Mistakes are an integral part of any entrepreneurial journey. They can be tough lessons but often serve as invaluable stepping stones toward success. When I embarked on the adventure of starting my own design business, Little Hound Creative, I, too, made a significant error – one that taught me big lessons about the importance of flexibility and finding my niche.
You know how everyone says, “find your niche!”? Well, I bought into that big time. I thought it was wise to focus exclusively on serving one industry: pet businesses. I adore animals, and the idea of working with like minded individuals seemed great. Well, it was, but it was also a crash course in learning the value of NOT putting all your design eggs in one pet basket.
The key lesson I learned from my mistake is the necessity of taking the time to discover the kinds of projects that genuinely ignite your passion and align with your skill set. While I did (& still do!) enjoy designing for pet businesses, my heart yearned for a more diverse range of projects – think florals, feminine script fonts, and high end design. Occasionally, I’d get this type of work, but I craved more of it!
They say the early bird catches the worm, right? Well, sometimes, the early bird gets stuck eating the same worm every day. I fell into the “niche early” trap because of stuff I read online (classic mistake!). My advice? Take your time discovering what it is that you love and what you are great at.
Instead of being super-specific, make your niche less rigid. I transitioned from serving solely pet businesses to marketing my branding and website design services to service providers and creatives. This shift allowed me to maintain my love for working with pet businesses while opening doors to a broader range of industries. By making my niche less restrictive, I found joy in the variety of projects that came my way.
In conclusion, making a mistake isn’t the end of the world; it can be a catalyst for growth and discovery. If I hadn’t initially niched exclusively into serving pet businesses, I might not have discovered my desire to work with a more diverse range of industries. It’s essential to remember that it’s okay to pivot and evolve. Cheers to not getting stuck with the same ol’ worm!