How To Grow Your Business Multipotentialite-Style
Photo courtesy of John Tornow.

How To Grow Your Business Multipotentialite-Style

Written by Bev Webb

Topics: Renaissance Business

Talk to any multipotentialite and you’ll find a serial entrepreneur lurking pretty close to the surface. When you have so many interests, running your own business is a great way to utilise your multi-talentedness.

As an entrepreneur, you get to explore all kinds of stuff that you rarely have the freedom to try out as an employee. Could you imagine offering the same service day-in, day-out for the next twenty years? Nah, way too boring.

Both the Renaissance Business and the portfolio career models enable multipotentialites to shift their focuses, so they that work in tandem with their personal development.

In the same way that your overarching theme continually evolves, your business too can adapt and change. Growing your business isn’t just about finding more clients or increasing your income. You can also try mixing and matching together a complementary set of services and products to keep things fresh and interesting. You can shift your focus from coach to consultant, trainer to public speaker, author to artist, web designer to world traveler, and back again.

If you’ve collated your interests under a unifying overarching theme, then there’s a pretty good chance your current customers may well be interested in more than one service or product from you anyway.

Ideas for growing your business multipotentialite-style

If you’re worried that you might find yourself getting bored with your current business model, maybe it’s time to shake things up a little. Here are a few different ideas to get you feeling inspired again.

1) Busting to share your knowledge?

You know the scenario, you’ve gotten all hyped up over something new and you’ve been cramming loads of new info into your brain for weeks. You’re fit to bursting with excitement, but who can you share this new found passion with?

Well, maybe your business could provide the perfect outlet for that knowledge.
How about creating an info product, a how-to guide, manual or blueprint? Alternatively, what about curating a list of resources, articles and websites to save people the time from having to research that topic from scratch themselves?

2) Want to connect with people?

Being a solopreneur has lots of upsides, like being able to decide on your own direction. The downside though, can be feeling a tad disconnected from others if you’re working largely in isolation.

If that feeling resonates with you, your business could offer you opportunities to work with people: from building an online community to running a forum, leading workshops to delivering webinars or offering group coaching.

3) Got an itch to make stuff?

I guess we’ve become so used to our digital online lives that we can forget about the real, physical stuff. So if you’ve been feeling the urge to get making, there’s bound to be a medium out there to scratch that itch.

From designing t-shirts to upcycling thrift store finds, carving wooden garden benches to welding steampunk sculptures, or crocheting teapot cosies to throwing mugs on a potters wheel, the choice is yours.

4) Don’t listen to the naysayers, you can do it YOUR way!

There are so many different schools of thought on how to run a business. As with everything there’s never a one-size fits all approach and mainstream small business advice is often pretty old-school, and definitely not designed for multipotentialites.

We all sometimes get caught up in the list of shoulds or must-dos that surround us.

Try going with your gut instinct as to what is, and isn’t, appropriate for you. Even if it feels like everyone is telling you that you should be doing something, if you’re really not feeling the love, there’s no point forcing yourself into it.

Keep a unifying thread or overarching theme running through all your work, and it will form a cohesive whole just fine. Now go grow that business multipotentialite-style!

Over to you!

How have you grown your business in line with your changing interests?

bevBev is an artist, creativity coach and founder of Kickass Creatives, a website offering practical support to frustrated creatives. She’s over 20 years of working in the arts: experimenting with everything from performing in a fire circus and managing a hiphop dance company, through to web consultancy and jewellery design. Bev is passionate about using her experience to enable others to fully develop (rather than hide) their multitude of talents too. Connect with her on Twitter @creativekickass.

13 Comments

  1. I think number three is an important point to emphasize :) Not only does doing our craft “physically” help us extend what we do online. I think it also connects us with the immediate environment and the people around us who need all the value we can give :)

  2. Bev Webb says:

    Hey Vincent
    Yep, totally agree – I think it’s all too easy to forget about the ‘physical’ world cos we spend so much time in the digital one. Definitely good to ground yourself from time to time with the people and places you’re in.
    Thanks for your feedback :)

  3. Since I started working as an apprentice as a typesetter in 1987, I knew that I wanted to run my own, multi-faceted, business… and I opened my own print shop at the ripe age of 24. I loved the challenges, I loved putting fires out and I loved never getting bored with what I was doing, because I had to wear so many hats throughout the day, and on top of that, I liked providing customer service, and that was probably the best lesson I have ever learned for myself.

