How To Select A Niche For Your Products And Services With Darrel Griffin

Stephen: All right. The niche doctor is in, on the podcast today. Darrel, Hey man, I’m really glad that you’re on here. 

Darrel: I’m really disappointed that my background is very dull compared with yours, Stephen. And, I think it perhaps reflects my English heritage.

Stephen: l, well, I’ve just been trying to, I’ve been trying to be, myself.

So I’ve been putting this together and It’s evolved over time, but I like yours, too. It’s simple. As long as it’s reflective of you and it stands out, that’s all that’s important, right? 

Darrel: I think it’s, I don’t like to be robbed of the limelight, you see.. 

Stephen: Oh, you got that? You’ve got that problem? I don’t think,I don’t have that one. ha ha

Darrel: It’s ego.

Stephen: Yeah, no, honestly, I appreciate you coming on. And we had to negotiate our time zones. I didn’t actually, this is like where I show my cards a little bit. I didn’t actually even know where you lived when you told me. I had to go look it up.

And, that’s embarrassing, but that’s fine. And then I learned more…

Darrel: ..go ahead. Of course, I’m an Englishman and so Australia is a relatively new home for me. 

Stephen: Oh, cool. Cool. And what’s also weird about life is that as soon as you told me, I learned about where you lived, I watched something on Netflix and it happened to talk all about, all the trucking experience that is in your area. So that’s a small one… 

Darrel: Oh, it’s another boring fact of course, is that Australia is only marginally smaller than the US. it’s not a little Island somewhere in the Pacific.

It’s a big, big place. And I live on the West coast, in the city of Perth, and Sydney and Melbourne are on the Eastern seaboard, if you like. Two times zones away. So it’s a big place. 

Stephen: Yeah. And then I also learned on that little special that, most of the, all the cities are all on, most are on the coast and the center of it’s pretty desolate and desert. 

Darrel: Yeah. I’ve never traveled across it. I am, I’m very much an urban, which now that we are, 

Stephen: I think that deserts are fun to visit and whatnot. But so yeah, so what I thought was cool about when I ran into you is, I can’t remember exactly who connected with who.

I think it might’ve been me. I can’t remember. But, I remember looking at your tagline and I was like, are you niche enough? And I was just, I thought that was so cool. And it was so different. And then the story continued, I went into your profile. I saw that you had the voice message and that was even specific.

And then it goes into the about section and it’s just it’s probably the most creative LinkedIn profile I’ve seen, honestly. And, I think people should check it out just for how you could, how you can do things differently. And, yeah. 

Darrel: I think the challenge for many people is that they don’t understand.

We don’t fully understand the process that people go through. The headline is really important. I think if you can catch somebody’s attention with that, rather than saying, Oh, I’m such and such, I’m a digital marketer and whatever, really like the other 5 million, and if you can get somebody’s attention with the headline,

that brings them into your, your territory, your profile. And then you can, you can, with the right approach, you can lead them on a little journey, which ultimately leads them to what you do. 

Stephen: Yeah, no, and that’s why I was like, man, I’ve got to reach out to this guy. Just say, what’s up.

Cause I know, he’s got an interesting story and, and I don’t know, what’s that? 

Darrel: Oh, you say, I don’t think like a marketer. I think like a human being, I think okay, how are people going to react to me? And how are people going to react to this message and how, and what are people feeling, and how does it, how, what are they, what challenges are they facing?

I don’t think about marketing. I think about relationship building. Bridge-building not barrier building. If you like. 

Stephen: Yeah, no, that’s cool. And then, yeah, actually I was actually driving home today, I was picking up dinner before this and I was actually thinking about a tagline for me.

Cause I help people with thought leadership. I was just thinking of saying, are you a thought leader, “question mark.” Thought that could be an interesting different thing to do, 

Darrel: But even that term thought leader is probably fairly saturated. If I can, I could be wrong, like I could be wrong. That’s something that’d be worth kicking around, but of course it does matter fundamentally, whether people are thinking about thought leadership too, right? All of the questions. That’s all part of finding your niche. 

Stephen: Sure. Yeah. 

Darrel: Being good at something, but is there a hungry crowd for it? 

Stephen: Sure. Yeah. Yeah. One thing that I have found is that, with a lot of professionals, they do want to be considered thought leaders in their space because they do, they’ve always loved helping people and they do consider themselves experts in their field and they’ve got something different. But anyways, yeah, no, I think you’re right. That’s actually one thing I’ve always done, a lot of people don’t do enough research into their niche,  me included at times.

