Why You Shouldn’t “Pick a Niche”

We hear this a lot, “pick a niche”, narrow down your idea and “niche down” so you can understand your audience. Niching down is like the new cool kid on the block in entrepreneurship world. But, how do you know that the niche you pick is the one, if you pick a niche, narrow it down and understand your audience right off the batt, how do you know it’s for you. 

When you niche down, you’re essentially becoming an expert in that niche, so I hope you are passionate in the niche you choose. If you are starting out in your entrepreneurship journey, picking a niche could hurt you and here are 5 reasons why you should NOT pick a niche. 

  1. Test, Test, Test 

How do you know you like vanilla if you’ve eaten chocolate your entire life? 

When you are starting out in your entrepreneurship journey, shiny object syndrome is a real thing. There are so many ideas out there, so many things you like, so many things you’re curious about, how are you going to pick just one?

This is why I recommend testing out your idea’s, this way you can have a wine tasting and see which flavour of wine you prefer. You can test out your idea’s see which ones you like, which one’s you enjoy learning about, which one’s you want to keep going with, go through ups and downs with. 

You probably know this already, but entrepreneurship is a long  and bumpy road, so I hope you love the niche you’re picking. 

  1. Maybe you like the niche, but it’s not a good fit for you from a business standpoint 

I think 80% of the world can agree that they love to travel, they wish they could travel whenever they want, there’s countries people long to visit, but will they love it when travel becomes work?

Just because we like something, it doesn’t mean we like to turn it into work. I’ll use travel bloggers as an example, bloggers have to write blogs on countries they’ve visited, make recommendations on food or hotels, or write about a museum they visited.

And yes, it looks luxurious, but will we all love to take the time to take the right photos versus admiring the scene, will we want to come back to the hotel to write a blog? To edit photos? To edit videos? Most likely not.

I don’t know about you, but after a long day of touring, I am pooped, I don’t want to do anything but drink or lay in bed, there’s no way I’m editing or writing a blog. I don’t want to turn something I like to work and end up not enjoying the process.

  1. Maybe you’re not as good as you thought in that particular niche 

There will always be growth, there will always be progression, but you do need to factor in talent. Are you good at selling the product/service, are you able to make a living off this niche you chosoe, are you able to make a profit?

This is not me saying “give up if you can’t make any money in the first couple months” it will take months to years to build a successful business, but if its been over 5 years, you might want to re-evaluate your niche or re-evaluate your business. 

That’s why you shouldn’t go all in on one niche because you may be better at something else than the niche you “thought” you liked or could make a profit. 

  1. You’ve invested money and it’s not a niche for you

Let’s stick with the travel blogger example, so you’ve decided you want to become a travel blogger, you invest $1000 into a DSLR camera, and another, let’s say, $1000 in other tech equipment like audio, editing software, lens, and other tech. 

Then you buy your plane tickets and living arrangements (hotel, airbnb or hostel), let’s say your accommodations are $1000 to NYC for 5 days and let’s add another $1000 for expenses like food and travel.

That’s now $4000 you’ve invested in becoming a travel blogger. In the beginning, you pay for your own expenses as you are building your audience, so you can get those bougie sponsorships and don’t have to pay so much anymore. However, before you get to that promised land, you realize travel blogging is not for you. 

Now, you miss traveling as a tourist, you miss just taking in the view instead of taking a million photos, you miss laying in bed after a long day instead of writing a blog to post the next morning, you miss eating the food right when you see it instead of taking another millions photos to go on your blog, you miss wearing whatever you feel like instead of planning the perfect outfit for the photos, and realize travel blogging is not for you. 

Now you have all this fancy equipment and didn’t enjoy the trips as you used to and it caused more stress than relaxation. 

  1. Maybe you just don’t want to niche down 

Maybe in the beginning you pick a niche, but want to expand, that’s totally fine. You don’t always have to stick with that one niche, so many brands branch out and it’s because they’ve built a brand. When brands branch out, their customers will know what to expect, the type of service, quality, performance etc. and that’s what we should focus on building a brand.

You don’t always have to stick to one niche for the rest of your life, if you want to branch out, do it, just know that it may not do well and you’ve got to be okay with it. 

