How To Make Money as a Multipotentialite
Photo courtesy of Brendan Riley.

How To Make Money as a Multipotentialite

Written by Emilie

Topics: Featured, Work

There’s a certain question that arises the moment you realize you’re a multipotentialite. It goes something like this:

“I’m a multipod, great! But um… Now, how do I make a living?”

The “work question” is almost certainly the biggest, most pressing, anxiety-inducing issue that multipotentialites face.

There are an innumerable number of ways of structuring your work, but that only makes it feel more daunting, since we are lacking an established model or path. To make matters even more complicated, thriving financially as a multipotentialite often means forging your own way or doing your own thing, which is scary in-and-of-itself.

As I work on my new book, I’ve been looking at the happy and successful multipotentialites that I know, and trying to put together some commonly used work models.

In truth, most people are hybrids, but I think that it’s helpful to delineate some common models so that people have something to start with as they go about designing their own unique approach to work.

Each of these models starts with the premise that, in order to be happy, multipotentialites require two things:

  1. Variety (not too much, not too little, amount varies per person)
  2. Meaning (a sense that you’re making a difference in the world)
  3. Money (the right amount for you, varies from person to person)

4 Work Models Commonly Used by Multipotentialites

There are four main work models that I’ve observed in the multipotentialite community.

Model #1: The Group Hug Approach

The “group hug” approach is interdisciplinary and allows you to smoosh many of your interests together. It involves having one job or business that is multifaceted and allows you to use many different passions, interests and skills in your work.

From an employment perspective, it might mean working at a startup or small company, or just an organization that allows you to wear many different hats on the job.

From a self-employment stance, this would be the Renaissance Business: one business that allows you to integrate and use many different interests in your work.

The opposite of this approach would be the narrow job title or the niche business.

Model #2: The Slash Approach

The slash approach involves having two or more narrow jobs or businesses that you shift between. Your various projects remain separate and are not overtly combined.

This is the person who does graphic design part time and teaches yoga part time. It’s the lawyer/minister or the therapist/luthier.

From a self-employment perspective, it’s the lateral freelancer or the person who has multiple, unrelated niche sites or narrow businesses.

Unlike the “group hug” approach, your interests remain separate, and instead of getting the variety you require internally (in one project), you get it through pairing together multiple narrow revenue streams.

Model #3: The Einstein Approach

Did you know that Albert Einstein had a day job working at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property evaluating patent applications? It was this very stable, menial job that left him with time and creative energy to work on his discoveries.

You might be familiar with the “good enough” job, which Barbara Sher has written about before. I find that terminology mildly depressing though, so lets go with Einstein, (smarty pants. :)

Many multipotentialites find themselves day jobs that they enjoy but aren’t particularly interdisciplinary or don’t rely on their multipotentialite super powers. Yet because this job doesn’t take up much time and/or creative energy, they are able to engage with their other projects and passions outside of their work.

From a self-employment perspective, this might be the consultant or web designer who has found a well-paying income stream that they can use to support themselves while they play with their other interests on the side.

The Einstein Approach is sometimes used as a transitional tool. For example, multipotentialites often use a secure day job or income stream to provide security while building a Renaissance business or developing additional revenue streams. Once that side project is generating enough income, they might quit their job or stop consulting.

Model #4: The Serial Approach

This model is best used by multipotentialites who are more sequential in nature. It involves working in job for a period of time– 4 years, 6 years, whatever feels right for you. And then when the boredom hits, shifting to an entirely new field altogether.

Serial careerists often begin researching their new fields casually, on the side, a long time before switching. Sometimes they use the connections, resources and knowledge from their current work to help them transition.

From a self-employment perspective, this would be the serial entrepreneur. Someone who starts a business, runs it for a while and either lets it go, sells it or automates it and steps away. Then they start a new business and begin all over again.


As I mentioned earlier, many multipotentialites are hybrids and draw from several of these models. Many of us morph between them occasionally and it’s often possible to see how your approach could fit into more than one model depending on how you look at it.

However, I’m hoping that having these structures delineated in my book will help people get a sense of the different ways that they can obtain variety in their lives and provide a good starting point.

A Call for Case Studies

Thanks to everyone who has reached out. I’m no longer in need of case studies, but I will definitely let you know (via the blog and email list) if this changes.

Your Turn

Which work model best describes your approach to work? Are these 4 models helpful? Can you think of any other multipod-friendly approaches that I left out?

em_authorbioEmilie 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. Learn more about Emilie here.


  1. Jo says:

    These approaches make a lot of sense and are very useful. I do find it amusing though that I could fit my situation into most of those categories. Very multipotentialite-like!

    The Group Hug Approach:

    – My blog which will hopefully one day be a business is definitely a Renaissance Business
    – My job involves editing, scheduling content, researching, writing, designing, customer service, project and event management, managing social media, and learning how to do anything my boss would like me to try – I never get bored because it’s so varied

    The Slash Approach:

    – I’m a Content Co-ordinator, a Support Worker, a blogger and a freelance illustrator.

    The Einstein Approach:

    – While I love my two main jobs, they’re not forever jobs and at the moment they’re paying the bills while I work on my blog and my novel on the side.

