business exactly by integrating singing, dancing, fashion, & acting to be the powerhouse performer that she is, ever-changing & reinventing herself with the times.
Even if you aren’t a Madonna fan, if you see her perform, it is HARD TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF HER (see quote at the beginning of the blog). She is doing it THAT well.
How does she do it?
I won’t pretend to know the total answer, as it is probably the sum of many parts. But I trust my hunches that a good part of it is this: PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT.
Tune in tomorrow & read all about it & essential number 2 to MINDING THE MONEY GAP: BRIDGE BUSINESS TO CREATIVITY WITH THESE 11 ESSENTIALS.
So. We’re in an elevator. What would YOU say with your 30 seconds? Share your story down below, & sign up below for special updates, & up above in the left corner to get these posts delivered to your inbox….