And why the future belongs to multi-potentiality!
This term is coming up more and more, especially for us millennials. Thanks to Marie Forleo, this term is becoming common knowledge. Multi-talented, multi-potentiality, scanner, polymath, renaissance person, or generalist are related terms used to describe people with multiple interests who have difficulties settling on a career.
But what is a multi-passionate person?
It all starts with doing many different unrelated things and being criticized for not focusing on one. Do you feel lost when listening to other people telling you about one particular thing they are pursuing? You can´t imagine anything more boring than a niched/ specialized position. Juggling different hats is what fills you with joy and a feeling of accomplishment.
No questions asked; you are a multi-passionate.
A multi-passionate individual is someone who finds it challenging to answer the question, “what do you want to become in the future or what particular career do you want”. Having various passions, hobbies, and talents that you genuinely enjoy, makes it difficult to choose one and give up the others.
Example of Multipassionate Entrepreneurs
Marie Forleo, Jenna Kutcher, Melyssa Griffin, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson are good examples of multi-passionate people in today’s business environment. I would go so far as to say that every successful entrepreneur is a multi-passionate. I even would dare to say that in order to be an effective entrepreneur, you need to be multi-passionate.
Why not step into your full potential and finally start your own business or start taking your business seriously?
This is what’s holding you back as a multi-passionate…
Society is built for and around specialists, people who specialize in one field/skill and built a career around it. It all started with industrialization and optimizing processes by giving each worker one specific task. Back then this seemed like great innovation, but now in modern times, it causes many people anxiety, depression, and the feeling of not being able to fully contribute. Let’s say mental well being and the sense of purpose hasn’t been at the forefront of many companies.
However, just like specialists who have their strengths and make the workplace a more vital, so do multi-passionate people!
You have superpowers you may not even be aware of.
For example, you’re a genius when it comes to seeing the big picture, aka holistic thinking. You’re also pretty good at transferable skills, which means you can apply any skill anywhere and anytime you need it. And you’re a wiz at making innovative links and thinking outside the box, which the specialists are not so great at. If specialists are mad scientists, we’re are mad creatives!
That doesn’t mean that you are not good at logical thinking or math. On the contrary my dear, you are good at all of this. Whenever you have understood the process of how to become proficient in a specific skill, enough to know how to link it with other fields the process stops for you. Your interest is not how to become the very best in one specific area. Your interest and desire is to understand how we can make this world a better place.
Obstacles to overcome
Sadly, many multi-passionates are troubled by low self-esteem, lack of confidence, distracted by the belief that they must find that one thing that they want to do for the rest of their life, driven by outside pressure to become a version of themselves that makes sense to others.
But you know better, if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. Unfortunately, the emotional side of learning is something that has been widely left out of the school system. So you are left with a silenced voice of true knowledge.
This is what multipotentialite must do,
(And yes, this is a real term.)
- Build trust
You need to trust yourself and trust that all of these detours will make sense in the end. You go through life collecting knowledge and experiences, not knowing how they fit together yet. You just have to trust the process. You can cheat by looking at others and what they are doing. Because your process and the way you will be impacting this world is unique. You have to trust that it will make sense in the end, and keep connecting the pieces. Because if you stop, you will not find your why and purpose. The last thing that you want is to look back at your life with regret and open questions.
- Build confidence
Building confidence is the second pillar of a successful life as a multi-passionate. That means that you need to start recognizing your achievements, individual talents, and the accumulation of your skills and interests and step into your full potential. Defining a career or business (I rather prefer that path – more about it later) as the one that you are meant to create for yourself.
- Build a community
I know that at times it feels like the entire world is against you – including everyone who knows and loves you – but please, don’t give up. Instead of dwelling on the fact that the people around you don’t understand you, start building your own community. Because you are not alone. We are out here. And make sure not to lose your multipassionIate magic. This is your big advantage and it will help you stand out in the crowd, among all these people that are following set structures. This is your key to reaching your dreams, the ones you were born to turn into reality. Only you can do it.
