A Niche in Time…

by | Jul 2, 2013 | Ruminations | 8 comments

nicheJuly brings with it a sobering thought.: Half the year is gone!

I often joke that I’m still trying to figure out where 1992 went, ’cause I can’t remember being IN that year…or what I did WITH it.  [But I won’t bore you with my missives about selective amnesia.]

July REALLY brings with it the usual panic.  OMG… the year is half over, but I haven’t nearly worked through half my “list of things to do in 2013”!

I was talking to my wife about this on Monday.  She’s convinced me that I’m working hard, but not working smart.  As usual, she’s right.  I’ve spend a good bit of my time engaging in the classic blunder of handling what’s urgent, and not what’s important.  For those of you who are not familiar with this tenet, read anything by the late great  Stephen R. Covey, including his Time Management Matrix and the “four quadrants”. See “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”.

People have written tomes on effective use of time, principle-centered thinking, optimizing your talents, goal-setting, etc.  So much so that there’s a muddy miasma of vectors pulling every which way.  What’s one to do?  Who do you believe?

I have my own rules of thumb about how to conduct life and business.  Those lofty goals are roughly stated in the following list:

  • Play to your strengths
  • Listen to those who know you
  • K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid)
  • Know your limits
  • Work your niche

What?  Wait. Work your niche?  I haven’t seen that one in any of the popular self-help books!

Yeah, I know…I just made it up.  Or at least I think I did.  Maybe a book has already been written about it.

By “working your niche”, I don’t mean limit yourself…I mean be realistic.  What is your bread ‘n’ butter?  What is your money-maker that seems really not much work to you at all?  Something that can sustain your VO business while you’re off at FaffCon and chasing auditions on V123.

Working your niche means knowing your specialty as good as the top 1% in the field.
Working your niche substantiates you as an expert.
Working your niche establishes you as the thought leader, an influencer, a pace-setter.
Working your niche makes you comfortable mentoring and coaching others in your specialtyBut above all, working your niche shows you’ve mastered the art of turning your specialty into a steady income stream.

I like being a renaissance man.  As a news guy, it gives me context on a broad range of topics of which I’m expected to know something when virtually ANY story pops up.  But Renaissance man only waters down my strengths in voice acting.  I’d love to be able to master all the genre’s…from animation and video games to E-Learning, audiobooks, and Network Promos.  But is that realistic?  One of them can be a niche.  Two are possible, certainly.  Three or more, and I begin to spread myself too thin, maybe?

How ’bout you?  Are you a niche kinda person, or a nebulous jack-of-all-trades, and master of none?

Oh, and BTW, I say “nitch”, not “neesh”!  LOL!




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  1. Jeremy Ryan

    +1 for niche marketing. Miasma is bad for my asthma (Just kidding, I don’t actually have asthma). +1 for comprehensive living. Now, I must go check my list of New Years Resolutions. BTW, I prefer to say “Neesh”… phonectically, it just sounds sweeter to my ear. =)

    • roxanne coyne

      Nitch sounds too much like Itch!

      I’m a big believer in developing my “Itch”, Dave!!!
      Just kidding! I loved your article. I’m struggling with time management and the 80/20 principle and all those big issues, too. It never seems to end. Please, stop the clocks just for a short while so I can catch up!!!

      • CourVO

        I hear ya, Roxanne!

        Some days the “busy-ness” keeps me going, and other days, it just seems to take me under.

        You can only do what you can do… and as long as SOME progress is being made, I figure that’s a good day.


        Dave Courvoisier

    • CourVO


      I also say “neesh” about half the time, esp. on the news… but somehow I feel pretentious saying it that way…. like I’m French or something. Hey, wait! I AM!


      Dave Courvoisier

  2. Juliette Gray

    Dave, something that has driven me crazy over the years the use of the word nitch. It’s not in the dictionary. So why is it used instead of niche? Or is it American slang?

    • CourVO


      The only time I’ve seen “nitch” is as a gross misspelling of “niche”.

      Thanks for asking!

      Dave courvoisier

  3. Patrick Sweeney

    Dave, I know exactly how you feel. I too wanted to do it all until I finally realized I needed to focus leverage my background and strengths, so I developed a second website called TheMedicalVoice.com. With 25 years of medical industry experience working in sales, training and marketing, it only made sense. I still like to play in all the other sandboxes as it is fun and I am led there by clients and my agents all the time, but medical plays to my strengths and provides a steady income. Hopefully it makes it easier for clients to remember me or niche me as ‘the medical guy” too. Specializing in Medical Narration really does bring that daily focus and also helps tremendously with my segmented marketing efforts.

    Looking forward to connecting with you in San Antonio!


    P.S. Up here we say Neesh!

    • CourVO


      I think you said it better than I did. I’ve done a ton of medical narration (background in excercise physiology, and the wife is a nurse)…but it trickled off… I’d love to pick it up again…. always seems to be nice clients.

      SO-O-O-O looking forward to breaking bread with you at Faff6

      Thanks for stopping by, Patrick…

      Dave Courvoisier


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