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After attaining my first coaching qualification back in 2010, the whole topic of niche became part of my focus - I heard all the established coaches telling me to get clear on my niche and I thought that I would pick the topic that I worked in already with my healthcare company and the area that brought me into coaching, as it was a logical choice.
Stress was my niche - DONE!
I helped ANYONE who was stressed - entrepreneurs, professionals, FTSE CEO's, other coaches, project managers... the list goes on.
And I did OK for over 7 years.... with relative success. I got invited on panels, became a Trustee of the International Stress Management Association and even got on mainstream TV's flagship morning programme to speak about stress and most importantly I made more money than I had done in my previous role as MD of an occupational health company.
But then back in 2018, I started to feel that running wellbeing clinics, offering one to one coaching, consulting, retreats, masterminds and more (all coming from helping people overcome stress) meant that I was carrying the emotional load for so many people and I knew it was time to change to save my own health.
The stress coach needed a coach!
I hired a coach and started drilling down as to who I really want to help and realised that whilst stress was one element that I certainly wanted to help clients with, I really didn't want it to be my 'leading foot', or niche.
I needed to make my own PozStep ;-) and let go of the things that felt 'low energy', even when my ego and identity were wrapped in the middle of them.
Roll on a few months and I found I was pregnant, with not one but two babies... and the sickness and medical complications that went with the pregnancy was prohibitive and I stayed in bed for a whole five months.
Those 5 months gave me a lot of thinking time and being unable to work, I was given the breathing space to 'Step Back' and be brutally honest about who I wanted to help and for the first time in 7 years I asked myself some difficult questions.
Here is what I learnt ...
My clients were confused!
I was confused!
Let me share the back story.
My business had evolved into two areas... one helping busy professionals to work through the pressures of corporate life and balancing that with home.
The second was helping overwhelmed entrepreneurs grow their businesses without stress or overwhelm.
I called it my niche schizophrenia.
The thing was that I changed my core message in accordance with whom I was speaking with, whether that be face to face or online, but when they hit my social media if they went to the wrong area in the website they were confused as they may be reading about a topic totally unfamiliar or irrelevant to them... Whoops!!!
Maybe you can equate with this, as I remember having this internal battle - one part of me wants to help group A and the other group B... back and forth I would go; arguing with myself over the virtues of helping one group over the other.
For those of you who are NLP trained, I had to work with my coach to do a parts integration to enable me to get clear on why I was in turmoil over picking one group or the other.
I am now truly clear on who I help...
I help coaches and consultants to create six-figure businesses without the pressure of blogs or social media.
This clarity on who I help means that there is no confusion for me or anyone who sees me or reads my content. It is so much easier.
Let me share this analogy.
Customers are not looking for the medicine… they prefer to look for the meat.
Let me elaborate.
People may look for a stress coach BUT they are more likely to look for the result and not the solution to the problem.
We all know that they need coaching, but they want a happy and balanced life or a thriving and profitable business.
The medicine is the processes and habits that they need to adopt to get them there… but rarely is someone enticed by the medicine.
It is OK to pivot, change your mind or ditch everything you have done so far.
There may be some people who notice that I am no longer leading with the stress card.
But for most of my followers (and yours too), they are not that observant about your past messages but will take notice of your current message if it resonates with them.
Be OK with changing your messaging until it gets to a point where it feels right for you.
Which leads me onto the next point...
We can hold onto something because we have given it our heart and soul. Just because it felt right then, does not necessarily mean it is right now.
We all change and evolve with life… business is no different.
I cannot imagine doing the first job I started out with. It would not stretch me, and I would not be able to make the impact I was born to make.
This philosophy enables you to be open to new ideas and yet still holding the reigns of where you want to go, without being pulled off when your horse (your business) is startled by a situation you weren’t expecting.
Part of our journey is getting to grips with our fears.
As we get older, we often find that things that we did to grow a business or succeed in our careers in our twenties would feel uncomfortable in our forties and fifties.
Whilst we may be wiser, we often lose that bombastic enthusiasm of youth.
I certainly know that the 29-year-old Yvonne was a much greater risk-taker than the 45-year-old serial entrepreneur with 16 years of hustle under my belt.
This can in part be fuelled by wisdom, but we also need to be aware that past failures can make us cautious where we need to be brave.
There have been may study about the gut and heart brains, which I will cover another time, but take time to listen to your heart and gut and sense check whether you are shrinking or soaring into a decision.
Some questions to conclude...
1. Are you clear on who you help?
2. Are you selling the meat or the medicine?
3. Do you need to pivot?
4. What do you need to hold loosely?
5. What fears are holding you back?
Yvonne Williams - The Mindset Coach
Helping Coaches to Create Successful Businesses without getting lost down the rabbit hole of processes and tech
PS - If you are struggling with your niche. Why not book in for a FREE 1 hour discover your niche coaching session, by booking HERE.
It may be time to stop faffing and start sharing the experience and skills that are so needed.
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