I regularly listen to the EntreLeadership Podcast, and I highly recommend it.
On a recent episode, Ken Coleman was the guest. During the interview, he talked about finding your “Sweet Spot”, which he defined as the intersection between your greatest strength and your greatest passion.
There is a lot of advice out there about finding your ideal career/purpose in life.
One common saying is, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” There is some truth to that, because if you hate what you do, it’s really hard to do it well enough to be truly successful at it.
Others, such as Rabbi Daniel Lapin in his book Thou Shall Prosper, argue that you should take an inventory of your skills and figure out how to apply those in the marketplace to provide something that people will pay for. There is also truth in this, because if you do something that people don’t care about, even if you love it, it’s pretty hard to keep food on the table.
I find Coleman’s definition of the Sweet Spot to be a good combination of the two. It’s best to find something that fits both viewpoints: Something you’re really good at that you’re also really passionate about. If you can then find a way to use your Sweet Spot to meet the needs of others, you’ve got a winning combination.
In the interview, Coleman talked about three things to do with your Sweet Spot:
- Find it
- Step into it
- Stay there
Finding your Sweet Spot may not be easy.
What is your greatest strength? What are you best at? If you’re not sure, a book like Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love might help.
What is your greatest passion? What lights your fire and gets you out of bed in the morning? What would you do if money was no object and you had no other commitments in life?
What can you do to combine those two in a way that serves others? Be creative here, and try to come up with something unique. You’re a unique person with unique talents, abilities and passions. What is something that you can do to serve the world around you?
Once you find your Sweet Spot, you have to step into it. If all you do is find it, what’s the point? If you’re not already in your Sweet Spot, you need to start adjusting your life to move in that direction. It may not be an easy process; in fact, it might take a few years to make the necessary adjustments. Even if that’s true for you, keep your eye on the goal and take a step toward it every day. Jon Acuff’s Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job & Your Dream Job talks about how to do this without shooting yourself in the foot.
Once you’re in your Sweet Spot, you have to stay there. That means not getting sidetracked by distractions. It means adapting as the world around you changes.
I highly recommend listening to the whole interview with Ken Coleman, and then thinking about your Sweet Spot. I’m finding these ideas useful in my own life. I’m also finding them helpful as I talk to my kids about their future plans. If I can help them find their Sweet Spot early in life, they can start moving in that direction even before they’re done high school.