7 Tips to Surviving as a Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved getting involved in, well...everything. I’m multi-passionate. Someone who just can’t choose one thing and focus on it. I’ve got to have a lot going on. Even when I was young, I was the kid who never had a night free after school, because I was always doing some extra curricular activity or another. Sound familiar?
When this habit started making it’s way into my working life, I had people warn me. ‘You can’t do everything you know Kate?’ And I thought gee, maybe I need to pull back. Maybe I’m stretching myself too thin. Am I ever really going to be great at anything if I’m always adding more to my plate, more strings to my bow?
Earlier this year though, I signed up for Marie Forleo’s B-School and something she said in one of her videos instantly freed me. It’s ok to be multi-passionate. In particular, a multi-passionate entrepreneur.
It was like this was the permission I needed to finally step into what I had always known about myself. I’m at my best when I have multiple focuses. I don’t get bored, I can switch tasks when I’m not ‘feeling’ something, I can meet more people, form more relationships, experience different things, even out the highs and low of different projects and the list goes on.
Fully taking the step into my new found multi-passionate confidence has not been without its struggles however. I’m still learning, but have been getting better at it and am now much more aware of what it takes to do it successfully. So if you’ve been struggling with whether or how you can make multi-passionate entrepreneurialism work for you, I say yes you can! And here are some tips to help you along on the journey.
Ok, so this one goes without saying, but make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Write things down, create systems and actually use your diary or calendar. When you’re multi-passionate you have so much going on in your head, things will inevitably pop out of when you stick something else in (we only have so much space in there). Make sure you’ve got everything working like clockwork, so you don’t have to think about it. I can’t say I’ve fully mastered this one just yet, but I’m working on it.
Know what You’re OK to Let Slip and What You’re Not
There are going be things you just don’t have time for. For me it’s tidying, cooking, ironing, doing my washing... actually pretty much anything house-work related. (Please don’t ever drop in at my house unannounced, you may be in for a shock). While I do wish my house wasn’t messy so often - this is my trade off for doing all the other things I love, and I’m ok with it.
What I’m not ok with on the other hand, it not having time to spend with my friends and family, travel, or stay healthy. When these things slip, I know it’s time to make some changes. So know what you are happy to let slide every now and then and what you’re not. And if you’re not making time for the things that are truly important to you, make some adjustments.
So this one relates nicely to the above. Whether it’s to do with your businesses and projects or your personal life, so many things can be passed to someone else. No, they are not all free unfortunately, but some are and some of the ones that aren’t can be well and truly worth it.
Why not try outsourcing something? Maybe your husband can do the washing this week, if he doesn’t already of course. (Shout out to my husband who is pretty awesome with this). Perhaps you can hire a cleaner or an assistant. Surely your kids are getting old enough they could cook dinner once a week, right? And don’t be afraid to just ask for help. Just because you’re multi-passionate, doesn't mean you have to be a superhero. Hey, why not get the things off your plate that you really hate doing? Not only are you freeing up time, you’re also making life that little bit more enjoyable.
Know Your Purpose & Goals
This is a really important one. When you embrace multi-passionism (not sure if that’s a word, but it should be), it’s easy to get caught up doing things that are not really true to you. In order to avoid this, you need to be super clear on what you are trying to achieve with your business and life: your purpose.
If you don’t know this instantly, I’d highly encourage you to do bit of work around figuring it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but having this in mind and written down will help you with the next two points.
Watch Out for Shiny Distractors
Many of us multi-passionistas are often so awesome at taking on lots of stuff - people come to us with all kinds of opportunities. These ‘opportunities’ might seem really amazing, but if they are not actually helping you achieve your purpose and goals, they are what I like to call Shiney Distractors.
These Shiney Distractors might actually be something really fun, they might build your credibility, bring you in some money, make you feel respected or loved etc. Sure these are all good things, but what can happen is that these opportunities (as awesome and shiny as they are) can take you further away from your goals, increase the time it takes you to get there or even send you in a completely different direction.
Watch out for these little suckers. If you’re not keeping your purpose in mind, they’ll get you. They’ve certainly got me in the past.
You don’t have to say no to everything, but saying no to the things that are not serving you and your purpose will help you manage being multi-passionate. You will also meet your goals faster, with less stress and with more time to squeeze in all the other things that are important to you. (Maybe I can even fit in some housework? ...Nah.)
Stand up proud and say this is who I am and it’s not going to change. As soon as you stop fighting being multi-passionate, you can start concentrating on being awesome at it.
You will have people give you the ‘all knowing raised eyebrow’ when you tell them about this new project, or that new business, but don’t let it throw you. If this is what is authentic to you - do it. Not everyone is like you, not everyone will get it. Some people will think you’re mad and you probably are, but it sometimes takes a little madness to create the amazing.
I’d love to hear about your multi-passionate exploits, the challenges you’ve had and how you’re making it all work. Leave a comment below with your story.