Win a Full Scholarship to the PuttyRetreat
Photo courtesy of Jason Scragz.

Win a Full Scholarship to the PuttyRetreat

Written by Emilie

Topics: PuttyRetreat, Updates

Hey multipods!

As you know, the inaugural PuttyRetreat is happening in Portland next month. It’s going to be an intimate weekend, full of creativity and magic, and we’d love for you to join us!

We know the registration cost is a little steep, so we’ve decided to offer a full scholarship to help one deserving multipotentialite who really wants to come, but is having a hard time pulling the funds together.

This scholarship is both need- and merit-based. We will be choosing someone that we think would be both supportive and helpful in group settings, and get lot out of the weekend themselves.

Before Applying

Please read through the details on this page, and make sure that you can commit to being in Portland, OR for Sept 26-27.

The Fine Print

The scholarship covers the registration fee of $625 only. Accommodations and travel are not included. If you are granted the scholarship, you will still need to get yourself to Portland and find a place to stay. However, our hope is that with a scholarship, the event will be a LOT more affordable.

Unfortunately, if you’ve already registered for the retreat, you are ineligible for the scholarship. We really want to make sure that it goes to someone who is in a position of financial need, and would otherwise be unable to come.

How to Apply for the PuttyRetreat Scholarship

To be considered for the scholarship, please answer the following question in the comments below:

Why would the PuttyRetreat be perfect for you at this point in your life?

Very important: please do not include details about your financial situation in the comments. If we think that you and your project would be a good fit for the retreat, we’ll get in touch to talk more about the need-based aspect of the scholarship.

Please submit your answer by Friday, August 21. We’ll be contacting the scholarship recipient shortly thereafter.

Good luck!

– Emilie and Valerie

em_bioEmilie 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 carpenter. Learn more about Emilie here.


  1. TJ Bear says:

    My name is Ted D. Bear Jr. (yes, my name really is Teddy Bear – I go by TJ). I run a one-man graphic and web design business focused on serving clients that work in the music industry. I also offer copywriting and consultation services. On top of that I’m a talent buyer running my own concert promotion business, an independent music artist, and I’m a writer/blogger. When I have free time (which is never) I also like playing video games and attempting to neglect my girlfriend and friends less.

    I’ve recently suffered from a dip in interest and productivity with my design business, luckily I’m recovering from it and getting my juice back. But I want to make sure I prevent it from ever happening again.

    I also want to figure out how to find time for my side projects that have been shoved to the back burner while I regain focus on my design business. Things like working on an album, throwing concerts, and getting new websites up for my music and concert promotion business. I even have some new project ideas that I’d like to get out of my thoughts and into some kind of tangible form. Things like writing an ebook and designing a virtual co-working app (the idea was inspired by a blog post of yours, by the way).

    I think the Putty Retreat would be the perfect opportunity to stoke the fire under my productivity and find ways to balance everything I want to accomplish. If it’s any brownie points: I’m a Portland native so travel/lodging won’t be a problem for me and my 27th birthday is on September 27th so this would be a rad present! ;) – TJ

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Th I is would be amazing!!!!

    I’ve always been a multipotentialite. I have a BFA in film but was advised/scared into taking a steady office job after college which set me on a soul sucking path of staring at a computer all day and contributing to someone else’s corporate dreams, feeling like I basically survive to work and pay student loans. On the side, I did improv and sketch comedy and really fell in love with it. I decided to move to NY and pursue it on a much more intense and serious level. Unfortunately, I had to pay the much higher rent and got stuck in the same job jail scenario. Between that and frustration with the comedy scene despite semi-success with it (I was the one who organized everything, and people are flakes), I took a break from comedy a few years ago and haven’t returned to performing, though I have written a sitcom pilot and pitched to networks in the interim. I also started taking art classes again, pursuing comedy through comics and illustration.

    Meanwhile, in December, I was told my zombie job as a designer at a major TV network was being eliminated in March. Around that time, before I learned of the layoffs, I had been feeling really frustrated with with my career and had taken a coaching worship with the lovely Michelle Ward. Her Career Camp was coming up so I signed on, hoping to avoid continuing with this office slave life and do something I actually enjoy.

    Eventually, after months of working together, we figured out that I should pursue a career under the umbrella of “artist,” and use that to encompass all of of the pieces I want because I’m just such a Renaissance soul (or, as you describe, a multipotentialite). I would take on freelance projects using my skills and experience as a designer temporarily as I try to figure out how to support myself with my art. I would eventually write and illustrate a children’s book, alternative comics, make music videos and short films, sell mixed media work, and whatever else I fancy.

    Just as I finished up my first post-employment freelance gig and enrolled in a children’s book writing class, my apartment flooded. I lost half of my belongings, including most of my art and pre-digital photography, as well as two computers which I would be using for freelance. Dealing with the flood and insurance and moving became a full time job and really threw everything I had worked toward off track. I moved to my new apartment last week and have had nothing but problems with it (seriously, it’s unlivable), so now I need need to move again. As you can imagine, this gets expensive, especially with no income and NY broker fees involved. The insurance settlement, which I have yet to receive, is for far less than the value of my losses, yet I still need to replace most of my furniture and things required for freelance.

    So, yeah, you could say it’s been a challenging year.

    I would love to go to the PuttyRetreat but money is tight right now after everything that has happened and for the next round of moving expenses coming coming up. I really think it would help me to get back on track fighting for what I want for my life instead of giving up because I’m just so exhausted. It would also help me to set a plan in place for achieving my goals,managing managing them among freelance obligations, and

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Sorry for the typos above but I think I hit a word limit and it auto-posted…?

    Anyway, to continue, the retreat would help me to really figure out how to balance my personal pursuits and figure out how to transition from freelance work that’s mehhhh into being able to thrive off my art.

    Plus, I’ve never been to Portland and I really want to go! And I think I deserve to get out of NY after these past 9 months.