    The Serial Approach:

    – I imagine in the long run, my life might look like this, as I grow out of each new interest, project, business, job, and phase of life.

    = Hybrid!

    I’m not entirely sure where to put my other job. I’m a Support Worker for a disabled student at my old uni. Basically, I get paid to go to his lectures and seminars and take notes for him. This student studies German and I used to study French, German and Slovene. About half of the lectures are on topics I did in my first year (free revision!) and about half are for modules I didn’t take (free learning!). I also used to take notes for a student who studied Classics. I got paid to learn all about masculinity, sexuality, and sculptures in Rome and Greece. Fascinating. It’s the perfect job for a multipotentialite because you basically get paid to learn.

    • Emilie says:

      Wow, that is awesome! Thanks so much for giving this a go, Jo.

      In terms of your other (amazing) job. Perhaps it’s a “smooshy” slash? Haha. Like not as narrow a slash gig as “graphic designer” but it also doesn’t take up enough of your time to be a group hug career? Hm. But yeah, hybrids are the challenge of this whole thing. Because we are all hybrids. But the fact that you still found these categories helpful is really great.

  2. Saul says:

    This is great! I really like the categories that you’ve selected. I can tell this is going to be a super-useful book!

    I don’t know if I’m “successful” enough to merit a case study, but I’m of course happy to throw in my experiences. Honestly, what holds me back from feeling successful as a multipotentialite is that I’m still dealing with student/car loans/etc. If I’d had this mindset right out of college, it would be a different story — which is why it’s super-important to get these ideas out to people before they waste time pursuing “traditional” options.

    Do you know yet if you’ll be self-publishing or pursuing a mainstream book deal?

    • Emilie says:

      Haha Saul, I’ve already written a whole section on you. I’m including the Lateral Freelancer as a subcategory under the slash approach. I’ll shoot you over a copy for approval when it’s ready. :)

      I think I’m going to try for a mainstream book deal first. I know you can make a lot more money through self-publishing, but I think I’d like this thing to spread as far and wide as possible. The media connections that big publishers have is really hard to beat. If that doesn’t work out though, I’ll definitely self-publish.

      • Owen Greaves says:


        Hope you are well? I would recommend looking at Seth Godin’s Domino Project, try and connect with him on publishing your book:

        I just think Seth will provide insight on which is the best way to go.

        We’ll have to chat again soon, there’s so much to share : )

        Many Blessings Emilie,

        Owen Greaves

      • Saul says:

        Oh, wow, that’s good to hear! Mainstream definitely sounds like a good option for this, that way you can reach a wider audience and get some press. I’m sure you’ve already done some research, but you might try Launch Books Agency (which repped AONC). They responded well to my lateral freelancer pitch, but passed on the manuscript. Keep us posted!

    • Em says:

      Funny, you were the first person I though of :) From what I’ve read, I believe that you are definitely succesful enough to become a case. It doesn’t matter that you still have some things to solve, everybody has them, important thing is that you know a way how to do it and how to manage your life as a multipod. That’s a thing totally worth spreading.

  3. I’ve been following this site for a while but it is now that I felt I have to push the comment button and express my thoughts about the topic of multipotentiality because this post was definitely helpful for me personally.

    I think these are not just categories. They are also TOOLS for young people like me who can’t decide on what to do after college. I just graduated and I can’t make the right decision. But I am sure about what I really want. I want to spend each day doing what I want with maximum freedom–that involves learning any thing that would catch my interest!

    After reading this post I sort of had an aha! moment like “Ok, so I can be this kind of multipotentialite for this year and perhaps this kind next year.”

    These categories are like a set of clothes. You can choose to wear any of them! You can choose to be any of them!

    Thanks for the post Emilie. I hope your book gets an updated version so I can volunteer to share my would-be success story! (with all hopes)


    • Emilie says:

      Hi Vincent,

      Thanks so much for the comment. I’m really glad you found these categories helpful and that it sparked an AHA moment for you. That’s awesome. Please do keep in touch. I would love to feature you in the next revision. :)

  4. Debashish says:

    Just like the amount of variety differs from person to person, I feel the interpretation of which model of work one uses is also different.
    I do not know which model I’d put myself in but here’s what my situation looks like:
    (1) Day job – Automobile Engineer. Love automobiles, hate the corporate work culture.
    (2) Evening job – Blogger. I write on my own blog with the aim to help others quit their unsatisfying corporate jobs. I also learn how to increase the impact of my blog through SEO, marketing, psychology etc.
    (3) Night job – Freelancer/Entrepreneur. I am learning how to build a business by offering my writing service as a blogger/content marketer/copywriter, while parallely earning through my freelance writing ventures.
    I don’t know about success but I know that I’m financially secure enough to quit my job in September because I’ve got more than one year of savings to live off and I’m seeing some traction from my freelancing.

  5. Em says:

    I like how this allows hybrids to exist :) Many times when there is a number of models in any theory, I feel upset about not being able to pick one when the thing is clearly forcing me to and doesn’t even mention another option.

