The Single Most Valuable Thing I’ve Learned in the Last Year

Image by Ariel Grimm, available under CC BY-SA 2.0.

The Single Most Valuable Thing I’ve Learned in the Last Year

Written by Emilie

Topics: Coaching

Okay, I’m going to be upfront right now. Today’s post is both a blog post and a pitch. Yes, I plan on handing over the gold nugget– that little peace of wisdom that changed the way I structure my life. But this is also a pitch… for me.


Is it possible to spend your week doing only activities that light you up? Can you do everything you want, hold innumerable titles, and still live comfortably, with reliable revenue rolling in? Is that thing we’re taught about everyone having one true calling the only way to approach life, or can you walk down many paths at the same time (or one path after another) and be just as fulfilled as someone who has supposedly found their one true calling?

These are the questions I set out to answer when I launched Puttylike back in September 2010. I was on a personal mission to never settle, never be pigeonholed, and never have an easy time filling out the “occupation” box on standardized forms.

Where I’m At

I’m not completely there yet, but I’m well on my way. Come find me at any given moment in the week, whether I’m writing an article, hacking a WordPress theme, or listening back to a podcast episode we just recorded as I hike up the mountain, I’ll likely tell you that there’s nothing I’d rather be doing at that moment.

I love my “work” so much in fact, that there are mornings when I can’t wait to get up and start my day. I mean, I end up going home early from parties so that I can brainstorm a client’s business idea or edit a podcast episode. Every Tuesday night I get to collaborate with a positively inspiring writing partner for a TV series we’re developing. And receiving emails from people just like me, who say that they no longer feel like a weirdo for wanting to do so many things? Hells yea, talk about fulfilling!

I’m literally overjoyed to be living this life, and I’m so so grateful.

I’m not telling you all this to brag. I’m saying it because I feel like I’ve been successful at battling those inner fears and external pressures to conform, and I’ve made the multipotentiality thing work. Instead of perceiving my puttylike nature as a curse, I now view it as my greatest asset.

The Single Most Valuable Thing I’ve Learned

So now, the big reveal…

If I had to impart one piece of wisdom to someone just starting out down this path– someone who is now where I was then, it would be this:

Turn your multipotentiality into a business.

I don’t mean start a business about multipotentiality (though you could– I did). What I mean is create a business that allows you to use many of your skills and combines many of your interests.

In other words, make your identity as a multipotentialite indistinguishable from what you do to produce income. Now, I’m not saying that each of your interests should make you money– not at all. What I’m saying is that there should be no distinction between work and play. You just go about your week, doing only activities that light you up, and hey look! The cash rolls in.

I’ve found that the best way to reach this place where you get paid for doing everything you love to do, is by building a business around your many interests– by leveraging your multipotentiality itself.

Some Examples:

  • Lets say you like Star Wars, programming, rock climbing, traveling, and languages. Start a business where you encourage shy computer nerds to become adventurous and see the world.
  • Producing your first short film? Use everything you’re learning about leadership, networking, creativity,  collaboration, and working on a budget and provide tips for other creatives with big dreams. Chronicle your production woes along the way.
  • Are you a guitarist who likes literature, experimental cooking, crossword puzzles, and time with the family? Create a community around ideas like simplicity, coziness, and relationships. Each week release a podcast episode where you discuss an inspiring idea, a weird new concoction you’ve invented, a great book, or even throw a self-improvement challenge out to your community. Layer the whole thing over a soundtrack of yourself playing classical guitar.

(I have no idea if communities like these already exist. I just pulled them out on the fly.)

Helping Other Scanners Build Awesome Lives

I started Puttylike to help other scanners embrace who they are and build awesome, dynamic lives that integrate their many interests. I also wanted to bring the community together and provide a platform for discussion and exploration.

My aim was to address, not only the financial and practical challenges of being a multipotentialite, but also the internal stuff like dream-pursuit, overcoming overwhelm, tacking fear, handling criticism, generating creative ideas, and so on.

The problem is that every scanner is different, and there’s only so much I can do in this format.

