Trying to find your talent? Are you stuck in a rut? Do you need to turbocharge what you are doing? We all have felt this way at one time or another and summer is always a good time to reflect. Here’s a few tips we have learned over the years on finding your passion as well as a paycheck.
1 – Be the Big fish in the small pond of talent
If you are trying to make the Olympics and have not been identified at a young age as the next talented LeBron James, Usain Bolt, Simone Biles, or Michael Phelps, would you try to make the basketball, track, gymnastics, or swim teams, also known as the most popular sports, or would you try for something more obscure?
Perhaps, you might try your hand in the winter sports where only half of the United States can actively participate in, due to climate conditions. Skeleton, for example, only has three Americans on the team. Steeplechase and biathlon are also sports that have small athlete pools where you stand a better chance of making the team. Curling is another winter sport that is just beginning to get some traction in the United States.
Better to hop on practicing these sports than the hyper competitive popular ones listed above. If you are looking for a niche to make content videos, avoid the popular ones: unboxing, pranks, video games, or sports highlights.
Bottom line: Find something that few people are doing and become king of that domain. If that domain grows you will grow with it and you’ll be on top of the heap!
2 – Be a fast follower
Perhaps there’s a niche that you want to explore and a few others are in the space. If so, you could be a fast follower by looking at what they are doing and trying to do it better. For example, look at Joey Chestnut, who recently won his 15th Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating title. Prior to Chestnut finding his talent was the legendary Takeru Kobayashi who dominated the field until an eventual contract dispute took him out of the famous eating contest.
In the technology space, we all remember Facebook frontrunners, Friendster and MySpace. Complaints were that Friendster kept crashing and that MySpace was too open. Facebook took this criticism and made a better “mousetrap.” The rest is history.
Maybe there’s nothing you can think of that is completely brand new. However, you can find someone doing something interesting and figure out a way to leapfrog them. While a dangerous strategy, it is not impossible.
3 – Be different, be yourself
Whatever you decide to do, be yourself, be unique, be original, be your own talent. In the art world for example, there are a lot of people emulating the Mr. Brainwash style of art. Yet the art world only needs and can support one Mr. Brainwash. Never has a derivative artist made acclaim. Create your signature and own it. Kaws has his signature X’d out eyes which have made him a global phenomenon.
Andy Warhol started his career as a talented commercial illustrator and came up with a new definition of art that changed the course of art history. After Bianchini’s Upper East Side gallery show, the art world found itself asking what art actually is: Warhol’s now signature Campbell’s soup can was asking $1,500, you could buy an actual soup can at the grocery store with soup in it for less than $1. Pop art is now one of the best selling genres of visual art.
People collect all kinds of things and maybe you collect something obscure as well. Chances are that there is a community of people collecting these things too. Maybe you can be the first (or quick second) to harbor discussion around these collectibles. Need a hint? Check out this post on the crazy things people collect.
4 – Keep at it, it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success
Ian McKellen was a very talented theater actor for over 40 years until Bryan Singer put him into the role of Magneto in 2000. This led to his being cast as Gandolf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the rest is history! Gary Vaynerchuk had months of no audience before he broke through; as he said it takes many videos to know that you failed. (He made weeks of WineLibraryTV to a very small audience before it caught traction and the rest is history!) Make sure that you give your videos enough runway to find an audience if there is one to be found!
How long to keep going is only a question you can answer. No one appreciated Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings (he sold one in his entire lifetime) until much after his death. Now with the Van Gogh exhibits popping up all over the world, he is getting the global acclaim and talent recognition he so desired, over a 100 years after his death!
How did you find the niche that you are in? Drop us a note and any tips we can share with the community! What talent are you exploring?