I, it’s just, I think it’s sometimes hard for people to get outside their heads and actually go do that research because it’s just easier to sit on your computer and just pretend that you, pretend that… 

Darrel: it’s true, with my clients, but the first process is a seven page questionnaire.

It’s not, as far as I’m concerned, if you’re going to build something, you’ve got to have a strong foundation and the foundation is your niche. it’s finding what that is and ensuring there’s a hungry crowd for it. And then you can, and then you’ve got the right, food for that hungry crowd.

There’s no point in trying to build, on shifting sand. And there’s no point in trying to position yourself, package yourself, do your content if you haven’t got the foundation right. You just have to revisit it all again, drag it all down, pull it down and start from the beginning. So you might as well start like that.

Stephen: Yeah, no, I agree. and I want to swing back to that cause I’d like to talk a little bit about how, you don’t have to, we don’t have to go through all seven pages, but I’d kinda like to know a little bit about that. But one other question that also stood out to me, like a lot, this stood out to me a lot.

Cause, and I’ve run into this myself. It’s like when you picked somebody to talk about, you picked “Julie” and, and you picked a female and I thought that was cool too. Cause it, again, it stood out because. Like even when  I’ve thought about this a lot. Like when you go out to make your, your IPP or whatever, and you’re like picking the persona and all that stuff, I think most people just pick men.

And I could come up with a million reasons why that is, but what made you go there? What’s the thinking there is, and is marketing sexist in general?

Darrel: I think it can be. Yeah. I think here in Australia, my observation has been that it’s a very male dominated business market.

And that’s a whole other subject, but I picked a woman because most of my clients have been women, to be fair. So I’ve understood, I think women by and large, are more ready to address a problem rather than, men are more likely to try and fix it themselves. That’s a general, a generalization, sure. 

But, I have found that even, in the other things that I do around burnout and stuff, which is a whole other subject, men try to fix it for themselves and women go, okay, I see that this is an issue and I need some help. 

Stephen: Hmm,

Darrel: that you shouldn’t, as I say. 

Stephen: Yeah, that’s interesting.

I could even think about stuff in my own life where I probably tried to do more than I should have, and I don’t know exactly what it is, but there’s something to that. 

Darrel: It’s conditioning, we can, again, get into that whole other subject of, I think we are conditioned as men to be that way, from the get go. My dad was a working-class builder, to be able to go on a building site, yeah. We probably didn’t talk a lot about relationships, things like that. It’s very much about, okay, I’m going to raise you to make your way in this world and pull yourself up by your bootstraps and off you go, kind of thing. But, I don’t think that suits us all.

Stephen: Yeah, not really. Maybe society will evolve over time. So let’s talk a little bit about it, cause I’m curious. I’m a new marketer, and I’m curious just how everyone is doing all these different things, and you’ve got a specialty.

You help people with their, with their positioning and their packaging and even their content. And I help people with content. So I’d love to just get into it a little bit, a brand new client, tell me a little bit about that questionnaire and how you help, 

Darrel: So essentially, I approach it like creating a piece of fine art, if you like. So that picture behind me, on my fake background, how would we approach that? We wouldn’t just throw some paints at it, well, I’d say some people might, so there are some artists that seem to do that.

But obviously they’ve got their own thought processes to get to that point. So, I approach it across various stages. I have to refer to my questionnaire to actually go. So, it begins with a rough outline, a sketch to get a rough idea of who you are and what you’ve got already, and what you’re doing already, if you’re doing anything already.

And, why, why that market, why are you presenting yourself as broadly as you are. We then look at putting in some broad brush strokes, just getting a little bit more kind of structure to that, to the picture. and then I, during that process, I try to switch the mindset a little bit.

So I ask the four questions. Who’s your patient? What’s their pain? What pain are they in? What’s your prescription for the pain and what’s the prognosis? These four pieces, I just ask them. I don’t ask them to go into huge depth at this point. Just want them to get into that thinking,

 Okay, this is about the customer, not about me, right? This is about, who is that person sitting across the consulting room? How specific can you be about that? What specific pain are they in? Why have they come to see you? Why have they not gone to somebody else? But why have they start with you? Or what pain are they in?

What specifically is your prescription? 

Stephen: Yeah, that’s an interesting way to look at it, too. Like you’re a doctor. Yeah, 

Darrel: Exactly, pitch perfect, imagine yourself, a doctor and ultimately, what is the prognosis? What is the, that’s what a lot of the brand is. Apple is selling a lifestyle.