Business Coaching for Scanners

I’m not a life coach or a therapist. But I can help you sort through your many interests and come up with possible revenue streams. More specifically, I can teach you how to do what I’ve done: create a digital business and community around many of your interests, and help amazing, like-minded people along the way.

I’ve hinted at this a little on the blog and in the newsletter, but I’ve been coaching on the down-low for a few months now. A couple spots have opened up and so I’ve decided to start offering my business coaching publicly.

You’ll notice that my Services page is now live. Feel free to take a look around and shoot me an email if you have any questions.

I tried my very best to keep the packages affordable, and I think you’ll find that they’re quite reasonably priced for private consulting. I’ll probably have to raise my rates in the upcoming months, but I’m keeping the them low for now.

Free Prize!

To celebrate the kick-off of this little coaching launch, I am giving away 3 free 20-minute consultations. All you have to do is answer the following questions in the comments field below:

What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite? What do you need help with?

I’ll get in touch with the winners next week. I plan on picking the people I think will get the most out of the session.

Sound good? Post away!

Check out my coaching packages here.


  1. Brian Gerald says:

    Good food for thought in here. I think I’m a multipotentialite too (what a fun and fancy word too!). Here’s what I’ve got going on:

    * Maintaing client websites
    * Strategizing marketing, communications, and development for non-profits
    * Editing a documentary
    * Taking a storytelling class
    * Creating a financial workbook for indie business owners
    * Exercising my butt off
    * Designing, selling, and marketing Legalize Trans* t-shirts, buttons, and stickers

    I’ve been joking with my friends that I’m a jack of many trades or when I go to events for Legalize Trans* I joke that I’m peddling my wares… I guess it’s true too. What lives we lead! So happy to have you as a fellow journeyer.

    • Emilie says:

      Great stuff Brian! Sounds like you’ve carved out a nice little niche for yourself. I bet you get to work with some interesting people too.

      And omg what’s storytelling class like? That sounds so cool!

  2. Mark says:

    Multipotentialite! Love that word! (Or word amalgamation). I’d say my startup company SpotHero draws on many different skills, interests, and likes. I’m regularly asked what a regular day is like in the life of SpotHero, but it’s impossible to answer since it’s always changing and different every day. A startup is challenging and tough, but I love it! I’d say the biggest challenge is having to juggle multiple mini projects in parallel in order to get the big launch off the ground. Part of the challenge with those mini projects besides organization, is that I haven’t had experience before in many of them so sometimes it feels as though I’m riding blind.

    • Emilie says:

      I know exactly what you mean, Mark. Both in terms of how rewarding a startup can be and the juggling many projects. I fint it both scary and insanely rewarding going about building something from scratch, especially if you’ve never done it before. You’re continuously pushing yourself. As soon as you learn something and develop a new skill-set, it’s like straight on to the next. You’re constantly upping your game. Terrifying and amazing.

      I’m glad you posted Mark! I’ve had an eye on your SpotHero stuff, and I think it’s pretty ingenious.

  3. Angel says:

    Hmmm… I am intrigued. I’m definitely a scanner (have the book!) so this is awesome for me to see here.

    Biggest challenge with being a multipotentialite: Finding a way to mush all of my interests together in a way that makes sense (for me, and the people I want to serve!) financially, organizationally, etc…. My interests seem so widely varied, and also very well covered in the market already (so up comes the who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are monster). Ugh.

    What do I need help with: Well, some ideas for pulling it all together from someone who is actually like me! Not from someone on the outside who’s trying to understand me, but someone who’s faced down the same monsters.

    Yeah. That’d be sweet.


    • Emilie says:

      Hi Angel!

      Yup, that’s a challenge I can definitely relate to. Sometimes it’s daunting when you have a skill in an area that feels over-saturated. You feel like you’re destined to be overshadowed by specialists who naturally have TONS of experience. I’ve found the way around this is to find your own unique spin, or mash your service together with another skill, like you mentioned. It’s just the specifics of that that can be tricky. It’s not the sort of thing a traditional guidance counselor or college career adviser (at least the ones I’ve known) would be great at. Definitely requires some creativity!

