Monday, December 29, 2014

Six Steps to Expanding Your Sweet Spot

It's hard to get into The Sweet Spot when it is so tiny!

Finding Success in any situation depends on how well you are able to balance relevant facts (what you know) with confidence (what you think you know) and conviction (what you believe). It can be very difficult to find success when the sweet spot is very small.

The following six steps will help you expand the sweet spot in any situation so you can get what you want while being the person you want to be.


1.    Always ask the question: What do I want and how can I get it while being the person I want to be?

2.    Research the answers. The more work you do in this step to define the following three things, and in this order, the more confidence and conviction you’ll have later on:

Identify the real value-propositions
a.    What you value: Why do it? What personal, professional, and/or organizational value-propositions does it represent the opportunities to realize for you and your stakeholders? Define what you know, what you think you know, and what you believe about why it is important to you and your stakeholders.

b.    What you are good at: How will you go about achieving the results you want? Define what you will do.

c.    What people care about: Why will they interact with or invest themselves in it?

3.    Develop your hypothesis. A good simple but clear hypothesis looks something like this:
I believe when I ___________, I will create __________ (external value-proposition for stakeholder(s)) and __________(internal value-proposition for self)
Your hypothesis must focus on taking advantage of the real opportunities if you want to expand The Sweet Spot

4.    Test your hypothesis. Do it!

5.    Analyze the Results

a.    Did you get what you want? Based on the results (data, feedback, etc.), do you have enough confidence in the idea and the approach you took to do it again?

                                          i.   If yes, go to 5.b.
                                        ii.    If no, go back to 2. Do more research to identify what you need to do differently the next time you test your hypothesis?

b.    Did you personify your values completely while you were doing the things that led to the results you got?

                                          i.    If yes, go to 5.c.
                                        ii.    If no, go to 5.d.

c.    Do you have the conviction to follow through and continue to do what it takes to realize the value-proposition for yourself and your stakeholders?

                                          i.    If yes, go to 6.
                                        ii.    If no, go back to 2 and do more research on why achieving the results you seek is important to you before you go to 6.

d.    Do you have the conviction to change the approach?

                                          i.    If yes, go back to 2. Do more research on what you need to do to get what you want while being the person you want to be.
                                        ii.    If no, Go back to 2 and do more research on why achieving the results you seek is important to you and re-work your plan before you test your hypothesis again.


a.    Even when you’ve achieved values-driven success, you should always go back to 2 periodically to understand how you can continuously improve…the world will change…you need to change with it.

When you make it to step 6: You have not only expanded your SWEET SPOT, you are in it!

For more thought-provoking discussion on finding values-driven success, inspiring stories of people who've achieved it and strategies you can apply, read my new book, Finding Success: Get what you really want.

Tom Eakin is the author of Finding Success and founder of BoomLife, an organization that helps people achieve values-driven success. Through his writings, workshops and inspirational speaking, Tom helps people find and expand the sweet spot between what they value, what they’re good at, and what their situation requires so they can exceed even their own expectations. Tom is a former U.S. Army Ranger-qualified Combat Engineer officer with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Master’s Certificate in Executive Coaching from Bellevue University and has created stellar performance in teams in a wide range of environments. Originally from the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, Tom lives in Jefferson, South Dakota, near his three children with his wife, Julie. He is an active and passionate advocate for veterans and entrepreneurs in his community and region.