A niche is something you listen to and for


People tell me daily about how I have developed a niche for myself in both the yoga and psychotherapy fields. I always nod, say thank you and divert the conversation elsewhere.

In my experience, there are two tracks that direct my train.

The first track is this:
You can't help everybody. 
So help somebody.
To prevent helping nobody.

The second track is this:
Go where you are invited and welcomed. 
Do not trespass.

I aim to stay the course with these two primary tracts intact. It is easy to get derailed you know. Helper mentality dressed up as evangelical colonialized savior mentality thinking. Rogue bushwacking forsaking rules and regulations. Never taking any risks. Never slowing down.

For me, a niche market is not an elite crew of people. It is not a VIP client or special high paying customer. It is not a limited special population with any kind of special needs. It is not a box to be screwed into. It is not a place to save or people to heal. It is not a place or space where I get to build whatever I want and then charge in a way that is unjust to the original people or place.

A niche market--your niche market--is simply and metaphorically that very special island of service that calls to you, that invites you, and for which you have skills to offer.

You are not there to colonize or fix.

Its the land that for a long time has been calling you home. And so you built a ship, honed some sailing skills and made your way to that special shore, that special land, those special people that is special because it and they know your name--your true name.

They will not hail you preacher, leader or crown you guru. Together you will be able to build a community where perhaps in the past you were simply a floater and distant traveler. An outsider.

Your niche market is that spot of earth in the vast sea of your industry that calls to you. Its land is your body and your breath. Its where you can unpack your burden and your skills and make a home.

A niche is not something you identify. It is something you listen to and for, carried on the wind. You can pinpoint a niche market but you will end being a colonizer. Allow yourself to be in awe of discovery and trust the home--the island where you belong that emerges out of the distance--whose people know your name. And are waiting for you to join in community with them.

It is not something to be had or gotten.

That's the niche. 
Your place.
Amongst the things 
And the People.

Livia ShapiroComment