      By the way, I really like the concept of your blog. Practicing gratitude is something I started doing regularly a few months ago and since then, my life has just soared. Happier, more opportunities, etc. I even try to go for “gratitude walks” every morning. I’ll be writing a blog post on that at some point. :)

      Thanks for swinging by Angel!

      • Angel says:

        I had to laugh at the comment about the guidance counselor/career advisor thing… just because I know ALL too well that they don’t quite hit the mark on this type of thing ;-)

        Thanks re: the comments on my blog. It’s in transition right now, to say the least… Love the gratitude stuff myself though. It’s really amazing what conscious gratitude can do to your life.

        Hey, speaking of writing a post on gratitude, if you’re interested, I’d love to have you do a guest post… Hit me up if that sounds like something you’re up for.. if not, no worries.


        • Emilie says:

          Heh totally… :)

          Thanks for the offer, Angel. I’ve actually got a lot on my plate right now, but I will certainly keep it in mind for the future!

  4. Amber says:

    Hi Emilie!

    I have similar challenges/concerns.

    My biggest challenge is branding myself. For a long time, I struggled with how to convey my skills and expertise to others in a neat little easy-to-understand concept. We often have little more than 30 seconds to convince someone that they could use our services. I find if I take longer than that to explain “What I Do,” people get bored and lose interest.

    I’m more than just a virtual assistant, I have a scientific and very logical mind, and I am adept at learning patterns (which lends itself well to doing things like web development), I thrive on learning and understanding how things learn (hence dog training, honeybee training/academic research, majoring in psychology, and studying marketing and design in my free time). But it’s hard to brand yourself with all these interests, while also conveying your worth and value to people when you haven’t done much in any one particular field. Also, being a multipotentialite is such a new and foreign concept to people. It almost makes you lose credibility. I swear my friends and family don’t think I actually have a “real job.” Haha!

    What I could use help with is finding a way to overcome the challenge above.

    • Emilie says:

      Ah that’s so funny that branding is your issue, because when I started Puttylike, I had NO IDEA how I was going to get my mission across to first time visitors. That’s what lead me to create the sidebar video. I also had a ridiculously wordy tag line at first, because I was so worried, especially since Puttylike was a made up word and all. My tag line was something like: “Confidence and Productivity for the Person with Many Interests and Creative Pursuits in Life”.. lol! The one I use now is much more… concise. :)

      It did take me 3 months of blogging though before I was able to articulate exactly what I do in a short snappy line. There’s definitely value in taking action immediately and refining as you go.

      But yeah, it is hard to market yourself when you have a bunch of skills that blend together and you don’t really fit in one box. I’ve found it most effective to focus on results. Instead of listing out all the things you can do, focus on what results they will get. In what form will all your wonderful skills manifest?

      Thanks for the feedback Amber! (And I think your branding and unique talents are pretty damn awesome. :)

  5. Tom says:

    My biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite is sticking to one idea or school of thought. It’s so easy to jump from one thing to the next and this is the blessing and a curse of being a scanner. I’m getting much better at controlling this, but of course, the Internet is like a drug and it’s so easy to get addicted to the constant flow of information (again, I am working on filtering this).

    I’m very interested to see how you could help someone such as a guitarist “who likes literature, experimental cooking, crossword puzzles, and time with the family”. I understand that’s just an example, but so many people feel they have many passions but don’t know how to monetise them or do not feel like an expert (including me to a certain extent).

    I can see the demand for this service being huge as so many people are crying out for ways to cash in on their passions. I’m sure you’re familiar with ‘Crush It!’ by Gary Vaynerchuk, where he tells the reader to cash in on their passions or an area in which they are extremely knowledgeable in. While I agree with the book, if the reader does not know their passion, how can they cash in? This is where your service could help. I am certainly looking forward to reading about your success stories in the future!

  6. Emilie says:

    Heh… I hear ya. I’m jumping around now. I initially came online to write an email but then I got distracted by blog posts and twitter and comments… I’ll have to reign it in and get back to the inbox clearance in a minute. But yeah, so easy to get distracted!