That’s why we don’t want a new phone. We want the associated lifestyle. And I think that’s where a lot of people miss out. I was chatting with an SEO guy and I said, people don’t want SEO. They want the outcomes SEO can provide for them. So why, everybody hates SEO. Why don’t you major on the benefits of having all of this sorted out?

That’s the broad brush strokes that’d be getting into, more color and texture. We start putting in the general color of the piece, and that’s where I go into more probing questions. Along the lines of, are you confident that there’s a hungry crowd for your product and service.

Who exactly are your ideal customers? Can you prove they have these problems? You’ve got to be proving to yourself that you’ve got a viable product or service. 

Stephen: And how, aside from just asking myself that, do you have a process to go through for them to verify something?

Darrel: We can’t. There are obviously market research specialists, but as a general rule, a little bit of research. if you’ve got an existing client base, then obviously we can ask them, if you’ve got an existing happy client or three, we can ask them specifically, some of these questions.

We can also use tools like sales navigator to dig into some quite in depth, data, 

Stephen: And 

Darrel: If we have to, we can involve a market research company, but I generally find that’s not necessary. 

Stephen: Yeah, I hear ya. And then there is one, I haven’t used it yet, but there’s this site that I came across on another podcast called Spark Toro.

And I know that there’s a bunch of other ones, but you can basically type in who your niche is and stuff, and it brings back all this interesting information about them. And, it’ll even tell you like where they spend time and like what books they read and all that kind of stuff. 

Darrel: Oh, that’s useful. I will go and check that out myself. 

Stephen: Yeah. I know there’s more and more of those popping up. But yeah, just throwing that out there.

Darrel: It’s really interesting because I was going through this questionnaire. So if somebody wants to become a client, we get on zoom like this and I go through the questionnaire with them and actually some people can get quite nervous about it.

Stephen: Cause you’re touching on some, just be speaking from the other side of it, I think people get very invested in the structures that they’ve already put together. Yeah. Especially even just the tagline. I was talking to somebody else the other day. And people get really invested in these things and it’s like a reflection.

They see it as a reflection of themselves in a way. 

Darrel: Exactly. They do exactly, they do. And so when I ask questions like, are you playing it safe or could you be more niche? Sometimes people can be a little bit affronted by these questions and it’s why I get onto zoom with them initially to say, look, I’m on your side here, right?

I’m not trying to tear down here. I’m just trying to save you from a car crash later on. 

Stephen: Sure. 

Darrel: If we can get it right now, get the… and there’s every reason you can…there’s no such thing as a guarantee, nobody can offer any guarantees. There’s too many factors at play. But getting yourself, having confidence in your niche means, that is why I start there, then it becomes a whole lot easier to position.

It becomes a whole lot easier to package your services. And after that we look at, if you’re currently offering a DIY service or a done for you service, can we find a, say for example, I might provide some one-to-one coaching, which I do, but also I’m about to release Proactiv, which is an entirely DIY product.  You create different products without having to reinvent yourself if you learn it. 

Stephen: That makes sense. 

Darrel: I’m finding that lately, I ask that, let’s, but those are the questions that come up when adding a bit more color and texture to the picture. Which of your products are done for you, which ones DIY?

And can we then adapt any of your existing services into additional products or services without reinventing the wheel? That’s an important part of the process. And then finally, Oh, sorry. Then we get into the fine details that get into the fine strokes on the picture. That’s quite in depth as well.

And then I have some final questions, which I thought were worth consideration as well. How will you get new paying customers? Will, why will your paying customers tell their friends and colleagues and so on? it’s in depth, but I take responsibility. To not just say, okay, give me all this information.

I’ll just create a profile for you. That isn’t necessarily, that just won’t be moving the deck chairs on the Titanic, if you like. Do you know what I mean? if there’s something fundamentally wrong with the foundation, then let’s go in and fix it and let’s not try and paper over the cracks, 

Stephen: Yeah. That makes sense. And, one thing that’s always interesting too, is that I still, that I’m still thinking through for myself and maybe you can even just help me with it a little bit. So with the thought leadership, ultimately what I’m trying to help people do is, a lot of the companies that I’ve worked with, they’re traditional companies.

So they work with, they’re very, it’s word of mouth, right? It’s referrals, networking and stuff. And so what I’m trying to help them do is develop another end of their business, which is, having people ultimately reach out to work with them. And yeah, a lot of the way that happens is being the expert in your industry, being a thought leader, building a community around yourself.

