The way we're taught to pursue 1,000 true fans is broken
love that. following the things that make you feel alive is what kids do, it's what comes naturally to us, and it also works as a career strategy if you're brave enough to keep reinventing yourself and get comfortable being uncomfortable. you're clearly on that journey. and i back it 100%.
you, sir, should feel rightfully proud of this. thank you.
I love the focus on being alive, authentic, connected, free, unknowing, instead of rigid, anxious, best-practices, stressed out when it comes to sharing our thoughts and experiences. This feels like a much better way to express share our humanity and express our creativity. ✊🏼
I love coming back and rereading this. It's THE key reason I'm Team Rob Hardy.
It hits me so hard I have a black eye and a busted tooth.
Between de-nichifying myself and breaking out of The Pattern, I'm really looking forward to creating something new in 2023.
Okay, get back to work.
Being anti-niche (or niche-agnostic) is a challenging idea to internalize. Sure, on the surface, the words make sense, the arguments logical, so we nod our heads in agreement (without truly understanding the implications).
But the concept of "niche" gives us a sense of direction and orientation in how we think about attracting our people; it's something to "tether" our messaging to.
When it's not there to guide our efforts, the feeling can be jarring (long before exhilarating), the lack of direction disorienting. Panic can set it.
Until some of us hit the invisible wall caused by this narrower constraint of thinking. Like Rob. Like myself.
That's when we experience true freedom on the other side of niche-thinking.
I’ve been exploring this from a Christian worldview slowly over the last…maybe 6 to 8 months. There’s a great deal to be said about the ability to find joy in whatever kind of work God puts before you, but there is also a great deal of validity to your point that niching down leads to despair.
I think part of the problem is many of the “best practices“ that make the niche strategy so profitable are dishonest on some level. Most are manipulative, and few rely on building relationships with real people while making a positive difference in the world. Many creators are just spewing out more content for the sake of trying to hit that mystical six-figure mark. The ones who authentically follow what they love are those who are willing to play the long game, and they are ultimately those who attract fans without needing high-pressure marketing tactics.
When we connect with our God-given talents and use them how they should be used, it creates a completely different kind of image and message, one that isn’t contrived, and people can tell the difference.
after you receive some rest from all this writing, i look forward to the creation of part 2!
the container of aliveness concept feels so deeply inviting and nurturing to me compared with the mechanical, niche down model! really powerful way to subvert the inner dictator for me personally. ive been reflecting recently how every single relationship (and all the permutations/combinations) of relationships around you are in a real sense containers of vitality as well. so, i think im going to use this year to explore how separate and diverse containers can be unified/given enduring coherence. and i think the secret their lies in understanding the root cause that lies in your heart.
Mate, where do I start? You have managed to put into words things I have come to realise while following the “creator economy” from a distance, and trying to work out what my role would be.
Your story on niching-down is eye opening - but not surprising. When I started to think about what niche to pursue, I got stuck. Not because I couldn’t pick one. More than anything, I couldn’t understand why I would want to limit myself. I have years of experiences in many different areas. I may not be a world authority on any, but not many people are.
Many would argue that by not picking a niche, you’re not defining yourself for your audience. Fuck that! I don’t want to be defined by a niche. My audience should want me to be a person of varied experiences.
I’ve seen some posts on X recently that some “big” creators are now feeling trapped by their chosen fields (ie. Niche). Crazy, isn’t it? Who would have thought! 😏
Loved this article, Rob. Really did.
You have another true fan.
Wow. Just wow. I love when people break away from the hyped up spiel on the internet - it get's a bit sickening hearing all of it, not following yourself, and then feeling GUILTY for it (as though creativity has a prescriptive formula). Go you!
I related to this tremendously and stumbled into the same realization with my writing. It is why my blog is called polymathematics -- that is my term for what part one of this post encompasses, rejecting the niche and embracing your own multitudes. I think of polymathematics as a practice, rather than an end state or goal. Thanks for writing this!
Great read, looking forward to part 2!
love this - shit posting as one of many cures to excessive rigidity