Can’t Settle on a Niche for Your Business? Not a Problem
Photo courtesy of Matt Anderson.

Can’t Settle on a Niche for Your Business? Not a Problem

Written by Emilie

Topics: Featured, Renaissance Business

She came to me with a long list. It included everything from guitar to history to classic cars to health and wellness to comedy, education, sports, screenwriting, poetry…

I have a lot of interests,” she warned. “It might be impossible to fit all of these into one business…

Lets give it a shot,” I replied.

I do love a challenge.

What Mr. Mainstream Business Coach Would Say

Most business coaches would be thrilled with my student’s eclectic interests– so much to choose from! they would think. I mean, with all those interests, that’s like twenty potential niches! All we have to do is pick one (preferably the one she has the most expertise in or the one with the juiciest market) and position her as an authority in that one specific field. We’ll just focus in really tight

Can you feel your heart beginning to race with anxiety, just from reading that? Um yea, me too.

But this is exactly how most business is taught.

The benefits of “niching it down” are so clear right? A website all about knitting! Attract all the crazy knitting fans of the world. Hurrah! Dog grooming– awesome! Pet fanatics will love it.

There’s only one problem. It’s called, WE ARE MULTIPOTENTIALITES AND WE’LL GET BORED AND QUIT.

What do you have to say now, great business guru? Oh, I suppose our string of abandoned niche sites are our fault since we’re indecisive. We never “truly committed”. Maybe we’re afraid. Maybe we’re self-sabotaging. It’s our fear. Resistance. Whatever it is, it’s our fault.

Is anyone else sick of this rhetoric?

An Alternative to the Niche Site… The Renaissance Business

One approach to business will never be right for everyone. How about instead of pushing everyone to choose a niche, we empower people to create the sorts of businesses that work with their personality?

Imagine a business that allows you to focus on many topics and use all of your skills. A business that is fueled by your multipotentiality. This is what I like to call the Renaissance Business.

Now I may have coined the term, but that doesn’t mean I invented the idea. Far from it. There are successful examples of Renaissance Businesses all around us: Apple (computers, phones, tv, music), Virgin (record label, airline, spaceship, phones), the Oprah brand (tv show, magazine, books)… These businesses all offer products and services in radically varied markets.

Renaissance Businesses Online

There are successful Renaissance Businesses online too. Take a look at this excerpt from Chris Guillebeau’s free manifesto, 279 Days to Overnight Success:

I chose to connect deep and wide on a number of related subjects. I tied them together in a theme (nonconformity, or “unconventional living”) but admittedly, the theme is fairly loose. I wanted to write about my adventures traveling to every country in the world, but I also wanted to present my outlook on life.

Rather than pigeonhole myself and choose one of these themes, I wanted to find a way to do it all. I knew it wouldn’t attract everyone, but as previously mentioned, attracting everyone is not an effective strategy.

Whether this is the best strategy for you or not depends. You should choose what’s important to you and your group of followers. It is probably easier to achieve success (remember, you define what this means, no one else) with a more specific niche. but in the long-run, I think I will attract more followers by doing what i know how to do best. For me, that is a mix of things — “unconventional strategies for Life, Work, and Travel” is what I call it — so that’s what I’ve stuck with.

I don’t know if Chris realized it at the time, but what he’s describing here is a Renaissance Business.

Coming Up with an Overarching Theme

The secret to focusing on many interests is having a cohesive overarching theme that links everything together. Chris’ overarching theme is non-conformity. Mine is multipotentiality+lifestyle design. Coming up with an overarching theme is really just a matter of seeking out patterns in your interests.

I go through a few different approaches in Renaissance Business and I walk you through some exercises to arrive at your own theme. One of the approaches I discuss is called the “Common Thread” approach. This is where you’ve got one core motivating force behind your interests– one thing that has driven you in the past to make the choices you’ve made.

My Student– the One with All the “Disconnected” Interests

As we worked through her list of interests, something jumped out at me. First of all, teaching was a big theme for her. In addition to formal teaching, she enjoyed explaining complicated ideas in fun, interactive ways through her design work.

She also cared deeply about educating people about health and wellness. She was funny, she loved writing songs, screenplays and poetry. She described herself as nerdy and a lover of analogies. There was something here…

The common thread I saw was accessibility. My student seemed to love taking an idea, transforming it and presenting it in an amusing, entertaining, creative way. I mean, that’s what art is about– taking an idea and expressing it in a way that moves people. It’s what teaching’s about. What’s more, it’s a skill she can bring to her discussions of history, health, sports.

