“Emilie, what happens if you lose interest in Puttylike?”
Photo courtesy of Diego Torres Silvestre.

“Emilie, what happens if you lose interest in Puttylike?”

Is there a danger in being invested in a project run by a multipotentialite? Possibly. After all, you never know when they might change directions.

Today, I’m going to address the elephant in the room. I was recently asked the following question:

“Hey Emilie, what happens if you lose interest in Puttylike one day? Are you going to abandon us?”

I’ve only been asked this question a handful of times. Mostly this is a fear I’ve mulled over privately, in my own head.

I’m hoping that this post is reassuring to any of you who have wondered about this. My take on it might also be helpful to those of you who are afraid that you might eventually “abandon” the people who are emotionally invested in your own projects.

First off, let me say that I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future. I am not making any promises in this post, but I can make some informed predictions based on my past actions, my goals, and on knowing myself.

Puttylike provides me with ample variety

Since Puttylike’s inception in 2010, I’ve been continuously excited about the project. Naturally, there have been times when work was hard or slow, but for the most part, I’ve been exceptionally happy.

I care deeply about our community, and find the work very meaningful. But this sense of meaning alone couldn’t have sustained me for so many years.

The reason I haven’t lost interest thus far is largely because Puttylike is a Renaissance Business: it provides me with ample opportunities to write about different subjects and try out different formats– everything from writing to speaking to coaching, design, online courses, membership site, bundle sales, and so on.

Any time I’ve become bored, I’ve pushed myself to try something new. There may come a time when I feel as though I’ve exhausted all the mediums and subjects I wish to explore within the overarching theme of multipotentiality, but I’m not there yet.

One day I will likely step away, but that day is not today

That said, I’ll just say straight up that I do NOT want to be writing about multipotentiality five years from now! I can’t even imagine how boring that would be, both for me, and for my readers. Even thinking about it makes me squirm.

However, I have no intention of abandoning anyone. Ideally I would like to keep Puttylike running indefinitely, even if I, Emilie, end up stepping away in a few years. This is part of the reason that I’ve hired a team, including writers. It was mostly so that I could focus on the big projects like preparing my TED talk and writing my book (more on this in a second), rather than the everyday maintenance of the site. But it had the added function of allowing me to step away a bit without the site or community suffering.

So yes, at some point in the distant future, I will likely back away from writing for Puttylike or creating more products for multipotentialites. But that doesn’t mean that all of this will stop. I will make sure that everyone who arrives at the site gets the help and support they need.

The Book

You know how I said that working for Puttylike provides me with opportunities to try different mediums and create different types of deliverables? Well, two of these deliverables that I’ve always known I wanted to create are a TED talk and a print book about multipotentialites.

The TED talk is done. I’m very proud of it. And again, I’m not making any promises, but at present, I have no interest in going anywhere until a comprehensive print book about/for multipotentialites has been published and has spread far and wide throughout the world.

Between the writing, seeking out publishers, the launch, and book promotion, this goal will take several more years to complete (especially if I go the traditional route), and I’m excited about this!

Transitioning with grace when the time comes

I know myself, and I don’t usually step away from big projects like this abruptly. I usually take care of my responsibilities (particularly if other people are involved) and ensure that my transitions are as smooth and graceful as possible.

I don’t see myself losing interest in Puttylike any time soon. I am still deeply invested in the project/community and I have big goals (one major one) that I want to see through.

I hope you found this post reassuring. It felt good to write. :)

Your Turn

Have you worried about abandoning the people who are invested in your projects? How have you handled it?

em_bioEmilie Wapnick is the Founder and Creative Director at Puttylike, where she helps multipotentialites integrate ALL of their interests into their lives. Unable to settle on one path herself, Emilie studied music, art, film production and law, graduating from the Law Faculty at McGill University. She is an occasional rock star, a paleo-friendly eater and a wannabe scientist carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.

13 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    I wouldn’t expect anything less! I’m always moving, changing, evolving, while one project inevitably moves me onto another. Nothing is the same as it was, and today won’t be tomorrow.

    Your work has helped many of us come to grips with this and realize the gift for what it is. I’m glad you’ve put systems in place to keep it going Emilie. Keep moving, stay agile!

  2. Beth says:

    Y’know, I wasn’t sure that I was a multipotentialite until I read this post. My business has a billion different facets, but I’d pegged it as a ‘single interest’ (tarot). Reading your thoughts about how Puttylike keeps you entertained and engaged, I realised I have the exact same thing going on with my own business. If I was only providing tarot readings, I too would probably drop it within a few years. But like you, I spend my days writing books and courses, developing projects, blogging about anything and everything, interviewing people, going to tarot conferences and events…. it’s anything but singular, even if I do *also* consider myself a specialist.

    Thank you so much for this post Emilie! It helps a lot to understand that there is multipotentialism *within* a niche-interest business.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Beth,

      Yep. I often say that multipotentialites can be found in all fields, including some seemingly specialist ones. A lot of work is far more multifaceted than it appears to the outside world. Go you!

