The Best Niche is No Niche (Or the Best Diversification Strategy: Being Yourself)


“I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.”

-Albert Einstein

If I have managed to learn anything from sitting in finance classes in college for over three years and then working for six months as an unpaid intern at Merrill Lynch (right before the economy crashed and they were bought up by Bank of America) then it must have been that the best investment you can make is a diversified one.

Diversified portfolios help mitigate some of the risk of investing in crazy start-up companies by also buying stock in reputable companies with a strong track record over the years.

When it comes to yourself, diversification is ultimately your best protection against the extremities of change.

If your only income right now comes from the same job you have been working at for the past five or ten years, then it’s probably time to consider earning alternative forms of income and thickening your revenue stream.

If you were to get randomly get fired tomorrow, or your position is outsourced to someone in Asia, or you can foresee the responsibilities of your job being replaced by a future computer, machine, or robot then now, more than ever, you should be considering other options of getting a paycheck.

Why am I recommending this?

Because after majoring finance and graduating with a degree in business, I was confronted with the harsh reality of 2007’s economic collapse during my last semester of college. After focusing all my time and energy on specializing in finance, the financial sector of the economy collapsed leaving the scene for new hires flooded with the highly-qualified unemployed.

What I had thought to be a relatively safe route of going to college, getting a degree (like I was “supposed to”), and landing a stable job turned out to be a nightmare. When my world was flipped upside down, I had to start thinking differently.

Eventually, I decided to create my own business online and travel the world.

During my first couple of years researching and reading blogs about creating an online business, I noticed that everyone was talking (and still is) about the importance of finding your niche.

Part of niche theory claims that if you can find a tiny enough market in the long tail of Google’s search results then you have a shot at making a little money for yourself online.

So in trying to start an online business, what ends up happening is almost uniquely similar to the proposition you faced during your incoming year at college.

When you are reading about how to start a business online, the majority of Internet markets will try and convince you to figure out your niche before you begin working.

This turns out to be the sane as asking a freshman in college to decide on his/her major right after graduating high school.

How much did you really know after your senior year of high school?

How can you really know what you want to be doing four years from now?

How can you really know what you want to write about for the next decade if you haven’t even started researching and writing about it yet?

If you’ve never worked online, how do you know your niche is even right for you?

You don’t.

You can’t possibly know something before experiencing it.

But, for me, this simplistic outlook wasn’t always so readily available. I didn’t always know what I wanted to do.

So after reading about all this seemingly wonderful advice on how I should find my niche first, and then start creating my business, I became overtly hesitant in starting to work on anything and practiced exploring all my interests, to see what I wanted to focus on.

Trying to narrow down my specialization ended up being the most crucial error that I made.

Telling myself I had to figure out what my niche was before I starting my business kept me from the most elementary step: starting.

Taking the first step is always the most difficult part in starting a new habit and trying to find out what your niche is only makes it harder.

What I do now I absolutely love, and I never would have figured it out if I had not started.

What writers online do not tell you is that there is plenty of other experience that has to be gained in areas other than your niche work. There are plenty of skills that can be improved today instead of sitting around worrying about niche work.

You need to practice your craft.

You need practice communicating.

You need to practice being uncomfortable.

You need to practice being consistent.

You need to practice.

You need to get started immediately.

Don’t put yourself in limbo trying to figure out your “niche.”

Get started.

And so, I kept thinking that I had to figure out what my niche was before I could start. The more I kept trying to define myself by only my expertise, the more I failed to see myself clearly and as a whole. In my shortsightedness, I ended up neglecting who I was for who I thought I wanted to become.

I managed to convince myself that I really wasn’t really an expert in anything. I thought I was not particularly suited for success in any area of expertise. As a result, it was easy to convince myself to not even bother starting a business online seeing as how I wasn’t qualified.

Now here’s the secret people don’t tell you: everyone starts out as an amateur.

No one starts out as an expert, a surgeon, or a specialist.