However, if you build a strong and solid brand, then have that section be aligned with that brand, that way your customers or audience is not in shock when they see this new product/service because they will expect similar results, experience, feeling, but in a different form. 

Let’s say you sell clothes that are with quirky designs and your audience loves this. If you are branching out to makeup, make it quirky too and similar to what your audience experiences. If you provide free 2-3 day shipping for your clothes, offer that to your makeup too, make it similar to your brand. 

Take away:

I’m not saying don’t niche down, but sometimes is can restrict you and you don;t even know it. Test, see how things feel before you go all in on this one niche. Once you’ve found a niche you believe in, then keep going at it and reach that success. 

Thank you so much for taking your time to read this article, I hope it brought you VALUE and have a great day!

Anna T Nguyen

5 Reason’s Why You Shouldn’t Rush into Post-Secondary School. Take that Fifth Year.

Let me start out by saying how grateful I am for the life and opportunities I have and the ones in front of me. I am extremely lucky to be living in Canada, where secondary education isn’t charged up the a** as it is in the United States, where I have the opportunity to go to school and have tools that help me succeed.

However, for a majority of kids, especially kids of immigrant parents, there is this enormous pressure to attend post secondary school whether that be a College or University. There is also this pressure to have your ENTIRE life figured out by 18. 

I was one of those kids who was pressured to figure my who life by 18, I rushed into University, finished and found out I hated what I majored in. I’m writing this article in hopes to save you TIME and MONEY.

Because my journey to the career I truly LOVE, was a long and hard one. 

  1. You do not have to figure out your entire life out by 18. 

If you are about to finish high school and don’t know what to major in, then I’d advise you to take your time! There is literally no rush, I know it feels like it, but trust me, at the age of 25 I am just finding out my passion and I know I still have SO much time left to figure out my life. 

If you need that fifth year, or a few years to figure out your life, then take it! If your parents DON’T approve, like mine, then you have two options, either succumb to the pressure and be miserable.

OR

Move out, get a job, pay your OWN bills, figure out your shit and be HAPPY. 

It’s up to you. 

  1. Will it be your parents happiness or your happiness?

I don’t know about you, but I have immigrant parents and if you do too, you will totally understand what I am about to say next. 

My immigrant father pressured me to go to University because taking a fifth year to “find myself” was a forbidden SIN, it was essentially a waste of TIME. 

I’m not here to bash on immigrant parents, or my own, immigrant parents sincerely come from a good place. They sacrificed A LOT to give us the life we have, they worked 100 hours to provide a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, the food on our plate and much more, they just want the best for us, so you don’t have to live the life they lived back home.

Trust me, I get it, my dad was the same. But, he is HONESTLY is the BEST father anyone can ask for. The amount of time, money and energy he poured in to my siblings and I is something I can never pay him back for, but the pressure to have my life figured out by 18 was too much. 

By grade 12, I wanted to take a fifth year, oh so badly, I honestly had NO idea what I wanted to do. However, I succumbed under pressure, chose a major and went off to University majoring in MATH, yes MATH. 

I continued to live off his payroll, I served on the weekends,  but lived rent free, he paid for my car and insurance as well. Yeah, I know I was SPOILED, I look back at this with such shame. 

But anyways, I lived off his payroll and chose his happiness over mine, I had NO right to go after my happiness when I was living off his payroll.

  1. So, you chose your parents happiness? *cough* living off their payroll *cough* eh?

Yeah, I did too, welcome to the club. 

The first year of University, I had the time of my LIFE, holy. I met so many people I cliqued with, I went out to parties for the first time, I drank for the first time, yes,  I was super late to the drinking game. 

I partied it up! Did I study? NOPE.

In fact, I HATED Math, go figure. 

I hardly ever studied and partied whenever I could. I even went to Toronto like every other week with my friend and partied at the club.

It was so bad, to the point where I FLUNKED out. 

Yes, I flunked out of university after first year. Can you imagine the look on my dad’s face when I told him? 

He didn’t talk to me for months. It was brutal.

So, what did I do after I funked out? I worked my way back into University, still not knowing what I like because the disappointment on my dad’s got me to put aside my wants and needs to make sure he was happy. 

