Anyone who has played tennis, or golf, or baseball knows what the “sweet spot” is. In tennis it’s the place on the racket that balances the control and the power of the racket. In golf the sweet spot is the place on the club that allows you to hit the little white ball like a pro with maximum distance and accuracy and in baseball, it’s that place on the bat that will carry the ball the greatest distance without the vibration that makes your hands feel like they were electrocuted.
Your sweet spot is that special place where your individual strengths are perfectly balanced with your passion, your competition appears incompetent and your customer’s, reader’s, or boss’s needs are met.
Focus on your strengths.
If you are the best in the world at accounting, don’t try to convince your boss to allow you to start writing copy. If you write a blog on identity theft, don’t allow it to drift off into cooking. If you start a company that specializes in Internet marketing, don’t get enamored with all the money being made in grant writing. Focus like a laser on what you do well and point it out to your boss, your readers, or your customers. Always concentrate on those areas where you have the advantage of expertise.
It’s important to remember that your competition also has a sweet spot and if you drift into that zone, you’ll get crushed. Too many times, it’s easy to get seduced into thinking you can move over into those areas where your competition is succeeding wildly, only to fall flat on your face. Businesses do it all the time. A CEO will refuse to listen to reason and assume that he has the Midas touch, buying a company far outside his company’s niche, then sell it two years later for less than half of what he paid for it.
Individuals do the same thing. They see someone on cable TV that flips houses, making $100,000 in 30 minutes and they think, “Hey, I could do that.” Twelve months later, they’ve maxed out their credit cards, trashed their credit report, and still haven’t sold the home!
They moved away from their strengths.
Stay far away from areas where you have no strength.
There are also some “Me, too!” zones that you and your competition share. In these zones, pricing becomes the main issue while your message and your strengths are diluted.
When a customer or your boss has to make a choice between two virtually identical selections, numbers rule the day. The cheapest wins. Unfortunately, if you’re the cheapest you usually wind up resentful and bitter or at least with a feeling of being used.
The Bottom Line.
What makes you different is YOU — your work ethic, your personal voice, your ideas, your perspective, your willingness to go above and beyond.
Stay focused, stay motivated, and concentrate on what you do well. Regularly point it out to your boss, your readers, or your customers and enjoy the success that you’ll achieve.