What’s your hook? What’s “that moment” in your life, the turning point?
Writing a book can be brutal. It’s the ultimate trial of discipline, commitment, and grit. The moments when you feel inspired to write are few and fleeting and typically it just takes guts to force yourself to sit and write. But one thing has become apparent to me in the process: you’ve got to love your topic. If you love it, even when it’s painful to write you will quickly begin to feel inspired. I’m experiencing that this very moment. Twenty minutes ago I felt totally depleted, exhausted and devoid of energy. Now I can literally feel my tank filling up.
So how do you figure out your topic? What’s your thing, that subject that gets you excited, the area around which you can build a career? To me, it’s as simple as simple as looking in the past. Let me give an example.
This past week I was meeting with an accountant, Jose, who I met at a conference I spoke at. He wants to get into the field of leadership development and become an expert. As we talked, I asked him what his niche was. He wasn’t sure. We talked further and he came around to the topic of values-based leadership as a motivator for him. This seemed like his niche until he began telling his personal story of how he got to where he is. He described the process of coming from an underprivileged background and learning to sell himself to three different employers in three different industries all in the same year. There were technical things he had to do to get the job and “soft skills” he had to use. But he emerged with this confidence that he could sell himself to anyone in any industry. The the light went off. His topic wasn’t just values-based leadership. It is how to navigate career change and use your values as a rudder of sorts! THAT’s something he could get excited about teaching. Plus he was already an expert on the topic. Now, the goal is for him to add some knowledge and skill to that topic through studying the research and honing his presentation and writing abilities and BAM, he has a niche.
So if you’re struggling to figure out your niche, start by reflecting on what you already know. What were the turning points for you?
Hi! I'm Dustin.
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