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The Big Picture
Rebecca "Becky" Coates Nee, a veteran TV news anchor/reporter, is a professional life/career coach. Check out her website at to take the coachability test, subscribe to her free "Beyond the Box" newsletter and to find out if you're an adrenaline junkie.

Finding Your Niche – Part 2
By Rebecca Coates Nee

So, you’ve figured out your DATA (see my last column) – now it’s time to put those Desires, Assets, Temperament and Abilities to work on your own behalf. Whether you want to create a side project or start your own business after TV, this formula will help you find your niche in the marketplace. Here’s an example from my own life.

As many of you know, my husband and I adopted a baby girl from China last January. Like most former news types, most of our trip was documented on video. Getting everything on camera becomes second nature to us after awhile – put that in your “asset” column.

So, when we returned, I looked at all this great video we had captured with a simple home digital SONY DCR-TRV17. Now, even though I was a one-woman band when I first started reporting, I am not technically inclined in the least (not an asset). But I do enjoy creating stories with pictures (desire, ability and temperament). So I bought a software editing program (Video Factory) and began putting together a 20 minute montage of our trip.

At first, this did not go well. Since I was coaching, writing AND caring for a 1 year old who was still in culture shock, I didn’t have much free time to figure out how to edit on a computer. Plus, much of our video was shot by my husband – a great guy but not a broadcaster. He talked through virtually all the nat sound. For example, during the critical moment when Nikki was handed to me, this is what you hear: “What a cutie!” “She doesn’t know who you are.” “Look at the way she’s looking at you.” And for the life of me, I cannot recall why he was clearly standing on a boat while the rest of us were on land!

BUT – I was determined to put this montage together for family, friends, my daughter and myself (desire, desire). Nothing stopped me – not even tantrums by both my daughter and husband. I was up late and early. I was on a mission and I couldn’t really even explain why. Note: This is the type of project you should look for – something you feel you MUST do, even though circumstances seem prohibitive and everyone else thinks you’re nuts.

I made four trips to Circuit City, many phone calls and emails to tech help and SOS pleas to my former photogs. When it was finally done, I was amazed at the response. My friends and family were passing it around to total strangers! People were crying – and it wasn’t just my daughter and husband any more. They were touched and informed.

Then, I realized there was nothing like it on the market. While much is written about China adoption – no videos have been produced that actually show the whole process. And China has now become the number 1 country from which Americans adopt. So, that became my niche.

I took my desires, abilities – old and recently acquired - and my assets (camera, computer and software) and single handedly, with the help of a few patient friends, produced an hour-long documentary on the process. I interspersed the shaky video from China with re-created shots of what we packed and our paperwork. I put props on an old navy blue evening gown, set the camera on a tripod, picked up my crying daughter, hit record, walked around the room for 10 seconds, hit stop, and repeated the process.

I used my journalistic skills to write the script and research the details. I recorded the voice overs in a closet while my daughter napped. Still, there were more challenges. I had to do all the on camera parts twice because of a mysterious buzz in the first taping. But again, I was on a mission and I couldn’t explain why.

Finally, it was finished and I began taking bids on dubbing services while changing diapers (literally). I put together a web site,, designed by Hal’s web maven, Jocelyne Rohrback. Finally, I ordered 500 copies, crossed my fingers and posted one announcement to one Yahoo listserv. Within the first week, half my inventory had already sold through!

Now, I am embarking on the next phase of the project – heavy duty marketing to media and other online groups. My assets and abilities from TV will undoubtedly help me with that aspect too. The production quality is not ready for prime time, but the people who buy the tape don’t seem to care.

And, although I’ve had a great time coaching former and current broadcasters, I’ve decided to put that part of my career on hold for at least a year while I concentrate on my daughter and the video. My training and experience as a coach, however, was a huge asset in helping me to persist through this production.

So – I’m sorry to say this will be my last regular “Big Picture” column. I want to give my deepest thanks to Hal for letting me spout off here for the past year and to those of you who’ve bothered to read my musings. If you have any questions – about home video production, adoption, coaching or just want to say hi – please email me at