Dorie Clark is an expert at helping people get their message across in a very crowded marketplace. A wonderful friend of mine, Dorie is a member of our 100 Coaches organization and a fantastic thinker.
The author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out, and an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, Dorie is a former presidential campaign spokeswoman, and a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Forbes.
This week Dorie shares with us two suggestions for discovering our passion and how to turn that into a career. Below is an excerpt of our interview.
Marshall: I’m here with my wonderful friend, Dorie Clark. Dorie, you’re a great thinker, and I am so proud you are a member of our wonderful 100 Coaches organization. You are a world expert at helping people get their message across in a very crowded marketplace.
I’ve got a specific question. What if somebody has a broad idea of what they want to do or share, but they don’t have their unique niche, their personal big idea, that differentiator? What advice do you have?
Dorie: Thank you Marshall Great question.
There’s two things someone can do when they are trying to figure out their niche or their big idea. The first one at a basic level is “go bottom up”. Many people put pressure on themselves to define their idea from the top down What I recommend is to work bottom up. For instance, reach out to a variety of people that you admire in that field who you could interview for a blog or a podcast.
Through those interviews, you’re not only building your network and learning. You’re also discovering how the key people in the field think. Then you can begin to build your own ideas, and say to yourself, ‘Wait a minute, this part seems right, but I actually disagree with someone over here.’ It shows you where the holes are and you can fill them in with your own ideas. This canvassing people begins to suggest a path to you, it enables you to discover your path.
Marshall: This is a great idea Dorie. I can relate it to my own life. I’ve been privileged to spend time with some very smart people who were heroes of mine. They totally shaped my thinking. Then I could figure out who I was. Also, what I like it your method is you’re not copying. You’re becoming who you are. And, you’re incorporating what you’ve learned from people and what they’re doing and just as importantly what they’re not doing. So I love your idea. Thank you.