    Thanks for considering me! I hope to see you in September!

  4. Hi team Puttylike! I need the PuttyRetreat! I am a poor grad student entering the thesis portion of my masters degree program in predictive analytics and I am having a hard time determining what to focus my thesis project on. This masters program marks the fourth career I’ve embarked upon and has the potential to make good use of all the skills and experience I’ve acquired along the way. I feel so lucky to have found a field where I can thrive at the intersection of my abilities and interests, but I’m also completely spoiled for choice. I can build a model to predict anything, so what do I choose? Do I draw on my previous passion for journalism or any of my activist concerns, or do I take an academic approach and contribute to the field of analytics, or do I dust off my design chops and focus on a visualization project? A weekend intensive to explore my options with the goal of getting my thesis proposal written (or at least off to a solid start) is exactly how I’d use the PuttyRetreat. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, nor the location more inspiring. And if I receive the scholarship, I promise that once I’m gainfully employed I’ll sponsor another multipotentialite to participate in a future retreat, passing on the experience to a deserving someone in the future. I just know I would get something great out of it and I want to make that possible for someone else when I’m able.

  5. ahmed ossama says:

    hello dear

    I think that I deserve the scholarship , because for 9 years till this moment , I m struggling to connect all my multi potential , each step I paced or material I read effect on me , let me has a great knowledge and experience about searching for yourself , lot of experiments and situation also I have good experience about society view about scanner personality , how they dont cope easily with that kind of personality

    I transfer from computer IT and programming to engineering communication to electronics to e business to business management to marketing to international business to small business owning to creative writing stories,articles,poems,plays,movies to music to dancing to miniatures and diorama to visual arts to mathematics and abstract science to acting to modelling to board game design to human development to human resources to human resource development to human factor engineer to

    OMG , I was overwhelmed with lot of trial and knowledge experiements and pains , so the scholarship ll let me benefit other and also I can benefit from other too

  6. Aloha Puttylike Team,

    This is the perfect moment for me to attend the PuttyRetreat because I’m at a pivotal point in my life and the PuttyRetreat offers precisely what I need to tip the scales and fully embrace my new life as multipotentialite.

    I believe everything up to this moment in my life has prepared for the evolution I am going through in my life and for the PuttyRetreat. Perhaps a short story of serendipity may show why this scholarship is meant for me.

    I knew last summer that my life was going evolve in ways I couldn’t imagine the moment I was informed I was being let go from my job of 16-years. I immediately focused on learning how to evolve my life.
    I created vision boards. I found inspiration in workshops, webinars, and in collaborating with friends in Google Hangout to read books on transformation and encourage one another to push through our resistance to do some of the book exercises. One exercise I struggled with was to create an alchemy box, but I surrendered and took on the challenge. We broke the project into 10-minute daily tasks and at the end of the week we gathered our items and together created our boxes.

    One item in my box is a small journal, which has a poster on the cover I created of my award-winning documentary film “Running Lightly Through Life.” Inside the journal are some of the items that will help this dream become a reality, as well as blank pages to allow for more dreams to manifest.

    I don’t have the resources to attend this retreat, but my alchemy box is for dreaming and manifesting and so the moment I received the email about the PuttyRetreat, I printed the retreat image and pasted it into my journal. The moment I saw the PuttyRetreat full scholarship I added that poster too.

    I experience an incredible exchange of inspiration in collaborating with others and I would love the opportunity to be the recipient of the PuttyRetreat scholarship.

    (Note: Last week I started to create my website so it is only one page. I included it just the same, as what I wrote supports my desire to be a multipotentialite, although I refer to this as a portfolio life. Also, I provide a list of many of the books I’ve been reading.)

  7. Why would the PuttyRetreat be perfect for you at this point in your life?

    Hello, my name is Adrienne Orpheus, and I also go by the alias “adorpheus” online. I have a problem with being good at everything (ha!), and not wanting to let go of any of the things I’m passionate about.

    A few of the things I love include songwriting, singing, producing music, acting, dance, fashion design, sewing, vegan cooking, creating art, and metaphysics.

    The reason the PuttyRetreat would be perfect for me right now is because I am approaching a turning point in my life where I need to decide where I’m going to go and what I’m going to do when I get there, and more importantly, how I’m going to make this whole multi-passionate lifestyle work in a way that allows me to THRIVE. The PuttyRetreat takes place about a couple months before I move, so the timing is ideal for me to attend. It’ll be the perfect confidence booster to help me get where I want to be. Additionally, Portland is on my list of “places I could move to”, so getting a chance to visit again would be just perfect.

    Allow me to explain my situation further:

    I currently run three different businesses, one of which is something I mostly do for the money. I’m extremely grateful to be working for myself, but I really want to generate more income from the things that I’m passionate about (especially my music, fashion line, and acting), so I can do those things full time.

    I am almost constantly wracking my brain trying to figure out how I can achieve this goal. I know “adorpheus” has the potential to be a brilliant multi-passionate brand that brings my music, fashion work, acting, and so on, together in one place. I know I’m a personality and that I have a lot to offer, and that the creative endeavors I love can be presented in the form of a multi-passionate brand… I just really don’t know how to go about doing this!

    The PuttyRetreat would finally put me in the company of other people who have experience in my situation, so they can offer me their advice. I can share what I’ve learned with you guys as well. I’m going to admit, I have so much anxiety when it comes to being a multipotentialite. Whenever someone asks me “what I do”, I pretty much want to scream. Puttylike has shown me that there are other people out there like me, and I believe that being with likeminded people at the PuttyRetreat will not only help me iron out the details of how to strengthen my business, but also help ease the fear I have around being a multi-passionate person.

    Thank you very much for your consideration,

    Adrienne Orpheus

  8. Alycia says:

    To start off I’m at the ripe young age of 24 (I’m sure you can guess my financial situation with just that said); an age where I feel I’m not THAT young or THAT old, an age where my life can really go into one of two directions. One direction of following the 9-5 corporate life or the other direction of following my own path and working towards my dreams, at my own pace, for myself.

