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PP 011: (Pt. 2 of 3) Laying the Foundation for Your Personal Brand: Find Your Sweet Spot & Enjoy the Work You’re Best At

The Sweet Spot: Making the Most of Your Existence on Earth

Find Your Sweet Spot & Enjoy the Work You’re Best At

Find Your Sweet Spot & Put Your Ladder Against the Right Wall

When I graduated college, I was all over the place. I had no idea what I wanted to do in my life and I couldn’t get a job to save my life in the graphic design field. I wanted to be great at everything which made me average at everything.

Prime example of being a jack-of-all-trades.

I wanted to be a tattoo artist, logo designer, co-run a t-shirt company, and a freelance graphic designer to name a few. Imagine each of these paths as a wall. I was placing a ladder against each one and attempting to climb them all at the same time to reach the top.

Impossible right?

The problem was the ladder was against the wrong wall or walls in this scenario.

Stephen Covey, author of the 7 Habits of Successful People states, “If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”

I was going in the wrong place quickly—it was no wonder why I was so depressed with my current life situation. I felt like a failure as I watched people succeeding right away out of college and I didn’t understand why…..they had found their sweet spots in college because they were more focused than I was.

Everything changed when I stumbled across content related to the sweet spot in an Entreleadship Podcast episode hosted by Ken Coleman of Ramsey Solutions. I started working on my sweet spot which has now given me a vision to focus on each day.

It’s helped me place the ladder on the right wall and I’ve been enjoying the climb.

So what is this sweet spot?

What is the Sweet Spot?

The sweet spot can be defined several ways:

  • The intersection of your greatest strength and passion
  • The intersection of your greatest knowledge / skill with a strong passion point
  • Being equally good at what you love to do
  • Your vocation, life’s work or calling

They key point is that it is a balance of both your greatest strength and passion. It’s not one or the other.

Climbing the ladder of your greatest strength but lacking the enthusiasm for what you do can lead to burnout. On the flip side, pursuing something you love yet you like the skills will lead to little progression with major disappointment.

They go hand in hand.

Doing work you love and thrive in like no one else requires finding your sweet spot. It’s how you will own your content niche and grow an engaged audience around what you know and enjoy the best.

Hopefully, this is probably sounding pretty enticing by now, so how do you find both key areas?

It starts by performing a self-audit and flushing everything out the possibilities visually by hand. Begin by drawing two large overlapping circles that create a Venn Diagram. Label the left side strengths and the right side passions.

How to Find Your Sweet Spot Worksheet

Your sweet spot is at the intersection of your greatest strength and passion.

Finding Your Greatest Strength

Let’s go through a few action steps to determine what your greatest strength is.

Step 1: Write Down What You’re Best At

What comes so naturally to you that other people have a difficult time doing?

What knowledge or skill area do you thrive in?

The keyword here is thrive—this isn’t about what you’re average in.

Give yourself 10 minutes of distraction-free time and brain dump anything and everything you can think of into the left column. Having something visually to work from is the key.

For example, if I was to fill this out again; I’m pretty athletic and am good at basketball, but it’s definitely not my greatest asset so it wouldn’t go on the list.

Drawing on the other hand and the knowledge I’ve gained for lettering and illustrations would definitely make the list.

Step 2: Consult a Trusted Resource

Getting another person’s unbiased perspective is extremely helpful. They may summarize your strengths better than you can in your own words……trust me on this one.

My good friend Eric Friedensohn of Efdot Studio has a gift of articulating my thoughts way better than I could. I have a way of rambling to him what’s on my mind and he can clearly communicate and summarize it back to me. You need yourself an Eric.

You can ask several people this too and crowd source the information. List their answers along with yours in the left-hand column.

Step 3: Take a StrengthsFinder Test

If you don’t have that “aha” moment when cross-examining your answers with your resources, look into the book StrengthFinders 2.0.

I read this book in college and recently just discovered my copy from the leftover flood cleanup. This book is gold and purchasing it will give you an access code to take the strengths finder test online.

Once you’ve completed these steps and begin finding that top one or two strengths, transition into determining your greatest passion.

Finding Your Greatest Passion

I’m a self-help junkie but there is a lot of garbage out there. I used to get wrapped up in a lot of BS about chasing your passion and so on but the majority of it lacked context.

What if you pursue what you’re passionate about but you’re not very good at it? What if you’re wasting your time on a cheap thrill when it’s really putting you in a hole?