Mixing in her Knack for Humor

We played with the idea a bit, going from “accessibility” to “accessibility through comedy” (she’s a very funny lady. Everything she creates will be hilarious).

There we had it. Her community would be a space where people could come and learn about art, culture, history, etc. in a way that’s quirky and easy to grasp.

Now this was only our first coaching session. I have no idea how the idea will grow and evolve. It might stay the same or it might change dramatically. But this is just an example of how your interests, no matter how unrelated they seem, can absolutely be linked up thematically. It just takes a bit of introspection and unpacking.

Your Turn

If you have your own Renaissance Business or blog, what’s your overarching theme? How do you link all the different topics together?

***

If you’d like to learn more about turning all of your interests into one business, check out the Renaissance Business Guide.

59 Comments

  1. Emilie, fantastic concepts here – really outstanding. Here’s my dilemma – I’m a former print/tv journalist current PR pro. My blogging interests are family, faith, fitness, finance and funny (humor). My overarching theme across those categories might be “unique insights shared” – can you help me tighten that up?

    • Emilie says:

      Heh. Maybe your overarching theme should be “the F word”. :) Just kidding…

      I would need a bit more information to unpack this, but I would say off the top of my head that maybe you could group family, faith, fitness and finance together under “growth”. That encompasses growth of all kinds: relationship growth, spiritual growth, physical growth, economic growth.

      And “funny” could be the “lens” through which you approach this theme of growth. So your theme could be something like: a comedic approach to personal growth.

      I would work to see if you could make “growth” more specific though. Maybe pull out the thesaurus and see if there’s a better term. But yeah, I’d play with that.

  2. Cotton Candy says:

    Yay case studies! Real life examples can be super helpful. :)
    I haven’t found an overarching theme for all my interests so I decided to start with one thing & then add things if I feel inclined to do so later on. It worked for Apple, Virgin, & Oprah, hopefully it can work for me too.

    I think a lot of us are still affected by the idea that whatever we pick for a career is supposed to be what we do for the rest of our lives. Who’s to say that the business we start in our 20s is still going to be fulfilling when we’re in our 30s or 40s?

    I wonder a lot if that scary statistic about how many businesses fail in the first few years is actually incorrect. Maybe some of the people just realized that the business they started wasn’t really what they wanted to do & they shut it down to start a different one. Yeah technically their business “failed” but keeping it going when they’re not happy isn’t exactly a great idea. I consider following your heart to be a success, not a failure.

    I’m kind of getting off-topic, sorry. Looking forward to your case studies Emilie! (& your book) Thanks for showing us we can create businesses that fit who we are. :)

    • Emilie says:

      Hi C.C.,

      Starting with one interest and letting your site expand and evolve with your interests is a great way to figure things out. It’s always better to take action, learn and revise as you go, than it is to stay put and wait for the “perfect idea” before starting. Your personality will also act as a unifying feature, so it doesn’t really matter if your theme isn’t perfect right off the bat.

      I totally agree with your second point too. It’s all about how you define “failure”. I think the definition of that term needs a serious revision!

      And thanks. :)

  3. Marta says:

    Thank you! Great post – I was just talking with my Mom earlier today about this exact subject. Read your post called her and read it to her. She kept saying, it’s like she took our conversation and wrote it out!

    It is wonderful to know that I am not crazy and that there are lots of others out there like me :).

    I think I know my overarching theme, something I have been working on and that will helps give me the foundation to embrace my Renaissance Soul (love that book!) and move forward.

    • Emilie says:

      Hah funny when that happens! Well, I’m happy to provide a little serendipity for you and your mom today. :)

      And good for you for finding your theme. It’s actually kind of cool, because the process is actually about more than just business. It’s kind of like discovering the driving force behind your life. Pretty neat stuff.

  4. Sarah says:

    This post almost made me cry. Thanks for helping us all realize that it’s okay (or awesome) to be who we are. I’m so tired of people telling me I need to pick one thing – it’s nice to see someone making multipotentiality work. (And by the way, I LOVE that word, so thanks for that too!)

