Passions Meet Strengths: Finding Your SweetSpot

Do you think you might want to start your own business? If so you’re not alone. Women are starting businesses at a rate that vastly outpaces our male counterparts.

Have you heard about success statistics of small business starts? They aren’t pretty. (Fewer than half are around at year TWO.) So my mission is helping women change those statistics and start business that succeed. How do we do that?

It Starts With Passion

They say passion is the key ingredient to successful entrepreneurship. It certainly is a critical one but it isn’t the ONLY one. In fact, if we don’t match passion with what we are GREAT at, it doesn’t matter how strongly we feel about our product or service — we WILL fail.

How do we know our “highest and best good?” Lots of folks have had great fun reading about “finding your strengths” with Gallup. Some of us discovered the importance of understanding our strengths when Marcus Buckingham visited Oprah. And it is true that these free quizzes are “fun.” But are they helpful? Actually such things are fairly “blunt” instruments. They may suggest general direction but do they really help me, as an individual, get to what work makes sense for my highest and best good?

What’s A “SweetSpot?”

Where your passions intersect with your talents and strengths equals your “SweetSpot,” in my lexicon. More often than not, I have seen women start a business primarily on a financial basis. It can work, but it tends not to lead to much personal satisfaction, and over time it’s easy to tip into resentment and deep dissatisfaction. If you have the opportunity to think about a business you feel strongly about beforehand, by all means TAKE IT! I created a simple tool — the SweetSpot Grid™ — that I use with clients. It’s a helpful instrument to map and measure your business ideas on the axes of Passions and Strengths. [Click here to get your copy.]

Discover Your Passions and Strengths

I’ve had multiple clients who have headed down the entrepreneurial road without a clear understanding of what they truly LOVE to do, or more importantly where their skills and abilities lie. It doesn’t end happily. Recently, a client planning her corporate career exit thought she’d do the same work she’d been doing. She performed brilliantly at that job, and excelled over and over again.

When I asked her about her passions, however, her voice changed. She thought she had to go with where she knew how to make money quickly. But did she really? Not every woman entrepreneur is fortunate enough to be married with a secure financial situation as my client is. She had the flexibility to choose but it wasn’t her first instinct.

She opted to take an in depth, statistically valid behavior and personality assessment as an aid to our discussions. The indicators it saw in her answers helped her see that her passions lay in a completely different area than was her knee-jerk reaction. Luckily, it was in time for her to do research and validate her hypothesis that her SweetSpot lay in a different direction. (I’m happy to report she is delightedly ensconced as CEO of an organization that precisely in her sweet spot!)

Your  Choices

Once you have determined your SweetSpot comes the hard work of testing your business idea, to ensure there is a valid market for it, and that you can reach that market successfully. Stay tuned for more articles about creating a business model that SINGS!

There’s little doubt of the value of objective insights about our individual skills, abilities and motivations. In my commitment to help women make great decisions about starting a business on the front end of their decision-making, I’ve developed a special offer for Corporate Fugees to access the information that will point them in the right direction. Learn more here. 

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