08/09/2013 11:09 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

sustainABILITY Simplicated Step 3: Find Your Sweet Spot

Co-authored by Suzanne Pinckney

Sustainability represents a multi-billion dollar revenue opportunity, along with a healthier and happier existence for us all. sAs offers 7 Simple Steps to Sustainable Business Growth.

Stay tuned here for playful, practical, and profitable advice every week.

sAs Step 3: Find your Sweet Spot

The most powerful way to control your focus is through the use of questions.
-- Anthony Robbins

Last week in step 2: Begin at the End, you created your sustainability vision. That vision can be made real in lots of different ways. Since you can't solve all the world's problems, where to begin? Let's find the sweet spot that makes the most playful, practical, and profitable sense for you.

1. What are your biggest impacts?

From step 1: Smart is Sexy, we looked at some pretty serious problems in the world. These problems represent so many unmet needs that it hardly takes a minute to name a few (dirty water, obesity, starvation, poverty, toxins in the air, inequality... ). Where exactly are you contributing to these problems? Make a list.

You can't address all the issues, so you'll need to take this a step further. So...

2. What can you affect?

Focus only on what you can affect. So from the list you just made, what impacts do you control? Since it's all one connected system, this list may still be rather long. So narrow again...

3. What are your unique skills?

It's time to focus your unique skills on what you can affect. This is where being overwhelmed becomes an opportunity to use your capacity, ability, and talent to meet these unmet needs in the world. Now you've found your innovation sweet spot.


The overlap of the three is your innovation sweet spot, the place where extraordinary stuff happens.

Action: Answer the questions above for yourself and then ask colleagues to do the same.

Please leave a comment below telling us about your innovation sweet spot. Next week we'll help you make an action plan to move toward it.