I lost 2 years and $12,000 for basically nothing, but I worked my way back to University…yay haha. 

  1. So, you finally made your parents dreams come true, but you’re still unhappy?

4 years go by and I finish with Honours in Sociology! WOOHOO!

Plus, my friend got me an entry level job in my field as a support worker for group home kids, full time, like jackpot right? 

Not really… I didn’t exactly love Sociology and  this job CONFIRMED that I didn’t like the field of sociology/social work. Working as a support worker, I HATED it, I was good at my job, but it was NOT for me. 

That year I worked as a support worker, I hated my life. 

I was still living at my dads house, rent free, I wasn’t paying back student loans and didn’t have many expenses to pay. 

What did I use my money for? 

STUPID. SHIT. I. DID. NOT. NEED. 

I bought bags worth thousands, I travelled to three countries within 10 months, I went to Vietnam, Portugal and NYC, I went out all the time, spent so much on gifts, spent a lot on food and drinks to fill my void of UNHAPPINESS.

I was also horrible to be around because how depressed I was, all the material possessions and experiences did not bring the happiness I was looking for. 

I was MISERABLE, I spent 6 years into my career, received a full time position in my field and was good at my job, but I was NOT happy. However, my life looked AMAZING on the outside, my socials was poppin’ and it looked like I was living my BEST LIFE. 

  1. Now, you realize that material possessions and experiences aren’t making you happy huh?

When all the material things and experiences weren’t filling the void, I resorted to my old ways, creativity and research. I researched side hustles, from drop shipping, travel blog, and selling baked goods, basically anything that would make me happier. 

Little by little I got my happiness back, I was OBSESSED with researching side hustles. I even tested some idea’s out until I found the one I loved. 

Eventually, I stumbled onto social media marketing and it was an addiction. I was obsessed with social media, marketing, branding, building a community and connecting through social media.

So much, that I started an instagram page, posted quotes and gave social media tips on my stories and IGTV! 

This was IT!

Now, I am more broke than I’ve ever been, since now I pay back school loans, took a pay cut working as a reception, I still live rent free, but pay house bills like utilities and wifi, I pay my own insurance, groceries, gas, etc. but I’m the HAPPIEST I’ve ever been because I finally found my PASSION.

Take away:

If you find yourself in similar shoes as myself, where you’re stuck in your parents’ world, but want to branch out and do your own thing, then:

STOP. TAKING. THEIR. MONEY.

I felt so guilty because I was milking my dad’s money, that’s why I felt so obligated to make his dreams come true, which I did, but once I stopped taking his money, started figuring out what I liked and didn’t like, I found myself the happiest I’ve ever been.

To save you time, money and sadness, if your parents are pressuring you into something you know isn’t for you, but don’t know what to do, then walk away.

You have got to take the leap off your parents payroll, live alone or with a friend, find a job, pay your own bills and figure your shit out, this is when you will find true happiness.

Your parents will ALWAYS love you, they may like you more on some days than other days but they will ALWAYS love you no matter what, so take that leap and go after that thing. 

A List Filled with 25 Things I’ve Learned and am Excited For

In celebration of turning 25, I thought It’d be fun to talk about something light hearted and not about community growth or hustle for once!

Almost everyone over 25 keeps telling me that it goes downhill after 25, but my dad tells me that I am incredibly young and have so much time left, so I’m going to go with that haha. I’m also the type to be oddly optimistic, especially when the odds are not in my favor, I don’t know if I’m born like this or I get it from my dad, probably from my dad. But I want to list a few things I’ve learned, but to add a little twist list things I’ll add five things I’m excited about for the future. I’m going to list some lessons I’ve learned as a young child, to adolescent and adulthood, then I will list 5 things I am excited about.

…Let’s begin!

1. Hide food from my siblings

I grew up with three siblings, we are all savages and ate A LOT. So as a kid, I learned to hide my food in secret hiding spots so they don’t eat it all! It worked

2. When my classmates bullied me, it really wasn’t about me it was about them

I grew up in a predominately white neighbourhood and school, so I was teased a lot with lame Asian racist jokes. However, I realized that it didn’t really have anything to do with me, it’s that white folks never really seen Asians and their parents probably didn’t teach them how to interact with coloured people. As a result, I never really got offended or sad about this

3. I loved my chaotic household

Growing up with 3 siblings meant that the house was extra chaotic, but I had a lot of fun, a lot of fights and a fascinating childhood that I would not change at all.