    • Emilie says:

      Aw thank you Sarah! That means a lot. I’m glad I could help. :)

    • Jennifer says:

      Sarah,

      You might want to read Barbara Sher’s book, “Refuse to Choose”, too. She calls folks with “too many interests” Scanners. (I know people who cried after reading her book, too, for the same reason you mentioned.)

      Best of luck.

  5. Hi Emilie! I came back to this article because I was sharing it with a client (I thought she might like your perspective, though our methods are similar :D)

    I realized I didn’t answer:

    My over-arching theme is Creative Success. With this umbrella I am able to pursue all my interests (uplifting success-focused art, writing, music, video, digital, community, spirituality, and more.)

    Rock on!

  6. Ally says:

    Nice article Emile. And this concept of Renaissance business came to my rescue when i was blaming myself for not focusing on one thing. However finding it difficult to find a common theme. Could you please suggest a connecting theme for my interests? They are:
    1. The Why behind the universe and our own existence, Cosmology, astrophysics, etc (my maths sucks though)
    2. Entrepreneurship esp Business intelligence
    3. Wild Animals and getting attached to social cause related to it
    4. Living your passion
    5. Sci-fi movies
    6. Reading a lot..actually not just reading but learning
    7. Writing (though I am soon to make a world record for number of abandoned blogs)
    8. Long Walks
    9. Travelling places

    I am not able to find a common theme may be because my list is tooooo long. Will appreciate your help.

    • Hi Ally! Welcome to the community :)

      Good for you for wanting clarity on a common theme.

      What I’m picking up from this is: Space, animals, blogging/writing, business.

      An over-arching theme might be: Nature and self-discovery.

      So you could start a blog/writing based business on this, something like:

      -NatureMe.com
      -NaturalGuidance.com
      -HumanNature.com

      Does that shed any light or jog any inspirations?

      • Emilie says:

        I’m on board with Jason’s analysis. I’d take it a step further even. What does nature and the “world beyond” teach us about ourselves? How can this knowledge help other people evolve?

        Look for the motivations behind your choices. Don’t worry about the particular topics. Instead, look for the why. What attracts you to these fields?

        I would also say that you sound very interested in the “order” of things. The blueprint behind nature, behind human motivation, business, etc. Sci-fi is really about a search for the similarities between different worlds. Maybe there’s something there.

        • Oh sNAP! Pure fire, Em.

          :)

          Seconded.

          • Ally says:

            I usually rarely use the word Thanks, but when I use it I mean it from my heart. Thanks Jason and Emilie. Thanks for the prompt reply and also for caring. I must admit that you surely have put some of my neurons to work. Curiosity has always been the theme of my life, somehow it got buried deep down somewhere in this capitalist world.

            On the second thought if I am not eating up too much of your time, is it possible to start a business in an area which I like (but not love) and use weekends to follow my true passion, which is learning about the universe? Something like 4hour work-week? In Einstein’s words “Astronomy is very interesting so long as it is not your profession”.

            (Again apologies for asking too many question :) )

          • Awesome Ally! You totally can do that :) You can do anything. We believe in you, and from what I understand, Emilie is skillful in this area.

            I am my own person, with a different, powerful, sometimes misunderstood perspective:

            What you suggested is one of the funniest things to me, because my entire being is focused on ‘The Dream.’

            I spend my days studying people who Do What They Love and Success Through That, like Napoleon Hill, Lady Gaga, Abraham-Hicks, Bruce Lee, etc.

            I put my attention on anything and everything that I can be passionate about that’s also win-win for all involved, myself included.

            I coach artists + creatives on how they can Have It All, free of compromise or sacrifice.

  7. Jackee says:

    Breath of fresh air reading this post. Thank you.

  8. Sarah O says:

    Hey I don’t know if you’re still giving out free advice on finding an overarching theme, but I am seeking. Seeking so hard. I’m into writing, natural health & wellness, travel (want to do more and write about it), helping artists & healers market themselves and their work online, discovering and living your passion, making meaningful change in the world. and yeah, a few more things. But if I could find some sort of theme to weave all of this together I’d be one happy camper..

  9. Zulu says:

    Thanks for this helped further illustrate some of the points I’ve seen you make elsewhere..

    Love the idea of the overarching theme, makes so much sense..

  10. Hi Emilie,

    I love this post.