    The basics: I am a Payroll Coordinator for a behavioral therapy firm for children with autism. I am a college student majoring in business administration (recently switched from advertising).

    The not so basics: I am a dancer, pole fitness dancer, artist/crafter, greeting card creator, business consultant, blogger, virtual assistant, and interior decorator.

    I’m in the process of finding a dance studio to call my second home all the while training to compete in pole competitions. In the mist of that, I’m also trying to start a greeting card business, while business/brand consulting for a personal training company, a professional barber, and a hair company. Because my multipotentialite-self would not be satisfied if I wasn’t doing so, to add to my list of projects, I am also maintaining a blog with a close friend and virtual assisting in my spare time. Oh! Also, all while attending school online!

    I feel this retreat will truly help me gain clarity in all that I’m juggling. I’ve realized I need guidance to figure out how to succeed in all the avenues I want to go down, how to implement all the necessary actions in order for me to give each project my all, and how to combine them, if possible. I’m a great attribute to other people’s companies and can provide insight on ways to help them advance, but for myself I think because I want to take so many different paths as oppose to just one, it’s hard to keep going/start new adventures.

    I thank you for your time reading this and your consideration and hope to see you in Portland!

  9. Timmy C. says:

    Hi puttyteam!

    Thank you for this gracious opportunity! This is exciting. [Emilie, we met briefly in Denver in early 2014 at a talk you did; I was the 23 year old chemical engineer from New York who ran off to the mountains to snowboard!!]

    The PuttyRetreat would be perfect for me because I feel at a point where I’m truly 100% committed to my dreams and goals, not just wishing/deluding myself. My main project is my idea licensing business. The goal is to come up with simple, yet powerful ideas for consumer products for which I can license to brands with major distribution channels already in place. In return, they do all the heavy lifting, and I collect royalties. I LOVE coming up with new ideas and creating in this way.

    I desire help in focusing on the projects that I’m doing and not getting distracted with 100 other ones. Doing a small business on your own is a multipod endeavor because you have to wear different hats. The hats I wear are: Creative, Logistical, Sales, Machine and Faith. Managing these hats, and the tasks associated with them even on this project alone is in need of a multipod revitalization. I have a million other dreams and goals, but this project is #1 and takes up 50+ hours of my week. When the royalties start pouring in, the doors to my bigger dreams open up.

    I haven’t licensed an idea yet, but I’m COMMITTED. In the past, I’ve sat down and done the work, but I didn’t REALLY believe I would win. This is a striking difference. One can’t simply do the “techniques” that are needed to win, if they don’t deep inside believe it’s possible. This concept, for the multipod, is essential for success. Because we’ve been told so much that we should do one thing, there’s massive hidden doubt ominously clouding our paths.

    In perfect harmony, I believe I’d be as much of value to the retreat as the retreat would be to me. I’ve been successful in several projects and dreams that I never thought of as multipod-esque (until now) and I know how I succeeded from personal reflection. Faith in myself, being coachable, being willing to fail and all out commitment to the goal are some of the principles that got me to win. I bring a lot to the table as a true multipod with fire in his heart for an amazing multipod life AND the burning desire to help others do the same. This is my life purpose. I’m ready to grow to a new level, and with that desired growth requires new fuel and new tools.

    Again, thank you for this opportunity!

    Kindest Regards,

  10. Tali says:

    Hi there Emile (and fellow putty peeps! ).

    I guess I’ll just start off by saying that in my case I see this retreat as an opportunity to really contribute to the other participants and to see myself stepping into a leadership role on a more intimate level. I have known that I have been a scanner all my life-from starting up and running multiple completely unrelated businesses from scratch to finishing and launching dozens of projects, products, adventures, and so forth- you guys all are doing the same so you know what I mean. At this point I have already been living beyond my dreams at least in the sense that I know in my body and blood that I can consciously create whatever I desire. But at this point in time I just really want to support others realize what they are visioning- holding up a mirror for their clarity- show them a version of themselves they may have never had mirrored back to them…and yea, if there’s business advice or whatever else to be needed or had- I can be there as that
    person. But I can’t really be a leader alone. I can’t really make a contribution with my world travels, talents, empowerment etc in a vaccum by myself. This community seems like a perfect “culture” to contribute my “bacteria” to. If you get my petri dish. Maybe I’m being selfish for wanting to participate in that way. I’m not sure. Maybe its a good selfish cause its not about me. I was just guided to post here so maybe someone else wants me there on a soul level. I don’t know. I will admit that I do still have a long ways to go myself in integrating and balancing all my projects and dreams- I’m launching my 4th book, recording my 12th album…learning a new form of meta-marketing…looking to grow my innovative vitality coaching practice…and like 20 other huge things. I know it’s a process and I see its never ending and I’ve accepted that. I also know it can get really dark really quick and how to heal that fear-based ditch we can all fall into
    sometimes both consciously and unconsciously. Anyhow I think the putty retreat would be a good time, a high energy tribe of amazing people and I would love to have the privledge of being among your folk. :) much love, productivity, clarity, fun, ease, growth and magic my fellow putty peeps! We are what we have been seeking and were creating a new world with our courage, boldness and remarkable flexibility. Everyone on this thread is already a leader whether we are aware of it or not. Lets celebrate ourselves for getting ourselves into the right place to be even able to take part in this conversation. We’ve come a remarkable distance. What lucky souls we are :)

  11. Emily Sershon says:

    Why would it be perfect at this point in my life? The short answer is this:
    I just pulled the trigger on leaving my “career” job last week, and it reflects as much a cognitive shift as a practical one.

    Behind me is years in a structured career, a regular paycheck, the ease and societal approval that come with conforming to the specialization narrative, the alienation that comes with existing in that narrative, and also quite honestly, the ability to look to that narrative for guidance.