    When I look at my own history, I’ve clearly tried out more of these approaches but mostly the Einstein one and the Serial in long term perspective. I’ve tried several “dumb” dayjobs where I was hoping to use multiple skills and I usually did but in the end of a day, the jobs were really not what I needed and wanted to do so I’d just use them to get my financial security and fill the free time with stuff that made me happy, like blogging. And the jobs would vary from financial advising (lol, the worst thing I’ve ever tried) to teaching english or working as a waitress in a coffee shop, whatever felt decent enough at the moment.

    Right now I’m an au-pair which means that I’m asked to do whatever needs to be done at the moment and that can vary a lot but at the same time I try not to be all about that and to work on my actual passions like writing and photography, so yes, I guess I’m a hybrid and the kind that still searches ways to set up something more secure for future ’cause I still don’t feel like this is where I should be. I’m really excited about this book and the studies therefore! :)

  6. Jen says:

    I’ve been trying out these different methods without realizing. In the beginning I did The Serial Approach and now I am doing the Slash approach. I think that is great word for it because that is literally how I feel, cut into pieces. It is not working for me, but I’m glad I gave it a shot.
    I feel like I’m looking at a menu right now, and I think I’m going to try out the Group hug approach, that’s what I need right now. Yeah, I’m gonna try that sounds good!

  7. Nelly Odessa says:

    I used to follow approach #4 for many many many years.
    Right now I am fully committed to approach #1…I feel that this is the road to ultimate success and joy.

    What a great post!

  8. Zainab FH says:

    I have been wondering about this for the past week! Amazing how the universe aligns to brings you what you need.

    I am still having trouble smooshing all of my interests and currently exploring it. I have been working as a freelance graphic designer to fund the relaunch of my jewelry business for the past 18 months but keep going back and forth with other projects and interests. Thanks For this Emilie – the distinctions help.

  9. Abbie says:

    I love this article! I am currently employing the slash approach – early interventionist/dog trainer/writer. I recently quit my (steady) teaching job and these other things started falling into place, and my boyfriend asked me if I was “going to do this forever, this piecing things together thing?” I told him that I was going to do it as long as I can – I get to do everything I love to do! :)

  10. Can I be all of the above? :-)

    1) Group Hug – I like to own businesses or work at new organizations because I get to wear many different hats.

    2) Slash – But I’ve never really found a business that encompassing all of my interests, so I tend to refer to myself as an Entrepreneur / Educator / Cognitive Scientist / Dancer.

    3) Einstein – When I’m not owning a business (and even sometimes when I am), I often have a part-time job that makes fairly good hourly money, such as tutoring or bookkeeping.

    4) Serial – All of these combinations are always changing and evolving! I’ve owned several businesses, helped start two non-profits, worked a variety of other random jobs, etc.

    It’s having the variety and the change, on all sorts of time scales (daily, weekly, seasonally, yearly, etc), that satisfies my multipod self! :-)

  11. Cristen K says:

    I am also a “smooshed” mixture of these! Not sure how successful, but…
    For my undergrad I double-majored in chemistry and psychology and minored in education and biology. I loved every course I took and wanted to major or minor in it (was 3 credits away from minor in math–decided to take a pottery class instead…) I ended up getting a masters in education (after turning down a doctorate in neuroscience because I suddenly had a passion for travelling..)

    Now that you understand the background, you will understand the jobs!

    #1 Teacher: This has been a very successful choice for me. There is a lot of work during the school year, but there are a lot of breaks to pursue other passions. I am a “Group Hugger” when I teach. I like to create websites (I made one for my class). I like to be creative–I teach the chemistry of art, and the chemistry of cooking. It doesn’t matter what interests me at any given moment. I can usually tie it to chemistry and have a fun class. My interest in psychology works well here, too!

    #2 I have never been much of a “slasher”, but I am trying it now. I am teaching online part-time, creating a website, and training for a 3rd job (another online job) while trying to get up the nerve to write the book I always wanted to write! I like the flexibility of working on-line. It allows me to work different projects into my day. I get a little happy lift then! I recently knit a sweater for a teacup chihuahua during my day breaks.

    #3 Einstein: 2 of the jobs I am working at now are total no-brainer’s!

    I am not really a serial person. All of my jobs have been in the science and education field :)

    Good luck on your book Emilie! I will buy it!

  12. Megan says:

    I am amazed at how you’ve distilled this information down to 4 groups and that they fit so perfectly. SO perfectly. Can’t wait to read the book. Wish I was solid enough in my endeavors to submit for the case study. One day : ))

  13. Richard Spackman says:

    Emilie, this is just the post I needed right now.

    I only discovered puttylike relatively recently and through it crystallised the realisation that I am indeed a “multipotentialite”. And I’m at the stage where I’m like “Ok that’s great, now how the hell do I figure out what to do?”

    Your post actually helped me to feel a whole hell of a lot better about where I am now. I’m at a stage in my life where I’m generally trying to figure out how to earn a living in a way that makes me happy. I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do while resenting my “dead end job” which, as a fellow PuttyTribe member recently pointed out to me isn’t a very constructive place to be to create or seek solutions from.