    I certainly have the problem of being too broad/having too many interests. My question is when you think you’ve found a theme, how do you know that it’s enough?

    e.g. I am passionate about helping people to get more out of life and enjoy every moment (lifestyle design?) but to do so for less (efficiently and effectively). My website is called Life’s Too Good, my tagline is ‘Enjoy Life More For Less’ and my design is minimalistic.

    So I think I’m on the right track, but I don’t know, I have wondered about changing the branding altogether, I’ve wondered about getting more specific (though that hurts) and I often wonder about changing the tagline.

    The problem I think I have is that my tagline can mean different things to different people. Sometimes I think that’s OK, then sometimes I think it’s not clear enough.

    • Kathy says:

      I think your site looks deadon. Great design and very clear what it’s all about. Your title and tag line work.

      If I can do something equally well with my own collection of interests, I’ll be quite satisfied.

  11. Kristy Lyseng says:

    It’s good to know I’m not alone in this! I often suffer from option paralysis when it comes to choosing just one thing.

    Emilie, maybe you can help me figure out what’s connecting all of these?

    1. Psychology (fears, dreams, positive/negative thinking, self-defeating behaviors, strengths, weaknesses)
    2. Creativity (ideation, reducing ideas/theories/concepts to their basic components, seeing ideas from various angles)
    3. Writing, reading, learning
    4. Martial Arts
    5. Science fiction and fantasy
    6. Femenism

    I can see how the first two might connect, but not the rest.

  12. Sarah says:

    I have a blog, sarah-bates.co.uk, which is basically… my name. And I’m sad to say I’ve been feeling really ashamed of it lately because I post so much about my own projects and they’re all so diverse nobody has really been all that interested in what I’m doing.

    For example, a few years ago I set up a website design business. For the first 3 months, I loved it. And then I got bored. I blogged about the whole process of making a business, what I loved about this part about website design or the other. And when I got bored, I stopped blogging about it too.

    Nowadays I post stuff about what songs I’ve recorded recently, what story I’m working on writing at the moment, what pictures I’m drawing, what my travel goals are, what I’m thinking about at the moment and what my exercise routine is. All things I am absolutely passionate about. And I’ve been frustrated for ages because I don’t have one theme.

    Dummy me. Now I’m going to figure out what my overarching theme is, and I have a fairly good idea where to start – I’m an explorer. Part of what I love about my many passions is it’s impossible to find out everything there is to know about the subject. There’s always something new to explore!

    Now I’ve read this post I feel a lot better about my blog, even though I do think I want to take it into a slightly different direction. I’d like it to be a lot more interesting for other people to read, and I think for that I would need a lot more organisation.

    Waffle over!

  13. Multibrained says:

    Hi Emilie,
    I’m a Renaissance person myself, and I LOVE this site.

    As I was reading your post and your description of niches, it occurred
    to me that you described exactly what I believed about niches. I was really frustrated too.

    Then I went to a business conference on marketing. One speaker built a $20m/year businesses in info products and here’s what I learned. It cleared up a lot of misunderstandings and frustrations about niches.

    I hope it helps someone!

    First, a niche isn’t necessarily an interest. It’s an emotional need, or desire, that a customer is experiencing.

    “Niching down” has nothing to do with us, or whether we get bored and quit, or want to pursue all our interests.

    It’s about the customer!

    If a customer is searching for “how to grow a tomato garden”, they won’t care about anything except that result. The “result” is the niche. We are free to use all our other interests, gifts, talents, humour, etc… into building the product, as long as it helps the customer get the results they want! …

    So “niching down” is about helping the customer get a specific result they are searching for… which is usually to experience an emotional need.

    So that’s what I learned. That helped me a LOT to clarify my understanding of niches. I hope it helps someone else too!

    Quick question: What’s the difference between the “overarching theme” you are referring to (which is an awesome idea) and “branding”?

    Is there a difference or is it about the same thing?

    Anyway keep up the great work!

    M.

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks for the comments, M. That’s a good way of looking at it, though I still don’t like the word “niche.”

      An overarching theme is the idea or mission statement that brings together your multiple interests in a cohesive way. Branding is how you express that theme. (I wrote more about it here: http://puttylike.com/addictive/)

  14. Allison says:

    Hi Emilie,

    I just discovered your site last week and I’m in love. I’m leaving my current job on Tuesday (tax preparation – YUCK) to start my Renaissance business, and I’m thrilled and scared to death at the same time. I’m starting out with web design and Paris travel / study abroad writing, but I also want to do copywriting, ebook publishing, design English courses for children here in France, tutor SAT prep and college essay writing, and a million gazillion other things. I suppose my overarching theme is “education.”

