In the summer of 2015, I found myself in the Emergency Room. My sciatica was so bad that I could not walk and could barely move.
I went to chiropractors, and they could do nothing. A physical therapist was able to get it from debilitating to manageable, but certainly not able to fix it.
As it turned out a combination of short hamstrings and tendons combined with weak core strength (the result of too much sitting and not enough exercise) led to the symptoms.
The PT gave me a very effective set of exercises to get me from non-functional to functional.
And not a step beyond that.
A physical therapist specializes in getting people from symptomatic to asymptomatic. Going beyond that is outside their specialty.
I needed a personal trainer, but they wouldn’t touch someone in my delicate condition.
The result: I’d get just good enough, then I’d do something wildly irresponsible at my age, like sleep in a bed, and the symptoms would return.
Because everyone I met was very good at doing what all the experts tell us to do: specializing into your niche, I was unserved, and unhealthy.
Finally, I worked with Dr. Colleen Davis of GOAT PT who ignored conventional wisdom.
I call her my PT/PT, because she is a physical therapist and personal trainer.
She bridges the gap, so I am able to build strength, endurance, energy, etc when everything is functioning properly.
And when it’s not, she can quickly pivot my exercises to get me back into fighting shape.
Instead of choosing one lane or the other, she chooses both, and it works.
But what about niching?
It may sound like Colleen is not niched. She’s in two spaces that are traditionally completely different.
I asked Shutterstock for pictures of a personal trainer and a physical therapist and…
But Colleen is very clearly niched: Her niche is the middle, and that middle is a big place.
It’s not the people who are deep in the medical space needing intensive care, but also not those who want to get totally swole.
It’s the people who don’t need a nursing home, but would like to be able to lift a couch or walk up and down the stairs when they need to.
She has niched into the goldilocks zone of physical fitness.
I don’t need a physical therapist anymore, but if I went to a traditional trainer, when something flared up, there would be time lost as I had to stop training and go back to PT, then more lost time in trying to transition back.
More importantly, she has niched into an audience who is terribly underserved by the fitness industry.
What’s your goldilocks niche?
Who out there who is underserved? If you want to be the best, then find a space where other people aren’t serving.
For example, JV Connect will be the best virtual networking event for online business in the market. This is partly because I’m awesome and run great events, but it’s also because no one else is running focused, high impact virtual networking events that aren’t sales events.
I’m serving in a way that no one else is, and very few even want to, but you’re sure glad that I am.
Who is out there who you can help and would enjoy helping who is not being served by others in the marketplace?
The easiest way to be #1 is to be in a field of one.
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