The Poop Truck

The world is specialized. That means that there is a golden area of opportunity for you, as a unique individual. All you have to do is find the stuff that most people don’t like but you don’t mind, and get good at it.

You don’t even have to love it! You definitely shouldn’t hate it, but “comfortably pleased” is a great bar. I’ll be honest with you: most people who operate septic tank trucks probably don’t love it. But they don’t mind it, and they probably do love money, which other people are happy to pay them in order to not empty their own septic tanks. Driving the poop truck may sound gross to most people, but there’s a subset of the population that doesn’t mind it, and that trait is worth a lot.

Way back when I was in sales, I noticed that most salespeople really hated doing any sort of recruiting or training, but most training in sales is “hands-on” and done via shadowing. Salespeople often really hate that, because it’s effort that takes away from the main thing they want to be doing (selling to make money) with no immediate reward.

I actually liked training, even though in the short term it cost me a little money personally in the form of lost sales. And in realizing that I liked it but my coworkers hated it, I saw opportunity. I started volunteering to take everyone else’s training rotations. I went from middle-of-the-road salesperson… to #1 sales manager in the company. I had my pick of people because I’d trained them all. Everyone wanted to work with the person who put effort into them when they started. I built teams, and in the long run, earned way more than the meager amount I lost initially.

That’s an example of how the diagram can apply in a micro level as well as macro. It isn’t just about choosing whole industries that other people don’t like, it’s about choosing your specific path even within one. There are infinite nested layers of complexity and specialization, and you can find your micro-niche even within the macro-niche you’re in.

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