People get confused about how to dominate a category. They don’t realize they’re going against a mammoth.
It’s much easier to be the king fish of a pond than trying to be the whale of an ocean: there are tons of sharks out there. It’s better to start with something smaller.
How many of you know who flew across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time on a solo, non-stop trip? A lot of people know it is Charles Lindbergh. He’s gone down in history as the first guy to do that. The funny part is that nobody remembers who the second person was. I’ve already forgotten their name!
Here’s what’s interesting: Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the Atlantic. You know why we remember her? She was the first person in a sub-category. She wasn’t the first person to fly, but the first woman. Instead of going after the big pond, being first to fly, which had already been dominated, she went after a smaller pond, a sub-category. As a result, she is well known for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic.
This is the way markets work. If you’re not going to be first in a market, be first in a sub-category. If you’re not going to be first in photos and camera, be the first in still cameras. If you’re not going to be the first in still cameras, be the first in cables for still cameras. Keep niching down until your arena is small enough for you to dominate.
When someone starts fighting in the UFC, they don’t start with nationals. They start in local fight clubs and slowly move up. This works the same way in sports. You want to dominate in an area that is niched down enough so you actually have a chance at winning. This principle is super powerful.
This is the same reason why many alcohol companies succeed: and why others don’t. They realize that they can’t be the first national beer, so instead, they go after being the first local beer, or the first beer imported from Germany. As a result, they dominate the niche, market their product amazingly, and succeed.
Every week, my business partner and I go to a coffee shop here in Austin. There’s this high table in the back that I love, because you can both sit and stand at the table, which is very healthy for your back and posture if you work from your computer a lot like I do. We like this table a lot. So we got up at 5:00, worked out, prepared our hearts for the day, went on a walk, and got here at 6:30, and boom, the table is open. We’re the first people here.
People want to be first. To be first, you need to dominate a category where you actually have a chance to win. From there, you can expand. If you want to sell art supplies, don’t focus on generic art supplies. Decide to only do window markers, or a specific type of window marker. Once you have success in that sub-category, you can use that to build off of and have success in larger, broader categories as you go. Otherwise, you will spend a ton of time and money trying to fight other big players with millions of dollars.
This can apply to any part of life. Working out, your hobbies, your relationships. Start in one area, dominate it, then expand. I hope that is a helpful nugget for you as you pursue passive income. Have an awesome day.