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Self-Employed Tips: Find a Need and Fill It

Dayna Steele
woman tying her apron

Find a need and fill it

Never has that business mantra ever carried so much weight. Find a need and fill it. The world is changing and shifting perceptibly every day, every minute, every second it seems. What was normal on January 1st this year is entirely different now and will most likely change again soon.

So, what are you going to do about it? Sit around and complain that it’s all gone? Or — figure out where your “it” has moved. I’m sorry the late author, Dr. Spencer Johnson, is not around to see his book come to life. Who Moved My Cheese? could not be a better metaphor for what is happening right now. If you haven’t read it, it is a must. If you have, revisit it.

The short version? Things change. Change with them. The end.

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Here are some examples of companies and solo entrepreneurs who have taken stock and pivoted without waiting to see what happens next or wishing things were “the way they used to be.”  

  • Personal trainer Bostin B. was starting to grow his client base when fitness centers and building gyms closed for months. Bostin happens to be my trainer, and we switched gears March 1st, FaceTiming my three-times-a-week workouts. No weights? No problem. Wine bottles and containers of bleach have built up my muscle tone during the pandemic. Lifting, not drinking.
  • Actress Rita Moreno’s reboot of the hit sitcom One Day at a Time was busy filming episodes when everything shut down. It’s now an animated series with the actors voicing their roles from home.
  • Alex Stone’s growing career on the business side of musical theatre was derailed when Broadway and touring companies shut down. He’s now creating e-commerce sites and products for many of the shows so that income continues to come in. Check out the story of young Judy Garland in Chasing Rainbows and get the coffee mug.
  • Open Jar Studios, another Broadway behemoth, suddenly found all rehearsals canceled. So instead of shutting down, they took 400 or so out-of-work costumers and started making Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 PPEs for New York City hospitals. They are now doing it for hospitals and medical systems across the country.
  • Even The Woman in the Mirror, the play based on my book Surviving Alzheimer’s with Friends, Facebook, and a Really Big Glass of Wine, is now in work as a ten-episode video series table read that will air soon.
  • And, do NOT miss Little Room, a whodunit murder mystery shot entirely online by the actors at their homes.  

Even my speeches and workshops on success and networking are all done online in flipflops these days. It’s like when I was in radio, I knew change was imminent. I knew my shelf life as a female rock and roll air personality was not going to last as long as the men I worked with. It was just a fact of the business at the time (and still is).  

So, I started thinking about what I would do next long before I had to. I made the contacts, I networked, I did for others, and it eventually paid off over the years. It was damn scary at first, leaving the only industry I had ever worked in for 20+ years.  

In hindsight, it is the best thing that ever happened to me. Getting kicked out of that nest and my comfort zone forced me to move in another totally different direction.  

The pandemic has kicked many out of their comfortable nest.  

Listen, observe, read, ask, watch – then find a need and fill it.  

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