So often we have things that we are passionate about, goals we would like to accomplish, but aren’t quite sure how to get there. We look at the largeness of the of the opportunity with excitement. Often it’s that wide view that will cause us to miss the target altogether. Here are some simple steps to narrow your life’s “niche.”

  1. Write it out. Think of this as a chance to create your professional wish list. Whatever the dream may be, whether realistic or not, write it down. Write things out with detail and with intention.
  1. Cut out what doesn’t fit. Sometimes we have ideas that are appealing, but aren’t really what we want. For example, I often frequent a family owned diner. I enjoy watching the family interact as they banter the day away. At one point, I developed a dream of opening such a restaurant. The idea of this restaurant sounds fun to me, but I don’t want to cook, be a server, hire staff, or wipe down tables at the end of the night. Opening a restaurant may be a dream, but it’s not one that I would actually pursue. You’ll have dreams like that on your list as well, so don’t be afraid to cross them off.
  1. Look for common themes. When you start reading through your list, you will begin to notice recurring themes. These recurring themes are revealing of your passions. Before you can move forward, you have to figure out where your heart is.
  1. Engage your world of influence. Your mentors, peers, and coach should all have an opportunity to give you feedback on this journey. Open up the lines of communication with these people; invite them to share their wisdom and opinions.
  1. Create trial tasks to determine desire. Sometimes there is a gap between what you would enjoy in theory and what you will enjoy in real life. Take this chance to close that gap. Before you give your life to a cause, try doing something in that field. If you still love it, if it’s everything you wanted it to be, then move forward. If not, reassess your options.
  1. Narrow the focus. Another way to describe this step is to define the win. Write a sentence or two that describes what you are going to accomplish in no uncertain terms. Write 1-2 sentences that encapsulate your mission.
  1. Develop a plan. Your passions and corresponding goals will only be accomplished if you have a plan to do so. Create short term and long term goals that you can work towards. Identify the steps you need to take to get to where you want to be, and then develop a plan to take those steps.
  1. Build a platform. Make it easy for people to see your heart; create a platform for yourself that will allow you get your message across in a professional, excellent way.
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