Why There’s No Market Called “Everyone”

Did you know that not every sick person wants to get well?

In his book, “The Gospel Of ‘Yes’, Mike Glenn shares the story of the lame man in the bible who waited for 38 years to get his healing.

One day, Jesus came by and asked him if he wanted to get well. Instead of giving a straight yes or no answer, the man  listed why he had not received his healing yet.

Mike Glenn says,

“if you think about it, you see why most people would refuse Jesus offer of free blessing… We sense that if we accept this free gift, we will have to live differently. We’ll have to let go of some things and open our hearts to others..There is no backing out. Just the glorious painful process of being made new.”

The book of John alludes to this lack of acceptance of free gift.

“He came into his own and his own did not receive him. But as many as received him, he gave them the right to become children of God..”

Many people have turned down the King’s invitation to new life and purpose. But some have accepted the offer. And these are the ones He builds with.

Serving Everyone

Reading on this got me thinking about the large number of writers who are working hard to gain “everyone’s” attention.

We push hard, work our gifts, dream new angles, try to be creative and funny, follow nice guru rules. And all the while, our minds are stuck on ‘everyone’. All the while, we are trying to be accepted in the mainstream.

When it comes to creating a lasting business (or writing career – success principles are the same) Sonia Simone says longevity comes from a deep understanding of your market and what drives them.

Note: your market. Not everybody’s market.

Nonetheless, once you move from trying to please “everyone” to knowing who your “someone” is, you are only somewhere past the front door.

The next step is to try to understand your “someone”.

“If you build it, (business/writing/ministry/) they (your “someone”) won’t come. Not unless what you build is something they really, really want ……This is why so many inventors are broke. They fall in love with their own ideas, instead of falling in love with the needs, wants and desires of their target market.” Sonia Simone, Work Smarter (words in brackets mine)

Our take away.

1. A thriving writing career/ministry requires an understanding of your market and being able to provide answers to pressing problems.

Thing is, as Christian writers, we must understand that God is the source of life and has all the answers. We don’t have answers and solutions to people’s problems.

Jared Latigo says

“My message isn’t my message at all. My message is God’s message…I’m just the rider of the Pony Express to deliver it to you”

2. God has given us specific tasks.

As writers and carriers of His message, He has not assigned us to “everyone”. Not everyone wants to get well anyway.

And even those who do, they require different doctors and specialists for different ‘ailments’.

We’ll know who to serve once we understand our purpose, gifts and talents. It’s always easier to do life once you understand how you are wired.

3. It’s up to us to get better at our assignments.

God will not force us to be better. We must strive to learn and understand others. We must be intentional about our personal growth.

In his book Kingdom Journeys, Seth Barnes talks about leaning into the pain of brokenness, instead of running away from it. Deep lasting answers don’t always come easy.

We should allow our journeys to expand us, shape us and grow us.

Question – As a writer, do you sometimes struggle with focus? Do find yourself trying to reach “everyone”? Is your writing aligned to your purpose, passion and gifts? Click here to leave a comment.

* Image credit: szeke (Creative Commons)

  • Thanks for having me over Charles

  • Original idea, Ngina, to start by considering Jesus’ ‘market’. I liked your article.  

    I’m a marketing person and I know my market for my Write Your Testimony Course and for my book, coming out next March, is predominantly middle-aged women (like myself) who are already Christian. 

    But I don’t want to exclude men and some do take my course. I always ensure that they can see that the course is for them through my marketing tools. These have a clean, neutral, contemporary look that’s not girly. 

    I would also like to attract seekers, so I try to ensure that no Christian jargon or preconceptions slip into my writing.  

    My point is that we have a ready market, I think, and a desirable one, too. And we need to cater for both.

    •  wow Bobbie, you know your market well. And it’s a wide one! It’s amazing how you have your niche identified and have nonetheless  maintained an appeal to others. When i grow up i want to be like you! 🙂  Thanks for that insightful breakdown. I am a practical learner and i know many others are  – they’ll glean from your practical  insights.

  • Floyd Samons

    Some great advice! “To thine own self be true.” Rang through my head, but for us it is, “To our Father we must me true.” 

    I’m old enough and have chased enough rainbows to know that there is no joy in pleasing everyone even if we could. Being true to the heart that God gives us brings us peace and joy regardless of how many people He would have us reach. Our words are His voice. If they’re not, it’s just wasted air. 

    • Floyd, profound perspective. I am discovering too that as I keep Him #1, the journey is richer and more fulfilling – numbers don’t matter. It’s about His plans and His thoughts the only thing that brings lasting joy. and impact. I like your opening paragraph. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, as always.

