Creating a value proposition that investors and customers are likely to buy into isn’t easy. After all, you need to distinguish your brand from the thousands of other startups competing against you every day.
With consumers today being equipped with more knowledge than ever before, your ability to not only create but innovate will be tested constantly. This sort of demand is a lot to ask of one’s willpower. It takes strong personal leadership to stand by your purpose and passion while also being questioned on a daily basis. However, if you know your motivations and what you stand for, willpower doesn't even have to enter into the equation.
Resilience is important, but it’s a muscle, and just like other muscles it tires out. When that happens, so too does your emotional tolerance, then you get moody, cranky and turn into the social hand grenade that people try to avoid.
Fortunately, you can remove the likelihood of overexerting your emotional reservoir by finding your niche. Dedicate one hour and spend 15 minutes on each of the below four questions to find a killer niche:
1. Identify the talents and skills you’re good at.
Be honest with yourself on this one because the answers to this will cascade down to the next set of questions. Recognize the difference between those pursuits you are good at and those you wish you were good at. Is developing an aptitude in the latter feasible, or a pipe dream? Put all judgment aside in this step so you only focus on talents, not whether those talents will take you anywhere.
2. Out of the above talents and skills, what do you enjoy doing most?
If your heart and brain aren’t in the same place, then they’re in conflict with each other, which means you're in disequilibrium. When this happens, it feels as if your heart is telling the brain “this just feels right” but the brain is saying, “No, do this -- this makes sense!”
Take a deep look at what you outlined in question one and rank order the skill you enjoy doing most to the skill you like the least. Now look at your list. Are there any you can eliminate?
3. Of those talents and skills you enjoy, what do people need?
If one of your talents is wriggling your ears, congratulations, you have an audience of one. This is where doing a little market research will help narrow down exactly what competencies to focus on. Check out sites that offer demographic information to get a better idea of who, where and how much to explore this talent.
4. From the above needs, what will people pay big money for?
The keyword here is “big” (you can type your jokes in the comments section). Sure, your mom may throw a dollar or two at you out of pity, but that’s not going to pay the bills. The question becomes, what is scalable? If one person will pay money for something then chances are so will somebody else. Make sure you know what a good decision looks like before taking the plunge toward action.
Be honest with yourself. You may just love the game of football but with a 140-pound frame you'll be in for a bit of an uphill, and painful, battle.
Answering the above four questions shouldn't take you longer than 60 minutes, if you know yourself well enough. If not, it may take longer, and that's fine. Take the time to identify what's important now so you don't get lost later. You can also view and download a visual of the above four questions here.