    In front of me is a big unknown! :) Though being a multipotentialite I of course have many avocations from which to draw. Here are some interests I am exploring and bring to the table:
    -creating physical space: I spent a year in architecture grad school, I’ve been a theatrical scenic designer for years, the career I just left involved maintaining large building systems, and I’m skilled at model-building/props fabrication and carpentry.
    -connecting across privilege barriers: I am constantly part of a dialogue about what perspectives separate us when we come from different genders, orientations, racial backgrounds, physical abilities, etc. How can the perspectives of others enrich our lives and open our perspectives? How can I learn to listen for the answer to that question?
    -community built through creativity: my greatest desire is to create space for creative communities to develop. Whether this is an online forum (oh, hey puttytribe!), or a physical space like a rehearsal studio, or a monthly meet-up, creating and structuring such spaces really drives me.

    I am just beginning to combine some of these things, now that I can focus on them. I am hosting my first Identity and Intersectionality Salon next weekend (combining the second two of those interests), and I intend to host it monthly and am brainstorming how to expand/supplement it. In September I will be in the midst of designing a long-term remodel of the house I own to change its purpose from a single-family dwelling to a community living and creative space of some kind (so excited about this, and would love to huddle about it!) And I will soon need to navigate capitalizing on my trades skills (I’m a licensed refrigeration operating engineer, boiler fireman, electrical trainee, and certified by the EPA to handle refrigerants (!!)) without ending up in a soul-sucking environment completely out of touch with my social justice perspective.

    Taking the leap of faith out of the specialization path is freeing and terrifying at the same time! It’s a moment I’d love to share with some other mulitpotentialites in person. :)


  12. Lee Chazen says:

    Why would the PuttyRetreat be perfect for you at this point in your life?

    After my Mom passed away in 2013, I felt like I lost a real ally — someone who sincerely understood the ADHD – like world of a maddeningly creative multipotentialite. Both parents understood and supported my cause. My Dad passed in 2010, so when my Mom left this world too, I began to search for a way to both honor her and my Dad and keep my self occupied with a real creative challenge. I could hear them saying “keep going, Lee. Move forward. Help others along the way.” Not literally (because that would be real weird and spooky) but you know… more of a feeling.

    Believing that, I moved to Silicon Valley and luckily received work for an Ed Tech company that provided tablet technology to the “special needs” community. Yet, six months into that venture, creative drive took hold of me once again, and inspired by what I was reading in places like the Puttylike Blog, I decided to pursue several projects at the same time — developing an educational game for the tablet and smart phone — completing a second edition of a book on a “user-generated,” “self-organizing” classroom — launching a group that merged fitness with creative thinking, called HikeStorming — recording conversations with hikers and others I met along the way for a project I called “Ideas in Motion,” and even working, when possible, on creating a different type of music which I call “techno-brass,” combining French Horn with synthetic rhythms.

    Well, I pursued these ideas and others up till about May 4th, when I decided to leave my ridiculously priced, tiny apartment in San Jose and begin travel up and down the coast of California. I had officially hit the wall financially, mentally and every other way…. which brings us up to now….the middle of August and I’ve been hiking, boogie boarding, sleeping on couches, writing, recording notes, staying with friends, family and generally re-charging my batteries for the next round.

    The timing and my background is just right for this. I’m a former teacher, TEDx board member (where I recruited and helped presenters), musician, speech and debate coach and as much as anyone I can think of – can truly, truly relate to the struggles of the multi-potentialite. I would value both learning from others, hearing everyone’s stories as well as sharing some methods that have worked well for me. This is really something I’d love to be part of.

  13. My name is Hannie and I am a kind, queer and intense multipotentialite currently living in Seattle, WA. I want to start off expressing my deep gratitude for Your site has already provided me with so many resources and gifts— one of the most important being the term Multipotentialite (which I have been repeating over and over again adorably to my own reflection, to my girlfriend, into my latte, etc). So thank you Emilie and Valerie!

    The PuttyRetreat would be perfect for me at this point in my life because a few months ago in a moment of brutal honesty with myself I realized that I have a dream that I wasn’t letting myself have: I want to be a writer, an artist and a maker. One of my dreams is to start my own renaissance business: a pop-up boutique that features both handmade and upcycled/refurbished objects intended to be purchased as gifts whether it be for self-care, for a loved one or for someone you don’t even know yet. I have stayed away from retail for so long because I thought it wasn’t worth it. What good am I doing making chunky jewelry or refurbished coffee tables? How am I changing the world through objects? It took me selling all of my possessions a year ago and making my way west in my cliché hatchback Subaru, blowing through $6,500 in 2 months (I like to call this my Great American Freakout) and trying to date without a bed for me to realize that forcing yourself to be a minimalist doesn’t define your relationship to the material world. I have learned a lot about impermanence by not having a lot of personal possessions but I have also learned that if you can’t find the little bit of world you’re looking for— sometimes it’s up to you to create it. I’m doing this because I want to create a community of gift giving and help people connect to each other while doing what I love to do. I make things that make people feel things. I’ve been doing it for my entire life and I have loved every cent and every hour I have poured into making things for people without reimbursement. I don’t want to add to materialism or consumerism by going into retail— I want to do what I love and help people appreciate other people in the process. Objects can be heirlooms, they can be door stoppers, they can be whatever someone decides for them to be and I want to make beautiful things that are meant to be shared, whatever that means.

