Riches in niches, blah de blah. Like any cliché, it holds water. You specialise in your products and services and you’ll make gains.
Until that technology, that product becomes obsolete of course – like video rentals etc.
If you go niche, you’ve more chance of standing out amongst rivals in that field.
My advice though to anyone binning the day to day job is to not go niche but aim wide.
What you need to do first of all is jot down your skill sets. Go all Liam Neeson in “Taken” and make a list. You then could categorise these as things you love doing, quite enjoy and hate.
Here’s my list:
1. Exam marking – I’m excellent at speed reading, applying a mark scheme consistently and assessing student responses in GCSE English Language and English Literature. Do I enjoy it? No. Does it pay well? Yes. That means I do it. The only cost is my time.
2. Copywriting. I love doing this and it pays well. I like nothing better than researching around a brief and then sitting down to create engaging, search engine optimised content. I’m fairly quick at it too, as I’m a speed reader of exams and articles online. Zero overheads except time, but not frequent enough for me to drop marking, web design and social media to specialise in it.
3. Web design. Marmite with me. Love it when the design is straightforward but when complex problems arise, which they do with web design, the research time to fix is excessive. Pays quite well though a £600 website can easily take a week of my time when issues arise and the shit hits the fan. Usually they take well under a week to do though.
4. Social media marketing. Love doing this. I was like a caged bird in education where every tweet was monitored and analysed. No more. I’m free to be myself on my own feeds and others. Again, I like the research element and I think, despite no formal qualifications in marketing, I’m decent at it. I know what makes me tick in terms of content and I can do this with other company’s social media outlets.
5. Consultancy. Ironically, I still get asked to go into schools and provide direction and advice for English departments. It’s infrequent work but it comes naturally to me as I led English departments from 1996 to 2015 when I left teaching for good.
My point about all these is this.
I can do all five well and with varying degrees of enjoyment. If I just did one or two, I’d struggle to support the good lifestyle. I don’t get pissed up or go on holiday to exotic places, but we do have a great home, a nice whip and money to spend on city breaks at home and abroad.
Doing all five adds up to a nice little earner for me – if you’re thinking of telling your boss and colleagues that you’re going alone, do it. But make sure you play to your own strengths and maximise those income streams through different channels of work.
I also have stakes in property and car brokerage too, but they’re too foetal at the moment to start crowing about.