    I am familiar with Crush It. And that’s the exact problem I had when I was first starting out. No clue how to pick a “niche”, the way all the experts said you were supposed to. I really wracked my brain with this. It was super frustrating!

    I like the challenge of finding ways of bridging together disparate interests and make your message marketable. I find that kind of creative problem solving so much fun.

    Thanks Tom!

  7. Michelle says:

    This sounds great, Emilie!

    As for your questions: What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite? What do you need help with?

    I see a common thread in the comments & I’m having the same problem. I’m having a lot of trouble making sure that I’m presenting a cohesive face & that all of my interests are tied together in a way that makes sense *to other people* (it mostly makes sense to me, but I know that doesn’t always mean it works for others). Making everything (services, products, blog, etc.) into one cohesive unit instead of me feeling fractured. I thought I had this fixed, but I don’t think I do. I would really like a brainstorming session to come up with a few new revenue streams for me and how I can exercise all of my different talents/interests without seeming like, to put it bluntly, a flake, or someone who just jumps around a lot. I think having the perspective of another scanner would really help me out, because I always worry that coaches/consultants don’t know where I’m coming from!

    Anyways, this is a great idea! I hope it goes amazingly for you :D

  8. Emilie, good on you for offering your consulting services. I think you’ll be able to really make a positive impact on the people you work with.

    My challenges (I’m sure these are shared by many multipotentialites)
    -Keeping my curiosity under control
    -Letting some exciting ideas sit idle (in order to maintain focus)
    -Pulling down a consistent income. Paying the bills is easy, but I’m not saving as much as I’d like.
    -Because I really dig the work I’m doing, I struggle to give myself enough free time to simply play.

    That’s all. I’m as happy (and fortunate) as a bat in a bughouse to have these challenges.

    • Emilie says:

      Nice! I definitely hear you on these. Those are some solid scanner worries. (And yes, we are totally fortunate to have such concerns. Totally. :)

      Thanks for the comment Seth.

  9. Alethea says:

    Thanks so much for the blog and this post in particular.

    There are so many challenges (as well as blessings) that come with being a scanner.

    One you’ve already mentioned is being taken seriously while living in a world that only praises specialists.

    A problem I’m having is how to afford to go to school in the things I want, or get some sort of proof I’ve mastered the skills if I’ve taught myself. For instance, I read all the college books in psychology back when I was younger because it interested me, but as far as I know there is no way to test out of a psychology degree. Now I would love to go to cooking school, go to school to learn sound engineering, and go to school to learn graphic design. If I don’t, how can I be taken seriously if I teach myself the skills? How can I get the connections to work in the field (schools tend to have a better alumni and internship program)?

    Another issue is being organized. Every week I come across a different article or website that describes a life I would like to live. How can I organize my space so I can keep these articles saved away neatly, and organize my time so I can do at least a little of them in one lifetime?

    The last problem is that I have these huge goals, that would take so much to create and so I get overwhelmed and don’t ever get started. I want to create an art commune, an art/project space, a business/nonprofit incubator, while also being a researcher and journalist that can travel the continent and eventually the world. Those are the ideas that get my pulse racing, but they seem too big and too risky, so I’m studying for a “safe career” even though I have no passion for it.

    Any ideas?

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Alethea,

      I’m a big fan of not working within a system that requires “credentials”, but finding a self-employment alternative or backdoor way in instead. You might not be able to be a therapist without a psychology degree, but what about a life coach or even just starting a personal development blog? Would those options allow you to exercise the same “muscle”, so to speak? And almost every graphic designer I know is self-taught! Along with web design, it’s got to be the most self-taught profession out there.

      If you think schools provide you with connections, just ask all my friends who recently graduated from law school with no clue what to do next! The career development office was completely useless! Those people rarely know about the good/rare opportunities. You’d have better luck networking yourself through the blogosphere and Twitter.

