Have you heard the phrase “multi-passionate?” Or one of these? Multipotentialite. Scanner. Renaissance person.
They’re all words for people who, as multipotentialite Emilie Wapnick (check out her site) describes, “have no ‘one true calling’ the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).”
Historical figures that were multi-passionate include Leonardo Di Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Aristotle. In modern times, think Maya Angelou, -, or any celebrity who has ever been any combination of actor/musician/author/philanthropist/fashion designer. Marie Forleo often talks about multi-passionate in business.
Wow, where were all these people who get my life 5-10 years ago when everyone was telling me that I was just a manic flake with fear of commitment?
In the last 10 years, some of my interests and passions have included:
- DSLR photography
- Herbal medicine
- Learning languages
- Playing the guitar
- Square foot gardening
- Art journaling
- Collecting stamps
- Irish folklore
- Raw diets for pets
- Amigurumi (cute crocheted animals and toys)
- Freshwater aquariums
- Schutzhund (the type of training and competitions done with police dogs)
- Irish step dancing
- Food storage and emergency preparedness
Does that list make your head spin? Don’t worry, it kind of makes me dizzy too.
Some of these came and went. Others are still my passions and interests. Levels of interest have varied and changed over time.
Can you call something a passion if it’s fleeting? I think so, if the level of interest, depth, and dedication is there…even if it doesn’t stick.
When I find something that interests me, it is all-consuming. I do nothing half-assed. I have to know everything about whatever that interest is.
My interests change over time. I commit to the things that suit me and set my heart on fire, but whether it’s a short-term or long-term commitment varies. Some things inspire me for a little while – a brief love affair – while others steal my heart forever.
It’s a little hectic sometimes. I’m constantly faced with the fact that there is no possible way to fit all the things I want to do into my day (or a lifetime!). I’ve had to narrow my focus, give up things, put off projects, and learn some serious time management skills to enjoy being multi-passionate instead of feeling overwhelmed by it.
Hello, I’m Amber – massage therapist, virtual assistant, blogger, freelance writer.
Being one thing bores me and I crave new things to learn and new problems to solve. I love being challenged. I love being creative.
Sometimes multi-passionate people combine their passions into one business or create businesses in which passions overlap (check out this article for more on multi-passionate money making). For example, I’m a virtual assistant to other people with holistic or creative businesses. I blog about business. Most of the freelance articles I write are about entrepreneurship or holistic health. It does tie together.
And then, there are things I do/want to do that are totally unrelated: Tutor English for ESL students. Write and publish urban fantasy fiction. Start a lifestyle blog where I get to talk about cute fox pillows and my Geek Fuel subscription instead of more serious things.
No, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.
I have hobbies too. I’m a firm believer that it’s okay to have lots of interests, but you don’t have to monetize everything. You also don’t have to commit to all of them forever and ever. It’s okay to change your mind after you’ve given something an honest try.
In a world that shames people for being a “jack of all trades, master of none,” it’s taken me a while to appreciate being multi-passionate, rather than feeling like I was being judged for not picking one thing to dedicate my life to.
Now I love that I have many directions and possible paths!
Here are 3 reasons why:
I don’t get bored. It try not to even use that word in my day-to-day life. There are hundreds of things to fill my time with! If one project isn’t inspiring, I do something else. I have to work and make money like everyone else, but for the most part, I love my work too. I choose to create a life and work on my own terms, so that I can do work that inspires me and suits my personality.
Ever heard that saying about creating a life you don’t need to take a vacation from? That’s my goal.
Curious about how much variety happens in a multipassionate’s day? Check out my day-in-the-life post.
In September, I attended an open house for a non-profit I do Facebook management for. While I was there, they found out I’m a licensed massage therapist and asked if they could hire me to do chair massage at their Christmas get-together. One of their board members owns a social media marketing and content marketing agency and offered me work as a contractor. I met his wife, who is a fantasy author and creative writing teacher, so we talked about writing fiction and her newest book.
A massage client connected me with a local group that gets together to speak German over coffee.
I introduced a friend to Passion Planner and she introduced me to bullet journaling.
A virtual assistant client put me in touch with someone locally who may be able to help me rescue parrots.
The ladies in my mastermind group are always throwing new opportunities my way, both in my business and personal life.
My diverse interests lead to more opportunities in all areas of my life. My connections and passions consistently open doors that wouldn’t have existed if my vision was narrowed on one thing. Being multipassionate is like being at a networking event all the time.
Because there are so many things I want to do, I have become an expert at scheduling my time and finding a balance between work and play. My strongest interests – the things I want to work on all the time – are worked into my daily routine. I have other projects that I only work on once a month, so I schedule a larger chunk of time over a day or two to pursue those.
My family is also extremely important to me, and managing my time between things I love, my work, and my home life has become a priority for me.
Are you multipassionate – in your personal or business life? I’d love to hear from you! Share some of your passions and how you manage so many interests in the comments.
If you’re struggling to find time for all the things that fill your heart up, check out my Work With Me page. I offer consultations on time management and how to create a schedule that works for you.