I often get asked how multipotentialites have a chance of standing out among specialists. How can you compete with someone who has put in so many more hours than you? Is there a way that your multipotentiality can give you an edge?
According to the mainstream story around career and calling, being The Best at something is all that matters. Your medium is your identity, and mastering a field is where you derive your sense of purpose. We are taught to compete on “price.” (expertise, credentials, hours logged—however you want to frame it).
The changing landscape
One little problem. The arena is changing. In 2012, knowledge is easy to acquire. Masters degrees are a dime a dozen, and it’s easy to educate yourself with the click of a mouse. As a result, there is far more competition than ever before, and it’s become increasingly difficult to stand out based on expertise.
Luckily, multipotentialites play an entirely different game.
Instead of competing on price, multipotentialites compete on uniqueness. We don’t stand out by trying to be The Best, we stand out by bringing our other interests into the mix and providing our own unique blend of talents.
When you’re looking for a way to set yourself apart, take a look at what you’ve already done. What past pursuits can you smoosh into the mix? Can you use your background in speech pathology and neuroscience to give your coaching practice a different spin? Can you use your background as a party promoter in New York city and your knowledge of slick advertising to create a charity that people actually think is cool? What about using your love of pop culture to make Personal Development hip?
As a multipotentialite, you have tons of experiences from which to draw. Don’t minimize what you’ve done. Remember that one single calligraphy class was enough for Steve Jobs to draw from to inspire the beautiful typeface for the Apple computer. Use your multiple pursuits, combine them in a way that nobody else can, and create something unique.
Specialists may be excellent craftsmen, but we are fabulous creators. Being highly skilled sounds great, but I’d rather be inventive.
How have you used your multipotentialite background to stand out?