    The “Einstein Approach” method that you identify here has helped me to really transform the way I look at my current situation to a far more positive one all around. Having of a menial job that pays the bills but doesn’t sap too much energy, and that free’s you to work on your creative pursuits in your spare time outside of it – what a shift in perspective – maybe I’m not in a “dead end job”, maybe I’m actually being like Einstein! Haha :-p

    Love it, Thanks Emilie! :-)

  14. I’m going for mostly the Einstein (I have a job at a library, which is also the BEST JOB EVER. I love books so much and get tons of inspiration from all the books I find, but I will admit that the job is crazy tedious which also leaves my creativity intact. And did I mention books?).

    Along with that, there’s kind of a melding of the group hug and the serial approach in that I’m doing a bunch of things all around the focus of telling stories, but any change in format of how I tell those stories (like from book to video game) happens sequentially. That is, I’m spending most of my time right now working on my paperback, but with bits of time spent on other upcoming projects, and then next I’ll be spending most of my time on a comic, followed by a novel, followed by a video game. But they’re all stories, so they all fit with what I do and, overall, I’m giving far more focus on my novels than anything else, since I want them to form the core of my storytelling career.

    In the future I’ll be doing clinical psychology in some capacity, but I’m not sure yet how that’ll fit and that’s also several years off, so I’m not too worried about it. :)

  15. Erin OK says:

    I’m a group hugger! (And I like the idea of using the group hug as my business model). Working really hard right now to get everything I love hugged in!
    Energy work, teaching, healing sessions, self-actualization, meditation group, herbal products, nature-friending, farmer’s markets, blog, etsy shop, ebooks to come, & planning to record a new album this summer, that fits right?

    Jumping from one thing to the next as I feel inspired & as deadlines arise. . . branching out in several different directions at once, many of them obviously connected, some not so obviously! My husband says he’s starting to see why I couldn’t just focus on one thing at a time, and how my big vision requires doing everything. . . The income is starting to trickle in from several directions. . .

    I plan on being case study material by the end of the year, ok? :-)

  16. Sidy says:

    Great post. I think I’m doing according to the Einstein Approach. Working for the government, I like use my extra time to craft some simples devices for my community. I hope my secure day job will let me build a Renaissance business as mentioned.

  17. Celia A. says:

    Great site, love all your posts! Keep up the good work!
    I’m an American living in Italy. I once had an office job in a web development company but I always felt like my efforts only benefited others and not myself. I moved out of the big city to a smaller city and changed jobs and lifestyle completely. I guess I use the “Slash approach”, I have ‘day job’ teaching English as a second language to adults, which means I mostly work in the afternoons and early evenings, so it gives me plenty of time for my blogging and jewelry making. Although the blogging and jewelry making make just enough income to cover their expenses, I couldn’t live on them alone, but with my job I have free-time between classes or in the mornings to dedicate time to them. It makes me feel more well rounded. And who knows, perhaps I will change job or lifestyle another time… isn’t that what ‘Puty Like’ means ??? :-)

  18. Vale says:

    Great website Emilie, it is today that i came to know our ways.
    I’ve been doing this for years, thinking i’m (as my wife says) “dicking around”. We’re both doing this, now I live in Indonesia, Yogyakarta in a big stone house with another around 10 people similar to us, doing all sorts of things. I would like to send you my story but my schedule is so full of things :) you would not believe it.

    Any ways, love and see you in the future.

  19. Rachael says:

    Love this Emilie! I definitely feel I fall into the group hug approach. Love that description it feels so warm and cuddly :).

  20. Sarah says:

    I would say that I take the “group hug” approach, with a splash of “serial”.

    If I told you I worked for an IT Consulting firm, with 1000 employees in 7 major cities, you’d think that we had specialist of everything running around. But, to keep everyone “billable”, they encourage a large amount of cross-training in industries and in talent. From what I’ve seen in 7 years, you either are a specialist, or you are intellectually limber and can fill nearly every role.

    In the short amount of time since I found your website and podcast, I realize how incredibly lucky and grateful I should be in working with such a flexible company. I started in the corporate office, working in communications. when I was starting to get bored and asking for more challenges (4 years later), my management put me in the field . (this is the “splash” of serial)

    The group hug came into play when I became a consultant. In the last 3 years, I’ve worn a bunch of different hats as my projects have changed. The skills I built in corporate communications do not go to waste, but I also get a chance to show off at project management, data analysis, business process design and other resume-friendly words.

    But at the end of the day, I’m solving problems. I’m taking bits of information, putting them together, seeing the bigger picture, and solving a business problem. And yes, it pays well. Also, while my company mostly does work locally, I have had a few chances to travel on the job, which feeds another interest of mine.

    As far as future success and satisfaction, my company encourages you to raise your hand BEFORE you are at your burnout point. When looking at that seemingly greener grass, raise your hand, let your manager know, and they’ll start making a plan to move you to a different project, client, or role, in a way that is good for them and good for you. I’ve seen it, experienced it, and it works.