You need to have that strength area of knowledge or skill. The passion and drive are what will make that area successful.

Passion is the fuel that makes the engine go and without it, it’s hard to get good at something or be good enough to make an impact on other.

Pairing your passion point with a strength is a game changer and I want to show you it’s not rocket science.

Step 1: Write Down What You’re Enthusiastic About

In that second circle column labeled passions, set aside another 10-minute block of distraction free time. Write down what is it you truly love to do and what are you most enthusiastic about when you do it?

For me, I am my happiest when I’m creating or helping someone else see a glimpse of their potential.

Step 2: Don’t Over Think it

Everyone has something they love to do so finding something you’re passionate about should be relatively simple. You may think it’s the dumbest thing but there are people out there making a living off their passionate weird quirks such as Andy Schneider, aka the Chicken Whisperer. He’s become famous for his love of teaching how to raise backyard chickens.

If you love it, it’s worth taking a hard look at when determining your sweet spot. You just may be able to pair a strength with it and thrive.

Putting it All Together

By no means am I saying you will find your sweet spot immediately. It is a continuous process that can either grow wider or you can niche down deeper within.

If you’re wanting to begin building your personal brand, I’m just trying to encourage to have some direction and be more intentional about what kind of content you’ll be producing.

By combining your greatest strength and passion, you’ll not only be about to own a specific content niche, but you’ll get to enjoy what you’re best at too.

Don’t get caught up in the thinking and planning, pick a direction, dip your toes in the water and feel it out. What you pick doesn’t have to be what you’ll be doing for the rest of your life. Your sweet spot can grow and evolve, but as long as you’re focused in a direction of strength and passion, your intuition will guide you.

Most people aren’t operating in their sweets spots because they don’t feel their life’s work doesn’t exist in the world. This is true but you have the ability and the resources to create your own work based around your sweet spot. I see people doing it and thriving in it every day like the Aaron Draplin, Andy J. Miller or Jessica Hische. These people aren’t quitting on their dreams, they are successful doing the work they love and are experts at.

If it can happen for them, it can happen for you. It will always boil down to how badly do you want it?

My challenge to you this week is to follow the steps which I’ve listed in this post along with the Venn Diagram to fill out. List out your greatest strengths and your greatest passion. Have an idea of what direction you could go in as we head into the third and final part of the series: Your Intent: Why You Do it Matters More Than What You Do.

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The Sweet Spot: Making the Most of Your Existence on Earth

Where you are right now doesn’t have to be where you are going to be

Imagine what it would look like to purposely live out your existence by doing what you were created to do. You can have this life but in order to achieve it you must create a space where you are equally good at what you love to do.

The Sweet Spot: Making the Most of Your Existence on Earth

Create a space where you are equally good at what you love to do

This space is your sweet spot; where your greatest strengths intersect with your passion. Finding this sweet spot, stepping into it and staying in it allows you to be ambitious in chasing your calling and pursuing self-fulfillment. It positions you to make the most of your existence here on Earth.

To live a life in our sweet spot we must:

  1. Locate it
  2. Step Into it
  3. Stay the Course
  4. Battle Adversity

1. Locate it

The last two posts we discussed guides on determining your greatest strengths and finding your passion. When you find the intersection of the two you have located your sweet spot.

It’s easy to say what it is but I think it’s important to illustrate what the sweet spot isn’t. The sweet spot isn’t about focusing solely on your strengths nor your passion. It’s a balance and blend between the two.

For example, imagine a businessman or woman who is crushing the corporate world; making more money then he or she knows what to do with. This individual climbed the corporate ladder by utilizing their talents but something is wrong, they hate the life they’ve created for themselves. They lack the passion and the drive as money has only brought temporary happiness – the love of money won’t fill the voids of finding one’s purpose. Being in this position is draining as you live for the weekends and dread your Monday mornings. Focusing solely on strengths and negating your passion will affect your life physically, mentally and spiritually.

Let’s change the scenario and use an example of many of our younger generation. Their passion is to become viral and famous overnight like their idols. We’ve all seen the tv shows like America’s Got Talent where an individual auditions to show the world how great they are. They have an arrogant bravado because their friends and family have been feeding them that they are a star in the making. It’s a rude awakening when state that they are severely deficient in the talent department. This person usually becomes angry and is in denial. Their skills don’t measure up to their passion and they aren’t playing to their strengths. This isn’t the sweet spot.

