Have you ever been in a place in business feeling like you were called to make changes, but freaking out on the inside with the fear of the unknown should you choose to move forward? The fear of niching down is real.
It’s a struggle at best, debilitating at worst.
And it causes complete inaction. In fact, it’s more like a tailspin of inaction. You can’t even do what you’re doing well because the thought lingers in your mind of “what if…”
What if I niched down…
What if I specialized my services or audience even tighter…
What if I made the pivot to something that really lights me up instead of doing a lot of things that I’m good at but don’t really love…
What if I get no clients…
What if I wish I hadn’t done it…
What if it’s the worst decision ever…
But what if it’s the BEST THING FOR ME in this season…
I felt this feeling, this fear, this possibility, for almost a year. Yes, you read that right — I let this idea (this calling, this hunch) percolate for a year before committing and taking action on it.
For a season in my business, the focus was on full-service branding for female entrepreneurs experiencing a shift in their business and needing a rebrand to better serve their audience. It was high-touch brand design, web design and development, and copywriting service in one. I was a one-stop shop, a personal concierge of brand strategy and development and for that season, it was great. I worked with fewer clients but on higher end services which gave me more time when I needed it most (as we moved into the adoption process) but as awesome as the service seemed when I crafted it, it suddenly wasn’t giving me joy anymore.
I was spread thin, like scraping not enough butter across a piece of toast. I wasn’t enough in my home, in my family, or in my business. It wasn’t any of that “I’m not worthy, I’m not enough” mindset stuff but literally there wasn’t enough of me to go around. My brain was fried, we were thick in the wait as hopeful adoptive parents, and I frankly flipped the switch to maintenance mode in my business. I couldn’t even face my fear of niching down. No intentional growth happened in those 12 months, only pure maintenance of what the business had become.
Maybe that’s when the joy left, when I flipped that switch. It certainly wasn’t the clients or the passion I felt for helping develop their brands to grow and scale and serve. It was a mental load that had gotten too heavy, and I wasn’t at the point of hiring out contractors to do the work for me. That’s really not how I envisioned Verity to be anymore.
But man, vision was pretty blurred then so who knows what I really wanted deep down inside. I just wanted to survive.
Fast forward to December 2019.
We had been matched with an expectant momma and the adoption process was moving forward. On December 3, our son was born in Cincinnati and we took placement of him two weeks later.
We were in the NICU fog for awhile, then newborn + Christmas fog, then let’s-figure-out-four-kids fog.
Thank goodness in February, the fog lifted, and I could finally see the forest for the trees. I could finally see what had been sitting in front of me the whole time. I could finally envision a revamped business and how it could thrive and grow and scale in ways that Verity never could (neither better or worse — just different — for different ways to live a legacy life). The fear of niching down wasn’t as strong anymore.
You’re probably wondering what I’m talking about. Or you’re like a few of my besties who have been like OF COURSE, LINDS. This is obvious for you!
*insert facepalm because it’s so obvious to everyone but you, Linds* 😉
Branding and my love for other businesses will never go away, but the way I show up and the way I serve is niching into the messaging and copywriting space. Only. Not brand design, not website development. The strategy that brands can use to speak a message that excites and transforms and makes change in the lives of their ideal clients. The foundations of brand messaging and how that relates to everything they put out into the world. How a cohesive message (paired with cohesive visuals) gives them a straight, focused path to growth. How website copy can make or break the way users experience your site, feel seen and heard, and experience all you have to offer them.
(Funny story: the very first website I did on my own, like 5 years ago, was a local business and I wrote the copy for the site with not a second thought, not an extra charge, nothing. It was so natural to me to do this for clients that I didn’t even realize I should be charging for the service. Talk about newbie).
This iteration is still a work in progress, but I’m so excited to specialize in words and see where this takes me. It’s only been 12 months — er, 5 years — in the making.
Is there something today that you’re avoiding?
Is there something in your life that a little voice keeps whispering to you to “go for it”?
Is the fear holding you back?
My best advice for you, now as I’m finally coming up on the other side, is to take the time you need to be sure. Anytime you’re dealing with the fear of niching down, do the research. Envision the process. Think about what might go wrong and what might go amazingly right. And then when you’ve done all the thinking, the praying, the seeking wise counsel, and this idea is still front and center, sometimes you just have to let go, say yes, and watch God move. He’s here through every single little thing.
Cheering for you,
PS Is this your story too? If you have gone through this, or if you’re going through this right now, I’d love to hear from you and connect.