They start from the same place you do, the starting line, and we must all run our own race.

After years of practice, we improve.

We gain an audience, a following, people that will support our service.

It is only after dedicating ourselves to a cause wholeheartedly, persistently, and relentlessly do we finally become who we set out to be.

We can only be who we are now.

Becoming is the vision of who we want to be.

Telling myself that I wasn’t good enough at anything to be capable of creating an outlet online was a complete lie stemming from my own immaturity, misinformation, and inexperience.

Don’t make the same mistake I did.

What I did eventually learn during this minor setback of trying to find my niche is that it didn’t matter that I wasn’t extremely proficient in one skill. I was better than average in more than a few areas.

Most importantly, I knew that I had the passion to succeed, even if I didn’t yet have all the expertise.

Even today, I am unsure how this post is going to go over with all the readers of Peregrine Poise.  As much as I would love for this message to reach a broader audience of eager entrepreneurs trying to start businesses online, I am happy if it convince only one person to begin creating today.

I have been contemplating this topic for awhile trying to summon the courage to write it, scream blasphemy in the face of the so-called Internet “experts” out there, and I figured now is as good of time as ever to write it.

What it all boils down to is this: don’t wait to find your niche. Start creating now.

Screw internet marketers trying to convince you that you need to be a specialist.

Not all of us are meant to be niche artists.

The world needs both types of people: Captain Kirk & Spock, Pinky & The Brain, the generalist & the specialist.

As much as I believe that most of these Internet marketers really do want to help people, telling someone who is new to the virtual realm of making money online to find their niche is tremendously discouraging. It’s way too early in the game for them to strikeout. From the first inning, it’s hard to see how the rest of the ballgame is going to play out.

To all the niche marketers out there stressing their readers to find their niche:

I am tired of reading your blogs.

I am tired of reading from the same niche sites that continue to talk about the same ideas over and over again.

Even some of the best bloggers out there have begun to disappoint me by plateauing in their work. Every post doesn’t need to be a list of bullet points, or a “How To Do This or That,” nor does it require an absurd sensationalist headline that has nothing to do with the article itself.

When every blog is doing this, is your site really that creative or unique?

Is anyone courageous enough to write from their hearts or only use their heads?

Some of the best writers on the web talk about the relevance of change, but digging deeper into their site you will begin to notice that every post starts looks the same.

Are these people you want to invest your time in?

Are these people you want to trust for advice?

I recommend a better diversification strategy.

Now please don’t think I am encouraging you to listen to me, or that I have enough experience in the business to know what I am talking about, but one thing I am confident about is that:

Specialization is for ants.

If you are not reading authors whose writing is integral, ethnocentric, or attempts to keep the bigger picture in mind, to keep you in mind, are they really serving your best interests?

To all my readers struggling to find your niche, please stop.

There is plenty of time to develop your specialization after you start.

Don’t wait trying to find something you don’t have.

The best niche is being yourself.


Let me know when you start doing the work you love in the comments section at the top.

For anyone interested in starting their own site: check out the Genesis Framework (which I use and it continues to impress me) combined with WordPress.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend,


Source: Flickr

About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.


  1. This is exactly what is holding me back, and I have come to the same conclusion. It was very refreshing and reassuring to read your words. I could not agree more with your overall perspective. I have so many passions and some of them I am just beginning to learn and try. I am better than average at many things. I have a deep seated desire to do something.. more. I need to start something. I’ve been wanting to start a blog for months, and reading the same advice over and over again and trying to narrow down a specific niche has had me at a standstill. Thank you for writing this post. It really helped me find push in confidence to move forward in pursuing whatever it is I am meant to pursue. I know it is inside me, begging to be let out into the world…. just on yhe other side of fear, right outside my comfort zone….

    • Stephan Stansfield says

      I’m ecstatic this post was useful for you Cara.

      Keep in touch and let us know how the blog develops!


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