    • Hey Sarah,
      Don’t know if you are following this comment thread anymore, but I must say that I am intrigued by the management style of your company. Huzzah to them for being so open, flexible, and caring toward their people! This is a rare thing these days, and I think that such employers should be recognized and applauded for their commitment to treating their staff like the amazing human beings they are.
      I truly believe that if more companies valued their team in this way, more multi-passionate creative people would flourish in their work and businesses could only prosper and grow from this.
      And wouldn’t that just make the world a little better place to live? :)

  21. Peter says:

    I started been a mechanic,I had been an accountant for eight years, Poultry farmer for six years, At the moment am working as Health care assistant, I finished my electrician training just last year 2013 with level 3 City and Guide in Electro technical technology certificate. Am now doing pharmacy assistant course which still on,and just last wednesday I started guitar training for beginners that will run up to 10 weeks. I will attend bread making course in november this year. Last week, while sitting in the lounge listen to somebody saying YOU CAN ONLY HAVE ONE CALLING, I examing all the skills that I have gained, I asked myself what’s wrong with me having all these skills instead of one.I felt some how, you know what I mean I felt like discontinued with the present trainings am doing. But when I went on the internet to ask the question: HOW WILL I KNOW MY CALLING, I stumbled on your website which provides answers to my question, where you said there is nothing wrong with me having more than one skill,you said. I AM A MULTIPOTENTIALITE. Oh…. Emilie, you have changed my mindset. God bless you.

  22. Linda Ursin says:

    On the creative side, I am a successful multipod, but not on the financial side (yet) :)

  23. evelyne kalevera says:

    No, really! Where has this website been all my life???

  24. Lia says:

    Have you thought of writing a career advice book for young people who are still exploring their options? Or perhaps just a rejigged version of existing material, tailored at a younger market. Young people are being tied down by college loans and demanding yet low-level corporate jobs – the kind that only pay off after ten or twenty years’ progression and ascension. If that young person is a multipotentialite, this pathway is probably a waste of time, money and energy. Get in quick, and head them off at the pass.


  25. Alex G says:

    Hi Emilie, I’m fresh out of uni and was freaking out in the exact way you described; fearful of a life of boredom and regret in a field I knew I’d lose interest in over time.

    In my mad search for answers I stumbled across Barbara Sher’s work (that woman is a god send), which in a roundabout way led me here. I love your site, and I’m very much looking forward to reading Renaissance Business.

    Good luck to all the scanners/multipotentialites out there!

  26. Hey Emilie!

    I cannot stress enough how perfect the timing was that I happened across your TEDtalk about multi-potentialites! I am in the midst of having my second quarter-life crisis arising from a career change AGAIN! I felt amidst successful family and friends that I was being judged and pitied. I admit, I was throwing my own pity party! Why couldn’t I commit? Is it simply a question of discipline?

    So, I want to thank you for having the courage and foresight to understand your own hardwiring before me.

    On a side note, I am 26! And you mentioned that you began this site at that age! I hope I can begin some synergistic movement myself that I can look back on 5 years from now and be proud of! :)

    Thank you! <3

    ~Natasha Narkiewicz~

  27. Angie says:

    Hi. Today, as usual, mom will talk to me about things such as ‘oh you need to pick a career path’ or ‘oh you need to think about what you are going to do when you grow up’ or ‘oh choose your major or else when highschool people ask and you say idk they won’t take you’ and so on and so forth.

    And then just a minute later dad came over with the usual TED, except I felt like it was directed to me.

    Before I found out the word ‘multipotentialite’ (did I spell it right?) I will often think of myself as ‘indecisive’ or ‘wanderer’ or ‘do whatever you want when you feel like it’ sort of person, which is obviously not welcomed in colleges or highschools. They want people who have goals, not people who keep on saying ‘idk’ and shift around.

    I used to always feel like the odd one out, not being able to settle on one thing. Sometimes, I feel like I am good at everything (which I don’t like to say out loud because people will think I am boasting and etc), because really, when other people excel at one particular subject at school, and be like ‘oh when I grow up i will be a scientist’ and so on, I excel at Science, Math, Spanish, Art, English and so on, because it is ‘good to be good at everything’. And then I can only pick one thing I want to do for the rest of my life, I don’t think I will be able to without regretting later. : l

    I will ask my friends if they decided yet. One of them just said: ‘Oh, probably economics because my parents will want it’. Oh, easy for her, my parents didn’t care, so I am practically lost in the possibilities.

    I think when I grow up, I might end up with a day job like the Einstein method for sustained income and another secret job no one knows I like to do at home.

    Isn’t it a win-win? I won’t end up starving but also I will be able to do what I want at the same time! : D

    Many thanks to Emilie, for showing me how my life isn’t doomed and I am not alone.

  28. Lea cox says:

    Hello Emilie,
    Yes I am one the serial type. Multi interest in learning, focused on Insurance,real estate, land development, building renovation and project management.
    Also write poetry, studio arts graduate, paint, pottery.
    I have been around for while as you can see. Now devoted to learn neurobiology and apply my understanding to counseling therapy to resolve anxiety, depression in young people. In 2013 finished a MS in counseling. The key is never stop learning, synthesize be aware and seek solutions. I love to solve problems.
    Good luck to you !