But the end result is really having people want to work with them, reaching out to work with them. But at the same time, it’s interesting, because I have heard them say they want to be thought leaders. They want to be thought of as thought leaders. and sometimes even for myself, I get a little bit, like twisted there cause they almost want both of them, but…

Darrel: My temptation would be to push you, depending on your personality. I would say you probably have had to force yourself to do this a little bit. So you’re probably more introvert than extrovert. Would I be right? 

Stephen: Me? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

Darrel: So then I would meet him and say, I’m an introvert like you and I’m a thought leadership expert for introverts. And I help those who struggle with being on the camera and being the face of the business, overcome those struggles and put in place those things so that you can start to attract potential customers. I wouldn’t be trying to be a generalist, even the generalist thought leader.

Even if you think that isn’t a broad enough niche. I think it is. I think you’ve got to, you’ve got to be able to appeal to the pain, where are people hurting? I know plenty of people here, even in Australia who, they’ve been in CEO roles for maybe for some time. And then suddenly this tsunami, this digital tsunami has hit them and they don’t know what to do with it because surely they’ve never been comfortable with being upfront.

They just want to be in the background. Pulling the strings and making sure that the ship is sailing in the right direction. I think some of them want to be, they’re just reluctant because they’re an introverted being, they don’t know what to do, and they don’t have anybody to come alongside them and say, ‘I get it.’

I’ve been there. I know exactly how you feel. And this, these are the easy steps we can take together to get you to where you want to be. That’s the approach. 

Stephen: No. Yeah, that makes sense. And, it’s interesting too, because definitely some of the people have camera shyness, just like I did.

But a lot of it also is just a lack of marketing knowledge. It’s a lack of social media in general and a lack of how to create content and that kind of thing. A lot of the people that I’m working with right now, they’re not necessarily shy. But they just didn’t have these skills, I guess you could say, like the digital, the digital skills.

Darrel: Yeah, you’re probably right, but then again, let’s see. There’s going to be niches within niches, and it‘s a matter of doing some research and finding how many people are trying to be, how many people are trying to sail into this thought leadership space. And, that’s why for me, the appeal of those who would align themselves with it, the introversion, if you like, that’s an interesting one. I would be inclined to try and be as niche as possible. 

Stephen: Sure. Yeah, no, I got it. 

Yeah. I actually had a funny LinkedIn post about that. I was just going to say, is it niche or is it niche, but it’s just spelled the same way cause your brain can’t figure it out.

Darrel: No, actually, most of my clients are in the U S so I’ve got used to saying niche. And then when I say it to somebody here in Australia, they look at you weird. I’m forever juggling between the two pronunciations, but there we are. 

Stephen: What’s interesting though is, I’m having lots of discussions with these people.

Like I just had one recently and I made a post about it. Cause he’s basically just saying, how did you, we were talking about these things and he was, how did you get on camera? And it was all really just about getting over that hump. But most of them, probably it’s not all of them, most of them, maybe it’s just cause they’re all introverted.

I don’t know,maybe, although the ones that are extroverted are already doing it, who knows, but, most of them do want, they had some sense of wanting to be a thought leader or an innovator in their space, They wanted to be thought of, even though they were in more traditional businesses, they thought they had a special thing that was a little bit different or innovative than the next person. 

But I would say you’re right though, a lot of the apprehension of doing it was around exposing yourself, 

Darrel: Yeah. But what you’ve also been touching on there is everybody that you’ve just described was thinking about what they had to offer rather than what the market wanted. 

And this is a difficult tension to negotiate because I might be very good at something, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a market for it. This is the constant challenge that we have, 

Stephen: But sometimes, even from my own experience, until you, until you go out and try, until you expose it, like when I started doing what I was doing, yeah,I didn’t know for sure that people would purchase it. But ultimately I was getting them so excited about the opportunities of marketing that…

Darrel: Yeah, 

Stephen: Then it developed into something on its own in a way, just based off of cool conversations and then pushing it down a specific path, I think.

Darrel: I use an illustration, in the 1970s in England, in my hometown, a Chinese restaurant opened in one of the main high streets. And I’m okay, we would think nothing of that nowadays, but in the early 1970s, that was like weird. okay, that they were there.

There wasn’t a huge amount of Chinese people, and the British palette for food was very monochrome. Let’s just say, it took them, I reckon it must have taken them 10 years to get started. And it’s still there. And that’s the reality, when you’re early into something, it can take a long time too, for the market to catch up or become, used to Chinese food, to use that illustration.

