How to Turn Multiple Interests into a Sustainable Living

I recently interviewed Multipotentialite, business-owner, and founder of Puttylike.com, Emilie Wapnick for the Member’s Area. We talked about how to make a living when you have many passions and no ‘one true calling’ in life.

Multipotentialite Living

Her enthusiasm along with the practical advice and creative model for building a meaningful and sustainable living really got me excited about the possible application, not just for my own life, but for yours, too.

Developing a ‘lifestyle business’ is the route that many highly sensitive and introverted people choose because among other things it offers a higher level of control over how you manage your time and energy. With the great guidance of people like Emilie it would appear this is an extremely viable option to consider today.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRzky1IiSvw&feature=youtu.be

Turning a Negative Belief on its Head

Emilie answers many key questions about building a life, ‘smooshing’ together your multiple interests. She talks about the ways she turned what she (and others) saw as a negative trait into an overwhelmingly positive thing. And she stopped believing in the search for ‘one true calling’, choosing instead a career of variety and meaning.

Emilie gives you simple and practical approaches to making a Multipotentialite living, and considers positive changes that we can all make to the way we view our work and lives.

  • A Multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits in life.
  • Emilie noticed a cyclical pattern in her twenties where she would become really interested in an area, dive in deep, get good at it, but then get bored.
  • The interest-boredom cycle caused anxiety and a fear that there was something wrong. Was it a fear of commitment, or even a fear of success that drove her to get bored of things about which she was once passionate?
  • Eventually she turned her perception of this trait from negative into a positive. She discovered, through her website that there are millions of multipotentialites, and many of them have made successful livings out of it.
  • Putting yourself online turns you into a strange kind of public figure. Building a business has meant that she had to find ways to develop confidence. She continues to push herself into doing things outside of her comfort zone ‘for the sake of spreading the message’.
  • Multipotentialites are compelled to do work that provides variety and meaning.
  • There are four different approaches that we can use to find the right kind of work that suits us as an individual (The Group Hug Approach, The Slash Approach, The Einstein Approach, and The Serial Approach).

So Much More

This is such a great conversation, one of the most helpful and enlightening interviews I’ve ever done. If you enjoyed these snippets of my conversation with Emilie then don’t miss the rest of it in the Member’s Area. We get into a lot more detail about the four approaches to making a living, and she also discusses:

  • How to use baby-steps as you think about starting a business or a blog, and how doing so can help you grow in confidence and start to let go if you’re lacking in self-esteem. 
  • How to convert what you already love to do into a platform for a sustainable business,
  • Why you don’t have to lose faith if you find yourself in what feels like a never-ending cycle of interest-boredom. 
  • Why you should question the model of specialisation that our education system is based upon.
  • How you can re-frame your own multipotentialite childhood, and help children embrace their multipotentialism without breaking the bank.
  • The inside scoop on successful multipotentialites who are making their lives and careers work after embracing their multiple interests and viewing their trait in a positive light.

 

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Question: Do you identify with the traits of a Multipotentialite? Have you experienced your multiple interests as a help or hindrance to your career/life? Please leave your answer in the comments below.

 

Watch the Rest of the Interview with Emilie Now

11 comments
  1. Yes, I also agree with Emile. I knew that I am a multipotentialite but fully realised at the age of 30, now I have my own website on this topic and look forward to connect with several others like me. Please do visit my website and connect: http://multipotentialites.com

  2. I can’t tell you how relieved I am to read this. Knowing that others have experienced the interest-boredom cycle and have learned to use it to their advantage is incredibly helpful. Being a self-proclaimed dilettante has been a constant theme in my life, and I am about to finish an advanced degree in a field in which I have since become disinterested. Of course, I take this as a (very expensive) failure. Now I see it is my multipotentialism at work and the degree still has some sort of place and purpose in my life. Many thanks for this post!

  3. I’ve done a lot of different things. The book sound interesting going to check them out, thanks for sharing.

  4. I have many interest. I am always so excited to do something new. I do well at it then I get bored. I am a writer, musician and poet by nature. My passion is writing to share God’s love to all who will listen and are concerned about their eternal life. The most money I’ve made with any of my gifts is 10 bucks an hour for piano lessons. I enjoy giving piano lessons to much to charge a lot for it. I have two blogs but I spend too much time reading to write an article every week. I’m learning Hebrew to study the bible in more depth. So what do you do with that?

    1. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by! It sounds like you really do have all sorts that you like to do. I’m with you there, too! In the full interview Emilie outlines 4 typical approaches that she has come across:

      1. The Group Hug Approach:
      One job or business that is multifaceted and allows you to use many different passions, interests and skills in your work.

      2. The Slash Approach:
      Two or more narrow jobs or businesses that you shift between.

      3. The Einstein Approach
      Use stable, menial job to provide time and creative energy to work on and pursue your other interests.

      4. The Serial Approach
      Work on one thing for a period of time. Then when the boredom hits (you will know how long this might take), you shift to a new field.

      Once you work out which model or models fits the things you want to do (piano lessons, writing/blogging etc) then you can become intentional about building life/work up around it. She says that ‘multipotentialites’ don’t generally stick to one model for life but more often than not they will always be using one if they’re going to make a sustainable living.

      Once you have a map to follow it makes it easier to know what you’ve got to do to be deliberate and make progress. For example, if you decide that your blog is really important then you start to make time to publish and grow it, and to look for new opportunities to connect with people and potentially work on products that you could sell through it (piano lessons, ebooks: a Beginner’s Guide to Hebrew, 10 Truths about God that Changed My Life Forever etc) – just off the top of my head.

      I hope this helps in some way! Thanks again for stopping by, great to ‘meet’ you 🙂

  5. Thanks for this, Andy. Well timed. You might be interested in the Barbara Sher book, Refuse To Choose!, where she talks about what she calls ‘Scanners’ (multis). Also check out the Creative Generalists network …

    1. That’s awesome, Anthony. Glad I got the timing right 🙂 I have long meant to read Sher’s book – in fact I think Emilie mentioned it to me too! Creative Generalists looks awesome – resonates perfectly with Emilie’s thoughts! Thanks for that.

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