4. High school isn’t really the shit movies and TVs make it out to be

To be honest, high school was such a blur, I don’t know if it’s because I was extra introverted, but I never cared about high school. I was such a loner and had like 3 friends. I thought high school would be this magical self-developing time in my life, but it really wasn’t. I just was the quiet kid in the corner.

5. Dating is over-rated

Growing up, I never really cared to have a boyfriend. It could be because of how severely introverted and shy I was, but up until University, I never talked to a boy, kissed a boy or even dated a boy.

6. Take your time and think before you invest A LOT of money.

I wanted to take a fifth year, but feared what my dad would have thought because he didn’t believe in fifth year. As a result, I rushed into University, went into a field I didn’t love, flunked out and went back to school for a field I enjoyed. Take your time kids, instead of rushing into things and wasting money.

7. I found a lot of new and amazing forever friends from University

I grew a lot during my University years, came out of my shell, rebelled, partied and met a lot of amazing people. I also studied too haha. Some of the people I met became my forever friends!

8. Tests and assignments don’t determine my success/skills

I used to think tests and assignments determined my entire life, now that I graduated I realised that they meant nothing and I barely use what I learned at my day job. Tests and assignments are just temporary and do NOT determine how successful you become.

9. University is not the magic key to unlock your career dreams

Getting a piece of paper will not get you that amazing job with a beautiful salary, oh no no no. On top of the nice piece of paper, if you got one, it’s who you know, your experience, and getting your foot in the door that will land you a job.

10. Post-graduation isn’t as amazing as I thought

I graduated with HONORS, got a job in my FIELD, TRAVELED to three different countries and living my BEST LIFE, but why didn’t it feel like it? It’s because I realised I didn’t love my job, that I worked so hard for in the past 5 to 6 years. Then comes in more self-developing journey that led me to the amazing growing A.N.Y.thing community!

11. CRAP, I’ve got to become an adult now…or at least try to

Ugh… bills, bills, bills. Now that I graduated, I’ve got to find a way to pay back student loan and it’s a BIETCH. Man, adulating isn’t that amazing, take me back to when I was 10 please and thanks.

12. I liked being single, I liked being alone, but I also enjoy being in a relationship with the RIGHT person

People think I’m crazy when I say I enjoyed being single, it was fun. I liked being alone, I liked talking to guys with no strings or expectations, just had a jolly good time. But then I met the person who I absolutely ADORE and now I love being in a relationship! You can have it both ways, doesn’t have to be one or the other. I also believe you should be okay to be alone before hopping into a relationship, but that’s just me!

13. I’m grateful to be alive and living in a safe country

I am incredibly grateful to be alive, to be living in a country where I don’t have to worry about my safety. I’m so incredibly lucky that I am able to go after my dreams without fearing for my life. That’s why I am going after what I want no matter what, I appreciate what I have and not what I don’t have.

14. I’m young as fuck

Prior to turning 25, I thought I was getting old because everyone told me that it goes downhill from 25. However, my dad told me I’m incredibly young, thus I changed my mindset and am really excited to age. It’s all mindset love. No matter what age you are, if you feel young then you are YOUNG and if you feel old then you are OLD.

15. No one has their shit together and if they do, they’re lying

For the longest time since graduating, I’ve stressed about getting my life together that it led me to a downhill spiral of depression. I was depressed for 3-4 months because I didn’t like my day job, the plan I initially had didn’t go well, and I don’t have my life together. I spent those four months in bed doing nothing, I cried on a weekly basis and took it out on my boyfriend and friends. However, after starting the A.N.Y.thing community I realised that no one has their life together, they are just figuring it out as they go and this changed my outlook on life.

16. Ugh, everything my dad told me when I was young and rolled my eyes to…he was RIGHT about almost everything.

Growing up, my dad always gave us mini lessons/lectures about life and they would be about an HOUR long. As a kid, I naturally did not want to be there and just wanted to watch TV, but now that I am older, I realised that almost everything he taught my siblings and I on… he was RIGHT. Go figure, eh?

