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Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur's Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Workby Dave Pollard
Synopses & Reviews
"Now what am I going to do?" is a question many people ask — and leave unanswered — at critical potential turning points in their careers.
Perhaps you're a new graduate, but instead of lining up for a boring entry-level job at a big corporation, you wish you could start your own sustainable and responsible business. Or maybe you've been stuck in a job you hate for a few years, but you still dream of doing the thing you love and that you're actually good at. Or maybe you're a boomer and you're ready for a second career, a personal venture that will represent a total change from what you've spent most of your work life doing.
Whatever your situation, this is the book to help you get started. Finding the Sweet Spot explains how sustainable, responsible, and joyful natural enterprises differ from most jobs, and it provides the framework for building your own natural enterprise. You'll learn how to find partners who will help make your venture successful, how to do world-class market research, how to innovate, how to build resilience into your enterprise, and how to avoid the land mines that sink so many small businesses. Most importantly, you'll learn how to find the "sweet spot" where your gifts, your passions, and your purpose intersect.
And make no mistake: our world needs your talent. The current economic system and the educational system that feeds into it have let us down and are destroying our planet. We need a blossoming of natural enterprises — connected, collaborating, and supporting ventures — to form a dynamic new natural economy.
Is such a thing possible? Inventor, entrepreneur, and humanist Buckminster Fuller said: "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." Finding the Sweet Spot presents a new model. Use it to find the work you were meant to do, thereby helping to create the world we’re meant to live — and make a living — in.
Pollard, a longtime entrepreneurial advisor, distills his extensive experience into sound suggestions in this useful and much-needed book. According to the author, too many individuals hesitate in creating a business in line with their goals, skills and values out of fear or a lack of self-confidence or funds. Pollard argues that entrepreneurship need not imply stress or risk, and he coaches readers through the process of identifying their passion, choosing the right collaborators and discovering unmet needs in the marketplace. Helpful charts and exercises guide the reader in finding where their purpose, passions and gifts intersect; and bite-sized case studies of entrepreneur success studies abound and help illustrate his points. Along the way, Pollard warns against settling for work that is anything less than satisfying. The ideal job-what he calls "natural enterprise" or the "sweet spot"-is an innovative business that touches people's lives. Pollard gives an insightful overview of the entrepreneurial process, and the book itself stands testament to the success of the author's methods." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I finished Finding the Sweet Spot in one night, but I carried it around with me for two weeks after, for no other reason than I wanted people to ask me what I was reading. It worked. This book led to a series of blissfully rich conversations with friends and strangers alike, and something in my heart believes that it's because we all have in us a deep and heartfelt desire to ask and pursue the crucial questions it addresses." Siona van Dijk, Director of Gaia.com
"Have you been waiting for the moment to just frigging do something about having a satisfying work life? Then pick up this book! Don't let your fears or objections stop you. Follow the path Dave lays out and you will not only make your life better, you'll make the world a better place through the reflected joy of your own fulfillment and by meeting real needs with new business ideas. Do it!" Nancy White, founder of Full Circle Associates
"Dave Pollard is a bridge between two worlds — the world of liberated imagination and the world of bottom line results. If you are serious about making innovation real in your life, read this book." Mitch Ditkoff, author of Awake at the Wheel: Getting Your Great Ideas Rolling (in an Uphill World) and co-founder and President of Idea Champions
"With a welcome vigour Pollard reinterprets many of the tools of management for the entrepreneur. Straightforward and plain-speaking without shortchanging the complexities of creating value, Finding the Sweet Spot is a book for grown-ups who want their work to make them feel like a kid again." Michael E. Raynor, coauthor of The Innovator's Solution and author of The Strategy Paradox
"Dave Pollard is an undaunted observer of our world. He navigates its challenges and promises with passion and curiosity and an eye to designing a path of personal and social sustainability. No 21st century citizen should travel without this map!" Chris Corrigan, Principal at Harvest Moon Consultants, Ltd.
"I love love love the book, wow — it needs to be so much more than just a book! Finding the Sweet Spot explains why it's crucial to spend time up-front with prospective customers, to discover and understand (and help them understand!) what they need. And then to work with them to co-develop the solution." Kathy Sierra, author of the Creating Passionate Users weblog and the Head First book series
"We emerge on Earth with two big questions: whom will I love? and what should I do? Dave's book won't help you much on the first question, but it's fabulous for the second. [What should I do?' isn't just about how to occupy your time, or to work to live (or even to live to work). It's about how to find your right livelihood, the magic combination of skills, passion, and opportunity that feels effortless and worthwhile. Read this and learn how." Jerry Michalski, CEO of Sociate.com and founder of the Yi-Tan Collective
About the Author
Dave Pollard spent twenty-seven years with Ernst & Young LLP as practice leader and advisor to entrepreneurs and then as chief knowledge officer and member of the firm's Strategy and Innovation Group. He recently became vice president of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (the counterpart of the US AICPA), with responsibility for research and professional guidance on sustainability, entrepreneurship, and governance. His popular environmental and business blog can be found at howtosavetheworld.ca. He lives with his family in Toronto, Canada.
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