      I have a lot of thoughts about your other two concerns too. Funny enough, your “big dreams” list looks an awful lot like mine. :)

      There are definitely ways to make progress toward your big dreams on the side, while working a “safer career” (in my opinion these careers are not actually safer, that’s just what we’ve been taught to believe)… It’s kind of long to get into here, but lets stay in touch, Alethea. :)

  10. Angela says:

    I totally vouch for Emilie’s coaching! She sure did wonders for me.

    Good job, Emilie, getting that coaching page up and running. You’ll get plenty of gigs for sure.

  11. Lex Mosgrove says:

    “What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite? What do you need help with?”

    Tough questions. :)

    First off, here’s what I do: I’m writing/drawing/painting a science fiction/fantasy graphic novel, I’m about to launch a blog with how-tos for worldbuilders, with an ebook due by the end of the year, and I’m also planning on selling my art online.

    I think my biggest challenge has NOT been to figure out possible ways to turn my interests and talents into a business, or to dare and take the risk.
    Instead, my biggest challenge was to accept the fact that I could make this work in spite of bad economy, lack of formal education, mental health problems, and contempt from people I trusted, if only I was willing to find a way, or make one.

    Now, what I need help with is getting some of the details figured out, and I definitely need a second – and outside – opinion on my plan. Someone who knows what they’re doing.

  12. Shannon says:

    Okay, so I have 9 years of engineering education, and I’ve only managed to work in some related capacity for 1 year, continuously. I’ve also played piano and guitar for most of my life, and only been in one band, for about 8 months. I love playing and composing and music in general. I even did music related projects in engineering so that I could make school at least mildly interesting. I have a couple of engineering related degrees, but I hate sitting in front of a computer all day long. What was I thinking?! That being said, I am a techie at heart, and I’ve done a very little bit of web design stuff, and I think I could maybe continue that if it was for some purpose I could feel passionate about. Also, I need to move, like dance. I did martial arts for 8 years, and I always feel amazing whenever I’m doing something physical. Arrrgghh. No education in the areas I am passionate about, and no experience in the areas I’m educated in (not that I much want any). On top of that I’m an Anglophone in a Francophone dominated city. But I’m learning.

    Please help!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Shannon!

      I hear ya! I can also totally relate to having the left-side, right-side brain thing going on. I played violin and guitar growing up. Even when I ended up in law school, I found myself playing music on the side plus doing some film making activities. I’m a total tech geek too, but also incredibly artistic.

      There are definitely ways to make this work. I think you’re onto something with the web design for a cause you care about idea. I bet we could come up with a killer blog-based business idea for you. Not being stuck at a 9-5 desk job would also help squash that awful desk job boredom (sounds terrible!), and working online means no language/employment issues plus location independence.

      Are you from Montreal?! Cause I am… I’m also an anglophone in a francophone-dominated city… :)

  13. Holli says:

    Super cool post, and awesome for you to get a consultation offer set up!

    I understood right away what your blog was about, by clicking on your “start here” page tab:) I also had a pretty good hunch what “multipotentiality” meant before doing so…

    I’m still trying to sort through my results from the “10 Ways to Find Your Passions Worksheet” and identify those that I know I will actually stick with and not outgrow, or those that if I outgrow them won’t drastically affect a business model. Hope that makes sense.

    Thank you!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Holli,

      That definitely makes sense. It’s often impossible to tell which interests you will outgrow and which will stick. But keep in mind that nothing is permanent. There’s no harm in going forward with something and then changing course along the way.

      I think often we have this fear of taking action because it feels like a big commitment. But it’s not. Don’t let your brain fool you. I try to view every new endeavor as an experiment now. It might stick or it might not, but it doesn’t really matter. Just enjoy it for as long as you can, and then move on.

      Thanks for the comment Holli!

  14. Gian Sorreta says:

    Love this post!

    I’m still trying to find my way in my career and in life, but I’m getting there slowly and steadily!

