The Source of Meaningful Work

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

Deficiency, or rather the elimination of it, is our source for meaningful work.

We tend to see life, work, the world, and (secretly) ourselves as deficient in one or more of only these six ways.

  • There is too much ignorance. Life, work, and the world would be better when we pause to understand before acting. We are driven by understanding.
  • There is too much lack (of time, money, or anything, really). Life, work, and the world would be better when we set goals, take practical steps to get there, and measure ourselves along the way. We are driven by utility.
  • There is too much ugliness (of things, systems, and ideas). Life, work, and the world would be better when we drink in the beauty of life and design everything (concrete or conceptual) for completeness and enjoyment. We are driven by aesthetics.
  • There is too much separation. Life, work, and the world would be better when we realize we are all in this together and we choose to help each other out. We are driven by unity.
  • There is too much weakness. Life, work, and the world would be better when we coordinate and consolidate our power with strong leadership. We are driven by power.
  • There is too much tumult. Life, work, and the world would be better when we find, live & work by, and encourage others to live & work by the same, time-tested views, truths, and approaches. We are driven by tradition.

Our own career and our organizations’ strategies are most meaningful, compelling, and rewarding when we help other people and groups of people to correct those of these deficiencies that we notice the most.


In your corner,


PS: We can apply these insights with some inquiry. We can explore how our careers (self) and strategies (organization) already align with the things that drive us the most. And we can ask, “What can we keep doing, start doing, and stop doing to be more aligned with those things?”


Today’s photo credit: Sandra Fauconnier cc

lemonade stand

Wantrepreneur Cure

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Anypreneur, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

Wantrepreneurs are people who deeply desire to start a business but don’t.

Fear is the main obstacle. We worry whether our idea is right, if we can navigate all the details, how we’ll make enough money, and what will happen if we fail.

There is cure for wantrepreneurism; you can start a business. The cure has four steps.

First, raise your buzz. You must feel good before you act. Make raising your buzz a daily habit.

Second, make sure the product or service you would offer matches your SweetSpot. Your SweetSpot includes what you’re good at, what you care about, and your needs for income and security. It also includes the types of problems that other people (or groups of people) experience that you find compelling and that they would pay to solve.

Third, get help. Don’t go it alone. You need not have partners or employees to start. Do beg, buy, or barter the help of others. Even before your start, grow and connect with your network to get the insight, support, and guidance you’ll need.

Fourth, start small and grow. Most ventures can start with little money and just a few hours per week. Test your ideas, learn from the tests, adjust, and repeat.


In your corner,


PS: Yes, starting a business is more complex than that. But to get past wantrepreneurism and start your business, you need only these four steps.

Today’s photo credit: eren {sea+prairie} cc


How To Choose Your Next Career, Project, or Strategy

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

Should we go for strategy A or B? Career This or That? Project X or Y?

When we are not in our SweetSpot, the best we can do to make such choices is to build a list of pros and cons. Or maybe we can flip a coin.

When we know our SweetSpot, we can generate lots of options that would fit us fine. It won’t matter what options we take.

You see, anything that meets the criteria set out by our (personal or organizational) SweetSpot is, by definition, perfect.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: Nicu Buculei cc


Career Checkup

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

The criteria: Our work is successful and meaningful to the extent that it uses our talents, engages our passions, meets our needs/wants/desires, and helps others (individuals and/or organizations) solve problems that we find compelling or interesting.

With these criteria in mind, let’s do a career checkup. Explore the following questions. Write down your answers.

How would you rank your current work against those four criteria? How could you adjust your current work to better match these criteria? What projects, roles, or businesses could you do next that would best match these criteria? What obstacles might stand between you and your next career move? Finally, how might you navigate past those obstacles?

So, Doc, how is the patient doing?


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Dr.Farouk via photopin cc

SweetSpot 2014

Four Ways To Know You’re In the Right (or Wrong) Career

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

Work that doesn’t use your talents is work you should have others do.

Work that doesn’t engage your passions is a dead end.

Work that doesn’t meet your needs, wants, and/or desires is martyrdom.

Work that doesn’t solve compelling problems for other people or organizations is a hobby.

