Why I Think Being Multipassionate Is Bullshit

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The whole “multipassionate” thing? I’m over it.

Yeah, I said it.

Saying you have so many interests that you couldn’t possibly choose just ONE to start a business about? I’m done with that nonsense.

I should clarify — It’s not being multipassionate that I am over. It’s using it as an excuse to not move forward with your business that I am just SO sick of hearing. It is so shitty to see so many people holding themselves back because of this excuse.

This post is a battle cry. To everyone out there in Online Business Land who is shouting from the rooftops that you absolutely CAN and MUST create a business that is 100% in line with your passions and interests and strengths and hobbies and loves and your life purpose. 

To the coaches touting that you absolutely MUST NOT SETTLE for a business that you don’t LOVE and telling you that you shouldn’t have to choose just one thing to focus on – that you can have it all!

And to anyone calling themselves multipotential, multipassionate, or a scanner, and believing that you shouldn’t have to choose something – because ugh – how could you possibly settle on one thing? You love so many things and your life and business should represent that! You are special and the good ol’ regular advice on choosing a business idea and a niche simply doesn’t apply to you.

 

Can we please stop these insane bullshit excuses right now? Please? It makes me SO sad to hear talented, smart people who have BIG dreams, procrastinating SO hard because they are waiting to find the PERFECT business idea.

 

If you’re a human, there is a 99.9% chance that you are interested in MORE than just one thing. We ALL are. No one is single-minded enough that they have ZERO interests or hobbies or causes they care about.

Having so many passions that you couldn’t possibly choose one to start a business about is an excuse (likely being created out of fear). And it’s holding you back. BIG TIME.

And if you ever want to grow your business, you are going to have to suck it up buttercup, and choose ONE thing to focus on in your business, and get a move on. In fact, Focus is my new favorite F-word.

Because here’s the thing – it’s a fucking business. It’s work. It’s a career. It’s not all puppy dogs and ice cream and rainbows. It’s not going to feel warm and fuzzy all the time. And honestly, I get SO disheartened seeing SO many crazy amazing ambitious people going in circles for months because they refuse to focus in. Waiting to find something that will fulfill every single need they have ever had. Waiting for an idea that they won’t get bored of in a month, only to have to scrap everything and start again (again). 

Your business is DEFINITELY not going to go anywhere if you keep waiting to find the perfect blend of EVERYTHING you love and  try to smoosh everything into one, because 1) that’s likely not possible, and 2) if it is, you will confuse the crap out of everyone when you try to market it. And, if I may add #3 – your interests and passions will change as your grow, so what are you doing to do – keep trying for the rest of your life to integrate them into your business? And remove the old ones? Constantly changing your services and your tagline and your niche because your interests are changing. Smells like flake to me. And not the best business move.

It’s time we stop being so precious about our businesses, and time we start focusing in on finding something we do well, that we like to do, that people will pay us for, and let that be enough for now.

DISCLAIMER: I should take a minute here to note that I absolutely believe in creating a business that is close to home for you – something you give a shit about. A BIG shit. With a core message that you can stand by, even when things feel hard.

I strive for that in my own business and I advocate for that with my clients. It’s why I put such a big emphasis on Messaging. There’s no sense in creating something that will just be another job that you hate. What’s the point?

But does it have to be perfect, and will you love it every minute of everyday, and it will never feel like work and will only feel like warm and fuzzy feelings all the time? HAHAHAHAHA. No. Whoever told you that wants your money and wants to try to sell you the impossible dream. Because the truth is that your business will ebb and flow, and sometimes you will love it and sometimes you will hate it.

And no matter what you choose to focus on, there are no guarantees that you won’t get bored of it a few months down the line. It’s a risk you take. Actually, scratch that – it’s a DECISION you make –  to stick with it, through the ups and downs. To not just quit when you start to feel drawn to something else. To keep your ADD in check and FOCUS so you can build the life you want for yourself through your business.

