Watched David Attenborough‘s Green Planet yesterday about how monocultures incite predators and reduce resilience to pestilence and disease. Why do farmers continue with this process if the risks are so high?
Well, it’s a story of increasing specialisation within the human race as we develop highly optimised processes to maximise profit margins and meet ever-growing demand. Funnily enough, I found myself thinking about the parallels with my freelancing and online business.
We’re constantly rewarded by niching down with maniacal focus. Serving one group of customers or solving a single pain point allows us to become highly efficient in what we do. But so too, we reduce our resilience to changing markets and shifting demands.
I routinely review my freelance activities and guiltily determine I’m doing too much – from SEO to paid ads to email marketing – I’m offering everything to everyone. One good thing about this inability to niche down, however, is that I’m somewhat insulated from a shifting digital landscape.
And even if diversification doesn’t lead to the same explosive growth, if we listen to nature, we learn it’s a far more sustainable approach in the long run (or at least that’s what I tell myself when I look at my to-do list today).