    Now that I’ve tirelessly defended my intentions behind my decision to go into retail (can you tell I’ve thought about it a lot?) —I’m trying to start my own boutique of handcrafted artisan goods but if you look on Etsy, they are dying to categorize you. Are you ceramics? Clothing? Jewelry? I want an all-inclusive, across the board, trove of a business. I don’t want to be confined to one medium, one product or one idea. I want to make things out of what I can get my hands on. I want to feel textures and let myself reel. I want my business to follow me where I decide to go, to move with my inspiration and my exposure. I have already scoured several business resources, signed up for daily motivational emails, listened to podcasts from creative coaches and am I deciding to start my own boutique and be an artisan because I truly believe I am talented, skilled and capable when it comes to producing quality products? Absolutely. But in complete honesty, the actual factor or push pin or stimulator or whatever you want to call it is this— I have always had an eye for possibility and I want to make a career out of it. This is where I need help— I have never been organized, self-controlled or goal-oriented. I struggle with time management and prioritizing. I want to run a successful business but it almost feels like I’m having to re-wire the way I think when it comes to work. I definitely need guidance and help but I’m getting there slowly.

    Although my business is on the forefront of my mind right now, I am also committed to continuing writing poetry and am working on a book of poems that incorporate visual poetry through linoleum cuts and prints. I am fascinated with putting words where people wouldn’t expect them—silkscreened onto textiles, burned into wood, stitched into hems. I am interested in doing gallery shows and exhibits in the future. I am also interested in starting a blog with writing that is more accessible than my poetry (surrealist forever). I want it to be a place where I can work through challenges and thoughts and internal dialogue publicly. I want it to be a place where I can be honest and vulnerable not because I need to be because I want to be. I am interested in having an outlet that is not only for me but for other people—a safe space of inspiration, reality and excitement. I want to be organized and professional enough to be able to commit to collaborations with people who are doing meaningful work as well. I am also trying to understand how to market what I’m trying to do. I just bought my first website and I am in the midst of deciding what tabs to use, how to organize myself with my work and what lines to draw between my retail business and my artwork.

    So many of my friends have warned me over and over again that I shouldn’t be a jack of all trades—8 years, spend 8 years on one thing and really learn it and then you will be a master. But if there is anything I’ve learned in my adulthood it’s that sometimes your friends give really shitty advice (especially during breakups). If I listened to everything people told me then I wouldn’t have this rattling life. I wouldn’t have the iceberg tattoo on my forearm and I wouldn’t have chased that girl to Panama last summer or caught and filleted that salmon last week and I certainly wouldn’t have this wicked, dumb haircut. I wouldn’t be here trying to apply for this retreat so with that being said— I am attempting it all because life is too brief. My goal is to not be a jack of all trades: my goal is to be a thriving multipotentialite who learns, makes and adores. Sometimes I feel like I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing. But most of the time—most of the time—I have this deep feeling, an intuition, that I know exactly what I’m doing. I have lived my entire life as a divergent thinker with whirlwinds of new ideas and projects that never got finished and I’m everywhere pinching things out of nothing and thundering with inspiration and morning dew and thimbles while lighting fires everywhere but I never really learned how to nurse them. I want to be a convergent thinker too— I want to learn how to effectively tend to every flame, learn the way of the kindle, the coals, and the tinder of production. I feel like I’ve been dropping the ball my entire life, riding pipe dream after pipe dream and talking with stars in my eyes. I just have this deep feeling that I’m capable of so much. I have the ideas, I have the compassion, the creativity and awareness that it takes to do wonderful things—fear and insecurity just keeps getting in my way. I need to learn some techniques to help myself navigate the opportunities. I would be honored to attend PuttyRetreat and learn some of these techniques that I’m craving while also being surrounded by people who have similar motivations. Thank you so much for reading this and for your time and consideration.

  14. Tiffany says:

    Hello! My name is Tiffany! I’m a creative and free-spirited 26 year old with too many passions to just choose one! After leaving my corporate job last year, I moved overseas to find a way to become a digital nomad. Now I’m back in North America and am ready to take on new challenges! That being said, the PuttyRetreat would be perfect for me at this time as I am going through a very transitional period in terms of my career and personal life.

    After studying Psychology, International Development, and Economics, I worked in marketing and events to make enough money to travel. This led me to working as a Business Development Manager for a travel company. During that time I also co-founded a community startup and volunteered for non-profit organizations. After years of molding and brainstorming ideas, I am finally on the path to figuring out a way to put all my interests into one project. This new venture will encompass my passion for art, culture, travel, digital marketing, giving back to the community, ethically sourced products, and adventure!

    My biggest challenge is not only focusing on one project, but also having a motivating support system. I love sharing ideas with like-minded individuals, like those of the Puttytribe! This retreat would be extremely beneficial for me and my upcoming ventures as it would not only enable me to learn and incorporate new concepts, but also to meet other multipotentialites! Apart from the workshops, coaching, gaining clarity and implementing strategies for my upcoming projects, I am most excited about making connections and becoming a part of this awesome community! The opportunity to attend the Puttyretreat would be an extremely valuable experience, which would impact my development beyond the two days in Portland. Plus, any amount of time spent in Portland is always time well spent!

    Hope to see you all there!

  15. Brenda Scott says:

    Hiya, Emilie & Valerie.

    I’d love to attend the PuttyRetreat. Four years ago I left my full-time curatorial job to start my own business involving photography, research, music, and writing. I am at a crossroads with the business – and my life – trying to determine the best way to move forward, so that I can continue to pursue my different interests and still make a living. My mission this autumn is to make a plan to better turn my passions into profit, so that I can continue to pursue my passions. On the flip side, I feel I have a lot to give, and I could contribute at the PuttyRetreat, using my teaching, coaching, and advising experience.

    As a sole proprietor I don’t often get to work in a team environment of like-minded people, and this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to learn and grow myself and to give back as well. I’ve not had an experience like this since the work on my Stagville exhibit with the team at the NC Museum of History a couple of years ago, and I would love to attend the PuttyRetreat to be inspired – and with luck, to inspire. As soon as I saw it advertised, I knew I wanted to go, but until I saw this scholarship, I thought there was no chance of my attending.

    Enthusiastically and humbly – yet hopefully – I leave you with the image of Donkey bouncing up and down in Shrek, saying: “Pick me! Pick me! Oh! Pick me!”