It doesn’t have to be a be-all-end-all business idea when you first start out. You’ll drive yourself mad trying to create that right off the bat.

It just has to be something you don’t want to kill yourself doing everyday, with a solid enough foundation that as you change and grow as a person, there is some wiggle room for your business to expand and grow with you (while still staying true to  your core message), AND, most importantly, that affords you the Uncaged lifestyle that you are craving.

The endless search for the PERFECT business idea that will incorporate all your values and passions and strengths and quirks and that will line up with the moon and the planets and be in perfect alignment with your numerology charts  – it’s wasting time.

And business is all about making decisions. Quick decisions. Decisions will move you forward. Indecision will keep you going in circles and never get you anywhere.

So this post? It’s about calling you out if you’ve been hiding under the veil of being multi-passionate and not actually making concrete decisions about your business and what it is (and isn’t).

I am taking a stand for STARTING. Before it’s perfect. Before it feels in line with the moon and the stars and your tarot. Before you feel like it’s THE idea.

I am taking a stand for separating business from hobbies. For taking the preciousness out of business. For letting yourself have interests OUTSIDE of your business, and not trying to smash them altogether like a potpourri of shit that just shouldn’t go together.

And I am taking a stand for creating a business that affords you the time to enjoy all those other hobbies and passions, outside of business hours – that’s what this is all about, right?

Because trust me – it’s WAY more fun when you don’t mix business and pleasure all the time.

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PS. I have opened up a few spots for my Foundations sessions over the next few weeks. Want to finally be able to have a message that people understand (and that you can articulate clearly) and get rid of any niggling uncertainty about your niche, what makes you different, or how to put all of this together into something cohesive? This is for you. I don’t offer these sessions all the time, and once these remaining spots are gone, they are gone. Click here for more.

Read 30 Comments & Leave Yours

  1. MetNightOwl

    Agreed. And just because you are passionate about something does not mean you are *good* at it. Or that you can sell it. You need some level of skill in the area of business you’re going into, or at least the ability to develop it before getting started.

  2. LisaFiorvante

    Yeaaaaaahhhyaaaaaa- that’s why I help those multi-passionate people find their focus and take action. If there’s a way to tie everything together, great (you teach yoga but love to knit? knit your clients some scarves as a gift – doesn’t mean you have to make knitting your bread ‘n butter). I definitely agree that we sometimes hide under our many interests and passions as a sort of security blanket. Like, “Well, I have so many, it’s impossible to choose!” Because I’ve DEFINITELY been there, and if there’s anything I’ve learned this past year – and especially over these past few months of my life – it’s that if you just focus on one thing long enough to see results, it will give you momentum, and that momentum will make you wonder why you never stuck with one thing sooner!! Ar some point, you can always try something else down the line if you have the itch. But focusing on one thing and taking action is so important. And getting a coach to help you is a great way to take action that much sooner!! Anyway, I have a lot to say on this topic. Clearly, it’s one of my many passions ;)

  3. FlorDeOroTejada

    I love that you tell is like is lady. I couldn’t agree more!

  4. MichelleLawson

    I really needed to read this. Thank you so much for this post! I feel better about FINALLY biting the bullet and just growing a business I already have established. I am a multi-passionate person and it used to be so hard for me to just focus on ONE thing I want to do. Again, thank you for this.

  5. JoGifford

    Ok guys, I have got to be the first one to disagree!
    Great article for debate, Becca and yes, I totally get that being multi-passionate is bullshit if you are using it as an excuse. 
    But what if you aren’t? I have a portfolio career as a designer, copywriter, design manager, blogger, lecturer so yes, I am multi-passionate. 
    When people work with me they get the experience and value of someone who knows that shit. I can write copy the actually design the thing and it will look awesome. 
    I can create eye-catching, readable, clickable, SEO blog headlines that get a biz blog found, and I can also create the imagery that goes with it. People who work with me get expertise from someone who knows how copy and imagery go together, and how to make that stuff fly online (and off). I know how to teach online because I have lectured at unis and taught seminars online and off.

