The Power of Focus

A few years ago, I received a pressure washer for my birthday.  Needless to say, I immediately got to work finding everything at the house that needed some good, deep cleaning: the siding, the wood fence in the backyard, the cars, etc.

I’ve probably used it the most on the driveway.  You really don’t know how dirty your driveway is until you’ve blasted it with a concentrated stream of water at over 1,500 pounds per square inch.

The washer came with several different nozzles that concentrated the spray into smaller and smaller arcs.  The smallest nozzles created a needle-like stream that seemed to have enough power to cut through steel.

It’s amazing how the same water that comes trickling out of my hose can be so powerful when narrowly focused.

In his book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, author Greg McKeown writes, “Only once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone, can you make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

McKeown is effectively saying, “Once you stop spraying your attention all over the place, you’ll accomplish so much more.”

By selecting a niche market, you can apply the same principles to your practice.  Rather than trying to be all things to all people, you can focus your time and energy on helping a specific group of people.

Having a niche gives you focus.  As that focus continues to refine and sharpen, it starts to shape your identity.  Rather than thinking of yourself as simply a financial advisor or financial planner, you can proudly say, “I’m Joe Smith, and I specialize in helping families with special needs children.”  Or I’m “Janet McGee, and I help small business owners prioritize the competing financial priorities in their life.”

Additionally, by repeatedly serving similar clients, you begin to work more efficiently.  You learn the ins and outs of the specific needs, concerns, and challenges of your niche.  You can develop specific processes to save time for both you and your client.

That combination of focus, identity and efficiency will cultivate an overwhelming feeling of confidence.  Those doubts about your abilities will vanish as you build a portfolio of success and establish your expertise.

And that confidence?  Your clients will see it and appreciate it as well.  As we all know, clients want assurance.  They want to feel safe.  They want to know they are working with an expert.  And that expert is you!

Finally, a niche will facilitate referrals.  It’s so much easier to say, “You should speak to Diane; she specializes in helping multi-generational families handle life transitions,” than to say, “You should speak to my financial planner; his name is Tim.”

Ready to get started with your niche?  Check out our new mini-course: “Own Your Niche Market” at

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