    I’ll be hanging out here a lot from now on and I’m looking forward to more of your advice for building my very eclectic business :-)

  15. Evi says:

    I love your site and your ideas !!! Finally I found something that speaks to my heart, all these years I was blaming myself for not being satisfied with anything.
    I’ve been a teacher for 13 years which was always my back up job but never really liked it (or got bored of some parts of it). However I absolutely love love kids and their beautiful energy that’s why I always tried a creative approach in teaching which I wouldn’t mind sharing. I’m also really fond of Art, spiritualism (holistic therapies etc), writing, nature, positive thinking, parenting ! My idea is to create a space where somebody will enter to read something relaxing, happy, wishful, humorous and perhaps give ideas for being positive and happy!
    I hope tomorrow I won’t change my mind ha ha ha

  16. Amanda Sue says:

    I had a wonderful friend suggest that I get your book, because I’ve struggled for years now with being told that I need to “find a niche, find a niche, find a niche”. As a result, I’ve had a string of business attempts, all of which I was technically capable at, but emotionally wasn’t vibing with.

    So I’ve been working my way through the book with great delight. I’m a little stuck on the common bond, but at least I’m on the way. I want to talk about combining creativity, health/beauty, and your home biz, into a cohesive concept. Too many people focus heavily on their business, and their health & creativity suffer as a result. Or they get wrapped up in being creative, and their business suffers. But I’m trying to figure out a good way to phrase all of that into a tagline/concept. lol

    Thank you so much for standing apart from the crowd and saying it’s OKAY to be quirky, random, and passionate about a slew of comments!

  17. Debbie says:

    Hi Emilie,

    It is sheer fate that I ran across your website. I am so excited because I am a multipotentiality! Boy does that feel good to say! I feel a huge sense of freedom after coming out with this! Makes me want to have a coming out party! HAHAHA….My problem is trying to putty all of this together to make something from it. Right now I am in the process of starting my own Seafood Seasonings Business. I’ve also joined in with a Directs Sales Jewelry business, and I’m crocheting (or trying to crochet) some really nice summer tops to sell. I want to be my own boss for sure. Oh, I’ve also started ordering jewelry on-line wholesale to sell too.

    All I ask is to see if you could help me out! I would so greatly appreciate it!

    Here is my experience:
    Gardening
    Hairdressing
    Secretarial
    Waitress
    Dogs/Animals
    Cleaner

    Here is my interests:
    Crocheting
    Research
    Computers
    Sales
    Cooking
    Consulting
    Adobe Illustrator Designer
    House renovations (taking an existing house and re-designing a new look)
    Always coming up with new business ideas
    Business Seminar Speaker

    These are the things I’m most passionate about:
    Consulting (advising others)
    Designing
    Sales

    I have a gift of being able to think outside the box in any situation. I don’t have a clue about carpentry but I seem to have no problem giving my husband advice on doing a project easier or cheaper!

    I literally have dozens of notebooks of ideas and things I’ve wanted to try or tried and let go because I couldn’t pick just one!

    Sometimes you just need someone else to look at what you’ve got. They are able to sit back and look at the big picture. I unfortunately sit back and immediately start coming up with more ideas…Yikes! My husband just laughs when he hears me start talking about another great idea I have. Our office is filled with past ideas that I just left because I just got bored.

    Can you please help me!

    Thank you!
    Debbie

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Debbie,

      It sounds like you are great at helping people see their visions come to fruition, whether through design help, tech solutions, logistics, or sales strategies. One idea would be to provide services to small businesses. You could target a particular type of business in one of the areas that you’re familiar with, like home construction or design, or you could keep it open.

      I think what will be most important is thinking about your Why. What value do you want your organization to stand for? That is what will draw in your ideal people.

      • Debbie says:

        Thanks so much Emilie!

        Great advice! and now that I can sit back and see it I can start planning. Think I may keep my options open :) the Multipotentialites in me will love that. Plus it will give me flexibility to grow. Now I just have to figure out how to put it all together! :)

        Thanks again for all your help!