  15. Adriana says:

    I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find your blog. You’re literally the first person I’ve ever come across that thinks having so many passions is not only okay, but actually an asset! In the past three years, I’ve had about 11 different jobs (many of them overlapping). But none of them ever stuck, since each was demanding more of my time and focus that I could give it. I graduated college with degrees in cognitive psychology and spanish literature, then I worked in the non-profit sector, went to culinary school, became a food writer, then an editor for a teen health website, and recently I’ve started my own business as a painter of pet portraits. I feel like I’m finally getting closer to my perfect balance, but I’m not there yet. For instance, I still struggle to pay the bills some months…I also deal with a lot of guilt over not having the traditional career everyone expected me to have after such a promising college education. I’d so love to win those consulting session, and thanks so much for hosting such a generous give-a-way!

    • Emilie says:

      Wow, Adriana! Sounds like you’ve had a mighty interesting “career” so far. I love it. (Pet portraits especially… Amazing!) And hey, imagine how much less interesting a person you’d be, had you stuck to one path! Multipotentiality is totally an asset. :)

  16. Sarah Lewis says:

    Hi, Emilie,

    Most of these comments resonate deeply with me. My biggest challenge is finding a theme or “putting it all together” into a business. I’m ready to take the leap into a multipotentialite business, but have no idea where to start! Just not able to connect the dots.

    I actually saw your coaching services the other day, before I read this post, and am planning on booking you one way or the other, but I’m flat-broke (and any spending is currently forbidden by my bookkeeper/husband) at the moment, so winning a session would be an awesome sooner-rather-than-later kickstart!

    • Emilie says:

      Cool! Thanks Sarah.

      “Putting it all together” is most of what I do with my coaching students. Often it’s a crazy challenge, with these scanner types! Heh.. But I do love a good challenge. ;)

  17. What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite? What do you need help with?

    Hands down- keeping momentum.

  18. Banu says:

    Hi Emilie,
    My biggest challenge is finding a focus and getting over the fear that I would not be bored with what I choose. I don’t want to look like a flake to people, flying from one niche flower to another. I feel like a kid in some ways, wanting to go after what is shiny in the moment. I used to get this criticism from my dad as a child. Maybe that stuck with me. Maybe I ned to embrace the fact that I might be an experimenteur. :) I am afraid that I am more of an idea person (I can be brilliant at times, if I might say so) but ideas alone don’t make money because everybody has them…

    It would be cool to be able to have a few sessions with you….


    • Emilie says:

      Hey Banu,

      I completely understand. That external pressure can be totally stifling! Ideas and experimentation are good. They’re the first step.

      Maybe we can get you past your fear of failing publicly. I actually don’t see that sort of thing as failure… It’s experimentation, as you said. And the old adage is true: if you want to increase your success rate, you’ve got to increase your failure rate.

      Getting comfortable with failing publicly is the way to make it actually. Having ideas that bomb is like a right of passage that almost every successful person knows well. I think true failure is what happens when you let the FEAR of failure stop you from trying.

      It’s tough, getting into this mindset, but the more action you take, the easier it becomes.

      So yeah, nothing to lose. :)

  19. Annie says:

    How in the hell did you encompass me pretty much exactly in example #1? Hahaha! (Okay, scratch the rock climbing, I’m still getting there.)

    In all seriousness, this is some real food for thought. While I’m not really in a position for coaching right now, I just keep watching Puttylike (when I’m not playing video games…) and I really like what I’ve been seeing lately.

  20. Cara Stein says:

    Great question!

    For me, the biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite is prioritizing. There are so many things I want to do, and I’ve proven time and again that it’s impossible to do them all, so I feel like I should do the most important or highest impact ones first. But which ones are those? That’s what I need help with.

    Sometimes I just do what I feel like doing most, which is an enjoyable approximation, but not all that accurate, unless the main goal is to have fun rather than to accomplish anything specific.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Cara,

      Sounds like it might be a big picture issue. Like maybe if you had a clearer idea of some of your long term goals, you’d have an easier time differentiating between the high and low priority activities.

      But of course it’s like you said, sometimes we just get taken by a new interest and want to explore. I certainly understand that. That’s why I like to actually schedule in free time dedicated solely for exploration. It’s all about finding a balance between making progress on your goals and allowing for flexibility. Definitely tricky at times.