Ok, this is the hardest part. To take one idea and run with it: I know that. I have been there. I have done everything from working in automotive, M&A banking, research, lecturing, yoga teacher, professional photographer, consultant, museum and so on. It is up to you and only you to take an inventory of your experiences and skills and pull all your courage together to take the next step.
- Allow yourself to remember your crazy big dream
- Draw up a strategy around it and visualize how a career or business that allows you to achieve your goals would look like
- Stop questioning your ability
- And go for it!
Because nothing feels better than succeeding and proving everyone wrong.
Quote: You weren’t born to conform, but to break free and create the unimaginable.
Let’s break some myths…
Stereotypes and stigmatizations is what holds most society back from developing. They are dangerous and unfortunately are often used as political weapons. Because multipotentilites are like sponges, myths and stereotypes affects us even more. It can take years to undo the damage, but you can do it (At times it might be also wise to seek help from a professional that can support you along the path).
I remember my godmother telling me once that I have been always different and I will never be normal. It did hurt, but it also strengthened the rebel in me. I never intended to be normal or live a regular life. So why not embrace it?
In case you are still working on dismantling every belief that is holding you back or trying to come up with clever responses next time someone tells you that you are a lost cause, please present them with these fascinating facts:
Multipassionates learn skills that transfer across various types of areas, including different trades. Such broad experience means that you know how to apply your skills to whatever project you’re assigned to — even if you must use your talents in a drastically different way for each project. You have the ability to transfer knowledge like no other.
You are not indecisive or have issues focusing. You just like to know and expand your knowledge more than a specialist. And experiences such as travel and extreme sports are an extension and a way for you to push the boundaries of your mental capacity. Basically, you want to know and try everything and to live wide.
You are not lost or confused. Society has been just pressuring you to become someone that you are not. Allowing yourself to embrace who you are is the first step towards healing and finally stepping into your full potential. There is nothing wrong with you. Being a multipotential is part of your character, a trait and the way your brain works -by the way, yes I believe that more women are multipassionates, but more on that later-.
Life is not serious matter. It is actually ok to discover and explore. The greatest inventions and stories in history have been created by multipassioantes such as Katharina the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, MichelAngelo, Ada Lovelace, Margaret Knight and many more. We like to learn a lot of things that seem to be disconnected, but in the grand scheme of things, everything comes together. You don’t have to chose one thing. On the contrary you would be killing the essence of your gift by choosing just one thing.
This is what happens if you finally embrace your true potential!
Once I made the calculated decision of living life my way, it took me some time to put all the pieces together. It’s not a quick process and patience is certainly something that you will need.
But once you make the decision to not care about other peoples´ opinions and just do, your life will be filled with so much more happiness and joy. You will be truly impacting the world in a positive way.
Don’t give up. Keep on moving forward!
- Emilie Wapnick’s amazing TED talk for “multipotentialites” (about how some of us don’t have just “one true calling,” but many callings)
- Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher (Barbara calls us “scanners” and her book is full of helpful definitions and actionable techniques)
- Liz Gilbert’s talk on Oprah is about how you don’t have to have one single passion, but follow your curiosities (she calls us “hummingbirds”)
- 1. Make a list with everything that you have achieved.
- 2. Make another list with everything that you still want to do.
- 3. Explore what values in life matter to you
- 4. And start stitching your talents together. Which skills have you been using the most in all these different areas of your life?
- 5. Start allowing yourself to rediscover your crazy big dream again!
I really hope that this article gives you hope and motivates you. Remember, you’re not alone, there are many multi-passionates out there, and I work with many of them. Even my team consists mostly of multi-passionates. You have one of the greatest gifts and it is up to you to show it to the world.
If you know someone who needs to read this, please forward it to them.
And if you are ready to embrace your multi-potentialite nature and step into entrepreneurship please feel free to check out my 90-day incubator for Multi-Passionate Women Who are Ready to Take Action.