Your Eldership Niche – An Introduction

Who doesn’t (secretly) long to do the work they’re ‘Born’ to do?

Even though I trained in marketing, I’ve always felt an ‘ickiness’ around this idea of ‘promoting’ myself. 

I have a strong aversion to the whole concept of ‘self promotion’ and I honestly had no idea ‘who’ my ‘target’ clients were (urgh! I hate that term!). I preferred to connect with ‘people’ rather than ‘markets’. 

The only aspect of marketing I did enjoy was creative design.

So I was incredibly excited to meet Tad Hargrave from Canada in 2020, who specialises in ‘conscious’ marketing and whose now become a great friend and ally on the path to Eldership.

In this blog I’m using Tad’s work on niching to focus in on some of the elements we need to explore in Eldership niching.  

The case for niching…

When you’re first starting out in your career, you probably associated ‘work’ with earning money and making a living. Work could also bring a certain social ‘status’ and an identity.

If you were lucky enough to reach the point where you’ve gained all these things, you then face the reality and the deeper questions around your true potential, your destiny and your deeper purpose.

However, the challenge is that in our prevailing Western ‘Corporate Culture’ we’re actively discouraged from narrowing what we do ‘work wise’. We are misled into believing that to ‘niche’ (and follow our true potential) means we’ll limit and miss opportunities.

This then puts us in a double bind pattern…

  1. If you don’t niche, then you just blend into the background along with all the others in your field who look similar to you, who have been through similar training and are offering a similar thing to what you do to the same people.

  2. If you do niche and differentiate yourself, you take the risk of narrowing your opportunities and facing the danger of being dismissed and rejected as too different and / or not relevant.

So it’s tricky dance…

The challenge is that, particularly with the advent of social media, if you don’t niche and be known for something, it’s increasingly difficult for your ‘ideal’ people to find you.

Niching helps you to find out very quickly who “Your People” are and makes it easier for them to find and connect with you.

Let’s take a closer look at Tad’s Model…

Your Gifts

The dictionary definition for ‘gift is:

A natural ability or talent

But it also means something that’s given willingly, a present…

I like to think of this as something that you uniquely bring to the world, something that’s original to you, that originates from you and when others experience it, it feels like a gift because it comes straight from your soul.

This is the sweet spot of your niche. It’s where your gifts meet your wounds and your vibe and it’s what makes you uniquely you. 

You could even call it your artistry.

To get to this sweet spot you require a Practice. Something you commit to doing (practicing) on an ongoing basis and something that, at its heart, is a deep and spiritual practice in nature. Any practice of this kind opens up your creativity, which is the gateway to the spiritual and mystical realm – its where you find a connection to the Universal flow.

(One of my Practices is to write freely three pages first thing in the morning…)

Some of you may have already experienced this ‘flow’ state, but for many it may sound pretty foreign, even kooky, so let me explain…

Our Western educational systems predominantely focus on academic development rather than developing children’s ‘gifts’. There’s an underlying belief that children are either ‘born gifted’ or/ and need educating to become a useful human being (mostly to contribute to the economic system). 

But our gift comes from our soul and sadly our education systems tend to be ‘soul destroying’. 

Ken Robinson spoke of this in his YouTube video that went viral when he talked about the shortcomings of the education systems and how they completely missed the inherent gifts within children.

ken creativity

So, unless you have been very fortunate to have parents who both understand and recognise this concept of ‘gift’, then I’m guessing that most probably you adapted yourself to the systems you belonged to and found yourself doing a job. 

If you’re lucky, you may have found a job you liked, (or at least one where you had some scope to shine). 

However, in Eldership you don’t have a job. Instead your bringing your unique gifts to the world and that takes practice, creativity and artistry – not qualifications.

When you first cross the threshold into the deeper creative realm, you’ll feel like a small child and small children are terrified of being ridiculed and exposed, which is why we’ll often avoid going there fully.

Whilst working at Cranfield Business School on their High Performance Leadership Programme, I always braced myself when I introduced the idea of drawing pictures to the Execs. 

They would visibly squirm in their seats and some would become quite agitated and accuse me of making them look stupid. But by the third day of them playfully drawing and showing their work to each other, they were fighting over their favourite pastel colours in the box! 

