DE 009: Making a niche business idea work
China and punk rock vinyl are not two things you typically associate with each other. Despite this, Nevin has figured out how to combine his passion for both into a viable business. His story is a fantastic example that whatever niche idea you are thinking of pursuing, it is absolutely possible if you approach it in the right way.
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How to find mentor who will introduce you to the industry you want to work in
- How to get paid for full time work while also starting your own business
- How to convince your boss that a ‘business on the side’ is actually good for them as well
- Why your passion is you biggest weapon in finding a business approach that works for you
- How Nevin used a Fulbright Scholarship to travel the world
- Who Nevin’s mentor is, and why Timeout Beijing wrote the following quote about him:
In just half a decade, … Wall Street veteran Michael Pettis … has helped usher in a new era in Chinese rock with … distinctively gritty, punky, noisy, hip aesthetic, catapulting long-cocooned Chinese indie bands beyond the Middle Kingdom and onto the international scene.
- How you can start a record label of your own (it’s not a cakewalk!) and what business model you might consider depending on the resources available to you
RESOURCES AND LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Fulbright Scholarship – the largest U.S. exchange program offering opportunities for students and young professionals to undertake international graduate study, advanced research, university teaching, and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide
- Seoul National University – where Nevin studied language
- Michael Pettis, the owner of Maybe Mars record label, and Nevin’s boss and mentor, on Wikipedia.
- You can find Maybe Mars on Facebook, Twitter, Weibo, Douban, Youtube. Some of Maybe Mars’ Chinese based bands are Demerit, PK14, After Argument
- De-22, which is now closed down, but is where many of China’s pre-eminent rock bands got their start and is often compared to CBGBs, which was the place in the 70’s that punk bands like The Ramones and B-52s spent a lot of time in the US.
- More information about the Chinese Indie Rock scene from Huffington Post.
You can find Nevin on Facebook
Nevin started Genjing Records in 2010. The company sells 7″ vinyl records inside China, as well as to US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. You can find the business on Facebook, Twitter, Douban and Youtube. Samples of his music are below and you can see more bands and buy their music from here.
1. “You do not love me” by Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
2. “Chengdu Plant and Bird Market” by Li Daiguo.
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WHAT IS YOUR NICHE BUSINESS IDEA?
Niche business can seem more daunting because they are not the typical hostels in Thailand or beach bars in Costa Rica that you always read about. This doesn’t mean that niche businesses are harder to get up and running, nor does it mean that you should give up on your idea just because no one else is doing it. In fact, this might be the perfect reason to be the first to try. What is your unusual or cool niche business idea?