One of the most common questions we get asked by entrepreneurs is, “How do I create a category if I’m not a heavily funded startup or some massively successful company?
This question reveals maybe the single greatest benefit of category design for entrepreneurs:
Anyone can do it, at any stage of their life.
Category creation and category design is not a strategy reserved for multibillion-dollar companies or high-flying startups. And while money is often helpful, it is not a requirement. In fact, some of our favorite category designers are solopreneurs, small business owners, and consultants who have niched down, leveled up, and found a way to get themselves out of “the comparison game” and into a category of one. As a result, they have no (or little) competition.
They’re in demand, and they set the price.
As an entrepreneur, here’s how you can use category design to own your niche and become a Category King.
As an entrepreneur, creating your own category is about:
You do this by creating new and different solutions to problems you are experiencing. This solution becomes your mission, which is what inspires employees, customers, stakeholders, and investors to bet their time, money, and reputations on you—and get emotionally invested to a degree far beyond just personal profit. And, if you’re a missionary founder, your pursuit has more to do with the presence of a positive than the absence of a negative (competition).
If you successfully apply category design as an entrepreneur, you will become the Category King—and earn an average of 76% of the category’s total value while everyone else is left to fight over the remaining 24%.
You will also:
Now, let’s dive into how you can reap these benefits.
How you create a category for yourself as an entrepreneur is not just about niching down and getting more specific about your offering.
It’s about having a Point Of View.
Without a POV, your niche is nothing but a small straw trying to suck the juice out of someone else’s coconut. But with a POV, you can grow your own coconut tree.
The smartest and most successful entrepreneurs live their POV.
They create what they create because it’s personal to them.
The problem they want to solve is something they’ve experienced (or deeply connect with). It’s personal and emotionally charged. It makes them angry, or upset. It frustrates them that other people don’t take it as seriously. Or, it greatly excites them. They see a giant new opportunity. They see a different future and they can’t help but be driven to create it. And they will stop at nothing to solve this problem in their own lives, first—helping many other people experiencing that same problem in their own lives as a result.
Here are a few examples of entrepreneurs who have developed a unique Point Of View using category design.
These founders claimed their POV to create something in the world that previously did not exist.
As an entrepreneur, the more new and “niche” opportunities you combine together, the more different you are and the more difficult it becomes for someone else to “do what you do.”
The single greatest way to create a category of your own is to do something no one else does.
Here are seven questions to ask yourself as an entrepreneur (or solopreneur, small business owner, consultant, advisor, freelancer, etc.) to become known for a niche you own:
“Niche down” opportunities combined with a Framed, Named, and Claimed unique and differentiated POV is the key to using category design to enjoy a life where you have no competition.
Because you’re in a category of one.