  21. Holli says:

    I’ve done some homework and am ready to answer:)

    What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite?
    Figuring out what I am good at doing for the sake of doing it to make money and sorting out what I love for the sake of doing/pursuing/learning something.
    It’s so easy to get caught up in what I “should” be doing to fit the expectations of society that shape my own, that at times I have lost focus on what I truly enjoy. Since those passions have shifted to multiple things, it has been easy to listen to the social wisdom to “buckle down and get practical.”

    What do you need help with?
    I would love to figure out how to make my love for learning, health, photography and family can generate some income. I don’t want to be redundant or counter-productive. And it’s hard to see how my creative interests can fit into a heath/food theme.

    p.s. Whether or not I get to win a session with you, I want to thank you for just doing this blog. It is already helping me sort things out.

    • Emilie says:

      Gotcha Holli. I totally hear you on both counts. In terms of your specific interests, I definitely think that with some brainstorming we could find a killer cohesive theme to link up those interests. We could do it.

      And you’re welcome. Thank YOU for being a super active community member! This site would be nothing without awesome scanners like you contributing. :)

  22. Ruby says:

    So funny- I just tweeted about this! I love being an independent-dabbling-in-everything kind of person that likes to incorporate lots of different talents, experiences and forms of education…but the struggle I face is while I blaze new paths- there’s no roadmap!

    I’m a grad student in sociology, fascinated by investing/saving money, art/fashion, etc…also trying to teach myself about blogging, SEO, HTML/CSS and all kinds of stuff like that.

    I would totally love some guidance to make sure I’m forging the right path for myself…this blog is helping but I need all the help I can get! :)

    • Ruby says:

      Knowing how to find balance and appropriately schedule everything is something I’d like guidance on. As one who does a lot of ‘work’ that doesn’t fit the norm 9-5 clocked-in job, when is it okay to take personal time? How can you measure how hard to push yourself or what to focus on….crafting my work with my personal life is sometimes a struggle!

      • Emilie says:

        Hi Ruby,

        I totally struggle with the scheduling issue too, though I seem to have found a pretty good balance after much experimentation. I’ve learned that no one approach works for everybody, but I could certainly help you work through this.

        Your first question about blogging, SEO, HTML/CSS, direction, etc. would be much easier for me to answer though. :)

        Thanks for the comment!

  23. Ruby says:

    BTW Emilie, I think it’s great you respond to all of your comments :)

  24. Emillie,

    I absolutely love what you’ve created here and would definitely appreciate your insights on “next moves!” You see, I’m smack in the middle of a crazy transition. I’m going from a background in Physics and Psychology and a career as an Air Force officer, and I’m getting ready to leap head first into becoming a career-multipotentialite! I’ve never really been into choosing “my thing.” Rather, I’ve always preferred to explore and learn a variety of subjects and skills. I thrive on adventure, tend to get bored easily, and enjoy moving on to new and challenging things. Needless to say, a desk job just wasn’t cutting it for me. Not a huge fan of the strict 9-5 corporate thing either. ;)

    So, I’m looking to take my teambuilding and group coaching skills, my love of the outdoors, and my passion for writing…and turn them into something profitable! My biggest challenge right now is getting focused enough to create a plan. I know there are plenty of “adventure-based teambuilding” companies out there, but I’m not really sure how to connect with them…not sure what background I need, etc. I’m also not exactly sure how (or even if I should) connect that business with the blog that I’m currently writing. Any help I can get would be seriously appreciated!! :)

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      Wow, good for you for taking that leap! I think you’ll really enjoy life sans desk job. :)

      Connecting with the right people is one of the biggest challenges of growing a blog-based business (well any business really). It’s easier now with social media than it ever was before though. I could definitely help with that, and we could also come up with a bit of a game plan for you too.