Yeah. 

Stephen: Yeah. No, that makes sense. And that’s, but that’s the exciting thing, too. If you just have a service that everyone needs, then you don’t really have to test it so much. It’s just, people need lawyers, people need these things. 

Darrel: Yeah, but even in that market, here that lawyers are struggling.

They’re struggling because they’re, we are awash with people that have got qualifications to be lawyers. So then the niche thing becomes even more important. 

Stephen: That’s true. Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. And I see that here, too. I was actually talking to one financial advisor and he was talking to me about all these different branches of people he wanted to go after. And I was just thinking, “But you already do this one type, you already work on, like I think it’s construction, are you gonna run out of those people? There’s so many of them out there, like, why do you have to branch out into all these other things?”

I guess it’s just the way the human brain works. It’s they just, it’s hard. It’s scary in a way, too, to be niche. 

Darrel: Yeah, it is because it goes against… creating content for a niche, you’re not gonna, it’s not gonna go viral. But we’ve always got to have the end game in mind here.

That’s a really interesting observation, that guy. I would even be asking this guy okay. Within construction itself, what are the niches within that? That market, it’s huge. So, can you create a product which is specifically for property developers? 

Stephen: Right?

Darrel: Cause they’ve got their own, they’ve got very different challenges than the construction company. That’s just basically taking the plans and building the thing. 

Stephen: Yeah. I think that’s what, I think that even these discussions are a big reason why a lot of those professionals respond when I’m chatting with them because a lot of these ideas are brand new.

They, most of them have gotten all their marketing done from just an outside consultant who comes in and just makes them a website and asks them some questions. 

Darrel: Yeah. 

Stephen: And so when you come at it from an entrepreneurial standpoint, cause that’s how I come at it, to marketing.

I’m not like an old school marketer. I come from technology. So when I’m thinking about it it’s just entrepreneurial for me, like testing things and you don’t know anything for sure. It’s just hypotheses but then there’s all this opportunity and that’s the way I look at it.

There’s all this opportunity. And I think that kind of gets, gets them excited cause they start to feel a little bit more in control. 

Darrel: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I’ve been there. I’ve done it myself. I’ve had to do it to myself. I used to be a LinkedIn trainer. And I thought that was niche enough, and I was only on one platform. I’m not a big social media guy, but, I wasn’t niche enough, 

Stephen: So you learn from your own, 

Darrel: Yeah. I’m about to drink my own Kool-Aid as you say, in the U S I think, 

Stephen: And that’s what I do too. That’s why I have this podcast and that’s why I’m figuring these things out.

Cause it’s the same kind of stuff that I’m helping everybody else with. So like I’m helping them. Some of them already have podcasts. One of the clients that I’m working with right now, they have three podcasts. They’re like a $7 million company. And so they got three podcasts, but they’re all trying to, figure these things out, figure out the technologies, figure out how to make the micro content and all that kind of stuff.

And…

Darrel: Yeah, but I, I always come back to this and this is where, this is the way that I do business now. There’s a hungry crowd and what am I going to feed them? All the rest of it comes afterwards, And I’m not really too concerned whether I’m good at it initially.

Stephen: Yeah. That’s a good thing. That’s a good point too. Yeah. that’s interesting. That’s a hard one for people to get beyond as well. And like me, are you good at it? Maybe it doesn’t matter. Cause you can learn. If you find people that want something and you can learn how to do it, that’s probably the least of your worries.

Cause if you found a hungry crowd and they want this, it’s build it as fast as you can and learn how to do it, 

Darrel: Find a hungry crowd and then, you know what, this is what they’re looking to eat. Then you can find somebody who can feed them and you say, okay. I found the hungry crowd, let’s go 50-50, and we’ll create the product for them.

Stephen: It’s that kind of, that’s true too. And you did, in a lot of ways you could say, that you did the hard part by finding the crowd.

Darrel: Yeah. But, but if you’re wired that way, if you’re looking, if you’re, if you think, by instinct, you think, okay, how are people feeling, reacting?

It’s why I, quite often, I can come across as a bit of a grumpy old man. Sometimes I just say, because I, I say, how can you assume that somebody’s going to watch two minutes of you on video when there’s so much other content vying for attention? And it’s that whole kind of, we come at it and we assume that people are going to give us their attention to begin with. 

Stephen: Yeah, no, I know what you’re saying. I play devil’s advocate on that one a little bit too, I know what you’re saying. And I agree. Like, why would, don’t put out that, don’t do this, if you don’t know people want it.

