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Finding the Sweet Spot: The Natural Entrepreneur's Guide to Responsible, Sustainable, Joyful Work Paperback – September 15, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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, co-author of The Innovator's Solution and author of The Strategy Paradox

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392908
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392905
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
...this is not a warm and fuzzy "do-it-and-the-money-will-come" wish book. What you'll find here is an excellent, nonacademic, no-nonsense, down-to-earth, hands-on, "insight-full" working guidebook, led by an innovative, caring, and extremely bright man who may not know all the answers, but, much better, shows us how to go about finding them. However you may define business success and meaning for yourself, this will become one of those books you often turn to for idea sparks and troubleshooting; a manual that stays close by after you've dog-eared, starred, and underlined the pages most useful to you... Grab this book and a friend or two, and head to the woods for a few days of study, hiking, and brainstorming. Explore what you are good at, what you love doing, who you love and want to work with, and then come back ready to make it happen no matter what.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Are you stuck? Stuck about what to do with your life? How to mix what you really want to do, with whom you are and to make a living? Then Dave Pollard can help.

Dave Pollard is I think one of the most illuminating thinkers about what is really going on. His book Finding the Sweet Spot is a very practical guide for anyone who wishes to find their own way at last. For the way ahead is often blocked by our belief in the old system. And so seeing any alternative is very hard. Here is is his own synopsis.

Here are 3 snips that I like a lot:

"I believe it's because of the brainwashing we get in the education system, in the workplace, in the media, and in society at large, that we think the lifelong, often joyless and meaningless struggle in the workplace is the only way to make a living. We should know better.

Just because it's the only way we know how to make a living doesn't mean it is the only way. There is a better way. The only thing holding most of us back is lacking the knowledge of that way. This book will give you that knowledge."

And:

"Natural Enterprise: A sustainable, self-organized, self-managed, community-based business partnership in which a group of people agree to make a living together as collaborators and peers, strive to attain what each member needs to achieve for his or her personal well-being, accept substantial responsibility for each other, and respect and help the community or communities in which the enterprise operates and the natural environment.

It is "natural" because this form of socioeconomic activity occurs ubiquitously in hunter-gatherer cultures and in most nonhuman animal cultures."

And:

"Natural Enterprises don't need to grow bigger to survive. They can focus on getting better instead."

A book for our time
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Format: Paperback
Any library strong in business books will find this a key acquisition, coming from an author whose career is serving as an advisor to entrepreneurs, studying those successful at starting and building 'natural enterprises'. Responsible, sustainable and joyful work is where passions and purpose blend, and FINDING THE SWEET SPOT tells how to find such work, offering six steps to finding the right partners and acting responsibly in the business environment.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a business coach focusing on social ventures, I give this book to every client who is starting out. Dave's observations and recommendations are fundamental and wise for any entrepreneur. And his writing is beautiful, so that the book keeps urging the reader on to read more, discover more, learn more. I order them 5 at a time so I always have one or two on hand.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book with increasing urgency. The reality is that I need to find my "sweet spot" and spend time enjoying what I am doing. Walking away from plan A is never simple and this book helps you to organise your thoughts and to clearly see what could work. It will not spoonfeed you into a new sense of security, it will ask that you work and check perceptions about yourself. Unless you can do that, stay in your current job, or keep on hunting. If you are thinking about going "solo", read this book and find the collaborators that will be your network to success, think about what you want and then design from there. This is a template (but not a simple one) to help you set up a collaborative network and to understand where you would fit in.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I have been reading books like these for a couple of years now and Dave Pollard's words resonate! One of the many boomers who are searching for their encore career, I found this book to be spot on - the author guides you on your path of what to do, who to do it with, and that your new work does not need to (should not!) be structured the way traditional businesses are structured.

For example, can you imagine working in a company where the pay is based on what each person needs rather than strictly on performance? Not saying that this would be your choice or it's the right answer for all, but the examples of the values and operating principles for some new, innovative companies was, indeed, intriguing.

I found the discussion on the intersecting circles of your Gifts, Passion and Purpose to be very powerful. What was particularly helpful is understanding the "pull" towards work that you're good at, but not necessarily all that excited about. It helped me understand why I am tempted to take the wrong jobs - again and again. This one tip alone is well worth the cost of the book!

Of course, this book was written prior to the financial meltdown and before the absolute domination of social media sites, but neither of these things bothered me. All of the core concepts are timeless and, therefore, relevant, valuable and downright practical. Read this book if you are struggling to figure out what to do next and how to get started--you will be glad you did so.
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