Finding Your Niche – Part 1: Aligning with your purpose and passion.
Our greatest achievements will come only when we fully align with the passions that inspire us.
“What is my purpose? How do I find my niche? How can I create a living while doing something I am passionate about? Why does change always seem so overwhelming?
Does any of this sound familiar? These are a few of the most common questions my clients ask me. Each question is supported by the shocking statistic that 60% of Americans are unhappy with their current work situation. I would add my opinion that there are another 20% who make enough money that they have conditioned themselves to believe they enjoy their profession. The overwhelming issue here is that the majority of us are not aligned with our potential, and consequently, an ideal career path.
A valuable lesson I have learned is that success requires investment. As a teen, when I considered what profession to follow, I remember observing a number of my relatives who were doctors. At first glance, it seemed that the medical profession guaranteed a high, steady income with flexible hours. Who wouldn’t want to be a doctor? As the weight of high school landed on me, I gained a perspective of how much schooling would be required to pursue a medical degree. I also realized that there was more to success than simply earning a degree. I gained an appreciation for the level of investment the medical field required. Successful doctors have made significant investments to justify the incomes they enjoy. It is easy to look at any profession and notice the people who stand out as the leaders or great successes. However, each of them has made an investment of some kind to be where they are. If they haven’t, their success will not be sustainable.
An investment is not always financial. A great example can be found in the story of an Italian mechanic born in 1916. Instead of following the lead of his grape farming parents, he pursued an interest in the mechanics of the farming equipment they used. He invested in his passion and his mechanical prowess allowed him to serve as a mechanic in the Italian Royal Air Force. Following the war, a strong economy coupled with a growing expertise enabled him to build one of the Italy’s largest agricultural manufacturing companies. Interestingly, his wildly successful tractor company provided the income needed to indulge in his longtime passion for automobiles. The combination was destined for greatness as his engineering abilities enabled him to turn prestigious, yet slow, luxury cars into race-worthy powerhouses.
As his collection of cars increased, he continued to find flaws, even with the most prestigious cars of his time. The most notable of his acquisitions was a Ferrari 250 GT. He found that the Ferrari was too noisy and rough, and he considered it to be mere “repurposed track car.” One of his greatest complaints was that Ferrari’s seemed to have inferior clutches. After repeated unsuccessful services, he brought his concerns to Enzo Ferrari, who dismissed him as a mere “tractor maker” who knew nothing about sports cars.
This response provided just enough motivation for the Italian-born mechanic, Ferruccio Lamborghini to modify his 250 GT to outperform the stock models built by Ferrari. This accomplishment supported Lamborghini’s quest to build a car that provided high performance without compromising tractability, ride quality, or interior class. More importantly, Lamborghini discovered that he could nearly triple his tractor profits by using the same components in his exotic cars.
Perhaps it’s a bit ironic that one of the most prestigious car brands in history can be traced to a farm tractor (by the way, the title image is a Lamborghini). Yet today, the Lamborghini Aventador is a marvel of engineering capacity and craftsmanship. Approaching a half of a million dollar price tag, this hand-made supercar generates over 700 brake horse power and captures a measure of style and performance that the majority of car manufacturers can only dream of.
More importantly, this story articulates the importance of personally investing in the purpose that drives you. I am convinced that our greatest achievements will come only when we fully align with the passions that inspire us.
I believe that each of us possesses unique traits and natural abilities. I also believe that whether you recognize God or something different, the purpose of life is to come into harmony with the gifts and talents you possess. This harmony will reveal a “purpose” that will resonate powerfully within your soul. Following this purpose will feel natural and empowering, like nothing you’ve experienced. You will feel compelled to pursue this course and, along the way, you will encounter your greatest success and sense of fulfillment.
As you may have noticed, this is part one of a two-part post. Before we dig further, I want you to ask yourself a few questions that will be important for part two.
- Why did you choose your profession/role?
- Do you feel like it aligns with your purpose?
- Are you happy with your progress and current situation?
- If you could pick any profession (assuming income was the same), would you do something different? What would it be?
- Most importantly (if it is different), why?
In the next section we will take a closer look at the process of discovering your niche. We’ll outline a number of steps that you can follow to align with your purpose, and explore niches that empowered ordinary men to produce some of histories most powerful contributions.
BRAD HARKER is a professional speaker, sales consultant, and author of The Laws of Influence (www.thelawsofinfluence.com). Through the creation of several companies and more than a quarter-billion dollars in sales, Brad has developed an ideology that anyone, regardless of profession, can leverage to discover their potential, align with their purpose, and realize their goals. Learn more at www.foundersinc.com