  29. Jane says:

    Hi – just finished watching your TED talk and it feels fab to have discovered your site! There is something wonderful about someone who defines and categorises exactly how you feel! It appears I’ve been battling against being a multipod forever. Through law and out, yoga and out, travelling, food and writing I’ve done it all and keep beating myself up for not choosing something. I even saw a fantastic careers coach and we came up with a business model but even then I just felt I couldn’t stick to it. It seems I’ve stumbled on your site at the right time, currently working on an Einstein approach – a first for me as I kept thinking I had to sack it all in and search and develop my ‘calling’. Anyhoo, exciting to have a look around the site and many thanks, Jane

  30. Sylvs says:

    Wow, Thanks so much for this and you’re insight. Your words knocked me right on the head of being a Mulitpotentialite. As a single mother I was always trying to do the 9-5 job to earn a living for my family, but I nearly drove myself up the wall with that pathway.

    I tend to get bored very quickly and would always be asked when are you going to choose just one thing, you’ve got to be more settled for your children.

    Instead I decided to throw in working for someone and now use a few different approaches to earn a living so I can be home with my kids as well as expand my wings a little.

    So, for a couple of days a week
    I am a Family Educator and have before and after school care in my home.
    During the middle and end of the semester I mark university papers,
    I have regular business clients who I work with to virtualize their business (run it in the cloud)
    I make and sell canvas/vinyl pieces to keep my creative side happy.

    This works for me and I love the diversity and change that comes with living in my own moment. It’s not always easy, but I provide for us, we are never without, we still travel and most of all me and my children enjoy our life.

    Thanks for providing a place where I know I’m not the only one out there who felt like trapped in the normal, mundane way of life.


  31. Sasha says:

    I saw your Ted talk and immediately forwarded it to my two college going sons. You have opened so many doors for discussion, thank you!

  32. Laura says:

    Great TED video. As a multipotentialite, I can feel a bit scattered at times. I was really happy that you’ve laid it out so clearly. Putting the pieces together and making a customized career work is a challenge, but, since I’ve never really fit in anywhere, I’m used to/prefer doing things outside the norm.

  33. Michael says:

    I found this article very helpful, just to get ideas about what might be useful approaches to the conventional world of the workforce.

    I’m an author with a strong background in poetry (I was a poet from 2001-2008) and movie-making (discovered film in high school in 1998-1999, eventually studied a degree in writing films.) I’m writing a young adult novel because one of the rejection letters I got, from a publisher said that I am very talented, blah blah, but then added a really cool suggestion that I should be writing young adult novels – which gave me a way of packaging myself as an author.

    I’m also learning web programming for software and an income, and python and possibly unity 2d for game development. I’m writing plays, four blogs, writing and art direction for a graphic novel with an artist friend, and writing short movies (with plans to produce next year) and short stories.

    When I have some money I want to build art installations (electronics, creatures and software are my main focus as an artist,) direct a web series based on an unpublished short novel, do art direction for feature films, produce web software and direct animated films.

    At the moment I’m also in the process of volunteering at the theatre in the art department – props, costumes, sets.

    Twitter: @filmnerdmike

  34. Lyn Birrell says:

    Thankyou! Thankyou! Thankyou!Yesterday I watched your video, “why don’t some of us have a true calling.” It so resonated with me. At last I know what I am.

    I am 55 and have always love learning. My career path is so long that I had to stop putting things in when I went for job interviews.

    (Shop assist, Sales Rep,Manager several times, Landscaping gardener, Market Research, Medical receptionist, website builder/designer, floral arranging, quilting, dressmaking, felting, painting, manufacturer, bookkeeping, payroll, grief counselor,personal assistant, real estate rep, real estate account/property manager, Home loans finance advisor…)

    Whenever I start a new hobby or career I go like a bull at a gate and devour everything on the subject. Once I have learned it inside out proficiently I get bored. So on to the next hobby/career.

    Currently I live in Saudi Arabia as my husband works here. I am not allowed to work here. However I thought what can I do. So I decided to teach Arts & Crafts to the many different nationalities of women on our compound. I would go on youtube learn how to do something then show the girls. We have made many things from shoes,crochet, knitting, weaving, ceramic painting,sewing projects… many of the ladies have never been taught lots of the skills. So it is very rewarding to see their progress.

    At the moment I am doing a drawing course with a famous Painter here. I love pinterest and keep getting asked if I would like to upgrade to business because I have so many pin interest.

    Now I can stop thinking what is it that I was mean’t to do. I am also very perceptive and intuitive. I have assisted many when they are dying to be able to let go. I have always known how different I am. As I got older and particularly since being here I have embraced my multi facets. I have no problem talking to groups or strangers. During my life I have had some very extremely difficult circumstances to deal with, but this is what has made me the person I am today.I love life and helping others.

    Sorry for the long comment, you have made my day. Thanks Emilie xx

  35. Hi Emile,

    I send you greetings from the tiny Island of Curacao in the Caribbean.
    Do you like Major League Baseball? Maybe you heard about Andruw Jones (an outfielder). He was called ‘the Curacao kid’. He played for several years in the Atlanta Braves and he won 10 gold gloves. Nowadays you have Andrelton Simmons. He plays shortstop in the Atlanta Braves. He is also from Curacao. By the way Curacao isn’t an independent country. We are a autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom. With Dutch we mean the Netherlands as a country (sometime its called Holland) in Europe. Do you sometime see soccer-game? Did you here about Johan Cruijff. He is the greatest soccer-player ever in Dutch History. In 1974 they lost the world-final of soccer to the Germans. The Dutch aren’t the same folk as the Germans. People mostly mistakes these European countries as part of the same. This is only to give you an orientation, but enough with the introduction.

