Revealed: your own solopreneur sweet spot

by Nadine Nicholson on March 14, 2012

in Client Attraction, Leadership, Networking

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By Nadine Nicholson

In my last article, I made a case for outsourcing those tasks that drain you and helped you see what tasks that make sense to outsource.

Now, we’re going to learn more about your own Solopreneur Sweet Spot – what you love doing and what do well.

The overall goal is to get paid for what you love to do and do best.

So, how can you discover your own Solopreneur Sweet Spot?

By asking others!

Did your heart just skip a beat? Maybe a bit nervous about asking others what they like the most about you?

You’re not alone. I just asked some of my clients to do this exercise and they were a bit nervous too. They soon realized the immense value of asking others what they see you doing best. Here’s what they said:

Once I got over my initial hesitation about asking people to do it, the answers flooded in quickly – felt like a real love fest! And I did it over a variety of different people: past associates, family, friends, etc. I see a pattern emerging quickly. Now I understand why you asked us to do it Nadine!

It’s reminding me of the wonderful people I have in my life and how gracious they all are – I am so grateful for their support.

It’s bringing clarity to those ideas I’ve had “at the back of my mind” forever. Positive reinforcement for sure!

Why is important to ask others?

Those you trust often have a better sense of what you’re good at than you do yourself.

One of my business mentors, Gina Bell, says it something like this. When you’re working in the day-to-day of your business, your face is right up against the tree. You can’t possibly see everything around you because you’re too close to it.

But others can! And you may be surprised by how accurate they are.

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Choose 10 people in your life who you respect.
  2. Ask them what they see as your unique skills and abilities. (A sample email provided below.)
  3. Get 10 recipe cards and create one for each person, by writing a name on each one.
  4. Write highlights of each individual’s comments on his/her respective recipe card.
  5. Synthesize the comments from all 10 cards into five main points on a single card. In other words, look for activities or qualities that show up more than once or that resonate with you. Write down your five biggest sweet spot activities.

Sample Email

Dear [Insert person’s name],

I’m doing some outreach to learn my “sweet spot” as a solo business owner. The overall goal is to get paid for what I love to do and do best, those things where I show up with the most energy.

Because I trust and respect your opinion, I’d appreciate if you could reply to this email with your thoughts and observations on: 

  • My talents and abilities;
  • Characteristics or qualities that describe me;
  • What you observe I’m good at;
  • When I seem the happiest and most inspired;
  • What you count on me for; and
  • Anything else that impresses you about who I am.

I’d be grateful for a response before [insert] date. Thank you for taking the time to give me your feedback. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name] 

The individuals you choose can include colleagues, clients, friends and family. Basically, you want people who have known you for a while and have seen you in action. You want those who have your best interests at heart.

Lastly, do a “gut check” on how much time you’re spending working in your Solopreneur Sweet Spot. Allowing yourself more time to work on these things will give you pure sweetness in your business.

This is revealing exercise, one that will pay off for you for years to come. Have fun with it!

So the questions are these, my dear entrepreneur. What are your top five points in your own Solopreneur Sweet Spot? What might you do in your own business to spend more time doing what you love and are good at?

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Related posts:

  1. Take the Solopreneur Survival Survey 2011
  2. The real truth about why + what to outsource
  3. Supercharge your solopreneur success mindset: Part 2 of 3
  4. Supercharge your solopreneur success mindset: Part 3 of 3
  5. Doors are open! It’s the Solopreneur Survival Summit!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jess Webb March 14, 2012 at 9:55 am

I love the idea of the Sweet Spot, Nadine. I’ve done a similar exercise before, and it was very revealing and a big confirmation for me at the time. It’s probably about time to do it again, as a lot has shifted for me since then and it might give me some more clarity. ;)

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2 Nadine Nicholson March 14, 2012 at 9:59 am

Great! It will be interesting to see if anything has changed. Have a great day, Jess

Reply

3 Christine Marmoy March 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm

Hi Nadine,
What a great and powerful exercise. I agree with you and Gina, when we are too close we can’t see anything anymore. And I would add another element; many times we dismiss our own abilities, our own talents, because since it is easy for us, by default it’s not important or meaningful. How many times have we said or heard: ‘Oh that, but it’s nothing’…and that little ‘that’ can make all the difference, it’s what you call our sweet spot. Everything becomes easier from there. Thank you for this wonderful exercise.

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4 Nadine Nicholson March 14, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Hey Christine! Glad you liked it. Hope you’re feeling better, too.

Reply

5 Jeanne March 15, 2012 at 7:19 am

Yep, that’s me. When people keep coming to you for the same things, saying “oh, but you do it so well!” it’s a clue. Yet, I’m one of those people that do dismiss it because it comes so easily. I see it more as doing a favor for someone instead of a skill that a lot of people are willing to pay for. Properly valuing our services is the real challenge here.

Reply

6 Nadine Nicholson March 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

Hey Jeanne – You’ve really got something here. What if we as entrepreneurs are trying to sell services that aren’t our strengths because they’re so easy for us we think we should be giving them away. Yet what usually comes easiest to us is often our sweet spot! Thanks for raising this – definitely something I’m going to think about more.

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