One of the biggest myths of the post-industrial age is that anyone can do any management job reasonably well as long as they have the right training and a decent attitude. The reality is, some people are just better at certain things than others. Call it an intuitive connection, a collection of specific life lessons or a combination of both … call it whatever you like … as long as you realize it’s true.
You need to find your niche.
Not in some weekend seminar PowerPoint grab bag kind of way. In a real-world This Is What I Am Good At sort of manner. When you identify what you are best at then figure out an underserved segment of that particular market to help out, you will undoubtedly set yourself up for success. Instead of passively accepting what comes, identify and then aggressively market to a specific target group. Find a consumer group you enjoy working with or a product or service you connect with intrinsically, then dive into that with both feet. Instead of Just Doing Whatever and Hoping It Will All Work Out, take some time to identify where you will be the best fit.
Here’s an example.
In the literary industry, many authors fail to attract an agent for two reasons: they don’t understand how to sell their book, and they don’t know what that particular agent is seeking. They finish a book and assume everyone will love it as much as they do. Completely false. Some people might love it. Some people will hate it, and most people will be ambivalent … unless someone who loves it can convince them to love it too. So, in the book business, you can’t succeed unless you know what you are good at, and you can put that “good” work in front of the right people.
In today’s increasingly consumer-based marketplace, nearly everything works on exactly the same principle. Even management. You need to find an industry or a business in which you can flourish, determine exactly how and why you can flourish there – and sell that connection to anyone who is buying. Then get your team laser focused on attracting and keeping all the people who connect with exactly what you are doing … because, in today’s market, they were looking for exactly what you have to offer … and they don’t want to settle.
Jonah Engler is a finance expert who hails from New York City.