My 4 Hour Work Week Journey: Niche Selection and Cash Flow Muses

This is day 11 (well in truth much longer, probably 2-3 months now but my 10th post) of My 4 Hour Work Week Journey. Please make sure you read the rest of the articles that came before this one to understand where I am in the journey. Click here to buy a copy of the 4 hour work week and go on the journey with me.

**For English subtitles please select “Danish” from the “Choose Language….” drop down menu**

It took me more than 6 weeks to find a niche and as I type this I have known the niche I wish to target for quite a few weeks.

Nevertheless, for your benefit I would like to walk you through my niche selection process.

Stage in the Process

As those of you who have read, or are reading the book would know, as soon as Tim finishes introducing us to the concept of outsourcing your life, he immediately moves to the area which was to me the most seductive and compelling part of the book: cash flow muse creation.

What is a Cash Flow Muse?

A cash flow muse is a business/organization/system that exists for one purpose and one purpose only: to generate your target monthly income so you can live your ideal lifestyle.

This business isn’t created for the sake of growth, to sell at IPOs, for you to have a job your passionate about. Nope, it’s there so you have enough money to live your ideal lifetsyle: that’s it.

What I Love About the Idea of Cash Flow Muses?

One of the principles I am absolutely enamoured by, especially of late, is what I lovingly call:

The Principle of Specificity

The Principle of Specificity in short is an art or a science of being specific whether that means being clear and concise in thinking, in action, in language or in intention.

In short, someone gets extremely clear and extremely specific on what they want, need, have to get done etc etc go out and do it.

I love the fact that a cash flow muse has a very very very specific purpose as opposed to an abstract or an ambiguous or vague objective like:

To provide quality widgets for all your daily needs or;

To make a living or;

To become the greatest company in the world.

Nope, Tim sat down and basically asked himself what exact dollar amount he would need to live a lifestyle that would make him happy and created a business to fund that. How rare is that level of specificity and clarity of intention?

So now let’s move on to:

How I Found My Niche

So here are the steps I took to find out what demographic I want to attempt to market to:

1) Went to my local Borders book store: We have a number of book stores in Australia but I opted to go to one that is a short while away from my house- Borders -rather than stay close to home for a few reasons:

a) Borders is HUGE: In terms of pure size, Borders has the biggest stores of the bookshops down under and larger size automatically means greater selection and I wanted as large a selection as possible.

b) Borders allows you to read books for free: Ever since the days when I used to run away from school to read books at Borders (yes, I see the irony), they had me at that policy where you could sit in there as long as you want and read as many books and magazines as you want.

They even have a cafe in the store so you can feed and water yourself while doing this. Ever since then, I always take my book or DVD business to borders.

2) Went to the Magazine Rack: Tim recommends you pick a niche that is serviced by 1 or 2 small magazines. Below, I have video of the magazines that I selected.I selected magazines from the following niches:

a) Writing as a profession

b) Vegetarianism

c) Sustainable and environmentally conscious living

3) Disappointed: To be honest with you I was quite disappointed at my selections because:

a) I hardly qualify as a professional writer

b) I am not in touch with the psychological and social aspects of being a vegetarian in the West, except for going for the occasional cooking class, and;

c) I haven’t put in concentrated, consistent effort into sustainable living for quite a while now.

Therefore, while I was in the mall I decided I would:

4) Pay a Visit to the Newsstand: Here I picked up two other magazines, in the area of making money and home based businesses (check out my Youtube video above).I still wasn’t elated because I hardly qualify to be a part of that niche either but I decided I had enough selections and I went home to proceed to the next stage of muse selection.

5) Emailed and Called the Advertising Director’s and Requested Rate Cards: We wanted magazines that had the following characteristics:

Circulation of 5000+ people

Full page advertising cost less than US$5000

The greater the number of people selling to magazine readers direct via ads that had websites and 1800 numbers, the better.

Another tip I got from the legendary, Gary Halbert:

Select magazines that get sold on newsstands and do well on news stand sales in comparison to strictly subscription titles. It is too easy and cheap to get a subscription to a magazine.

You only pick up a magazine of a newsstand if you need something that day that the magazine is offering.

6) The Process of Elimination Went a Little Something Like This:Emailed and called all the magazines over the course of 3 weeks and obtained their rate cards and circulation numbers:

* Vegeterian magazine : Full page ad = approximately US $22,000

* Sustainable living magazine: Great advertising rates, great circulation. Don’t know squat about the lifestyle and not very passionate at the moment about this niche.

* Writing magazine # 1: Not enough readers + Not enough expertise on my part.

* Writing magazine # 2: Not much interest in the topic area. Never got back in touch with me with rates.

7) No Niche! That pretty much meant that I eliminated everything I had done in the previous six steps and was without a niche.

What Did I Do?

Well one of the things I had to do in establishing my target daily income was decide just what I wanted to do with my time.

Because I am a Blogging Geek

I love the world of Internet marketing and the world of commercial blogging. One of the things that I found that I thought would be very cool to attend if I had money at the time is Blog World Expo. So I went to the site and signed up to join their newsletter.

Well Wouldn’t You Know It

Just as I was sitting around in the midst of my “Can’t-find-a-muse-how-will-I-find-one” despair I received one of the Blog World Expo newsletters and wouldn’t you know it:

There is a Magazine…….Wait for It……Wait for It……Drumroll Please…..:

For Bloggers and Podcasters!!! :D

* I checked out the circulation: Great

* I checked out the price of advertising: Great

* I checked out some of their back issues: Average in terms of the number of people selling to readers directly; about 10 – 20 people selling directly

* Subscription vs Newstand magazine: Subscription only as far as I can tell so again average

* Passion for the topic and willingness to investigate and establish expertise: HIGGHHHH

And so ladies and gentlemen that is how I settled on my niche:

Bloggers and Podcasters

And on the next edition we talk about what I have done (actually am doing) now that I have found a niche I want to operate in.

Be blessed and bless others,

Mwangi

Update: My preliminary testing has shown me that this product is a go….so ladies and gentlemen today on the 26th of August 2008 (you will be reading this after that date) let me announce that I shall be creating my first online information product……:D excitement

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