But there is an element that you have to try and get good at some of these things 

Darrel: Agree. 

Stephen: You know what I mean? So it’s, I know where you’re coming from though. I just, sometimes I think , it’s just part of my personality. I’m also part motivator, I’m always encouraging people to do things and not to do things that are not well thought out, but sometimes people have to just start posting stuff, even if it’s not that good, just to learn how to do it.

Cause you like it.

Darrel: Great. I agree with you. Yeah. If I go back to, when, say when I was 41, 42  I stopped drinking and I started running. 

Stephen: That’s interesting. Yeah. I don’t drink anymore either. That’s another story we can talk about. Yeah. 

Darrel: Yeah. I’ve been off of it since 2007, it’s because I could never just not…

Stephen: I didn’t either. That’s what I quit. I couldn’t control it.

Darrel: But I started running, but the motivation wasn’t that I wanted to run. The motivation was that I had a photo of myself at probably about 15 kilos heavier than I am now. And I didn’t want, I personally was driven to get back into a 32 inch waist.

No, that was my motivation. My motivation wasn’t that I want to be a runner. I actually learned to run from scratch and I learned to enjoy running, but actually my motivation was actually more vanity, to be fair, but, so whenever we’re encouraging people to do something, we’ve got to, we’ve got to understand the why, why would they want to do it?

And some people just don’t want to do it, And we’ve got to accept that, some people would not, some people would not want to run, because they’re not, they don’t care that they might be 20 kilos overweight. They just don’t, it doesn’t bother them. 

Stephen: No, I know.

I know it should mean, yeah. I’ve actually found that to be a pretty fascinating question, it’s every once in a while, probably most of us, we eventually conquer something that we’ve been trying to do for a long time. And I’ve always been interested, and it probably is related to something that you’re talking about. It’s, there’s something that you really want bad enough.

Darrel: Yeah, exactly. That is, you’ve gotta want it, buy it. It’s like business. You’ve gotta want it bad enough. Otherwise it ain’t going to work. I could have, honestly, in the six and a half years I’ve been in business, you can ask my wife, that would be three times, three distinct occasions, when in tears, I’ve gone to her and said, I can’t do this anymore.

And she said to me, just get up and try again. Yeah. 

Stephen: It’s rock, man. Yeah. Especially when you’re in the early stages. 

Darrel: Oh, and when you’re bringing something new to the market, when people say, Oh, we’ve always done it this way, you’ve got to accept that, the vast majority of people are gonna, you’re almost going to feel like a leper in the marketplace because people don’t,

There are many times when I’ve spoken at events and stuff and I’ve walked away thinking. I just spoke in some language that people don’t understand. 

Stephen: Yeah, no, you’re speaking to me right now, too, especially because when I think back to my original, my first business, I was just building software. it was relatively generic. 

And, but then when I was building a startup or technology, yeah. I never had any kind of insecurity about it because I think technology gets a break to a certain degree. It’s cause it’s technology, it’s not, when you’re offering a service, it’s, you’re, it’s a little more exposed.

Yes. And so after I sold that company and then, and then I started to offer more of a niche service of more of a packaged kind of thing, it exposed some things in me that I didn’t necessarily, I had never really dealt with, even though I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life.

And it was just merely trying to package a service and trying to generate value and leverage. That leverage takes a certain pace once you get clients going, that fulfills a lot of that, that strength, but when it’s first going out, man, it’s, you gotta be… 

Darrel: Yeah. 

Stephen: Yeah. I was going to say, I almost, I was about to say you have to be strong, but I was actually, I really thought that as I said, you have to really be present in the moment and just meticulously, just working towards the goal.

Because if we go back to some of the other things we were saying, it’s the real trick. If you’re smart about it,  it’s finding a hungry market. And then just iterating towards that and then learning whatever you need to learn to serve that market. Or like you said, finding a partner or something.

If you look at it that way and you’re present to do that, you almost, if you don’t let yourself trick yourself, you’re almost guaranteed to succeed eventually, right? 

Darrel: And the great thing is, and I won’t name the actual thing, but I’ve learned in recent times that you can actually, you can identify a niche, you can create a webinar to present a product or service to a niche and you can get feedback and you can decide whether or not to proceed any further within the space of a month, from conception of idea, to decision of whether or not to proceed with that idea. 

That is the wonderful thing about the age in which we live is that we can. But that’s where I think the difference is between being entrepreneurial and a business person. I think there’s two different things, I don’t know if you agree on that. 

