Whether you are an artist or an entrepreneur, you have probably already heard/read that it’s important to find your “sweet spot” to make any difference in the business world.
What is a “sweet spot” some of you may be asking?
Literally, it’s that part of a tennis racket or a baseball bat where it is most effective to hit the ball. I often wonder if extensive use of this metaphor has become a bit of a cliché, but as it’s become colloquial language, we may as well go along with it and not discount it just yet.
So, I’m sure you already see where this is going, and sports analogies often work, but we still need to determine just what IS that particular spot in a businessperson’s career that can make an impact – like the bat?
I believe that in the same way that ball was hit with intention, so should the person apply the same in the workplace, or to his/her project, whatever that is – launching a new product, writing a book, creating art, etc.
I have read that there are three factors which that person should apply to their project to ascertain the “sweet spot”:
- Genuine Interest
Now, sports analogies aside, you can really see where this pertains to artists too.
So let’s discuss each one to help you determine your sweet spot:
What do you absolutely love doing? What things do you find the most fascinating? What would drive you to get up in the morning if you had the economic resources that you could do a job you really want to do? (If it’s already art, then forget about the money side of things for a while, but concentrate only on ascertaining every aspect of everything that interests you.)
What do you find so important, so interesting, or what is it that you’re so passionate about you could eat, sleep and breath it 24 hours a day? It may be a public cause, or to teach, or an issue which is close to your heart. It could be an idea you have, or a passion for a sport or perhaps a movement. Whatever it is, it should captivate you.
Write a list – note every single thing that you find interesting and narrow that down to what is the most interesting – what really gets you excited when you see the words on your page? What truly captures your genuine interest?
Do you have a natural flair for something? Are you perhaps excellent at baking, or photography? Does it just seem easy and you thrive on the activity of doing it? Perhaps you can extend your skills by attending workshops or a webinar, but for now, you just need to ascertain what really makes you buzz.
Again, write a list, and evaluate every possible skill you have, regardless of how competently at this stage.
Now imagine this/these skills paired with your genuine interest. You can already sense a twitter of magic in the possibilities. This is where the third factor comes in – opportunity.
I really don’t want to burst your imaginative bubble after hyping you up so greatly, and it is coming – but… yes, but this is the tricky part. It’s pointless loving books and meeting a publisher if you actually can’t write. Nor would you ever consider applying for a job in an industry you know nothing about just because the opportunity arose.
No, but by being mindful of every chance meeting or message etc that comes your way could just be a potential opportunity to pursue. Through this mindfulness and networking – of taking action every time you feel the urge to respond to something – there will come a time when the three factors will overlap or intersect.
In the interim, you can seek opportunities for yourself. Can you also think of something you do that people would possibly pay you for? Have you any marketable skills? Or were you to learn some, or improve on your existing ones, could this possibly open doors for you, so you can work at what you absolutely love doing, are genuinely interested in and could find the opportunity to make that happen?
A helpful way to visualize this is the overlapping circles in the Venn diagram, a concept based on the work of Jim Collins.
Perhaps there’s a way you can implement these ideas in your current work if you already love what you do.
Finding the Creative Sweet Spot
I truly believe that artists have to also be entrepreneurs to make a success in their career. But this article is not about the business side of art, so I wont go into that, but I do want to go into giving your art business a kick-in-the-butt by offering you some advice.
If you could find a way to combine your skills with something out of the ordinary (extraordinary yes, but also unusual) you would be well on your way to giving your career a boost.
Ask yourself this: What makes me different from others?
- If you are quirky – use that.
- If you have a larger-than-life personality – use that.
- If you have a passion for frogs, or bees, or flowers, or sun hats, or teapots – whatever – use that.
Make your quirkiness your trait that stands out. Use it to make a difference – it’s you, it’s so unique, nobody else is quite like you.
Be your authentic self and you will draw the audience. Trust me.
I admire artist Dreama Tolle Perry for this very trait; not only is she a good artist and teacher and draws a huge following through these skills, but she also engages with her audience by exuding her bubbly southern personality and her love of cats. She personifies them in her blogs and newsletters by making statements like, “Eddie would not approve, so don’t tell him I told you.”
It’s endearing, and the reader feels like she’s an old friend. She allows us to truly connect with her as she reveals herself to us and we are drawn in by the uniqueness of this real person.
Here are a few ways you can tune into your creative subconscious to discover your very own sweet spot:
- When you daydream, or relax, you free your mind and let go. This is when ideas come.
- When you exercise you also free your mind and allow your thoughts and ideas to organize themselves.
- When you sleep, believe it or not, what you think about in the day continues, and sometimes when you wake up, a light bulb goes off in your mind. Perhaps that’s why we say, “I’ll sleep on it.”
- When you brainstorm or have to solve something, you trigger the creative mode of your brain and come up with solutions and other ideas you haven’t thought of before.
So use these tools, even when you relax, and zone in to what your heart wants and where your skills lie, and then you will know where to take action to bring about those opportunities to start the magic!
Make your Uniqueness Count
Is your sweet spot really showing in your work? Do the products you create exude YOU? If not, it’s time you show them off! Not only for the extra money you stand to make, but also for the service you’ll be doing for others by offering something unique, as well as living a life of joy and fulfillment because you have found the balance and that point of impact which is so powerful it can change the world.