Finding your Sweet Spot with Shauna Van Bogart (2018 Member Kickoff Meeting)


WEofC kicked off the new year with an important message on how to "Define Your Sweet Spot & Create A Fail-Proof Business."

Thank you to our speaker Shauna Van Bogart and The MacIntosh for hosting us in their beautiful space. Also, to April Floyd of Miss Katie's Sweets and Mei Shih of Pluff Cakes for providing breakfast.

> Speaker Summary written by Georgia Schrubbe

Speaker Summary:

Many business owners reach a point in their business where they feel disconnected, dissatisfied and less in love with their business than they were when they started because they have deviated from their sweet spot and aren’t delivering outstanding work.

At any point in your business or professional life, you’ll fall somewhere on the matrix of Sweet Spot versus Outstanding Work. Shauna outlined these four different quadrants of the matrix so you can figure out where you stand and what you need to do to get into your Sweet Spot AND deliver Outstanding Work.

  • Employee
    • This is the lowest effort/lowest energy place on the matrix. You’re not delivering particularly outstanding work and you’re not operating in your sweet spot.
    • This type of work is a “means to an end,”-- you don’t want to do the work, but need the money. You’re not passionate about the work and it’s not outstanding.
  • Contractor
    • This is a place where you’re delivering outstanding work, but it’s not in your sweet spot. You’re doing something that you’re good at, but it’s not in your zone of genius or directed to your ideal customers.
    • A lot of creatives find themselves here because they have a hard time differentiating between a hobby and a business. IE, as soon as they become competent at something, they turn it into a money-making venture.
    • This sucks up a lot of resources and time and causes business owners to have a lot of contempt for the business or the work in this area.
    • “I can make money, but I don’t want to be doing this.”
  • Manager
    • This is where you’re working in your sweet spot, connected to the ideal customer and doing the ideal work, but the work is not outstanding.
    • You’re managing all of the tasks, so you have no space to give a great experience and nurture customers.
    • As soon as a transaction is made with one customer, you go back to the sales funnel and repeat the process with the next customer.
    • This is where you’re tired, facing burnout, are tirelessly marketing and are in the rat race.
  • Boss
    • This is where you’re delivering outstanding work, creating an outstanding experience for customers, and operating in your zone of genius.
    • You feel expansive, exponential, and energized.
    • Of course, every day is not perfect, but this place breeds less contempt than the Manager or Contractor space.

    So what IS the “Sweet Spot”?

    The “Sweet Spot” is also known as the “Zone of Genius.” In The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks outlines this idea in more detail, but basically, it’s where you’re doing what you’re passionate about and using talents and skills that innately come to you.

    Your sweet spot may change, and you have to constantly check in as you grow and evolve. Passions shift, but often high performers are so “stuck on the vision,” that they aren’t staying aligned with their new interests and passions.

    Exercise #1: How to find your Zone of Genius

    • Write down at least seven to ten beliefs of yours. What do you believe about your business? What do you want to preach?

    • Be as specific as possible! This is the stuff that connects you to your ideal customers and weeds out the rest.
    • Know what you stand for and get your conviction back if you’ve lost it!
    • If you have a hard time figuring this out, go through a venting session (aka “Timed Tantrum”) and talk about everything that annoys you about your industry, your business, and your clients.
    • Keep these beliefs! They can become great marketing copy.                                    

    Exercise # 2: What are other people saying about you?

    • Often, business owners talk about themselves and their business in a way that is very different from what their customers are saying.

    • Reach out to at least five people-- ideally customers, clients, and people who refer clients to you in different parts of your life.

    • Ask them “If I were a fly on the wall and you were describing me and my business to someone, what would I hear you say?”
    • It doesn’t have to be a long response, just one or two sentences. Use this verbiage in your marketing material and on your profiles (IE Linked In, Instagram and Facebook).

    Exercise # 3: Finding your ideal audience

    • This will be an evolving document that you keep for yourself over time.

    • Make a table with Point A and Point B. Point A is where your customer is before working with you and Point B is where your customer is after working with you.

    • Fully flesh out each side, spend at least an hour on Point A alone!

    PART B

    • What does it look like after they worked with you?

    • How is their life changed?

    • What are they saying to themselves now?
    • Speaking the same language as your customer and sharing the same definitions of key words should lead to moments of “She’s got what I want,” and “She totally gets me!”

    PART A

    • Where are your customers and clients at before working with you?

    • What is running through their mind?
    • What is their self-talk/narrative?
    • Make sure you identify 4-5 keywords that come up in your “customer narratives” and that you are defining those keywords the same way as your customer!
    • Once you have this document, use it so that you can make your customer feel understood and validated. Meet your customer where they are at.
    • Speak to their struggles and challenges. Bundle the themes from Point A and use for content. Show your customers that you’ve been at Point A, but now you’ve moved on to Point B.
    • Make sure you balance Point A and Point B-- most people spend too much time in Point A or Point B and are either too connected or too out of touch with their customers.


    Breakout Session: The Customer Journey Roadmap

    The customer journey looks like this: Commitment to Change → Commitment to Get Help →  The Sweet Spot (purchasing the product/service) →  Receiving the benefits of the purchase → Referring

    Before a customer converts and you can work with them in your sweet spot, they have to reach two milestone markers in the form of making two commitments.

    Milestone #1: The Commitment to Change

    • They decide it’s time for something to change. The pain is greater than the complacency.

    • When you are speaking to customers in this phase, use general language and don’t commit too much time or energy here.

    Milestone #2: The Commitment to Get Help

    • They’ve tried to DIY the solution and aren’t getting the results they need. They’re realize they need a pro.

    Remember the Point A/Point B document from earlier? You can use it when you’re moving customers from Milestone #1 to Milestone #2 to converting them to your sweet spot. Use the common threads you found in Point A to align with the two milestones. Go from general examples to more specific examples to help you move customers from Milestone #1 to Milestone #2.   

    After Milestone #2 is the Sweet Spot, which is where conversion happens.


    The Sweet Spot

    • This is converting, selling and delivering the product or service.

    • Keep customers here as long as possible.

    • The bulk of your efforts should be spend nurturing clients here.

    Eventually, clients will move on. After the Sweet Spot, they’ll go into “Receiving.” Here, make sure that they’re continuing to receive the benefits of the transaction. Follow up with them to make sure they’re still benefitting. Keep nurturing the relationship.

    From there, clients will go into “Referring.” They’ll be raving about you and what you did for them. Referrals should be organic, you shouldn’t have to put much (or any) effort into getting referrals because you delivered such OUTSTANDING WORK in your Sweet Spot and Outstanding Work sells itself.

    You can create one of these Customer Journey Roadmaps for different products, but start with mapping out your “cash cow”-- the product/service that is easiest to sell-- or the most fulfilling want that you ultimately want to sell the most volume.

    Finding your Sweet Spot can also just be changing the language around your products and services. You may already know your Sweet Spot, but sometimes the biggest shifts can come just from changing how you talk about what you do. Make sure you’re speaking at your customers’ level, meeting them where they’re at and communicating with conviction.

    To learn more, or to get personalized help from Shauna, visit

    Special thank you to our professional photographer, Kelly Vann Calaway, for capturing our event in a way only she can:

    Melissa BarkerThe Macintosh