I’m a Multipotentialite, Now What?
Photo courtesy of Stuart Pilbrow.

I’m a Multipotentialite, Now What?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Multipotentialite Patterns

You’ve spent your whole life flitting from interest to interest, maybe pursuing a handful of projects at any one time. You’ve owned a catering business, worked at a medical clinic, trained dogs, taught yoga, played cello in a chamber group.

You know about the oddest of topics because you were once obsessed with each of them and now you have extensive knowledge of the physical properties of the planets or how to build a tiny house on wheels or the themes explored in coming-of-age films.

All of this jumping around has felt amazing. But if you stop to ponder your path for too long, it starts to worry you.

You wonder why you felt drawn to pick up those water colors when you never ended up doing much with your art. You wonder why your love for psychology, which you once thought your calling, dwindled and why you suddenly find yourself writing and self-publishing a novel when you went to school for architecture. Where is the rhyme and reason to all of this?

And then you discover that you are a multipotentialite.

Suddenly it all makes sense. You realize that you are not broken or non-committal or afraid of your own success. The reason you can’t find your One True Calling is because you don’t have a singular calling, you have many. The zigzagging, the sporadic obsessions, the weird interdisciplinary projects, they all now fit now. They make sense.

It’s a huge relief when you learn that there’s nothing wrong with you, and I’m lucky in that I get to hear these stories via my inbox all the time. But what’s next? What do you do once you learn that you are a multipotentialite? Do you just continue going about your life as always, with maybe a greater sense of ease and confidence? Perhaps. But more likely than not, you still have questions…

Being a multipotentialite is wonderful. But along with this gift, comes some challenges.

The biggest challenges for multipods seem to fall into three categories:

1. Career – how will you use your drive to pursue many subjects to fuel your work and income?

2. Productivity – how will you split up your attention between many projects and still get things done?

3. Confidence – how do you feel about yourself, and how will you deal with those around you who don’t understand?

I view these three areas as the big ones that every multipotentialite needs to address. There is no one answer that suits us all. We each have different scanning styles, different ways of working, and different priorities. It will likely take a lot of time and experimentation before you come up with solutions that work for you.

Moreover, what works for you now may stop working in the future and then you will have to pivot and try something new. But the more you focus on these areas of challenge, the more you learn about yourself, and the easier it becomes to adapt.

So what happens when you learn that you are a multipotentialite? Well, now the work begins! Now you start testing out different career models, different productivity techniques, different strategies for overcoming fear. Now is when you can really get to know yourself.

Your Turn

What questions did you have after learning that you were a multipotentialite? How did you deal with them?

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Don’t forget that the Multi-Passionate Must-Haves bundle sale starts tomorrow, May 14 and runs for 72 hours. That’s 27 hand-picked books, courses, and guides to help you ROCK the multi-passionate lifestyle. ($1,379 worth of products, for $97).

Also, Michelle and I are hosting a multipotentialite Twitter party tomorrow at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern. Join along with the hashtag #mpmh. I look forward to seeing you there!

10 Comments

  1. Cassie says:

    My biggest question after discovering I was a multipotentialite was “What does this mean for my career?” I initially felt so much relief when I came across the concept (Oh, thank God! THIS is what we can call me!), but it was followed by frustration (Awesome. It’s now confirmed that I can go a million different directions. But which one??!!!). I found my answer in continued self and career exploration–by identifying my natural talents, values, and passions through a ton of reading, contemplating, and exercises, then carefully considering all the info together, my ideal career became clear, and I started making a plan. Now, I see my multipotentiality as a major advantage in building a new career: I learn several things at once quickly and enthusiastically! I completely agree that while being a multipotentialite presents unique and significant challenges, it is also most certainly a gift!

  2. Kimberly says:

    LOVE and LOVE and LOVE this! I just ordered the bundle (so MANY of my fave people) and I was so tickled to find your site and learn the word Multipotentialite. IT is me! And it means multiple passions and multiple revenue sources – Thanks, Emilie – so glad to meet you!

  3. Sharise says:

    I discovered I was a multipotentialite in the midst of attempting to start my own online business, so the career question has been my biggest challenge. I started my business doing graphic design, but it never felt right. Deep down, I knew I wanted to do more than just design, but I didn’t know how to combine all my interests into one business. It was around a year before I realized/accepted that I actually didn’t have to include ALL of my interests in my business to be happy.
    Now, my interests in design, online business, and online marketing are part of my main business, and I encourage the use of green technology when I talk about web hosting and sometimes share articles about the environment on Facebook & Twitter. I occasionally do tarot readings, but I do not have a page for that on my website – it’s more of a side pursuit. When I eventually start traveling I’m sure I will share photos and write articles about that on my website, but I may not create travel related products or services for my business and that’s perfectly ok. I don’t need to include all of my interests in my business, as long as I include them in my life. :)

    • Emilie says:

      “I don’t need to include all of my interests in my business, as long as I include them in my life.”

      Amen.

      You’re doing great, Sharise. :)

  4. Josh says:

    I learned that I had up until accepting my multipod nature, I had been internalizing this specialist expectation from society and imposing it on myself in moments where I would lose interest in music for a few weeks and wonder what the hell I really wanted to do.

    At the worst moments I would be convinced that I didn’t know what to do with my life, and that Buzzcocks song would come to mind ;-)

    Then after that initial breakthrough of self-acceptance I was stoked, and then I learned that just recognizing this quality about yourself doesn’t magically change everything. But I at least had way more confidence that I could make things work.

    I had to go through a few rounds of trial and error with projects / ideas (still doing this, but now I’m clearer about what I choose and actively experimenting with career models / interests as a way to earn money to see how they fit).

    Your book has been a huge help, too!

    • Emilie says:

      Thanks Josh! Yeah, it’s definitely a process. I’m still tweaking my approach and changing things up from time to time. But like you said, it’s far less stressful once you know what’s up.

  5. A timely introduction to Puttylike as I just received a ‘Not Approved’ on my MFA thesis projects — two gorgeous authored and illustrated books, plus a screenplay.

    Somehow I made it through the entire program with a 3.9 GPA but didn’t realize I wasn’t supposed to be THAT creative. I was supposed to do only one book, in a style which could be approved by a panel of four faculty. That’s it, everything else was tossed out.

    So much for innovation and creativity in an art university.
    http://www.ritarobertsillustrations.com/books/

    Thank you for validating and valuing the truly creative! I’m with you!

    • Emilie says:

      Ouch! Sorry to hear that, Rita. I’m sure your books and screenplay are beautiful. Maybe you can do something with them outside of academia.

      Oh and welcome home! :)

      It’s nice to meet you.

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