Quoting Ken Robinson’s talk:

Picasso once said: “All children are born artists, the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up” 

An artist isn’t someone who paints etc, it’s someone whose mastered their own creativity and their ‘gifts’. 

Looking at your own gifts then…

My question to you is: 

“What are your natural gifts. What seems to come easy to you and makes you feel alive? What practice do you have in place to deepen it?”

I always loved creative writing as a child and drawing and colouring in and making collages. I also loved music and to (free) dance and perform. I was always reading stories and particularly ones about people and history and watching films that were deep and meaningful. I also loved to be in the company of ‘old’ people and listen to their stories and watching funny people like Lucille Ball and Laurel and Hardy.

Why not take some time and space this week to contemplate and reflect on your younger self and what you really loved to do? What activity did you lose yourself in? What did you dream about? What were you deeply curious about? What music did you love and what were the songs about?

Can you find any photos of yourself from your childhood that symbolise a moment that connects with your creative, happy self? Have you kept anything from that time such as books, records etc?

The question here isn’t: “What are you good at? or What are your skills?” (I was good at filing and organising, but I don’t think it was my gift to the world) 😉  

The question is:  What brings you alive? This is where your gifts lie.

What’s Your True Vibe?


I’m using the word ‘true vibe’ because from my own experience I’ve been on a BIG journey around firstly ‘knowing’ what my true vibe is (as opposed to what I projected) and secondly, having the confidence to publicly express it!

But let’s start by explaining what I mean by ‘vibe’… 

The dictionary meaning of the word vibe is:

“The mood of a place, situation, person and the way they make you feel”

In effect it’s how someone may describe your presence or your essence. However, because we adapt our self to the systems we belong to we often unconsciously suppress our true self / essence / vibe.

Which brings me to my own ‘vibe’ and how I discovered / recovered it.

My parents were authoritarian and you’d describe their vibe as ‘professional’. My mother was a teacher who came from a Grammar School background, so she also valued ‘Academia’.

To ‘belong’ in my family you had to vote conservative, (although Lib dems was acceptable as a (poor) secondary alternative) and had to respect and obey all forms of authority. You also always had to follow a rational approach to everything. Rebellion was frowned upon.

Signs of anything (too) emotional or too creative was also frowned upon.

Here’s a ‘professional’ photo of me taken when I was thirty five for my first website and coincidentally on the threshold of my true vibe.


It’s the first time I’d ever had a website (it was 2005) and the first time I’d ever had professional business photographs taken. I suddenly felt VERY visible.

Previously I’d only had a brochure for my Consultancy business and there were no photographs of me.

On this occasion I was working with a Marketing Agency to develop my business ‘brand’; however, during this time I was also exploring performing arts / creativity in business and as part of this was about to do a One Woman Show.

The Marketing Agency were ‘deeply concerned’ about my (so called) brand and how this ‘creativity’ vibe would be viewed by the ‘Corporate’ market. They strongly felt I shouldn’t reveal this part of who I was, that it would confuse my prospective market.

Which meant I’d hit a real dilemma.

That horrible double bind where I either did what they advised (and not be true to myself) and adapt who I was for the ‘Corporate’ market or express (reveal) who I really was, (my true vibe) and risk potentially losing my Corporate clients.

The truth was that my ‘true’ vibe was creative, quirky, playful, spiritual AS WELL AS professional.

I’m not and never have been an ‘Academic’. I love academia and it’s place in the world (I’d go on to work at Cranfield Business School), but my true nature isn’t academic, which is where I felt they were trying to position me.

This whole process started a pattern of difficult relationships with marketing professionals and the whole marketing field, (until I met Tad).


The truth is that my interests have always been in the experiential, phenomenological, mystical realm. Quantum Physics, Jungian Psychology, Human Potential, Creativity and Creative Play are where my deepest interests lie.

I decided to end my relationship with the marketing agency, (which cost me a lot of money) and follow my heart instead.

unnamed ()

Here’s a photograph of me in The One Woman Show: “Being” in 2006.

And here is the 6 minute video of me talking about my philosophy and the show… Hello Yellow Brick Road.

What’s Your Vibe?


In ‘business’ we rarely think or talk about a ‘vibe’ and I think that’s one of the reasons that I love this model. Your vibe is an essential part of why people are drawn to you.

The more I found the confidence to embody my ‘true’ vibe, the more I found my ideal clients and my real ‘people’.

