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Please, I Beg You, Get a Niche. (No Matter Which Way You Pronounce That Irritating Word.)

In: Starting an Online Business

Most annoying word ever: Niche.

Come on, say it with me now.


Oh wait, what’s that? You don’t know if it’s pronounced NIT-ch like an angry German or NEE-sh like a snobby Frenchman? That’s okay, neither does anybody else. DON’T LET THEM FOOL YOU.

Kind of like how nobody actually knows how to pronounce GIF anymore. What in the mother loving christ? What in the world is happening here? Then again, I suppose a population of people who spend more time typing to one another than they do talking to one another would run into these sorts of dilemmas.

I’ve decided in an effort to be as annoying as possible, I might have to start pronouncing it ni-SHAY. I’m picturing the word cuddling up to me with a white feather boa. Ni-SHAY, baby. Ni-SHAY.

So, I started thinking about this (niches, not how to be annoying) the other day when I found myself Googling the one thing every woman really doesn’t want to ever have to Google: Plump body type.

(For the record, the top hit is a menopause website, so I was feeling REALLY awesome after that. Also, “plump” wins the award for second most annoying word.)

You see, it all started when my friend sent me these boudoir pictures of herself the other day. My first response: How the f*ck does she still look this good? And then I remembered she always looked that good. And then I remembered that I never looked that good.

I mean, one time 100 years ago when all I ate were bananas and rice cakes I made it down to a size two—but even then, I still had a tummy pooch. (For the love of god, am I really talking about my tummy pooch on the blog?) The tummy pooch is the single biggest reason why I will never live in San Diego, and why jersey knit is my solemn sworn arch enemy. Ditto bikinis, but that was obvious, non?

So then I started thinking (in a sheer moment of ecstatic delusion), that maybe it wasn’t meeeeeee, per se, but maybe it was my bodddyyyyyyyyy typeeeeeeeeee.

After all, I had the pooch since I was a kid…didn’t I? Check. Looking back at toddler photos, I already had the same husky kind of frame…didn’t I? Check. Was it true? Could I be a—gulp—endomorph?

That’s when it hit me: I’m never actually going to look like Gisele Bundchen. Whatever will I do?!

Instead of throwing myself into oncoming traffic, I thought I would take the second most drastic action I could think of:

I would Google food & exercise plans made specifically for endomorphs.

I Googled. And I Googled. And I Googled my plump little heart out. And you know what I found? A bunch of one-off blog posts about endomorphs—including one from a guy who calls himself “Fit Indian”—and men’s bodybuilding articles (not plump white girl articles).

So you know where that leaves me? Damning Eva Longoria and staring at and endless sea of diet books and exercise programs that all look exactly the same. Whomp, whompppp, whomppppppp.

Now, picture a world where this had been a niche business.

Had there been a website out there that actually specialized only in fitness & nutrition for endomorphs, I would have been all over it. I would have made it my new religion. I would have been throwing myself on the floor doing some of pray chant move toward the screen, praising their existence. Finally, someone who gets me! Finally, someone who knows the bane that is the tummy pooch! …and maybe how to banish it FOREVER. I would have signed up for whatever “newsletter” they had (I put that in quotes because you know how much I frown upon that word), bought their damn eBook, enrolled in their fourteen workshops, purchased their programs, loved them long time.

Alas, there is no website for endomorphs (that I was able to find, anyway).

And so, me and my tummy pooch are set off into the world all by our lonesome, once again, with a bunch of money in our pockets to burn…and no one standing there ready to take it.

Because, you know, all of those other exercise programs and plans? I’m already convinced they don’t work for me. They’re for the others. The kind of people who have bodies that cooperate. Maybe the kind of people who are just eating too many donuts or some sh*t—not the kind of people, like me, who have been eating grilled chicken breasts and holding the dressing since age 12. I’ve convinced myself that I’m special—and now I want someone just as special to cater to my needs.

And that is why you should have a niche. Not because everyone tells you to have one. But because your clients want you to have one.

They want you to make it easy on them.

They want you to tell them if this is for them…or not.

They want it to be obvious.

…and they’ll pay you good money if you’re willing to make them feel special.

No matter which way you pronounce it.


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I'm a Bad Influence on Women

Hey, I’m Ash! Twenty years ago I was a small town girl growing up in a trailer park in rural Pennsylvania. Fifteen years ago, I lost my family and everything I knew right as I became the first to graduate college. Fourteen years ago, I found myself leaving everything behind for a new life in the city where I could be “normal.” Ten years ago I realized normal was the most disappointing thing that ever happened to me. Nine years ago I quit my job in advertising and pursued my dreams as a creative writer. Eight years ago, I built a 6-figure business doing what I love using nothing more than the Internet and my voice. And now, today, I’m the founder of The Middle Finger Project, an irreverent media co. that helps other women find their voice and teaches them to use it to build whatever the f*ck they want to. With a book coming out with Penguin Random House in February 2020 (YASSS, WE’RE A PRODUCT IN TARGET!) I’m proud to be a bad influence on women and guide them into doing something disobediently brave with their life and their career.

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