Stephen: No, I do. Which is the person that does it in a month? Is it the businessman or the entrepreneur? 

Darrel: I think it’s the entrepreneur. I think that the business person generally is looking for security around what they already are good at, so I might be a builder for example. Okay. I’m sick of, I’m sick of being paid by the man. I’m going to become my own builder company. And I start with renovating people’s kitchens and gradually build up. And I start doing building houses, whatever it is.

That’s a logical business thing, but actually looking into the market and seeing, and trying to find that seam of gold, which isn’t yet tapped. Yeah. Is that clear? 

Stephen: Yeah, that’s it, that’s an interesting point. I think you’re touching on, what I was saying is like what I was more like, I’ve always been an entrepreneur, so I’ve always been doing that.

But at the same time, the business that I actually had, when I was doing my tech, startups and stuff, I was trying to mine that gold, yes, but it was more protected. Cause I had a business behind me that was already making money.

So then I didn’t have that, that insecurity of just there was no income. So, you could try whatever you wanted. And there was no fear because you already had this other thing. Yeah. 

Darrel: No, that’s a fair comment. And that’s why I think of me, for example, when I started my business, I always say I had a job and then like gradually phased out the one in, into the other.

And that’s, I think partly, to do with the difference between business and entrepreneurial-ism. It’s kind of a transitioning from one to the other. If I was just in business myself, I would rather go and get a job. 

Stephen: No. Yeah, me too, right? Yeah. Yeah, exactly. That’s why I’m trying to, that’s why I’ve been trying to build this product.

Cause I did not want to build another software development agency. Yeah. There’s so many of those. 

Darrel: There’s no creative spark in it and that’s just the thing. I think I’d liken it to the difference between being in a band, because you have to create something. There’s something organically creative about the whole thing about creating music other than being in being a session musician and just, 

Stephen: Oh, that’s interesting.

Darrel: And that is why I’m a musician. 

Stephen: I am too. 

Darrel: I can’t just play. I don’t enjoy just getting out my bass guitar and playing. But put me with creative people and we’re creating something new, then let that tap something in me that, It’s different. 

Stephen: Yeah, we have a lot in common.

Actually. One of these days we’ll have to get together and jam and not drink. Cause we’ve got all these things then. Yeah. I play piano.

Darrel: There we are. 

Stephen: Yeah. I play jazz piano.

Darrel: Oh yeah. I could probably play some random notes if you like, but basically, 

Stephen: And that was one unintended thing that I ran into when I started making content. I started incorporating my music. So like for this podcast, for instance, I play jazz piano, but I also just make electronic beats and hip hop beats and stuff like that. And I use those beats as my own podcast intro music and outro music.

And it’s kinda fun to do that. Incorporate some of those things together, like really make a, a unique brand of some sort. 

Darrel: Yeah. 

Stephen: Yeah. So are there any other things? We’ve talked a lot about what you do. Is there anything we didn’t cover that you want to talk about,  in terms of what you do, and how you help?

Darrel: I don’t want to be… I think reality is that people are listening to this and they feel, I have found myself, that I, this might sound ridiculous and it might sound completely non-business like, but I probably turn down as many clients as I get. Cause we don’t have an alignment of values.

I come at what I do, I struggle, if people are approaching all of this purely to say, how can I manipulate the market in my favor? I struggle with that motivation, 

Stephen: Yeah, because the market rules. Market’s brutal. It’s not gonna, yeah, I guess there’s ways to scam it, momentarily.

Darrel: Yeah. 

Stephen: But yeah, 

Darrel: I was regularly asked, when I was what I would call just a LinkedIn trainer, how can I get more leads on LinkedIn and I would answer, How long does it take you to win somebody’s trust?

I would get gasps from that response. You know, what you mean to say, there’s just, there’s not just some magic formula here? 

Darrel: So I guess I probably struggle from the perspective that, so probably the way I’m wired, and probably why I’ve struggled with depression in the past, is that I can’t do something purely from, just from the perspective of making money. I just can’t. I just, I don’t have it in me to do that. I, that might sound a little bit odd, but it’s not meant to, what do you think? I don’t, like I never was. Even when I was working, I was never motivated, purely from money.

And the problem was I worked in sales. But I got into sales because, A, I wasn’t qualified to do anything else, really, to be fair. I hated school and I wanted out, but B, I liked people, and so I would get clients because I liked people and I looked after people, but the problem came that, the problem came when the employer said, I want you to get more money out of these people and I’m going, actually, these people need me. I’m protecting these people from you.