17. I can do nothing right for the next 5-10 years and still be young and okay

I’m starting to accept that I am YOUNG, no matter what my friends think, I believe life is going to go uphill from 25! I watched this one GaryVee video where he was talking with 22-year-old about life, and said something along these lines, “you can do everything wrong for the next ten years and you will still be young and okay”. This really hit me and changed my outlook on my age, I. AM. YOUNG.

18. It’s time to go after what I want, not what other people expect

Growing up, I was always so worried about other people’s opinions that I never talked. I was severely shy and quiet to the point no one really knew what I sounded like because I never talked. I cared so much about other people’s opinions that I never really went after what I WANTED. Since University, I got out of my shy shell, started to do what I wanted and didn’t care for other people’s opinions. And here I am.

19. Other people’s opinions don’t matter

Nope, they really don’t. As I keep on choosing what I wanted I began caring less and less about what people thought about me. I’m human and still do care about what people think, but I don’t let is faze me.

20. It’s time for me to take the most risks I can before I have kids, rent to pay and become a real adult

Honestly, this is the time where I can take the most risks before I become a true adult with kids, rent and even more bills. Let’s Go!!

…OKAY! Time for things I’m excited for!!

21. Excited to see A.N.Y.thing community GROW

As I engage with my community and talk to you in the DMs, it gets me excited to see this community grow! Y’all really inspire me ❤

22. Looking forward to making stupid mistakes, epic fails and learning from them.

I know “success” won’t be easy, it will take one year, 5 years and maybe 10 years. However, I’m ready to fall flat on my face, make stupid mistakes and GROW!! While at the same tikme documenting all of this!

23. I’m going to do things that scare me in business

I always talk about leaning into things that are uncomfortable or you’re scared of, so for myself, its showing up on camera. In the near future, I plan on filming IGTV’s or YouTube videos, I know I’ll be terrified AF, but it will help me grow as a person and this community.  

24. I’m excited to connect and inspire more people

As the A.N.Y.thing community grows, I get really excited to connect with more like minded people, inspire a little bit and grow as a community!

25. See you next year 26

2020 is 6 months away and in a year I will be 26. I am so excited to see where this next year will take me, see what goals I will achieve and make as I keep growing.

Take Away

No matter what, if you feel young then you are YOUNG.

Go after what YOU want, you only have one life.

Do things that SCARE you because on the other side of FEAR is BEAUTY.

How I Manage a Full-Time Job and a Side Hustle

Side hustle over the past couple of years has become culturally popular and common, especially among millennials. In a Bankrate report, more than 50% of millennials have a side hustle. Before millennials there were baby boomers, many of the baby boomers who graduated post-secondary school landed a full-time job with benefits relatively easily, they just needed that nice piece of paper and some experience. Of course, this was all before 2008, when the housing market was not inflating at a crazy rate as it is now and technology didn’t take over the world, life before 2008 was pretty nice.

After the economic crash in 2008, jobs were slashed at an enormous rate, housing inflation continued to rise and millennials were basically f*cked economically and mentally too, I’d say. According to the Brookings Institution Demographer, in 2015 36% of millennials aged between 25 and 34 graduated from post-secondary school.

Now, if you have student debt, trying to own a home and don’t have a job with the pay you want, you bet the other option is side hustling. Then there are those with the entrepreneurial spirit, realised they don’t like their job, their boss or co-workers and want their own business in the field they love. And I’m BOTH! (just over here crying in student debt and living with my parents, don’t mind my sad sack haha).

My Work Week

For those who don’t know me, I work full time as a support worker, my schedule isn’t the usual 9-5 Monday to Friday and I surprisingly like that! My shifts are 12- 8 on weekdays and 11-7 on weekends. I have a rotation shift, I will work 3 days in a row, have two days off, work two days in a row, have 3 days off, and so on, this all adds up to a minimum of 32 hours/week and I have 3 days off. I use two of my says off to work on A.N.Y.thing, one day for researching/studying, and one for errands and relaxing.