        Debbie

  18. Siggy says:

    OMG, I am SO happy I found this, I’m NOT unreliable, indecisive, crazy, immature and I am obviously NOT alone! Thanks so much for writing this all down, I’ll be back after I let this all sink in and did some crying.
    Pfew.

    Siggy

  19. Rob Farquhar says:

    I usually don’t think of my blog as being a Renaissance blog – it’s just my personal space online. Still, I blog about my interests, which at the moment include board games, podcasting, painting miniature figures, learning how to ride a motor scooter (and the trials of getting it registered), growing vegetables and renovating our house. I also talk about my efforts to make a career out of what really interests me.

    I think my overall theme is, getting the hell out of my own way – i.e. fear, uncertainty and lack of self-worth derailing my following of my interests.

  20. Kristian Altuve says:

    So I finally clicked on an idea last night and immediately planned it out. I love music and I know a lot of other people do, but I want to incorporate music socially and spiritually. So I am in the process of beginning a group of people that meet at a public place and kick it while listening to music. That way we can meet new people and enjoy music. But here is the interesting part, I really like to show people songs that mean a lot to me and I know other people do as well but it’s hard to get the mood right when trying to show off your favorite song. So during this social meet up, 30 minutes will be dedicated to a collaborated playlist of songs that mean a lot to people that attend the meetup. 30 minutes of pure silence and soaking in the sounds and lyrics of the music. I think this is a great way just to focus your mind on the songs and emotions it brings you. Hope this works out!

  21. Jason says:

    I have to say that reading the material on your site and your guest post on paidtoexist.com was a revelation to me! I have done so many things, and have so many interests that it’s difficult to find that “one” job to satisfy me. I am curious if you could tie in music, technology (my current job is managing all the tech in our building), art, teaching (I LOOOVE helping people understand the ins and outs of things and have them “get” it). I like to think I’m funny too, but that may be just a sad delusion. :P Anyway, I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Thank you!

  22. It took me a while to come up with it, but since I’m a psychologist who blogs about lots and lots of things, I realized that the overarching theme was sanity-saving ideas. I love it. I write for homeschoolers, Christians, and have a growing group of productivity junkies (like me) following me.

  23. Jim Beach says:

    Hi Emilie,

    Today is my 59th birthday and I feel like I’m about to start life over again (again)!

    Earlier this week I stumbled across Puttylike and connected almost instantly as a multipotentialite. I’ve also been reading some of Barbara Sher’s stuff this week about scanners. I have enough experience to know I need to take a breath, apply a bit of critical thinking and explore this some more before declaring it as final but I’m excited to find so much common ground. Thank you!

    Today I got your newsletter and started wandering around the links. I read your piece about finding an overarching theme and instantly realized I’ve already begun to explore this idea for myself. I am a road painter! Here’s why: http://jimbeachtulsa.com/about-road-painter/

    I’d love to know if you think my concept of “Road Painter” makes sense as that theme and how you’d see applying it so others would get the tie.

    Thanks a million for what you’re doing and what you still have to offer.

  24. Ashley says:

    Hey Emile! Just found your blog and funny enou I was talking about this the other day. I’m trying to find a way to fuse everything together into my current business which is auto transport broker. I love my job but I want a way to incorporate everything and stand out in a crowded market.

    Here’s my history/interests

    I love women portrait photography (the idea of making someone beautiful and feel good about themselves is empowering.)

    I’m an auto transport broker (I love educating my clients on the real way the business works and what to expect. I love it really)

    I started out as an enclosed truck driver hauling exotic cars 7.5 years ago and been a truck driver up until I had my daughter and started the business this year (she’s 8 months now)

    I have a unimaginable obsessions with military spouses. I am the daughter of a deceased Air Force veteran, a sister of a navy veteran and the niece of a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and many others. At 19 was going to join Air Force myself did testing and all but when leave date approached I chose trucking instead.

    I started out in college as a psych major. Never finished but I loved it.

    Overall I don’t take life serious, I love making people laugh even at the expense of embarrassing myself.

    I’m an Internet-a-holic I spent about 7.75 of the last 8 years on the Internet according to hubby. Smh

    I don’t know what you can get out of that. Ugh. Smh. Anyways good luck and any opinions/help would be welcomed.