    • Great words Floyd, thanks. Chasing enough rainbows – that got to me. I was reading in a book recently and it alluded to the fact that rainbows appear unannounced, they are breathtaking but they disappear so quickly. May we chase after God who is unchangeable.

  • Great words of advice, Ngina. I especially love the second and third point. The second one reminds me not to lose my focus – how has God gifted me and how does He want me to use my gifts? What has He equipped me to do that He hasn’t equipped others to do? Who does He want me to reach and be His loving arms to? 

    The last one reminds me not to feel sorry for myself when I think others are so much more naturally talented and more interested in writing than I am. He doesn’t always (usually) give everyone easy jobs and He expects us to sacrifice.

    Ahh, I think I better go write!

    • Barb, I love how you break down things – it comes down to practical life application.  Ease and sacrifice – so often we think the grass is greener on the other side, right. it’s not.

      Can’t wait to read what you wrote! (that is, if it was for ‘public marke’t..lol). Thanks so much for sharing

  • Great post, Ngina.  I’ve been dealing with the issue of knowing and understanding audience and recognizing, to use a church analogy, that not everyone is called to man a megachurch.  The smaller local church can be, and often is, equally effective because they know whom they serve and can do it efficiently.

    • Alison, last Sunday I visited a small church and I see what you mean.  Growth is good (often inevitable) – but as people/church/organizations grow big, they need to seek ways to remain small.

      I think when we have our foundation and basics in place, we will flourish regardless of audience size. And I agree, the harder part is identifying our place! Thanks so much for reading sharing.

  • Thanks for the shout out Ngina! I completely agree with not trying to write for everyone. We will never get anywhere if we aren’t niche enough. I’ve learned that from my time in running a web design business and now with writing. Niche is awesome, it allows us to truly connect with people where it matters! 

    •  You are welcome Jared! Loved the honesty and truth in that post.. i was really challenged to be more authentic and God centered.

      So true about niche. One of the other lesson am learning is that while niche and specifics are important, they are not king. i.e they cannot replace God and His workings in us as message carriers. Again, that’s why He’s #1. So long as we are hearing Him, we’ll keep adjusting and growing and following His lead even when it takes us out of the ‘norm’ or ‘niche’. (He’ll help us figure a way to still connect and deliver).

    • Powerful wording and mission Jared! 

  • I can honest say at times I do struggle with trying to reach everyone. However I have learned and still am learning the area of leadership and personal growth is a small market considering some of the others. My purpose and passions are in those areas so I’m staying in that niche area. Great post and thoughts. 

    • Dan, i think you run one of the most focused blogs I know :). Nonetheless and if’ we’ll all be honest, most of us do struggle with focus. We get it today and lose it tomorrow. I like your thoughts on purpose and passion – i believe that living and writing from that place of purpose and passion keeps us anchored and less susceptible to (or more aware of) straying. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us.

      •  Thank you:) Amen about your reply. I like your wording about how it keeps us “anchored.”

  • I struggle point blank. No doubt about it. This week I struggled because there are so many things I want to write but when I write it will “Everyone” take it the wrong way? Who am I writing for I often think, my audience or God? Nobody is watching when you are alone at home, and those are the times when we see the error of our ways. I am following my passion, but also I know its God’s because of the amount of people I can reach.

    •  This is an insightful angle Lincoln. Overall, I find that balance comes from remaining tapped into The Source (God). I love your thoughts here – that you know it’s God cos the people you reach. Passion in itself is good but it’s God who brings the fruit, who multiplies. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  • Davejarnold16

    Thanks for this reminder, Ngina. It’s so easy to get caught up in writing for attention or trying to be “trendy” or whatever, and miss the importance of it’s what God’s called us to do… and, ultimately, it’s about Him. Nicely done.

  • I have found it easier to write my heart out without really watering down the message. I guess reading other writer’s struggles about how they stretched their message at some point in order to reach a wider audience, really taught me to speak with my own voice. Especially Michael Perkin’s manifesto,Starting Over “A Manifesto on being Yourself” and Jeff Goins, A Writer’s Manifesto.

    This statement is great, “We should allow our journeys to expand us, shape us and grow us.” through the journey we become better able to even do our assignments. Great message here Ngina. “Did you know that not every sick person wants to get well?” By experience, I didn’t, but now I do 🙂 Maybe they don’t even have a clue that they are not well in the first place. Our work as @jaredlatigo:disqus said is to pass God’s message.

  • Rick Hoppe

    Excellent article Charles.  Really appreciate it.  Rick