You must find your balance of loving what you’re good at to create a space you can step into.

2. Step Into it

If you’ve found your sweet spot, what’s holding you back? Are you paralyzed by the fear of failure or self-doubt?

Step out of where you’re at and step into where you’re supposed to be. Stop looking at where you’re coming from and look ahead at where you are going. This is where you get boldness, motivation and confidence to pursue your gift — let the fear and doubt deteriorate.

Step into something that you can pour your life into – something that is overflowing. Doing this will create a ripple effect as it contagiously spills into your work, your health and your relationships. It’s inevitable and will add value to the world in multiple facets.

Find what it is you want within your sweet spot and go after it like your life depended on it. You must do what you were created to do so you can step boldly into this role. You must have faith and confidence in your abilities that this is where you belong.

Once you take that step forward, remain focused and stay the course as things will work in your favor.

3. Stay the Course

When you locate and step into your sweet spot, devoting all your focus and energy into staying there is crucial. The benefits will far outweigh the hardships that come along with this lifestyle.

When you live in your sweet spot, things will coincidentally continue to work in your favor. These good things will happen because you are where you are supposed to be. People will begin to notice and say, “You always seem to be at the right place at the right time.” Deep down you need to understand that you’ve been in the right place and the right time happened.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#1C1C1C” class=”” size=”32″]John Wooden stated, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.”[/pullquote]

Being present in your sweet spot creates a space where you will find an abundance of opportunities. This isn’t a matter of luck; you have prepared yourself to attain this success. Your dedication to your passion and skills are the preparation you need so you can confidently succeed at whatever it is you do.

The beauty about staying the course is you can protect your passion and evolve. There is no need to pigeon hole and burn yourself out from doing the same thing repetitively. By staying in your sweet spot, you are able to navigate within that space you’ve created and pursue new ventures that align with the overall mission.

For example, I discovered my sweet spot by blogging which allows me to help people through writing and art. This has attracted opportunities to begin public speaking and teaching creative workshops as they still reside in the sweet spot. I am able to navigate and keep pushing myself to greater heights by staying the course.

Good things continue to happen because I’m in the right place and the right time keeps happening. Being aware of these fortunate events enables me to battle all adversity thrown my way.

The Sweet Spot: Making the Most of Your Existence on Earth

Stop looking at where you’re coming from and look ahead at where you are going.

4. Battle Adversity

I’m not trying to sell you that this will be easy – living in your sweet spot is supposed to be difficult. There will days you want to quit but you need look in the mirror and ask yourself, “How badly do I want this?”

I understand life happens but keep in mind:

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”#1C1C1C” class=”secondClass” size=”32″]without resistance there would be no growth.[/pullquote]

You won’t become stronger, you won’t learn to preserve. You can’t become a stronger version of yourself when the challenge is obsolete; you still have to show up and grind when it’s not convenient. That’s the difference between a professional and a hobbyist.

You need those setbacks and obstacles to overcome and those barriers to climb. You need those mistakes and failures to will your way to get what you want. That’s when your faith and your perseverance will power you through the hardships. The passion will make it feel like it isn’t work – you’ll get the same enjoyment out of it on a Friday as you will going into a Monday.

Adversity also provides distractions as you try to plant your roots within your sweet spot. Countless of temptations will present themselves which may derail you from your destined path. These temptations could be disguised as a job with a larger paycheck or someone conceiving you into guilt to pursue something different. You must acknowledge the difficulties and stay the course.

Key Takeaways:

  • Find the space where you are equally good at what you love to do
  • The sweet spot isn’t about focusing solely on your strengths nor your passion
  • Step out of where you’re at and step into where you’re supposed to be
  • Stop looking at where you’re coming from and look ahead at where you are going
  • Good things will happen because you are in the right place and the right time happened
  • Navigating the sweet spot allows you to protect your passion and evolve
  • Living in your sweet spot is supposed to be difficult – without resistance there would be no growth
  • You’ll get the same enjoyment out of it on a Friday as you will going into a Monday

Take Action

Dig down deep and find what drives you to make your sweet spot a way of life. Understand what living in the sweet spot looks like and the challenges that will present themselves. Don’t ever be satisfied with your current situation– where you are right now doesn’t have to be where you’re going to be.

Make the most of your existence and get busy living.

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