This is a question I get a lot.
When I talk to people who apply for coaching or just follow my blog and newsletter, I almost always get this questions from fellow multipassionate rebels, so today I've decided to answer it in detail.
It is my hope that this article will help you build the multipassionate life of your dreams, or at least start you in that direction. :)
Because having many passions is not an obstacle on your way, it's an opportunity to carve your unique path.
Now, first things first...
A multipassionate person is someone who has many interests and passions throughout their life. Your philosophy is, Everything is interesting.
Most of the time it's fun to learn and accumulate all kinds of skills and talents, but sometimes you get a little tired of always having to jump from one thing to another and starting from square one while all of your friends have already figured out their careers and dreams, and you feel like a flakey person.
Often you ask yourself, Why can't I just choose one thing?!
You're not born to choose. You were born to collect all kinds of pieces, make fun and unexpected combinations, and build your own life puzzle.
Your multipassionate nature can't be stifled or ignored, and if you want to live a happy and fulfilled life, you have to learn how to embrace it. Trust me, once you embrace it, you'll find all kinds of fun ways to build the life of your dreams. The journey won't always make sense, but it'll bring you where you need to be.
When most people start their business, they start with an IDEA, which is a complete disaster for most multipassionates because you weren't born to CHOOSE something, you're born to keep adding new interesting things to your arsenal, in this case to your creative business. Which means your foundation needs to be strong enough to withstand your many ideas and flexible enough to allow you to change and pivot and add things when you want to.
So where do you start from then???
You start from YOU, from things that are CORE about you, that almost never change and have lasting power. More about this in a minute.
Another misunderstanding is that you have to literally smush everything you love into one thing, and that's total BS. Can you imagine how exhausting it would be to do all those things at once? Or how confusing it would be? It would be chaos. And I bet you've tried it before and it didn't work so well...
I write novels, but I don't plan to include them in my business model. I sometimes write poetry, but I don't plan on sending them to my subscribers or anything. I have a cat, but I don't intend on selling it...
Some things are just for you, just for fun.
The sooner you accept this, the better, unless you want to keep trying to smush things together in ways that don't make any sense.
First, you need your CORE.
Your CORE is the truth of who you are and what you're meant to do in this life. It is something that runs deep inside you and rarely ever changes.
Your passions, on the other hand, are free to change as much as they want.
Generally, I'd say your CORE is comprised of:
- Your purpose (or mission, calling, etc.)
- Your values (what you believe in and stand for)
- Your SELF (who you are, how you do things, what you're good at)
- Your Core Message (the theme that holds everything together)
- Your cause (the reason WHY you do what you do)
Now let's go through each step...
1. Your purpose.
Your PURPOSE (or mission or calling or whatever you call it) cannot be something specific or superficial, like helping people with their websites or writing their dissertations, that's your niche. Your purpose is highly personal, a result of your entire life's struggle, something that goes really deep.
My purpose is to help people go back to their rebel roots.
At first you might be scared that it's no specific enough or that it won't be strong enough, but your job here is not to start with a "niche," it's to build a strong enough foundation that will last you through all of your crazy ideas.
- Caroline Kelso's purpose is to help soulful creatives to live and work as their best and brightest selves.
- Sian Richardson's purpose is to get you stoked at winning at your own damn game.
- Jen Carrington's purpose is to help you choose more.
2. Your core values.
Your VALUES are just your beliefs. If you don't make decisions that align with your values, then you'll be miserable. Trust me.
Values are a compass that points the right way. Truth is, your path will always call to you and you'll always keep coming back to it, but most detours in life are due to misalignment, or a failure to live according to your values.
What are your values? Where have you shared them with your people?
(You can find mine on my about page later.)
3. Your strengths and ways.
Who you are, the way you do things (your natural ways), and what you do best (your strengths) are your biggest competitive advantages.
Like how you think and solve problems, what you do best, how you connect to people and help them (extrovert vs introvert style), the unique value you give them (do you teach, guide, challenge people?), etc.
All of those things are your natural advantages, so use them.
Sadly, the experts never say that. They offer you blueprints that worked for them, probably because they're a certain type of person with their own unique strengths. And they truly want to help you succeed, but they miss the most obvious caveat: what they teach might not help you specifically because you're a totally different person. So you gotta trust yourself here.