    Xo,
    Ashley Your Favorite Auto Transport Broker

  25. Chris Gallant says:

    Hey Emilie (and all the readers!),

    Great article and hits home. I want to work for myself but can’t settle on that great idea with all the competitive advantage or anything that relies on more than one of my strengths.

    My day job is an Operations Manager for a video game testing company. I’ve also got this list of things going on:

    -Self improvement (goal oriented).
    -Running
    -Motorcycle riding (long distance, touring, etc)
    -Guitar/singing (toured in a rock/reggae band for a couple years, secured endorsements, managed the effort and did the bookings)
    -Writing (can’t seem to stick to blogging but I love putting articles together when I have a clear assignment). Published a few articles in magazines.
    -Solving problems for other people (I can organize, prioritize, and get to the bottom line/point of things. Provide new perspective, etc).
    -Coach others and unify vision. Rally a team. Providing support and removing impediments.

    I feel like a go-getter without an idea and that’s incredibly frustrating. Any suggestions to pull it all together?

    • Anna B says:

      I’m no expert, but I think that a unifying theme is making visions into reality. You seem focused on logistics, on the ‘how’ of making things happen. That seems very powerful, because many people have great ideas and no idea how to make them happen!

  26. Daryl says:

    I love this so much I can’t help but comment again, lol. Your posts are just like you were reading a script out of my mind. In searching for my “niche” I’ve actually studied both Apple computers and Virgin Records and the richard branson philosophy I have found strikes a chord within me and that’s actually what I’ve been considering putting into action. I have had and continue to have micro obsessions that have varied from how to generate green energy (ethanol, concentrated solar power, etc) to learning how nuclear weapons work (I once thought that only if I understood them that I could help lobby to eliminate them…)This blog has helped me figure things out. My common thread is life unbounded. Having the capability to live off grid, to be self sufficient, to find inner peace, to wander the world, to own a company that provides me with unlimited financial resources. Thank you Emilie for this.

  27. Justin Douglas says:

    Emilie,
    I love your site and your newsletter. This has given a lot of food for thought. The more I see of your work and vision, the more I want to find a way to help. You are creating so much value!
    I’m going to work on my theme and how to communicate it today. Just wanted to put in a quick thank you 1st.
    Best Wishes,
    Justin

  28. Olandy says:

    Emilie,

    I’ve found your post and all comments of great value for most multipotentiality people who have interests mostly on the non-technical areas. By non-technical in this context I refer to those areas that are not “brick and mortar” so to speak.

    For many years I’ve tried and I am aware of others who tried to come up with an overarching theme for technical and non-technical interests in view of developing lucrative businesses.

    Here is an example of a list of interests that don’t seem to fit under an overarching theme:

    Ships, boats, floating equipment
    Motorcycles, backcountry riding
    Luxury cars
    Avantgarde technologies
    Social and economic trends
    International trips both for business and pleasure
    Fairs, exhibitions, seminars
    Learning insights from wise and successful people
    Counselling and facilitation for people of value
    Leadership of people in business and politics
    Movies, theatre plays, concerts

    What’s you thought about the possibility to create an “umbrella” for all these interests and making any money out of them?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Emilie says:

      Olandy, check out Simon’s Sinek‘s work. I think that the best brands all have a strong Why. There are also clear brick and mortar Renaissance Businesses like Virgin and Apple that house products in multiple realms under one strong ethos.

  29. Callan P. says:

    Hi Emilie,

    Just stumbled across this and am really excited to find out that I am not alone! I constantly feel anxious about my lack of direction and feel like I am constantly getting inspired my something then quickly moving on. It would be really helpful if you could help me connect my passions. They are primarily food and wine, travel, sports, architecture and design and photography. Very broad!

    I’ve worked in the hospitality industry and also do some modelling, business writing and social media management.

    I’m just looking for strategies that can help me ease the anxiety about the constant search for fulfilment. Is there a specific technique that you find helps? eg. yoga etc.

  30. what a find you are, sugar! like i say in the tag line on my blog: some people have a theme, i have a theme park. i’ve spent more years than i can count patting around in the dark for my life’s tag line to the point of complete (well, almost complete) stoppage. i just may give you to me for my birthday . . .

  31. Natalie S says:

    It feels like I’ve been waiting my whole life for a message like this… I’m devouring Renaissance Business and am so excited for the contribution it will help me bring into the world.

    THANK YOU!