My Schedule on a Day Off From my Day Job

Regarding content creation, on my first day off, I work on quotes and stories for Instagram. However, I don’t restrict just two days off for content creation, I will work on content creation day by day because content comes in unexpected ways. On my second day, I spend it researching studying my niche, check out “Day 2 of a Day Off from My Day Job” section for more information. And on my third day off I spend it relaxing. Let’s deep dive into my week!

Day 1 of a Day Off from My Day Job

I wake up at 8 am every day, spend an hour and a half on my morning routine, this includes washing up, breakfast, coffee, Ellen, reading, journaling and I write all the to dos for the day. My first task is blocking about 1-2 hours of quote creation. First, I’d think about quotes, I take inspiration from re-reading my quotes, reading books, past experiences etc., and add them to my list of quotes. I then take quotes from that list, slide them into Canva (not sponsored but I WISH haha) and create my quotes for either the next 4 days or week.

I’m about to give you a story HACK. A lot of times, I pre-record my stories. I have a list of story ideas whether that’s tips and tricks or me talking about side hustle, journey and life! The HACK is changing SHIRTS and LOCATIONS. I will change my shirts and film in different areas of my house or in my car. I will film about 2-3 pre-recorded stories, write out 2-3 tips and tricks for stories, get them all ready for the week, this usually takes about 2 hours.

After I’m done creating quotes and stories for the next 3-5 days, I work on my blog. I will go through my list of blog ideas, sit my a** down, put on headphones and start writing. This will usually take about an hour to 2 hours, I will finish a very rough draft and take a break to edit later. I take a break to eat, or run a few errands around the house and come back to edit for about an hour.  

Day 2 of my Day Off from My Day Job

Once I wake up at 8am, I spend an hour and a half on my morning routine, plan my day again (haha), set up my 3 quotes, their captions and stories. Next, I spend about 6 hours on researching blogs, articles in my niche.

I don’t mention my vision much, but I would love to build a brand and eventually monetize my brand by consulting other business of building brands and community. Sorry, this day is not as exciting, but just a research/study day. I will then spend 2 hours editing my blog!

Day 3 of my Day Off from My Day Job

I will spend this day running errands around the house, like the usual laundry and cleaning. I also go grocery shopping and meal prep because I HATE thinking about what to eat and cooking a meal in the moment. I am a LAZY cooker, I’d rather pop already cooked food in the oven, stove or microwave. AS a result, I meal prep a week’s worth of food, this usually takes about 3 hours. And I usually spend time with my significant other and friends!

My Schedule on a Work Day

On days where I work 12-8/11-7 this is how I schedule my day, so that I can still post 3x that day and have something for my stories. I wake up at 8am, I take an hour and a half to engage in my morning routine.

After my morning routine, I spend 30 minutes setting up my quotes and captions. I write out each caption for each post and save them on my Instagram. I post 3x a day at these times 11am, 4-5 pm and 7-8 pm est. time. After planning and saving my posts’ I will spend 30 to 40 minutes getting ready and packing my lunch and dinner, and post my first post at 11am. On the days where I work 11-7, I will just rush getting ready and make it in time to be out of the door 40 minutes before my start time.

I’m lucky to have a job that has flexible rules regarding phone usage, my managers are amazing and the rule of thumb is we’re aloud being on our phone, but only if we finish our work for the day. Because my quotes, captions and hashtags are already saved on my phone, it’s quick to post them. I try to respond to comments when I have the time or after work.

I also go to the gym 3x a week. If you’ve watched my stories you know I’m a late gymmer! After work, I’ll drive straight to the gym and I’m at the gym around 9pm or earlier, I gym for about an hour to an hour and half, I get home by 11pm and get ready for bed. I am usually asleep by 12 am or 1 am!

Take Away

This blog wraps up my week, but my week doesn’t always go as planned due to certain situations or events that show up! If you’re in a similar situation as I am, I highly recommend taking a couple hours every day to research, test and study your passion(s). I know it’s extremely tempting to take off your bra, change into PJs and watch Netflix, but your dream life won’t be a reality if you don’t show up! I know you are all badass boss’ and can kill it! Keep hustling loves ❤