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8 Signs that You Might Be In the Wrong Niche

by bevbarnes on March 13, 2013

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The word “niche” originates from the French verb nicher, to make a nest.  For me it implies a small, comfortable place where you belong.  In the world of work niche also refers to where you fit, the spot that feels right for you.  When you are in a job you can either accept the niche you’ve been assigned or try to shift it to something that fits you better.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it’s impossible.  That’s why particularly women are leaving the corporate world in droves.

The freedom of self-employment means you can pick your niche.  You can pick who you want to serve and who you don’t want to serve, how you want to work, where you want to work and with whom.

Despite this freedom, it is difficult to know what your right niche is before you actually start working with clients.  Here are 8 signs that you might be in the wrong niche:

1.  You keep comparing yourself to other people. 

You are in the wrong niche when you are externally focused.  If you are envious or comparing yourself to others, there is something about their niche that you find attractive.  Envy or jealousy points to an interest, an intrigue or an attraction – probably more attractive than your current niche.

2.  You feel drained by the clients you attract.

Your body is the best indicator that your niche is wrong.  If you feel drained by most of your clients, then your niche is wrong.

3.  Your niche doesn’t match your temperament.

How you get to work is also part of your niche.  Are you more comfortable working with a team?  Alone?  With a partner?  Do you need the stimulation of new places, new activities and people or can you work for mostly alone for long periods of time?

If you have an extraverted preference it’s draining to work alone.  If you have an introverted preference it’s draining to have the amount of interaction you have controlled by other people.

4.  You don’t come up with new ideas on how to serve your clients or customers.

When you are in the right niche it feels like falling in love.  You want to learn all that you can about that thing you love and so you are constantly coming up with new ways to serve.  You also tap into the power of big “L” love – the connection with the divine.  That’s where creativity comes from.  Once you make this connection, ideas come through you not from you.  When you are in the wrong niche, the idea tap turns off.

5.  You are more concerned with keeping what you’ve already got than growth.

In the wrong niche you lead with fear and not with love – trying to conserve rather than expand.  It’s like playing defense in a hockey game in the third period when the score is tied.  You are just holding on and inevitably, you’ll lose.

6.  Your niche isn’t in demand. 

Even if you absolutely love your niche, if you don’t have people who want to buy what you offer, then you are in the wrong one.  In order to make a living being self-employed you have to offer something that people value and want to buy.  If your niche isn’t in demand, then you’ve found a hobby, not a livelihood.

7.  Your niche doesn’t showcase your uniqueness. 

For your business to be sustainable – work over the long run, your niche needs to showcase your gifts and your talents.  That’s how you’ll maintain your enthusiasm and positive energy over the long term.  If your niche doesn’t showcase you then it’s wrong for you.

8.  What you say doesn’t match what you do.

Congruence between who you are and what you present in your business is essential.   You have to live it to give it.  If you don’t do what you say, it’ll show eventually and your business will fail.


It’s never a mistake to pick the wrong niche.  The mistake is not shifting your niche when you know it’s not for you.  Don’t forget that it’s virtually impossible to figure out your niche in your head, you need to Try Stuff Out.

Listen to your body signals.  The wrong niche feels like boredom, a big sigh and the right niche feels like lightness and an adventure.

I LOVE hearing from you.  Let me know what your niche story is.  If you are in the wrong niche, what keeps you stuck there?  If you are in the right niche, how did you find it?  Let me know on the blog below.


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonnie Olson March 14, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Hey Bev,
I just want to say that I love hearing what you have to say, always. You make me smile and then reflect. You are such a powerful teacher. Coming to your site is like nesting now that I think of it! I feel safe and cared for in your energy.



Bev Barnes March 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

So nice to hear from you Bonnie. I loved that nest picture myself. You picked up on the energy. Have a great day!


Janelle March 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Bev – I so appreciate you! This was very affirming for me. I’ve had a fairly narrow niche from the beginning, and fortunately – I have all of the good signs that it’s the right one!

Choosing a niche was the best thing I did to build a successful coaching practice, and I’m starting to believe that you can’t have too narrow a niche. The great thing about choosing a niche is that you instantly become an expert in a certain field. If you had a child with a heart problem would you want the child to see the person who only sees children with heart problems or the person who sees everyone? And would you be willing to pay that expert more than the general doc? I would hope so.

So, if you are wondering about your niche, here are my two best tips:

First – work with Bev! She can really help you tune into your body and find that hidden passion inside of you. She can also help you deal with any inner gremlins that come up when you make a decision.

Second, think about carving a niche out of one of three categories: health, money, or relationships. Do you want to work with spiritual women to help them find their beloved? Are you great at helping single moms manage their finances? Would it fill you with joy to help successful men lose weight and get healthy? Pick a type of person and help them get what they want in one of these areas.

Thanks again Bev! You are amazing!


Bev Barnes March 14, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hey Janelle! You gave some great tips! I LOVE your work and all you are doing for people with food sensitivities who “get” the body/mind/love connection.


NIna March 21, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Wow Bev that is good stuff, really good! Really Clear and to the point, I’m impressed.
I love that you also say that its not a mistake to pick the wrong niche and that we have to “try stuff”, otherwise we can get stuck trying to figure out in our heads what our niche is.


Bev Barnes March 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I’m glad you found this helpful Nina. Yes you absolutely have to try things out. You can’t know before you do.


Sheila March 21, 2013 at 11:38 pm

I just did a Train the Trainer workshop yesterday – after a few years off – and I KNEW I was in my niche – how timely of your post to remind me! I love how succinct and clear your writing is on this – YOU are defo in your niche my friend!


Bev Barnes March 22, 2013 at 12:12 am

When you know you know deeply in your bones Sheila. Nice to hear from you!


Betsy March 23, 2013 at 2:53 pm



Ami F. May 3, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Thanks for your words today, Bev. I really enjoy reading your blog entries. I have just written my acceptance letter to go to grad school! This is something I’ve wanted to do for over 15 years. Not sure where my niche is yet or where I’m going but I am excited about the journey. Again, thanks!



Bev Barnes May 4, 2013 at 10:18 am

Congratulations Ami!


Tracy May 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm

Thank you for this article- very affirming, good information and it helped me to own where I am now.


Bev Barnes May 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

You are so welcome Dr. Tracy!


Terri May 27, 2016 at 8:45 am

Hi Bev, I’ve found my niche through coaching (you and a couple other master coaches) and from the tools I’ve learned in your Coaching Genius class. I’ve finally learned how to let my intuition tell me when I’m on the hot track toward my niche (and my Genius) which works now almost like a metal detector. When it starts ‘beeping’ I know.
After lots of experiences of meetup groups and other activities that didn’t light me up, I learned to participate only in the activities that do.
I had coaching session with one of my mentors, where she yelled ‘Stop!’ when I named my niche. Two weeks later, one of my clients said in almost the same words what I had said with my coach. I realized that she was my ideal client all along.
Now, I’m working to find out where those people hang out, and meanwhile did a major update in my website to call him/her.
It takes practice and a lot of tuning in to yourself.


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