I did lose clients, but I also still continued to work in the Corporate space too. Work was much easier as I was less conscious about conforming and more free to be creative. I also no longer competed for work – clients either connected with me and my niche or they went with someone who was a better ‘fit’ for them.

What about you?

I’d invite you to think about the vibe you project versus your true vibe. 

What do you really love? 

What are you in to? 

What music do you love? 

What are your hobbies? 

What are your favourite books? 

What are you deeply into?

Are there aspects of you that you hide (maybe even from yourself)?

You’re taking a risk when you allow some of these new aspects to be seen and there’s always going to be sacrifices you have to make; however, the lively energy and the enthusiasm you will bring will transform your work and your potential.

As Marianne Williamson says:

“We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest The glory of god that is within us. It’s not just in some of us:

It’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Here’s the artwork I created to show the journey I’ve been on to recover my ‘vibe’…

Why not gather some photos of you that tell a story about WHO you are in terms of your own vibe?

You can also include music lyrics and images of other things that ‘speak’ to you as often it can be hard to articulate.

Your Wounds 💔

I’ve purposefully left this aspect of the niche to the last.  I guess it’s partly because it’s the one that even I would prefer to avoid because writing about it puts me in direct contact with my vulnerability. Yet, it’s also the one that’s both the most hidden and one of the most powerful when it comes to your Eldership Niche. 

What do I mean by the word ‘wound’?

Let’s start by exploring the dictionary definition:

“A wound is a lasting bad effect on someone’s mind or feelings caused by a very upsetting experience.[literary] She has been so deeply hurt it may take forever for the wounds to heal.  

If you are wounded by what someone says or does, your feelings are deeply hurt”.

How is it relevant to your Eldership Niche?

You may have heard of the ‘wounded healer’ and the concept that you help ‘heal’ what you have experienced and deeply know about.  

Wounded healer is a term created by psychologist Carl Jung who said: 

“A good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself… it is his own hurt that gives a measure of his power to heal. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the Greek myth of the wounded physician.”

To become an Elder you firstly need to know and understand the process of healing by consciously and consistently working on your own wounds. 

The ego can lead us to believe that we may have the capacity and the power to heal others. However, the truth is healing happens through creating and cultivating the space and conditions for healing to occur. 

As an Elder one of the ways you do this by deeply knowing and healing your own wounds and being conscious of the triggers that activate them.

Systemic Wounds

One of the areas that most people have yet to explore is their ‘systemic wounds’. These are the wounds that we carry from the systems that we belong to. These can include:

  • Ancestral wounds – trauma or / and painful events that have happened in the family system such as chronic health conditions, war, unresolved grief, secrets, addiction, abuse, untimely death, missing parents, family breakdowns and adoptions.
  • Socio-economic wounds – trauma and hardships that have resulted in poverty and financial hardship such as a loss of a home, being sick and unable to provide and unable to pay bills. 
  • Collective trauma that has impacted the place or / and the community such as disasters. catastrophic accidents, war and pandemics
  • Organisational trauma – painful and sometimes traumatic events that have occurred in work such as takeovers, mergers, redundancies, a death of a colleague etc.

As Elders we have to understand that the level of wounding and trauma is much bigger and much deeper than most people understand; therefore we need the ability and the capacity to hold space for this wounding. 

Your Eldership niche is directed by your systemic wounding and the patterns that then result from it. These are the ones you are an ‘authority’ on.

My own wound patterns include rebel / scapegoating (being excluded and ostracised when they speak truth to authority), parentification (where the child is ‘out of place’ and care-takes the parent) and triangulation (where the child fills the void of an emotionally absent parent). 

My eldership niche involves working with people who will most probably have similar patterns of wounding in their own system. 

Having worked on these wounds I am less likely to become entangled in the systems and with clients and can create a safe space for them to step out of the metaphoric ‘trauma field’ so they can step into their potential and thrive.   

Interested to explore further? 

Join our Monthly Elders Practice Group where we come together in community to explore our Eldership Niche. Or why not try our FREE One Hour Online Monthly Workshops where we come together to explore everything Eldership…

A Guide on how to step into Eldership


Receive a free copy of my e-book “A Guide on how to step into Eldership”

You will also be added to my Zena Me mailing list.

COnnect with me
book a call
Scroll to Top