  16. Meri says:

    Wow, lots of deserving people posting here. But I’ll add myself to the list. Why not?

    About me: I’m a musician (guitarist), writer (poetry, short stories, screenplays, songs, blogs, etc.), actress, videographer, aspiring entrepreneur, ESL teacher and mother of a spoiled but cute little orange tabby cat.

    Why would the PuttyRetreat be perfect for me at this time? Well, there are a number of reasons. Mainly, I desperately crave a support system and the camaraderie of other people who are similar to me. Recently, I went to an ARTS Anonymous group that was similar to the Puttytribe,I think, as most everyone there was interested in a variety of artistic pursuits. I was able to make friends and feel connected after attending this meeting, and it took me out of the rather negative situation that I currently live in. They don’t meet in my area, though, so I had to travel to another city and state for that meeting, but it was worth it.

    Other reasons why I could use the support of positive, motivational people:

    My mother died a year-and-a-half ago. She died slowly in hospice, and then I had some difficulty with the funeral home overcharging me, so I’m still working on getting her gravestone placed, as well as having to interact with my extraordinarily dysfunctional family. (No, not all families are “dysfunctional.” Trust me.)

    I also am having some health problems that I’m concerned about, and this retreat would take my mind off of it and get me to focus on how to take all my interests and skills and create a life that works.

    Like all of us, I suppose, I’m not getting any younger and I really need to figure out a way to earn a decent living while being able to pursue my creative loves-music, film acting, video-making, writing, creating… Sometimes I think it’s too late at this point in time, but then again, it’s also too late for me to give up. I already put a lot of time and energy into being a good guitarist and writer, making a documentary film, writing a full-length screenplay as well as shorter plays, writing poetry, short stories, getting some of my work published, etc. I’ve really done a lot–just haven’t figured out the money part of it.

    I don’t meet many people similar to me where I currently live, and I’ve wanted to visit and maybe even move to Portland for a couple years now, so this would give me an opportunity to explore that city. A city known for being “weird” would just be perfect for me! Unfortunately, Portland is also known for having a tough job market, but I’ve been wanting to go there just to see how I feel in that environment.

    What could I contribute to the meeting? Well, I’m pretty good at motivating other people. I’m an “idea person” and a good problem solver (except, of course, when it comes to my own problems.) I like meeting creative, talented people and encouraging them to pursue their dreams because when I do, it comes back to me and I find myself also encouraged and inspired. I need to get out of my own head and get more involved with other people and their challenges.

    Not sure how well I’ve explained myself. But there it is!

  17. Vince says:

    Well here goes. After reading and re-reading the information about the upcoming Putty Retreat, I’ve decided to submit my application as a candidate for your scholarship. I’ve been toiling (yes, toiling) for a long while in the workaday world and can now see the opportunity to make a break from the routine in the not too distant (less than a year) future. In my working lifetime I have been an art teacher, self-employed contractor, building materials salesman, and for the past 6 years a construction estimator. I’ve been looking forward to this time in my life as an opportunity to focus on interests and activities that are more than just a means of survival. I am a very capable and talented person and feel I have some greater contribution to make if I could only figure out what it is. An objective assessment of my thoughts, plans and situation by a group such as you expect to attend might be just the ticket.

    I have always been supportive and helpful when in group settings whether it be in the workplace, at home or in personal situations. In fact, SERVICE is a common thread running through my life. Students, customers, employers, co-workers, family, friends, I’ve served them all. To be honest with you, I would like to serve myself a little.

    I would almost certainly not attend the Retreat without the scholarship. There are a number of things closer to home clamoring for my attention and money. For some time now, I have been focused on personal growth. I feel I’ve got that pretty well mastered and under control and would like to get some help taking my thoughts and ideas and formulating a plan for the future. If you think I might be a worthy choice and would like to know more, please contact me. Thanks for the opportunity and consideration.

  18. Bryan C says:

    Hey Emilie and Valerie, big thanks for this opportunity.

    My home is Adelaide Australia, a city which has long been regarded as a creative black-hole. The next closest city to Adelaide is 8.5 hour’s drive to the East and to the West it is 2 days drive. I’ve always struggled to find the support and inspiration I need to thrive. Life has always felt like I’m wearing jeans two sizes too small, and it’s confused and frustrated me as to why nobody else seems as uncomfortable as me. Stumbling across the Puttylike site was a revelation, it made me consider that maybe I wasn’t broken in the head after all… so thanks.

    For the last 8 month I’ve been working on a project to make radically sustainable housing accessible to everyone and anyone. Humans are presently using 30% more resources than the Earth can replenish each year. Over the next 40 years estimates are that demand for fresh water will rise 50%, demand for food will rise 70%, and demand for energy will nearly double – all in the same period that we need to tackle climate change, depletion of rivers and aquifers, and deforestation. This is my motivation for such a project- and it’s been coming along VERY well. I have an 80% complete design for a home which provides its own power, water, naturally stabilizes its own temperature, has no running costs, provides the occupants with fresh food, and hopefully will be able to be built $50,000 cheaper than a standard conventional house of the same size. I’ve also started assembling a team of brilliant people to act as advisors for this project as we start to move into the phase of designing a business to build these houses.

    I’ve also just agreed to volunteer with an organization that incubates projects which will be beneficial for Indigenous Australian communities. I’ll be starting on a project which looks at how to provide the local people with houses that better suit their needs than those which the government provides. The hope is that after 3 months of volunteering I’ll be able to get a part time paid position, and the job will require that I travel up to the remote villages and work with the local people in more of a teaching roll, which sounds exciting.
    I’ve ALSO just finished a 16,000 word written piece which I’d love to get published in the USA- I was published 3 years ago in Australia but have struggled to write anything of quality since. This piece is about an attempted massacre I was unfortunately caught up in in Colorado in 2008- I just sent it to a friend in LA and he went absolutely nuts for it. I don’t know how or where I should send the piece, or whether I should work it up into a book, (Valerie, you might be of some great help here!!) but I love the idea of a foreigner writing about American society as a neutral observer.