    A friend send me the link of your TEDx presentation. Really a blessing. Can you imagine yourself the possibilities for a multi-potentiality living on island of 444 km square? When I was 17 years old I went abroad for study in the Netherlands. I was an Afro-Curacao-en in predominant white community learning advance science in a foreign language (thus, in Dutch and sometime in English!). In Curacao we learn to speak four languages: Dutch, English, Spanish and Papiamento (is my mother-tong). I have a bachelor in spatial (urban) planning and a master in human geography. After 8 years I came back to Curacao in 1990 and I worked as a project-leader in Neighborhoods Rene-wall in Willemstad, in the capital of Curacao, for about 16 years as a public servant. Simultaneously at the end of my public career I finalize two studies in sequential order; one as Internal Ad-visor (Organizational Change, Change Management etc.) and secondly, a Master in Business Administration (MBA). After that I worked as a project-adviser at “USONA”, an institute that management funding with Dutch grant of development-cooperation projects on the five islands of the former Netherlands Antilles (Bonaire, Curacao, Saint Maarten, Saint Eustatius and Saba). In 2009 I and my wife started until today an own consultancy bureau named Indigoblue Consult. Sorry for, but our company website is written in Dutch, but we are working on an expansion of it in several languages. Thus also in the English Language. On LinkedIn you will find more specifics about mine background in English. A sidestep: In 2010 the Netherlands Antilles was dissolve as an autonomous country within the Dutch Kingdom. Curacao became now a separate autonomous country from the other islands within the Dutch Kingdom. For coincident in these days I’m working very hard in cooperation with a representative of the Chamber of Commerce of the island on my USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for myself within the boundaries of our company. For me it means a real transformation, because I have to focus now much more on the private sector and foreign customers as potential client, instead of governmental agencies and NGO’s (the social sector). Maybe you have tips for me?

    I have to inform you, after a very successful year in 2014, I having problems with acquiring assignments of potential clients during this current year. This because of the total decline of the grant-economy on the island. In December 2014 the last Dutch available grants for development cooperation projects has stop after 10 years. The whole island, inhabitants, project owners, contractors, NGO’s and others are directly effected by this semi-crisis situation. At the same time I’m embarking fully on preparations for writing a proposal for Ph.D. dissertation. For almost the last four year I have been exploring this endeavor to startup. The subject for the proposal will focus on ‘Cooperatives’ as a theme. Last year we went to Mondragon in Spain and this year in April we were at Bologna (the region Emilia Romagna) in Italy to do contacts with peers on the topic of cooperatives. I’m also very interested in knowing a lot more about the Cleveland Model in the USA, where mister Gar Alperovits, he and his people have developed three coops (a laundry, a second one for the making of solar-panels and an third one focus on agriculture based on aqua-ponics), with very interesting results for job-creation and less unemployment. I hope soon to hear from you. Kind Regards, (mister) Sharnon Isenia (mostly Sharnons in the USA are females, but I’m a male). “Ayo”

  36. Nidhi K says:

    I need a little help here.
    I’m in Med school currently. Just 2 years left to graduate. And, I’m 100% certain that I do not want to practice medicine or be a clinician.

    I have no idea why I wanted to be a doctor in the first place. Because, now I realize I don’t wish to be one at all.

    Before applying for medical school, I considered Journalism/ Law.

    Is it sane to switch over to either of them after investing 5.5yrs in Medicine ?

    • Emilie says:

      :) Yes, it’s sane. Better to quit now than after you’ve invested 10 or 20 years of your life to medicine, right?! I quit law school after getting my law degree. I never practiced, but I knew law wasn’t for me. Really happy with my decision, and a lot of my legal skills have been helpful in other projects.

  37. Elena says:

    Hi Emily,
    Nice to get in touch with all this multipotentialite people and I finally found out that It’s not just me like this. I’m Elena from Italy and I’m everyday “fighting” to be me. I’ve been working in my parents store for 8 years (normal job) but when I was 27 I left Italy to fly to Australia and follow me dreams. I studied graphic design at the high school and I’m always been a good athlete, photographer, geek, social media adicted… I’ve been repearing the old selfphones while I was in the family store, reading the english dictionar to learn another language… And so on! I felt lost for many years after I lived in Australia for four winter seasons, but at the same time I started to understand what I really love. A started to snowboarding and take pictures of action and I also found out that I’m perfect for traveling! After almost 8 years I’m back in Italy. I’m a freelancer writer and photographer, I’m a cycling blogger, I know people from al over the world, I speak english and I’m ambassador of some famouse cycling brands in the world. I’m making my way… It’s gonna be a hard climb but I’m sure I’m goong you male it. Thank you to let me share my story… I did so many thing in the last 10 years as traveling in India and Vietnam, lived with aborigenal in Oz… That I feel so different… My point of view is changed.