    It never occurred to me, that I had something special going on, until I worked a dreadful 9-to-5 cubicle job (with a title, nonetheless) in an advertising agency for about three years. Fortunately, my life has changed, and I’m back to my “normal” self, doing photography, graphic design, consulting and teaching…

    For quite some time, I thought that I had to chase “the one occupation” that makes me happy and gives people an idea of what I’m doing, but in turn I discovered that I need the polymath variety to keep going, and just like you mentioned in your well thought-out article, clients oftentimes “get it” and appreciate the slew of things I can do for them. The services I provide to my customers don’t even feel like work, half of the time…

    One thing on my agenda, that I have to figure out – I have way too many websites of my own to maintain, and way too many books to read…

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Markus
      Thanks for the great comment. I love how you say some of the services you provide “don’t even feel like work half the time” – wow! That’s when you know you’re on the right track and being able to incorporate the “you” into your work.

      As for the stuff that needs figuring out – list, lists and more lists! Keep a record of it all and then jump in and pick whatever looks most attractive at the time. :)

  4. Lennon says:

    Renaissance Business really helped me clarify my purpose and start my business. I’ haven’t created any traction yet and I’ve dealt with some concerned ney sayers, but I know I’m building a life around all if my passions. Thanks for reminding me to do it my way.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Lennon.
      Great to hear that Renaissance Business has helped you figure things out :) Traction takes time, but it does come. Enjoy the journey – there’s a ton of yummy learning ahead!

  5. Christina says:

    This is great! But I also feel sometimes things seem mundane but you do have to push through even if you get a little bored or “out of love”. Maybe ask why you feel that way. Is it that you need to shake up your routine or approach, or been overly focused on one thing while totally neglecting another interest? This is awesome because I’m just starting to figure out what I wanna do exactly & I’m learning to pursue all of what I like&love… it definitely takes a lot of structure&hard work-balance, focus&determination. Most people don’t get it. I tend to be a plate spinner&lateky have been told to be more sequential… so right now I’m trying to process how to be a but both cuz so many of my passions are so important to me! So I’m excited to continue learning how to integrate all I do into one business. And it’s great to have you and Emilie&others to refer to when explaining myself. A thanks for the post!! And I got my multipotentialite shirt, woohoo! Lol
    Have a blessed day Bev&other readers :D

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Christina
      Congrats on getting your multipod t-shirt! Yep, sometimes the mundane does need doing (or pushing on thro)but other times there can be a nagging feeling that something’s not right. That’s when it’s time to shake things up a little.

      Also, if you think you’re more a plate spinner than a sequential, maybe look at ways you can keep 2 or 3 things on the go rather than wait til one’s finished to start something new.

      Keep on going with the focus and determination – it takes a bit of juggling to get the balance, but you’ll find what’s right for you. :)

  6. Bev, love your thoughts on all this. (hug)

    If I’m not doing it my way, then there’s little point in doing it, in my opinion. I believe in the means being as yummy as the ends if possible, and the path to our dreams/goals being as enjoyable to travel as or more enjoyable than reaching the destination. I’m in this for more than the door prize! :-)

    I do feel that I often have the urge to reinvent wheels when sometimes they just need to be altered with sparkles, studs, or gold paint to fit my needs. ^__^

    Also, The Dilemma of the Perpetually Broke Scanner came up in conversation today. It has been disheartening to have genius biz ideas, loads of passion, and empty pockets. I often get pretty panicked and hard on myself about money . . . and looking / feeling successful.

    My most recent endeavor is to use graphical brainstorming to help multipassionates design and playtest business ideas that combine their passions. I’ve got beta clients and it’s going pretty well…But I feel discontent creeping in yet again; is this The One? …

    In regards to #2 I started The League of Quirky Professionals on Meetup.com several days ago and already have 30 excited members!!

    It’s been a dream of mine for a few years to have this group where we can be as quirky as we wanna be and still feel totally loved and celebrated for ourselves and our quirks.

    I’m super excited and also pretty frikkin’ scared. I’ve committed to making it an exceptional Home for professional quirksters. :-)

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hey Shauna!
      Yep, it’s definitely got to be about the journey – not the destination ;-)

      Hmmm, try not to worry about whether your current idea is “the one”- as a multipod there never is just one! Maybe it’s more of a question of whether it’s “right” for this moment in time, or “right” for the combination of things you’re doing, rather than just plain old “right” in itself.

      Wow, sounds too like your Meet-up idea’s going down well. Wishing you loads of luck – keep us updated on how things develop. :)

  7. sandra van says:

    Thanks, Bev for the reminders about ignoring the “shoulds”, and not forgetting about a physical product as an option. I’m much happier not putting myself in a box, as they say.

    • Bev Webb says:

      Hi Sandra!
      Yep, those pesky “shoulds” will insist on creeping up on us! Look forward to life outside of the box. :)

  8. Yewande says:

    I don’t think you have to have changing interests. There is something to be said about consistency unless you have rich parents that can bankroll your changes. I do believe in having multiple passions (as I have) and working towards building them over time. I personally want to unify mine as best possible under one helm as a social entrepreneur. It’s a journey and it’s certainly not for everybody but it definitely makes any work or effort worthwhile..to me. Thanks for this article.