    The reason I think that the Putty Retreat would be great for me at this point in my life is that I feel I’m standing at the top of a giant ski jump, I’m daring myself to push off yet totally frozen and unmotivated to do so. My life has been a series of grandiose project attempts in which I throw everything I’ve got towards them before quickly feeling dissatisfied, overwhelmed or bored- I crash, I get depressed, I piss off my friends, then I dust myself off and do it all again.

    I don’t want to live that cycle anymore. Life is meant to be fun, and funny! I want to do justice to the projects I love, and I want to do justice to myself and the people around me. I’m also sick of constantly worrying about where the next $$’s will come from. I feel like I’m forever volunteering and not having my efforts valued by the world, there must be another way. The other day I applied to work at a grocery store…. but didn’t get the job.

    Over the last year I’ve: tried to start a comedy night for Islamic and Non-Islamic people to drop their shit and laugh together; I’ve became fascinated with yoga, Tantra, meditation and neuroplasticity; I performed spoken word poetry; I ran a course on geodesic dome building; I escorted Chinese geologists in the outback as they searched for gold; I did a fit-out for a café; I fell in love with skateboarding and surfing again; I hitchhiked in Israel and slept in a cave in Jordan and wrote about all the wonderfully adventures; I designed and built a wastewater treatment system for a house in an eco village. Yep… I seem to be one of you guys!! And to be around a group of Multipotentialites who ‘get it’, who would support me as I support them, who may very likely become lifelong friends or project partners…. I think it would be a life changing experience.

    When I first read about the Putty Retreat I was really wishing I could attend, yet simply couldn’t justify the travel and registration expenses….. THEN you sent this email about the scholarship and my imagination started pinging, now I’m more excited about going to the Putty Retreat and Portland than anything else.

  19. Joanna Leigh says:

    Hi Emilie and Valeria
    I’m Joanna, an Australian multipotentialite! I’m really excited that l happen to be in America on the West Coast in time for Putty Retreat! I’m even more exited that you’re offering a scholarship as it is beyond my budget and l have other circumstances we can discuss, that means this is the only way I could attend. I can manage accommodation and travel though and totally commit to being in Portand on the last weekend in September.

    The PuttyRetreat would be perfect for me at this point in my life because, having recently discovered multipotentialites exist and I am one of them, I am in process of exploring and developing strategies of how to integrate my many diverse interests into my work and life in a sustainable way that benefits myself and my communities. It’s also a happy coincidence that I happen to be in the country while this retreat is being held, a synchronicity which is unlikely to occur again.

    I discovered I am an multipotentialite earlier this year when I was referred to your Multipotential Must Haves (which I’m still working my way through). It was like all the pennies dropping and lights switching on at once. Suddenly so many things make so much sense. It’s so amazing to find that this exists, that there isn’t something wrong with me and to learn from other multipotentialites. As well as your site I’ve just picked up Barbara Sher’s book “Refuse to Choose!”

    I’m a musician, songwriter, singer, performer, event co-ordinator, workshop facilitator, promoter, producer, entrepreneur, traveller and creative (among many other things). I’ve also been coaching other small business owners, workshop providers and conscious entreprenuers in how to get the most benefit out of online and social media. I’m really curious about in the opportunity for self expression at the intersection of creativity, music, voice, sexuality, gender, new media and sacred spirituality (e.g. chakras, tantra, elements, meditation) and facilitating experiences to explore these for others as well as myself. I’ve decided it’s time I put some of the online strategies I advise others to use to work for me.

    I have two Certificates in Training & Assessment and Travel and two Bachelor degrees in Communications (media) and Contemporary Music. In my communications degree I managed to meet the rules without having a strict major, with studies in multimedia, audio and public relations (as well as many, many minors). I had to have a major which was in Voice in my 2nd degree, however I genre hop, create fusions and break the “rules” a lot and also play some guitar, keyboard and other things I pick up. (I’m currently teaching myself the ukulele!)

    I’ve always had multiple interests and projects, even as a child, and have struggled to fit into the specialisation, niche model dictated by most of society. At times I’ve felt guilty for not reaching certain career milestones, even though my list of achievements is extensive, as well as being confused as to why areas I once loved become less shiny and deprioritized after a period of dedication and a certain level of mastery. I’ve also found it challenging to do all the things I’m interested in to the level I want to do them at without burning out.

    Now I am in the process of developing plans and strategies of how to integrate my many skills and interests into some kind of business which sustains me financially and intellectually, while serving others. I feel the Putty Retreat will be an amazing opportunity to develop multipotenitalite community, as well as clear ideas and plans, skills, strategies and resources I can implement into my business and take back to my community in Australia.
    Having been a workshop facilitator and coach I’m often that person in workshops/retreat who has lots of suggestions for fellow participants and I’m happy to share resources, strategies and things that have worked (or not) for me. Being from Australia, I may bring a slight different perspective and way of looking at things to other North American based multipotentialites.

    I’m looking forward to discussing this with you further and hopefully joining you all in Portland in September!
    Thank you for the opportunity.
    Joanna Leigh

    Ps my website is focused on my music performance work – one of the many things I’m looking at updating once I get more clarity of how to communicate to others all the pieces of me; something I’m hoping to get at the PuttyRetreat.

  20. Katie Argens says:

    (Sorry if I’m posting this twice…my internet connection is not the best)

    Hello Emilie and Valerie!

    My name is Katie Argens, and I’m coming to you all the way from…well, I actually live here in Portland (…so that intro won’t work…)

    First things first, thank you for this opportunity! Thank you for advocating for multipotentialites, for creating the PuttyRetreat, and for making this event accessible through this scholarship competition.

    The PuttyRetreat comes at an interesting time for me… I am transitioning into new adventures, building a community of support and inspiration, and shaping my identity as a Renaissance person.