  38. Tegan says:

    I feel like Einstein Approach would work for me but i’m still struggling to figure out what i’m going to do with my life, i was wondering if anyone can give some advice?

    I’m just about too finish year 12 and everyone know what they are going to do or what they want to do. Everyone keeps asking me what i’m going to do but i can’t give an answer. There is just so much i want to do, there is music, art, language, sport, computing, but i know after a while, i’ll just get board and want to do something else.

    Anyways, i had a point, i’m thinking i should become a police officer, that way i can feel like i’m helping people while doing my job, but still (hopefully) have time to do my many projects. Do you think this is a good idea?

    Thank you, :D

  39. Jackie says:

    I needed to see this because I recently identified as a multipod, but I’m struggling with “what to do when I grow up”. Now I know I will ALWAYS struggle with this question, and that’s okay.

    I think it’s because I’m a Serialist. I’m also VERY ambitious. I don’t just want to do new things, I want to do new AMAZING things! I’m at one of those crossroads. I’m 7 years into my current job, and there are some great things about it: moving every couple years, changing job details each move, tying the strands together for analysis that others miss. (That’s my true gift to the job, the entire reason I am so good at it, and it’s all due to my multipotentiality.)

    But I’m looking at maybe not doing this job in about a year, so I have ALL these options in front of me. Why would I leave a job that caters to my multipotentiality? Because it doesn’t, really. I get to study many different topics, but I’m always an analyst. I’m ready to be an emergency manager, or a personal trainer, or a librarian, or an editor, or a business owner! I want my current job to be an Einstein job, and I just don’t have that option right now. I will throw myself wholly into it if it is my primary job because that is my nature.

    When this one slips into an Einstein job (I have that option… in a year), I’m sure I will return to my Serialist ways. I just need to decide which way I’m pointing my compass when that time comes.

  40. Serenity says:

    I love this site, and I love that I finally have a way to describe exactly what and who I am, and to know I’m not alone!

    I would have to say I am a serial/Einstein hybrid, I explore new territory, learn all I can about the new path to my satisfaction, and when i am done, I’m done. I used to always joke that there wasn’t a job I wouldn’t try, at least once!

    As I go about exploring these new fields of interest, I always keep a menial day job to pay the bills and often to finance my new ventures.
    It gives me enough stability to try new things without ending up on the streets :).

    In my life, I have been a journalist, web designer/developer, social media specialist, IT manager, exotic dancer, a chandler, a non-profit executive, blogger, podcaster and, and wife (my multipod tendencies seem to go there as well. I’ve been married multiple times, each ending amicably. When it was just time to go, and I had learned all I could from them, that was it.)

    Right now, I am at the beginning of my latest endeavor, writing/producing/directing a new web series, and two short films.
    And it doesn’t matter that i haven’t done it before. I just seem to have an innate sense of how things should work, and they usually do. Not sure why that is.

    Well I am glad I have FINALLY found my tribe and I will be on this site constantly. i cannot wait for your book to come out!

  41. Katrina says:

    I am totally an Einstein. I get so many weird looks from people when I say that I work so that I can do other things. Sometimes those things are travel, sometimes those things are different volunteer opportunities, or creative endeavors. I find, though, that I can struggle with too much the other way – instead of consolidating into a focus, getting involved in too many things and feeling like I’m short changing either them or myself. Sometimes I end up, through all of these things that I love and wanting to see my friends and needing to work and, and, and…. that I also go through a boom and bust cycle of doing /everything/ and then needing to do nothing. I have yet to be able to smooth out the wave so I’m pleasantly busy and not feeling like I need to hide in a cave to recover.

  42. Leslie says:

    As a Group Hug/Einstein hybrid multipod, I’ve been fortunate that two of my first ‘real’ jobs out of college were brand new when I took them. I had a whole lot of input and autonomy to shape and grow the positions into what I wanted them to be. I might still grow bored with them eventually, due to industry, employer-specific/stystem, or financial constraints, but its been two very thorough excercises in self-actualization and adaptability.

  43. Michael says:

    I recently hired some help with my website – rewriting my bio. One of the things the freelancer was able to do was to simplify the focus of my occupation. From an outside perspective she was able to define me as writer, designer, art director. Which I’m happy to consider myself as, with sometimes being more specific eg. writer (young adult novels, short fiction, 4blogs, scripts), designer (games, software, puppets, electronics), Art Director (comic books, animation, television). With this as a starting point I can continue working on various creative projects, with a backup learning of computer game programming in python for a potential day job/expanding the studio into design projects. She wrote a really cool bio which I’m glad I paid for and now I’m currently in the process of having my website migrated to a wordpress skeleton – with my blogs underneath it, that I set up.

  44. Sergey says:

    Thank you very much! Emilie, you saved my life . I always tried to believe that rested perhaps more than just that -That one . At times I thought that maybe I’m doing something wrong, but vseravno adhered to the inner spirit , and now At last I overheard that I did everything right. It is wonderful !!! Why I did not give up and do not make the wrong belief – perhaps because I quickly pereklyuchlsya to another , more positive idea) Sergey , Ukraine, Cherkassy.

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