• 21 Sep 2020 5:58 PM | Bill Miranda (Administrator)

    Woman working from home using laptop computer


    by Marc Emmer, CEO of Optimize, Inc. (

    It's my own personal Groundhog Day. Within my business strategy practice, I have a daily conversation with clients about poor targeting. Poor targeting has less to do with aptitude and more to do with attitude.

    Consider the dynamic on almost every episode of Shark Tank. If an entrepreneur is seeking investment in a fashion product, I've observed that they often gravitate to Daymond John. If they want to sell on QVC, they lean toward Lori Greiner. For technology, they tap into the expertise of Robert Herjavec. And everyone knows Kevin O'Leary, known as Mr. Wonderful (an apt nickname if I ever heard one), will offer a licensing deal.

    You might not like Shark Tank or its judges, but no one can dispute the sharks' rock star status. How did they get there? By adhering to the most basic of business principals: specializing. Specialists are perceived to deliver more value than generalists. Heart surgeons get paid more than general practitioners.

    I have worked with hundreds of executives and salespeople who fight tooth and nail against specialization. There is a belief that picking a lane precludes one from selling outside their specialty.

    As with many things, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated trends that were evident before the crisis began. Digital transformation is occurring so fast that providers who don’t embrace it will likely be left behind. As social media and other channels become more crowded, having a clearly defined target is more important than ever.

    These are the keys to being distinct as a specialist:

    Make your market smaller.

    It's usually better to be a big fish in a small pond. Especially when making a market, focusing on a small niche can create a first-mover advantage against larger competition. For example, when 5-Hour Energy focused on checkout stands in the convenience store channel, it dominated a segment that large competitors ignored.

    Create more targeted messaging.

    Niche specialists can create more meaningful content and digital assets because they are experts in their field. For example, by creating landing pages for specific markets you serve, you are more likely to boost search engine optimization and conversion. In my experience, the longer the search term, the higher the probability that you hit the bullseye on a search result.

    Have a clear promise.

    Every brand should have three to four promise statements. When operating in a narrow niche, you can set clearer expectations of what your customers can anticipate from you.

    Strive to achieve 'celebrity' status.

    Like the sharks in Shark Tank, you're more likely to be known for expertise in a narrow topic. Once you become recognized, you're more likely to be reinforced by regular coverage. Achieving celebrity is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Be aware of your price positioning.

    Pricing is a proxy for perceived value. The higher your prices, the better your positioning as an expert. You might offer multiple price points, but make sure you have at least one super-premium offer that serves as an anchor for what you’re worth.

    Stay in your lane.

    If you have the discipline to stay in a narrow niche, other providers are likely to honor your market position. Attorneys who specialize are more likely to refer alternate attorneys who specialize in other areas. By focusing on a narrow core competency, you'll repel work or products that are not within your specialty. Staying in your lane promotes quality and integrity.

    Malcolm Gladwell and others have professed the need to work for 10,000 hours to gain expertise in a field. It could take two or three years of focus to achieve status as a specialist. Now is the time to stake your claim as the best at something you believe in. The deeper you invest in a specialty, the greater the impact you can make on the world.

  • 4 Sep 2020 3:29 PM | Bill Miranda (Administrator)

    It’s never too late to realize your dreams.  My name is Bill Miranda and I am a stroke survivor.  Seventeen years ago my life hung by a thread.  Listen carefully as this could happen to anyone.  It could happen to you, or to you, or to you.

    I was a corporate executive commuting to Torrance, CA everyday … that is when I wasn’t on airplanes to Europe or Asia.  I had dreams.  I wanted to work near home and spend more time with my wife.  I wanted to work in a stress free environment.  I wanted to travel … fun trips not business trips.  And I wanted to be able to have a hobby that I could really enjoy and be good at.  Dreams, but those dreams seemed very, very far away to me. 

    I was at work when suddenly and without warning it hit.  Pain attacked my neck.  Pain like none I had ever felt before.  And down I went, first to my knees, then to the floor and finally into a coma.  There would be no dreams for me.  It was too late.

    I woke up two days later.  I was going to live!  The good Lord and the good doctors made sure of it. 

    But during the next few months I lost my job, my mental health, my life savings and most importantly … my dreams.  Or so I thought.  Let me tell you the three lessons I learned to help me go from hopelessness to happiness. 

    The End of the World Is Only When You Die

    The first lesson I learned is that the end of the world only comes when you die.  Until then, there is always hope always opportunity. 

    I was not dead.  I could see.  I could talk.  I could listen. I could think.  I learned not to compound things by dwelling in the dark, depths of depression.  I was alive!  Everything else is a plus.  The phrase “I’m done” became “I’m beginning!”

    Help is everywhere

    The second lesson I learned is that help is everywhere.  Yes, help is everywhere.

    Help for me started with my family.  Their loyalty showed in everything they did.  Help was also with the good doctors and entire hospital staff.  Help was with the friends and associates who prayed for me and offered meals to my family when we could not make our own.  Help was with the government who paid me disability payments.  Help was with the friend who got me a consulting gig in Oxnard.  Or with the friend who lived in Pasadena and came by every morning at 7am to drive me to Oxnard so I wouldn’t lose the income.  You see … I couldn’t drive.  You see?  Help is everywhere.  The phrase “I’m alone” became “I have an army.”

    The Law of Attraction

    The third lesson I learned is that if one leads, if one sets the tone for what they want, everything else will follow.  It’s the Law of Attraction.

    Remember, I wanted to work near home and spend more time with my wife and I wanted to work in a stress free environment.  So I took leadership of that dream.  I focused on what I wanted and with the help of others I now have a successful, stress free local small businesses consulting company.

    I wanted to travel … fun trips not business trips.  So I took leadership on that dream too.  I focused on what I wanted and with the help of others whose hospitality made it all possible my wife and I have been to Hawaii, Mexico, Europe and all over the U.S. over the last fifteen years.  All fun trips too.

    And I wanted to be able to have a hobby that I could really enjoy and be good at.  So one day I decided I wanted to learn to paint.  I had never painted before not even stick people.  I focused on learning and I attracted lots of help.  And now, with the help of my artist wife Virginia, am almost an artist.  See?

    I'll add one more thing. I have always wanted to spend more time serving my community of Santa Clarita especially helping with issues dealing with veterans, seniors, homeless and various other non-profits. For almost four years I have had the great honor of serving on the City Council of Santa Clarita. Wow!


    As I said in the title of my speech, it’s never too late to realize your dreams.  Just remember my three lessons.  It’s never as dark as it seems.  Help is everywhere.  And, lead and everything else will follow.

    I had my stroke at age 59.  You don’t have to have a stroke to start realizing your dreams.  You could do it starting right now.  And you too will learn that it’s never too late to realize your dreams.

    Thank you!

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Bill Miranda Consulting

America Family Funding Bldg.

28338 Constellation Road

Suite 900

Santa Clarita, CA 91355

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