    Answering the dreaded “What do you do?” is no easy feat for me. My business card states “Artist and Graphic Designer,” my degree is in Community Drama from the “Paul McCartney Fame School,” and my resume reads “Part-time Serial Retail-Worker.” I am drawn to pop-art, fashion, music, knowledge, innovation, and the very colors of life.

    And then there’s my plan to fit everything I own into a suitcase and travel indefinitely…

    How does all this tie together into a career or even a title?

    I do not know — and yet I wouldn’t be me without it. Accepting this, though, has been a challenge. But, I’m ready to embrace my Renaissance ways and use them to my advantage.

    I’ve started a few projects, such as writing for a queer-style blog, opening an Etsy shop for my paintings, and moving in to an artist community here in Portland…and I have more ideas to explore, like starting my own blog and finding ways to travel again.

    I am also applying to online graphic design programs, and the thought of going back to college both scares and excites me.

    I rarely know how to center, plan, or launch my passions. I have tried the Einstein approach, but I find I work better when my passions are my full-time job (even if I barely get them flying). The PuttyRetreat would help me find the clarity and direction I desperately need at this point on the map.

    Meeting with others on their own multi-route journeys is perhaps the most exciting part this retreat. It is difficult to find support for a Renaissance life, even among those who accept our ways. To the specialist, the plans and schemes of a multi-dreamer look illogical or simply mad.

    In a city like Portland, which seems to speak to multipotentialites, PuttyRetreat is the perfect opportunity to join and connect the community. From friendships, to potential partners, to just being in a room with people who understand you…I would love to join this Renaissance tribe.

    Again, I cannot thank you enough for this chance to join your tribe, and for making this scholarship possible. I massively enjoy your blog, and cannot wait to see the success of the PuttyRetreat and its tribe.

    Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.


  21. Seth S. says:

    [Sorry if this is a double-post, but it didn’t seem to go through the first time.]

    Hi Emilie, Valerie, and all the other awesome multipods applying for this scholarship,

    I would be so honored and excited to receive the PuttyRetreat scholarship! I discovered Puttylike about nine months ago and it was such a lightbulb moment for me. (“Ah ha! So that’s why I have so many interests and have never been able to specialize in one thing!”) That led me to many Puttylike blog posts, Barbara Sher’s _Refuse to Choose_, and this year’s Multi-Passionate Must-Haves.

    I wish I could have attended the PuttyRetreat five or ten years ago (any multipods out there working on time travel?). All kidding aside, this would be the perfect point in my life to attend the inaugural PuttyRetreat because of where I’m at now in developing my renaissance business, the challenges I face, and my life and family situation. I’ll elaborate on all three of these points.

    My career has mostly been advocacy-based, in the areas of the environment, transportation and development, and the solidarity/sharing economies. My main interests have tended to fall under two broad themes: 1) creating a more thriving, just, and happy world and 2) technology, and how to use it for good, not evil. (Emilie, I’m grateful that your Theme Kit has helped me start to identify overarching themes that connect my many interests.) After much soul-searching and career exploration over the years, I’ve finally come to realize in recent years that I need to enjoy what I’m doing and not do it only because I think it’s important and something that I *should* do. This realization has evolved along with a growing desire to have my own income streams.

    I got started on the entrepreneurial path a year ago. After killing the first two business concepts that I worked on, I started developing an online course about how to use your time to pursue the things that bring you joy and meaning. It builds on an overarching theme of living a joyful, balanced life and my long-standing interests in productivity, alternatives to conventional jobs, questioning consumerism, and creativity.

    I’m grateful for the progress I’ve made, yet I still face significant challenges and would benefit greatly from the retreat, the lectures and coaching, and from connecting with other multipotentiates like me. In particular, I’m challenged by:

    – staying focused
    – managing and organizing my research and learning
    – some fears I have about taking on the identity of “thought leader”
    – occasional lingering doubts about whether I’m on the right path with my current business

    Two years ago, I was also deeply fortunate to become the father of an amazing child. This has led to so many wonderful things, and it has also meant that my free time is more precious and limited than ever before. In fact, I’ve been an at-home dad for the past year and a half and am preparing to reenter the workforce this fall while my wife scales back to part-time work. This makes the PuttyRetreat an even-more-amazing opportunity! It’s rare for me to have a few hours at a time to focus on something. So the thought of spending a whole weekend focused on my projects (because there’s never just *one* project, is there?), exchanging support with other scanners, and connecting with people like me who understand each other, well…it gets me excited and a bit giddy.

    The stars are aligned to make this happen. Our family has been living in Portland for the past year, so I would not have any travel costs to attend and would absolutely be able to make it work if I receive the scholarship. My wife lovingly supports my sometimes scattered interests, and has generously offered to do childcare for the weekend if I win the scholarship.

    I also have a lot to offer the group if I receive the scholarship:

    – I’ve studied and practiced compassionate communication (aka Non-Violent Communication) for many years and use empathy as a way to help foster connection with others.

    – I sit pretty close to the middle of the introvert-extrovert continuum and can relate to both “sides” of that spectrum – as well as get along with a wide range of personality types.

    – Having been active in a number of social justice movements I know how to check my privilege at the door and strive to ensure that diverse voices are heard.

    – And, as I know is true for lots of multipods/scanners/polymaths, I usually have plenty of ideas and resources to share.

    In closing I want to give a big thank-you to Emilie for the resources and inspiration that you freely share, and the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. (I don’t envy you and Valerie having to choose the recipient because there are so many kick-ass applicants!)

    • Seth S. says:

      Hi Emilie and Valerie,

      I posted this just before midnight, Pacific time. I guess the site is running on Eastern time. Hope that you’ll still consider my application.


  22. Gowri says:

    At the risk of posting this 3x and/or just missing the deadline due to internet being weird/user error, here’s my entry:

    PW: “putty”

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