  3. Em says:

    I think it’s clear that even such amaizing topics like multipotentiality or minimalism or slowing down eventually get exhausted which is ok, but on the other hand, we tend to forget that so this post is a great reminder. For example, just now Leo Babauta popped in my head – he’s amaizing, he’s an icon, I loved his writing so much for years and I still recommend his books and blogs wherever I go, but few months ago I just got fed up with the same stuff all over again in every post and I can’t read him anymore. I think the best would be if Puttylike somehow evolved into something a little different, but still related. Maybe a change of name, eventually (because even the perfect brand names can get worn out), a little fresher point of view (in few years, of course, right now it’s still great), something to keep even the old followers interested and hooked, something to keep it fresh. I think actually, when toppic on a website gets a bit exhausted, it wouldn’t hurt to set the whole web on repeat or something and just republish everything from the start again – maybe slightly updated versions, or just the same posts if they are still good. Because many people will not find time to go through the archive and this would save them the work to click through everything :) Just an idea. I wouldn’t mind to read whole of this again but I think I’m lazy to dig into it, I’d like it served to me on a daily basis :D

    Anyway I’m not afraid of you burning out here like many other bloggers, because this is who you are and who we are, this is actually the core of this website – it’s perfectly fine if you one day go ahead to something else, because we know you will not abandon this, it will never fade away with no activity and noone knowing what’s happened. You got it covered and that’s awesome and very reassuring :)

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Em,

      I agree with you. Many of the blogs that were once very important to me, are no longer helpful. It’s all about where you’re at in your life and what you need to hear at that moment. So one approach is for Puttylike to change. But the problem is that there will always be more beginners. So another way to do it would be to keep Puttylike the same, but for me to step away and move on to other work and other subjects on another platform. That way those who are more advanced can evolve with me and follow me over there. We’ll see how things turn out though. Really appreciate your thoughts on this. :)

  4. Sharon says:

    I am still trying to convince myself that it is OK to not choose a niche. Even though I 100% identify with multipotentiality, I am constantly bombarded with the idea that I must settle down and choose a niche to make enough money to support myself and my family.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Sharon,

      You may need to prove yourself wrong/see it for yourself before you believe it. Either that or attempt to niche yourself and get to that point where you can no longer take it and THEN give the RB thing a try. :)

  5. Linda says:

    One thing I do not worry about is if someone or something will be around in the future. I know I am more likely to hit the point where I will lose interest first and be more than happy to move on, no regrets or loss. For puttylike to still be around in 10 years time, in its current format, would destroy the value of its message.

  6. ivanna says:

    Dear Emilie,
    I don’t think you will get tired of this website… it so diverse as you said… besides, if you want to change it, i think due to our nature, we would all be up for it!! We would continue to support u just like you are supporting us by having us be a member of the tribe :) lots of love, always… no matter what u decide

  7. Kaari says:

    My comment turned into a long one. Sorry, but consider that I wanted to say much more.

    This is a valid question/ reasonable assumption for the future for all of us. I have to ask myself this question, if this project is a passing fancy or an enduring life mission, every time I want to start something new (every other day or so). For instance, when I wanted to learn heritage weaving, I made myself wait a month, then bought the simple version, then after using up supplies went ahead and bought the whole expensive loom and more tools. But when I wanted to sew with furs, I only bought small ones to try on. Knowing me, I have to make sure I really mean it. Sometimes, a small project is just as fulfilling as a big one. The battle is to not buy the whole set! Especially on a whim! but just get enough to see if I like it. Does everyone else have this problem, too? Sometimes I feel like bouncy old Tigger in Winnie-the-Pooh; I thought it would be my favoritest thing but then it turns out that Tiggers hate it! (Have you ever bought the entire set of an author’s books, only to realize you don’t want to finish reading them?)

    Planning for the eventuality that I will move on to something new, I have learned that I must “strike while the iron is hot” or it will go into a box and never happen. If I want to learn Korean, I had better do it right away. Learning to carve? Best try immediately or if I buy supplies in a trickle-in fashion, by the time the item arrives I may have already moved on to the next infatuation. This annoys my husband to no end, but I honestly can’t help it. Usually if I wait a few weeks, I know if it is a true inspiration or not.

    To try to stave it off, I buy just enough supplies at once and then dive in with my total enthusiasm and complete attention. Then when I have moved on to the next great adventure, at least I have packed tons of information and learned a lot. Or if a project consists of several steps, get the first step done quickly. Recently, I got a book on fur-sewing in my heritage language that I am on-again, off-again learning. I translated it into English. Then I put the book up for a while, but recently was gifted a partially-tanned fur. I can try some of the techniques in the book on this fur, but I don’t need to make a complete garment. Sometimes, it is okay to just do a little bit. But this can be a struggle to remember. (Just because we got a cotton candy machine does not mean we need to go to the warehouse supply and buy 1000 paper cones. It can be okay to get just a few.) This over-enthusiastic sort of living makes it a lot of fun around children, but can be a huge strain on spouses.

    If anyone has tips regarding this enthusiastic spree of interests and hobbies, feel free to comment.

  8. Alejandra says:

    Thank you Emilie! I was thinking about the same thing about my project and I like your response.

  9. Clive Dyson says:

    Thank you Emilie for this post and for this Puttylike site. I wish I had know about multipotentialites and scanners years ago, it would have saved me heaps of anguish. I can identify with the question which is the main topic of this post “What happens if you lose interest in puttylike”. I know what I’m like, I am 71 years of age and I know that sooner or later i will lose interest in what I am doing and move onto something new. I don’t consider my age a barrier. cos I refuse to grow up – we don’t have to – do we?

    It is this “knowing myself” that actually STOPS me from doing things. For example I can draw and paint pictures, I love animating, making video documentaries, I love making wooden toys, I love writing, I love learning new things and I could go on and on.

    I would love to start a website using all these talents to show people “How” to do these things,but what stops me is that I fear that once I get a site up and running, after a while I’ll lose interest and let people down. i would be interested to hear others’ thoughts on how I could overcome this dilemma