Stop asking the experts to tell you who you ought to be and start trusting your gut, your truth, and your unique path.
Start trusting yourself.
4. Your core message.
Most multipassionates complain about confusing their people and not having a focused brand, and that's only true because they don't focus on the right thing. Because the experts tell you to "niche," you try to niche and you hate it.
What if you build your brand on something that holds everything together? Like your core message, which is the underlying theme of everything.
Look at your blog, your podcast, vlog, emails, whatever. What is the thing that keeps repeating? What is the pattern that appears everywhere? What is the message you want to convey to everyone who reads/watches/etc.?
Your core message is strong enough to be your brand focus and to attract the right people to your brand. Be brave and put it in the center.
Mine is: Everything you do should be as unique as you.
5. Your WHY.
People don't care about WHAT you're selling, they care about WHY you're selling it. Simon Sinek wrote a whole book about it and gave an amazing TED speech about it, and it started a revolution in the business and marketing world.
That's good news for multipassionates because we don't always know what we're selling. The people you're trying to reach are so much smarter and more discerning, you have to give them credit and give them something to believe in, that's the only way you're going to catch their attention these days.
Plus, when you know your WHY, you always know where you're going.
- Take this free personality test.
- To discover your purpose, read this article.
- To discover your Core Message, start with this article.
- Watch this TED talk about your WHY.
Second, you need Convergence.
Creative Convergence is something that brings all of your creative passions together under one umbrella. You won't find the phrase online, but I heard it once somewhere and it stuck in my brain like the wormiest song ever.
Here are some examples...
- One example is Marie Forleo, who had all sorts of passions, like fitness and coaching and marketing and business, and a bunch of other things that ended up bringing her to Marie TV, which is everything she ever loved in one package. She still does other projects and things, but everything sort of links back to her personal brand - marieforleo.com.
- Maria Popova decided one day she loved everything that art and science had to offer, and instead of choosing one thing or career path, she started emailing her compilations to her contacts, and it grew into one of the most iconic blogs for multipassionates - Brain Pickings.
- Sarah von Bargen's blog covers everything and her readers love her for it. She found a way to blog about all the things that interest her and to collect true stories from other people, and then mash it all together into one brand. Had she decided to niche her blog, we would have all missed out on the awesomeness that is yesandyes.org.
There are several ways to achieve it, and I'm not going to pretend that I know them all because I don't. But I will tell you what I know:
- You can have a slash career where you keep adding slashes to your career; for example you started out being a journalist, then you added photography and became a photojournalist, then you learned how to film and became a documentarian, and so on and so forth.
- You can choose a career that naturally fits all of your passions, like Virtual Assisting (where you wear all the hats) or running a creative business (where you wear all the hats and then some).
- You can build an umbrella brand where you put all of your projects and passions and under the umbrella of your personal brand.
I can't tell you how to achieve your own Creative Convergence, or how to converge your creative passions, but it is my belief that you will know how to do it one day, just like I did back in 2015. It will come to you. :)
Third, you need your gut.
Your gut knows best.
- It knows when it's time and when you're not ready
- It knows when you're going the right way or you need to change course
- It knows when you need to learn more to achieve something
- It knows when a project is not the right opportunity
- It knows when a person is not the right fit
One disclaimer though:
Don't confuse your gut with bad feelings or voices in your head that are saying you're not good enough or ready or whatever. Fear and insecurity are not a good place to build anything around, so never trust those.
The fact that my Multipassionate Brand method worked for me doesn't mean it will be the best choice for you. Only you know what you are called to do and only you know what kind of arrangement will best fit you and your circumstances.
For example, I was finally able to start my own multipassionate brand when I was ready and had all the information and experiences I needed to make it work. Had I attempted it earlier, I would probably have failed. The PUZZLE will form when you have all the PIECES ready. Do you have your pieces?
HAVE TOO MANY INTERESTS? CAN'T PICK ONE THING TO FOCUS ON? THIS IS FOR YOU.
Tired of starting from square one, leaving unfinished projects behind, and running 100 projects at once? Of being called "flakey" and told to choose something already?
The Multipassionate Puzzle course will help you see the big picture and integrate your many interests into the ultimate brand/business, one that fits you and feels right.