  32. Natalie D says:

    I am a 31 year old wife and mummy to 1 son, who will be 6 years old next week. I live in North West England in the UK. I am wanting to create a blog.

    I de-registered my son from Primary school on Monday 13th January this year. He was in Year 1 at school but the school environment did not suit his personality, which surprised me as he is very chatty and outgoing, however I think that is what the teachers and staff couldn’t handle. He was also diagnosed as having an information processing disorder by a speech therapist.

    I am awaiting an appointment with CAMHS who will assess him for other disorders as I believe he has ADHD. I also think I have it. My son is very physically hyper, where as I am more internally hyper, in where I cannot slow down my mind alot of the time. I have to use hypnosis and meditation music to slow and calm my thoughts and brain activity down alot. I was sent to the doctors aged 9 for my lack of concentration in class but my doctor never referred me else where.

    I have been Home Schooling my son now for nearly 4 months.

    I would I have never stuck to 1 thing my whole life, I have dithered through several different college courses, to a few part time jobs and mainly I have enjoyed motherhood the most, despite it also being the most stressful.

    I would say my Core Life Values are:

    1)Freedom/Flexibility

    2)Love/Empathy

    3)Creativity/Expression

    4) Growth/Experimental “I believe in trying anything once and if you don’t like if don’t feel pressurised to do it again.

    5) Wealth/Experience: Experience of learning, life lessons as well as wonderful experiences such as motherhood, holidays etc. Wealth is something I feel linked to freedom, more like a needing and desire for flexibility, variety and freedom and abundance!

    I believe areas I am passionate about include:

    1) Home Education/Family/Parenting
    2) Design (web, technology, fashion, interior, beauty, art)
    3) Creativity (Not artist in the painting and drawing sense although I appreciate looking at other peoples art work, I am more drawn to Photography and an Urge to write.
    4) Relationships (Not just family and friendship, but networking online with people)
    5) Growth/Experience (In learning, self development, I like the idea of creating passive income streams)
    6) Social Media and technology (Very much into my technology and love social media.

    I have currently for the last 2 weeks, just short of last 2 weeks, been working on a friends Facebook Business page, creating a posting schedule for up to 6 months in advance, and this Sunday it will have been 2 weeks since I agreed to do that and have nearly completed the 6 month schedule in 2 weeks, while home schooling my son. I also also going to be learning more about WordPress and web server management. I have written 1 children’s story in rough as the lady I am doing social media for has a company selling rag dolls and she wants stories to sell with the dolls. The lady may also be starting a dating agency website soon, and has asked if I want to help manage it.

    Well I like the idea of creating a blog but feel abit scattered and overwhelmed on where to start and to create a good theme/tagline.

    I also suffer abit with self doubt when it comes to writing articles, however I have managed to write 2 articles and actually put them in them in the hands of someone to read and edit for me.

    Sorry for the uber long comment, when my mind gets into over drive I can not stop typing! : )

    • Katie says:

      Yours should just be called ‘freedom to be’ and be about your personal journey & day to day experiences. Your own thoughts/musings and how you feel about all of the different areas of your life. You have a lot to share with others in similar positions. You can express the self doubt and also the feelings of overcoming that too. I think that can really help others too. You sound like a bit of a superwoman – but even superhearos are human on their days off!

      I would like to know how to combine my interests in philosophy, education (as in I cant help but give people advice & ideas and love teaching), creating art – but high art vs craft (eg. I make installations but also cushions, I would make an abstract film and also a comic style drawing), homemaking and home design, lifestyle & socialising in a city, being an emerging artist/arts professional, fashion- illustartion, design and garment construction, playing guitar, being silly/funny,books & films – especially dystopian and fantasy, science and facts about nature and biology. I think I’m pretty much a realist in – maybe with a touch of the optomistic romantic from time to time!

  33. Natalie D says:

    Love hearing about other people’s ideas, passions and life stories! Keep it up people.

  34. Natalie D says:

    Katie, abit like myself, you interests appear to focus on education or learning in general, experimenting and creative design stuff with abit of science and nature thrown in. I think our themes border on freedom and creativity within the learning experience.

  35. Natalie D says:

    I am very much into Psychology too!

  36. Chris Gallant says:

    Great post. Just curious, though. What are the success rates like? Are these multipod entrepreneurs making good, stable livings?

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