      Man, it’s going to be hard choosing 3 of you guys tomorrow… I want to work with all of you! You’re all so inspiring. :)

  25. Mel says:

    Just going through the archives and found this great post. My biggest challenge is wanting to utilize my interests while working as a stay at home mum. I have very few “practical” skills but love learning about things, particularly unconventional intentional living. My interests at the moment are:
    – autonomous education
    – child development
    – attachment parenting
    – crafts
    – creativity and practice
    – nutrition
    – preserving
    – permaculture
    – cooking and baking

    I wish I could afford one of your coaching sessions because making a bit of money would give me a huge boost in my self-esteem.

    • Holli says:

      I think all those are practical skills! I’m a SAHM too. Would love to encourage you to start a blog, share what you’re doing. That’s what I am doing and find it really encouarging to just engage with others who share simliar interests and help others.

      Here are my favorite examples of mom’s making money from their “home making skills” – here’s one who sells printed organizational cards:

      Here’s another who provides tutorials for crafts, fun photos and cards:

      Best, Holli

      p.s. Emilie is pretty amazing. Her rates for coaching aren’t very costly compared to others. Don’t forget that you don’t have to be perfect with a plan to start.

      • Mel says:

        Holli and Emilie,

        Thank you so much for the words of encouragement. I had been toying with the idea of a blog for a while but haven’t had the confidence. Really there isn’t much to lose in trying so I’m going to give it a try. Will lt you know when and if I get it running.

        Thanks again! Great to have such a supportive community at last!

    • Emilie says:

      Hey Mel,

      I’d have to agree with Holli that your skills are absolutely practical!

      I actually know several coaches who help people in the areas of parenting, creativity and nutrition. There are many communities and businesses built around the interests you listed.

      I would encourage you to start a blog as well. Just start writing, see what comes out and what feedback you get.

      Also, to add to Holli’s list, check out this site:

      It’s not just about making crafts, but about strengthening the bond between parents and children. I love that. Food, health and education can be about the same thing.

  26. Deb says:

    One problem I have is that I am so easily distracted. (i wanted to read all the comments, but they were all so rich – and your replies so genuinely engaged – that i knew i’d be here too long and i’d never get to the laundry and the paperwork and the blog post and the follow-up emails and the million and one things i need to do before i go to bed tonight…)

    But I digress.

    So yeah, I get distracted.

    And while I kinda know what my main thing is, it’s not big enough yet, so I can’t quit the day-job (haven’t figured out the best way to make my workshops “scale-able” so i can “monetize” them) and I’m tired and I get a little overwhelmed figuring out which steps would make the most sense to take as I build from the (small but loyal) following that I do have.

    I also haven’t figured out how the savant-like skills for recalling music and TV theme songs from the 60s and 70s gets woven into the whole encouraging and inspiring writers thing. And the one woman show about me as a drag queen trapped in the body of a voluptuous woman and how that kinda ties in to the work I do with helping writers unleash their unique voices, but I’m not entirely sure. So where do all those other things come in? Or are they just fun things I whip out from time to time to amuse my closest buds?

    So … help? I think the best help for me would be some wild not-sitting-where-I-sit brainstorming. On how those quirks get folded in; what the next best steps would be to move my work ahead …kinda like a conversational google-mapping of the next couple of turns out of my multi-P driveway.

    Or something like that.

    Love your schtuff by the way. (wish i had your kinda vision when i was your age. … said deb the not-entirely-but-in-comparison-to-you …old fart) :)

  27. Laura says:

    What has been your biggest challenge about being a multipotentialite?

    My day to day activities feel unproductive. I fell overwhelmed and I put pressure on myself to take my great ideas to the world, then get stuck in the middle of 10 projects and don’t finish one.

    What do you need help with?
    organizing a daily approach/attack to make things happen so I get paid and complete cool projects.

  28. Laura says:

    oops I feel overwhelmed. not fell

  29. Tom Niessen Sr says:

    Hi Emilie

    just my 10 cents to this though it is an older entry.

    In fact the biggest problem for us all is that we are trying to break into a market place that is saturated with linear conformance thinkers and not multipod potentialite scanner anti-establishmentarialists with thought patterns that most linear people would react too as if being slapped in the face with a wet fish…. twice. We even manage to do it to ourselves most of the time too.

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