How Do You Find Your Sweet Spot?  An Exercise in Discovery

When you wake up each morning, do you do so with a smile?  Do you wake up ignited because you know you are going to spend your day doing something that you are passionate about?  You may be saying to yourself, “Hold on Elita, Passionate is a strong word.  Who is passionate these days?”  Let me dial it down a bit.  Do you at least spend your days at work doing something that you enjoy?  According to a 2013 Gallup poll, of over 150,000 people surveyed, only 30 percent admitted they honestly enjoy their job and their bosses.  The other 70% clearly have not yet found their Sweet Spot.

Are you drifting through life in a job that you don’t even like?  If so, what can you do to change that?

I remember during my last year of High School, the majority of my friends had no idea what they wanted to take in College.  They had no idea what program they wanted because they had no idea what they wanted to do.  Then there were those people who knew exactly what they wanted to do.  They were so sure that it was clear in their minds.  Which group did you fall into?  If you were part of the second group, are you doing today what you imagined you would be doing when you were in school?

The term “Sweet Spot” in sports refers to the areas around the center of mass of a bat, racket, or head of a club that is the most effective part with which to hit a ball.  By hitting a ball with the sweet spot of your club, racket, or bat, it will travel a far greater distance than if you strike it even marginally off the mark.  The “Sweet Spot” provides you with the maximum return for your effort.

In life, your “Sweet Spot” are those activities that are maximally effective and that provide you with the most value for your effort.  What that value represents is up to you.  For some, it represents a financial return or gain, while for others, it is enough just to do something that you are passionate about.

 

How Do You Find Your Sweet Spot?  Questions That Help You Discover It

 

Your sweet spot is the intersection between your strengths and your passions.  It is the perfect combination of doing what you are good at and what you love.  In order for it to be your “sweet spot”, it needs to be the combination of both.

 

Sweet Spot = Your Strengths + Your Passions

 

I love to sing.  I sing while cleaning the house, cooking or taking a shower.  It is something that energizes me.  But, I am a terrible singer.  It will never be my sweet spot because it is not one of my strengths.  Just ask one of my children.  Luckily, there are other things I am passionate about that I am good at.

If you are having difficulty finding the intersection point between your strengths and passions, try this exercise.

Take out a piece of paper and complete the following exercise.  On the left side of the page, write down your strengths and on the right side of the page, write down your passions.

 

If you want a PDF version of this exercise,  Click Here to Download
 

Step 1:  Identify Your Strengths

What are you naturally good at?

What do you get most complimented for?

What have you been recognized for?

What skills do you possess?

What skills can you develop further?

If you are still stuck, ask someone who knows you what they believe your strengths are.

 

Step 2:  Identify Your Passions

What do you look forward to doing?  Something that you cannot wait to do.

What energizes you?  Which activity when performed, adds to your energy instead of depleting it?

What do you spend hours reading about or listening to?

 

My husband has been an avid collector ever since I have known him.  He collects everything from die-cast cars, tanks, swords, figurines and more.  He recently started experimenting with his creativity.  He started painting paintings that are all over our house and now paints model figurines.  When I think of passion, I easily think of him.  When he gets his mind on something, such as a painting or model figurine, he becomes lost in his creativity.  He will watch dozens of how to videos and spend hours creating his magic.  The end result is always impressive, but even more so is his commitment to his work.  I can put a plate of food in front of him with his favorite snack and he will leave it untouched until he finishes what he is doing.  I constantly encourage him to start recording his work and he finally started a YouTube channel, appropriately named, “Collector of All Things”.

 

Leadership is my passion.  Specifically making a positive impact in the lives of others.  Those times when I leave a conversation with one of my direct reports, feeling like it made a positive impact, I can almost skip to my car with excitement.  I know I made a difference.  Similarly, getting comments on my Twitter account, Facebook, or an email from a reader sharing their story and how one of my posts inspired them, is my fuel.

 

What fuels you?  What do you get lost in doing?

 

Step 3:  Combine similar themes.

Looking at both sides of the sheet, start identifying similar themes.

 

Example:

If your strengths are:

Connecting with an audience

Making people laugh

Making difficult desserts look easy

Creative

Your Passions are:

Cooking

Making desserts

Making people laugh

 

Then, similar themes would be your ability to cook and your passion for cooking.  You can also combine other areas together.  If you can easily connect with an audience, maybe you can start a YouTube channel where you display a step by step process for cooking difficult meals.  You can add humor to it if that is one of your strengths and passions.

 

Step 4:  Lean In

[tweetthis]“Once you find your sweet spot, you’ve got to lean into it and do what it takes to stay there.”[/tweetthis]

 

The world today is much different from the world of yesterday.  Today, it is much easier to research ways for you to take advantage of your sweet spot.  With so many available outlets and mediums, people are making money doing what they love a lot more than before.  Just look at the Top 10 Money Makers in YouTube for 2015.

10th Spot –  Rosanna Pansino who made $2.5 million in 2015 making YouTube videos on baking.

Number 1 spot – PewDiePie who made $12 million in 2015 building a community of bros while playing video games.  That is incredible.

 

How can you lean into it? 

  • Research what you would need to get started
  • Make a Plan
  • Do one thing every day that will move your plan forward
  • Try…Practice…Practice
  • Don’t wait for perfection to get started.  Start today and learn as you go forward.

 

Step 5:  Rewards and Decisions

Now you need to decide if doing this is worth doing for free, at least for now.  There is no guarantee that what you are both good at and passionate about will make you money right away.  It is up to you to decide if it is worth your effort.

Let me ask you one question before you decide.

In a world with so much disengagement, if you can find passion in something, isn’t worth doing?  Keep at it and believe that one day, it will bring you the income and eventual freedom to do it as often as you want.

[tweetthis]“Enjoy the journey and your destination will come up quicker than you think[/tweetthis].”

 

sweet-spot-with-financial-gain

 

Have you found your Sweet Spot?

 

Do you want to reference this Blog Post for later?  You can download a PDF version of this Blog Post by clicking the image below.

 

Elita Torres

I have over 20 years experience as a leader, first as a General Manager for several Big Box retailers with over 100 employees, then as a district manager overseeing an average of 23 stores. Currently, I am a Sales Director overseeing 4 Districts. My passion for leadership and personal development has led me to share my journey in a Blog. Find out more on http://www.leadgrowdevelop.com/about/