Work that engages all four of these factors–talents, passions, needs/wants/desires, and compelling problems–is work in your SweetSpot. It is meaningful, fun, profitable, and rewarding.

Which is nice.


In your corner,


Can We Have Everything?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success, Sweetspot, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

The cars, the houses, the career, the family, the vacations, the meaningful experiences, the titles, the accolades, the bucket list, the prestige, the money, the cottage, the degrees and certifications, the friends, the love, the fame, the good life, the perfect swing, the next iPhone? (I could go on.)

Can we have everything? No. There is simply too much. As the comedian, Stephen Wright, says, “You can’t have everything. Where would you put it?”

And having everything is so not the point. Life constantly presents us with rich possibilities…so many that we could never possibly choose them all. Our job is to choose then pursue the options that honestly feel best. And, though we may seek guidance and insight from others, only we can ever know what’s best for us to choose for ourselves.

Then we have a very full, meaningful life. All the satisfaction we want is in this choosing.

In your corner,


PS: Of course, knowing what feels good is the trick. We feel it in our bodies. We know when something truly feels good vs. when we merely think it should. We each have one or two feelings that tell us we are on the right track. For me, it’s a tingling up my back and neck.

PPS: We can even choose to have all those things listed above or not, as long as it feels good.

PPPS: Two useful, related measures of success in life: 1) What percentage of my life is chosen?  2) Is that percentage increasing over time?


To Have a Truly Successful Career

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

There is a bit of a bun fight going on in the career coaching world about what it takes to have a successful career. On one side, experts advise us to follow our passion. “Do what you love,” they say. Experts on the other side say passion is highly overrated and what we really must do is engage and hone our talents.

Who is right? Both and neither. We must be talented at what we do or people will be reluctant to pay us. We must also do what what motivates and excites us or we will find ourselves in dead-end work.

But talents and passions are not enough. To have a truly successful career, we must have some of our significant needs,  wants,  and, desires (e.g. income, balance, work environment, challenge) met. And our work must, must significantly help other people or organizations.

If we leave out of the equation our needs, etc., we won’t have a career, we will have martyrdom. Likewise, we need to help people and/or organizations solve their problems otherwise there will be no one to pay us; we will have found not a career but a hobby.

Pull all four factors together–our talents, passions, needs/wants/desires, and our sense of the problems we like to help others solve–and we are living from our SweetSpot. Here we find careers full of success, meaning, reward, and joy.


In your corner,


Today’s photo credit: herbraab via photopin cc

hard work

Hard Work Has Nothing to Do With It

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Success, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

Hard work is not one of the ingredients of success. Showing up and doing the next best action again and again? Sure. Tuning your inner game? No question. Having a clear goal based in your SweetSpot and working for win-win with all who matter? Yes, of course. But none of this is hard work.

Hard work is straining, pushing, running like mad, struggling. It’s full of pain and fear. It’s hoping that it all will work out and complaining that it isn’t.

You just can’t get to successful from there.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Property#1 cc


Respect Your Talents

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Sweetspot, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1

Many of us don’t respect our talents. We often deny having any talents (we each have them). Or we think that our qualities are not that special. We think, “Doesn’t everyone do this?”

No, they don’t.

Respecting your talents is one of the important steps in plotting your career direction. And it is important all the other times when you are not plotting. When you respect…when you no longer deny your talents, we all benefit.  You feel great whenever you use your unique constellation of talents. We benefit from having those talents applied to the situations we face.

And you further benefit from our gratitude.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: Gog Llundain via photopin cc

Purpose, meaning, significance, satisfaction

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1

Purpose, meaning, significance, and satisfaction. These are what we all long for in our jobs. Yet most of us hold ourselves away from purpose, meaning, etc. because we think we can’t afford it, don’t deserve it, or can’t find it.

You can find a job or business that is chock full of meaning, purpose, etc. Start by finding your SweetSpot.

You can also afford it. Your SweetSpot includes an accurate picture of your non-negotiable income needs. Commit to your SweetSpot and build a plan (which may contain more than one significant steps to reach your ultimate goal).

And you deserve it. C’mon! We are talking about the magnificent you, aren’t we?

In your corner,


PS: Thought so.