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“A jack of all trades is a master of none.”
This quote is often used to support the belief that online entrepreneurs need to niche down to be taken seriously and make money. But did you know there’s more to the quote?
“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”
Rather than saying specializing is the way to go, it praises people who are good at multiple things. Being versatile is a good thing, so why are we taught to pick just one thing we’re good at?
When you’re multi-passionate and/or multi-talented, being told to niche down sounds like an impossible task. Rather than making your life easier, this advice can lead you to:
- Constantly change your offers.
- Be confused about who your ideal client is.
- Make money doing something you hate.
It turns out that squeezing into a nicely labeled box isn’t so fun. Sure, if all you care about is making money, you can pick a profitable niche and go all-in. It doesn’t matter which one.
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But if you want a full life — not just a full bank account — you need something more. You need a purpose. Finding that purpose is what will guide you to the deep, all-encompassing joy we all crave. That, to me, is what it means to find your “one thing.”
This isn’t niching down. It’s about you —who you are, what you value, what you would do with joy — regardless of how much money, power or prestige is attached to it.
And to figure out your “one thing,” you have to learn to listen to and trust yourself. I know this because it’s what I had to do back when I was stuck. On the outside, I had it made. I had a thriving dance career in the dance world — dancer, choreographer, dance company owner — I was living the dream.
But dance wasn’t my only love. I also loved teaching theater, qigong, tai chi, yoga and entrepreneurship. Then life happened, and it was a wake-up call. My relationship ended. Performance subsidies were cut. I lost my dream apartment.
Lost and in need of a break, I went for a holiday in Bali and ended up staying for 3 years.
I was craving something different for my life. That was when I met digital nomads who were running amazing businesses all over the world from their laptops. This location-independent business thing seemed like ultimate freedom, so I closed down my dance company and went for it.
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Just like many of you, I was told I needed to niche down. The problem? There wasn’t a niche that encompassed everything I cared about. I wanted to serve people, but I wanted to do it as my full self — a dancer, teacher and energy worker.
I wanted to find a way to embody myself fully in my business. Instead of trying to be known as only one thing. If I had to use an analogy, it was like I decided to stop trying to lose weight to squeeze into an outfit and focused on finding an outfit that fit me to perfection.
One day, I decided to stop looking for answers out there and look for them within myself. I asked myself one question: What one thing drives all that I do?
The more I listened to my inner self, the more the pieces came together. One day, during a deep meditation session in a Bali jungle, the words came to me with so much clarity. Words that may not make sense to others but that were exactly what I’d been searching for.
My “one thing.” Not a niche, but a lifeline.
Armed with this knowledge, my doubts, fears, confusion, guilt and limiting beliefs fell away. I stopped stressing about whether closing my dance company was a smart move because I knew I was still living the same purpose I’d had in everything I’d ever felt passionate about. Suddenly, I was able to see the golden thread flowing throughout my life and trusted where it was leading me.
Your “one thing” is a soul-deep purpose that brings with it clarity, confidence and peace of mind that no matter what comes of your actions, the actions themselves are fully aligned with where and who you want to be.
That feeling is so empowering and freeing; you don’t even have to tell people what it is for it to work its sacred magic. It becomes such an intrinsic part of you, guiding you, your decisions and your mindset.
In business, it guides your strategy and messaging. It’s the energy that attracts your meant-to-be clients. You just have to be willing to view it as your source — an eternal well of inspiration and confidence that you draw from.
When you remain connected and true to your “one thing,” it empowers you to be creative, experiment and release the things that don’t serve your greatest good.
So here’s to you finding your “one thing” and using your business as a vehicle to spread your magic. To get there, you just need to answer five questions:
- What breaks my heart?
- What’s the one big lesson I’ve learned in this lifetime?
- What do people come to me for?
- What fires me up that I could talk about all day?
- If I could help people with only one thing, what would that be?
Then complete this sentence.
“I am certified, qualified and/or experienced in _____, but I really only do/teach/coach ______.”
This is your “one thing.” Once you know it, you can package it up, market it and finally build that joyful business and life you crave.