Yeah, so I’ve always been motivated from that kind of direction sort of thing. If you’re bringing something to market that is genuinely going to help people, it is something that people need and I can help you to position that and find the right niche and everything.

But if you’re coming purely to try and fleece the market, for your own ends, I struggle with that a little bit. So it comes from the motivation. 

Stephen: I think that makes sense though, because like in the consulting world, in the coaching world where you’re trying, where you’re a little bit more focused on results and, leveraging your value and giving that kind of thing, it only really works if there’s an alignment.

And if there isn’t, then it’s not going to go well, and there could literally just be like, it could actually, it could even harm them or even you in a way, like it could, yeah, I can mess with you. Yeah. 

Darrel: There was one particular example and, there was this company, they were offering me a fair amount of money to do it.

But, I didn’t feel that they were looking for the right thing. And I actually ultimately felt that they were looking for a scapegoat, that there was something fundamentally wrong with the business model and, that they thought, okay, we’re going to give this one last chance and pin all our hopes on this guy, pixie dust, and then we’ve got somebody to blame for it. I wasn’t going to be that person, to be fair. 

Stephen: No, that’s cool. No, I get ya. cool, man. 

Darrel: it’s having that discernment, as an entrepreneur for, business people, whatever.

Stephen: I think it’s good, it’s good.

It’s, you have to be a little bit more patient. But, I think in the end, the long run and maybe even the short run, it will pay off more because you’ll come across as more trustworthy, to be honest, to the people that would actually want to work with you. So if you don’t have that center then, 

Darrel: That’s for us to discuss, actually, the whole, I’ve shared openly about my struggles with depression, and I’ve got clients as a result of that because people said to me, okay, you’re actually a real person.

You’re not actually just trying to present this facade, the world is all rosy, and that’s another issue I have with marketing. We try to PR everything, it has to be presented in this way, and so part of the reason why I’m also launching Burnout Braves, which we won’t get into now, is because behind the veil, people are struggling, and, there needs to be a place for men, particularly, and it is for men, for men in business affected by burnout and depression, because it’s a pandemic in its own. 

Stephen: Yeah. I’m sure, man. I’m like, even when you talked about it, I was like, man, that’s like something that, I could definitely see, like some real value there.

It would just be like, not because I specifically feel burned out, but I guess what I would say is, I’ve had other things in my life where I know it was really difficult. And so I could make the leap into something else being that way. So, I’m not burnt out, but I’ve had other things happen where I could make the leap and say, Ooh, I totally understand where you’re coming from on that. 

Darrel: It’s not entirely altruistic, to be honest with you. I look, I’ve looked at people like Jamie Oliver, the chef, and how he went from being a regular chef guy to associating himself with school dinners in the UK and how his brand grew from that.

And I’m, I recognize there will also be benefits for me by doing this. So I’m not, I’m not perfect with altruism.

Stephen: Yeah. I’ve always thought about doing something with dyslexia because that’s something that I have. I’ve just never known exactly what to do with it, but I’ve thought about, 

Darrel: There’s all this shame attached to it for people in business, that kind of hide it behind a suit and a tie, actually a binder. I know that I’m dyslexic and this, and, I just wish there was some way where I could privately share some of these things. And you’ve got platforms like mighty networks where you can create your own private social media platform essentially.

Stephen: And that’s an interesting idea. I’ll write that down. 

Darrel: Yeah, you might see, I met plenty of people that would be, would find that an interesting thing. 

Stephen: Yeah, that’s cool. That was a good brainstorm. Like again, like I think our own minds get in our way. 

Darrel: Yeah, of course they do.

And because we get caught up in the fact that I’ve got the day to day stuff to do as well. 

Stephen: That’s where the presence, that’s where the mindfulness and the presence in the moment comes in. Hey man. So I’m sure we’ll have another time to chat. Cause I knew somehow that we had, we would, have a lot to talk about and I’m usually pretty on with that stuff, and it was right. So I really appreciate you coming on. Where can people get a hold of you? 

Darrel: I just search for Darrel, DAW, Arielle, Griffin, GRI, WFAN on LinkedIn or Google me properly, stumble on me somewhere. 

Stephen: And I’m going to put your information in the show notes and stuff too, but 

Darrel: You’re good.

You’re a legend. So 

Stephen: Yeah, try it. I want one of these posters, like I want in 30 years, I want someone to have one of these posters of me, Alright man. I appreciate it, man. So much. Have a good one.

 

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