Do you know if you’re multi-passionate?
If not, let’s check off some of the big boxes, shall we?:
- You take a deep dive into one new passion/hobby/interest at a time – or like to dip your toes into a few different things at once
- You immerse yourself in something new, but once you’ve gotten the gist – or worked on it for a certain length of time – you lose interest and are ready to move on
- You often have “shiny object syndrome”, meaning that – oh look, a squirrel!
- You thrive on variety, getting super bored if you’re forced to do the same thing day in and day out
- You’re a quick learner, and usually like the figuring-out-something-new piece of whatever you’re taking on
- You rebel when you try to pick one thing – and when you’re forced to, it rarely sticks
- You feel more like a Jill Of All Trades than an expert in any one thing
- You have trouble prioritizing, rarely wanting to let go of something that’s fun or meaningful for you and wanting to do it all – now!
If you nodded your head to most of these, then Welcome! I hope you know you’re amongst your people, and we’re everywhere. Yup, not only have we got each other, but we got celebrities like Oprah, Justin Timberlake, Donald Glover, Steve Martin, Drew Barrymore – you get the gist.
Despite the fact that many of the most talented people in the world are multi-passionate, I probably don’t have to tell you that we have gotten a bum rap. People label us flaky and distracted, society looks down at our nonlinear careers and choices, and counselors and advisors throughout our lives try to put us in a box that we keep breaking down.
While I want to rise up and tell you that I’m not here for *any* of that nonsense, I’d be doing us all a disservice if I pretended we weren’t these things.
So instead, what if we leaned into our multi-passionate nature? What if we consciously build our dream businesses around this personality trait of ours and all that comes with it? What if we see our multi-passionate nature as a blessing instead of a curse?
Here’s what we’re doing wrong as (aspiring) multi-passionate business owners – and what we can do instead:
Stop trying to niche our business to death, and find the umbrella theme (alt: Choose the And of your dream business instead of the Or, as I like to say). If any of my clients land on a business idea that really boxes them in, I don’t allow them to continue down that road. Full stop. For example: I will not let you start a “cupcake business” or a “self-care retreat business” or a “pattern design business”. Sure, yes, you can absolutely bake cupcakes or design patterns or run self-care retreats…but you shouldn’t then label yourself or your businesses that way, at least internally. What happens when the cupcake baker wants to make some brownies – or soup? What about the graphic artist who wants to branch out from pattern design and produce her own products? What about the woman who runs self-care retreats when she decides she also wants to teach classes, coach, or run corporate workshops? I always work with my clients on finding – and leading with – their mission statement instead. That way, our business becomes like the Tardis: clear and focused and compact on the outside, but expansive with plenty of elbow room on the inside.
Stop doing everything yourself, and delegate the stuff you don’t *need* to be doing. Can you teach yourself the rules of branding and Canva and put together a logo or social media images for your business? Sure. Should you spend your precious time doing that if it’s out of your wheelhouse? Probably not. Remember: time is a form of currency too, and often more important than money. Pass along the work that either you’re not interested in doing, don’t do well, or is derailing your business. The return you’ll get on your investment will be well worth it.
Experiment with time blocks so you can build variety into your workweek without feeling scattered. My own schedule is loosely structured like this: Mondays and Tuesdays for client sessions, Wednesdays for group programs, Thursdays for writing and Fridays for admin. It helps my brain know what the main priority for the day is, and I rarely feel like I’m doing the same thing from one day to the other. But also: if I don’t feel like writing on Thursday and I wanna do admin instead? As long as I’m not missing deadlines, I can do a switcheroo and nobody’s the wiser! My multi-passionate nature loves this.
Let yourself sit on a new idea/interest for at least 4 weeks before pulling the trigger. Want to start a podcast? Great! Set a reminder on your phone right now that will ask you, a month from now, “Still want to start a podcast? See when you can fit it into your current workload.” If you do, then head to your calendar and see if there’s room. If so, start the research and plan that podcast launch! However, if you have too much on your plate now to start your podcast sans head explosion, then either (a) see what you’d need to press Pause on instead – and decide whether you want to do that, or (b) pencil it in to your calendar when there is some whitespace and take it from there. Repeat after me: do.not.act.on.anything.right.away.without.time.for.reflection.and.planning.please.and.thank.you.
Take up a hobby that has nothing to do with your business. Sign up for a Skillshare class on hand lettering. Pick up a ukulele and teach yourself with YouTube videos. Sign up for a 5k and get out the door most mornings. Whatever is calling to you that will scratch your creative/learning itch and sounds fun, make time for it. Remember, you’re allowed to have your own interests that have nothing to do with work – and I promise that they’ll make you more productive (and happy!) in your business.
Have a clear and concise elevator pitch – and practice it so it’s second nature. Because seriously, there is nothing that feels worse than answering “So, what do you do?” with a meandering narrative about how you do X by day but you’re also working on Y on your own time but, um, maybe also thinking of Z? Nope nope nope and nope. Fill in the blanks instead: “I help ______ with ________.” or “I make ________ for ______.” Then say it over and over again, out loud, like a crazy person. Then say it verbatim when someone asks you. Then stop talking and wait for them to say something else. I promise you’ll both look and feel more confident than you can imagine.
And please remember this: There’s so much about us that’s awesome. We’re lifelong learners, we thrive on variety, we’re creative, we can juggle lots of virtual balls in the air, we’re big thinkers and dreamers, we’re natural entrepreneurs, and we always have something to share and teach to others.
Let’s hang our hats on that and show the world that multi-passionates can run the world and successful businesses.
Who run the world? Beyoncé. And she’s a multi-passionate, too.
Want to learn how to clarify, launch and build your own multi-passionate-friendly business from a multi-passionate business coach with 11 years of experience? Then you’ll want to check out Dream To Done before the no-obligation apps close tomorrow!