In Teacher Training there’s typically a moment when you talk about the business of yoga and they will tell you to find your niche.
In every TT, half the class wants to:
- teach beginners
- teach seniors
- teach children
- teach “under-served” populations (aka poor, and/or non-white students)
- teach outdoors
- teach athletes (insert discipline here)
That’s an admirable but VERY common list.
So, what’s a niche? The dictionary says…
- suitable place for somebody: a position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own
- specialized market: an area of the market specializing in one type of product or service
We focus on the second definition without looking at the first. Targeting a specific, specialized market can lead to monetary success if that’s your talent. But, how often to we move towards a career we wish for without being realistic about what we’re good at or suited for?
I saw a story about Big Fish Expeditions on grindtv.com. Personally, I love sharks. I think they’re amazing, beautiful, misunderstood, mistreated and awesome (kinda like me). I hope to be a shark in my next life…but that’s another story.
There are thousands of tour leaders around the world who will show you the beauty of the oceans but Andy Murch and his group found a real niche.
Andy is a “shark fanatic”. He is the creator behind The Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Field Guide. He is a driving force behind the Predators in Peril Project. He’s a professional diver and talented photographer.
Big Fish Expeditions isn’t the only group that offers the opportunity to dive with sharks but they are the most passionate. Check out their site for Andy’s inspiring photos.
passion + skill = NICHE
As a yoga teacher, you don’t need to swim with sharks to have a niche. Or, maybe you do-metaphorically.
Be honest about what you’re good at, what experience and talent you have and how to turn that into specialized product for your students. Wishing you could be someone you’re not doesn’t serve your students or your career.