    It doesn’t mean I am a jack of all trades and master of none; it means I have a unique skill set from a rich and varied career (of multi-passions) and it means that what I bring to the table is my own mix of that stuff, my own angle. 
    We all have multi-passions when it comes to Stuff We Like, and sure, my salsa dancing and bike riding has nothing to do with my biz. But, I would like to argue that whilst the multi passionate label might be overused and re-cycled, that the concept behind it isn’t necessarily bullshit.

    Jo
    x

  6. LisaFiorvante

    JoGifford I 100% get what you’re saying, Jo. I’m wondering though if Becca’s subject line “Why I think being multi-passionate is bullshit” was maybe to get some eyes on this post since it sounds so harsh… (worked for me! I was in defense mode, lol). But I think she was trying to say that using our multi-passionate qualities as an EXCUSE for not starting a business is BULLSHIT. That was my takeaway, at least. 

    I think you’ve found a way to tie your RELATED passions together, Jo. The services you offer sort of fit together like a puzzle. (For example, virtual assistants do many different things, but at the end of the day, the different tasks they do all solve the same problem – freeing up the CEO’s time!) So, I think it’s about either focusing on ONE thing or tying any relatable interests together that solve a CORE set of problems and then FOCUSING until you see results. So, you wouldn’t offer salsa dancing lessons on the same page that you’re selling your SEO work, etc. so you definitely already know that! :) 

    And I love this: “I have a unique skill set from a rich and varied career (of multi-passions) and it means that what I bring to the table is my own mix of that stuff, my own angle.”

  7. Yep, what lisa said!
    I help ppl find ways to bring in all their expertise, BUT its when its being used as an excuse that it becomes a prpblem. I have worked with so many people who refuse to choose a business focus, and this is where the mutipassionte thing turns into an excuse!

  8. I love this post and all the comments! I think this also applies to the day jobs we keep to afford the things we’re passionate about (assuming they’re not totally miserable). An old corporate colleague of mine once told me “You’re good at this. Do this now, make money, and you’ll be able to afford the passion stuff on the side.” And a few years later I was able to start my own business. Making moves on the money maker so you can afford the passion projects takes the stress out of finding the perfect multi-passionate career. Like Becca said, that just impairs your productivity and sets you up for failure. Nothing is set in stone – you can keep evolving. Just start somewhere and keep it movin’!

  9. JanHenry1

    When I first read the title in my inbox I thought, “Oh this could be polarising!”.

    I fully agree with your post. There are many people out there with a business model that incorporates many of their talents, and that they continue to expand upon over time (myself included). However, you do need to pick one thing to start with, otherwise you’ll never figure out what you’re doing, and where you’re going. It’s great to master one thing in your business to start with, so you don’t experience too much overwhelm, and then grow from there.

    And as MetNightOwl said, not all passions make good business ideas.

    I admire Lis Dingjan for her ability to start multiple businesses and use her many talents across the board. Where the hell she finds the time to travel, I don’t know! 

    Jo Gifford – like myself has a business that incorporates many of her talents and passions, and those passions compliment each other into building a fantastic business. However, I think in some cases people are passionate about things that are very different from each other, and perhaps can’t be built into a singular business. Trying to work out how to blend multiple passions that don’t work well together for business is another reason people will get themselves stuck. I mean, I have university qualifications in marine science, but that isn’t going to help me in a business that includes graphic design and social media coaching.

  10. I am multi-passionate, as (I surmise) most people in the world are.

    That said, I have taken the one (technically two) things I want most, and have centred my company around that.  I think it’s ok to be multi-passionate so long as you don’t let that cripple your thought process, and leave you wondering what is next,

    That said, I do pay more attention to my primary business, the one that makes me the most money.

  11. Marinda

    Most multi-passionates only like THE IDEA of doing all the things they are thinking about. Once they give it a real shot, they usually discover there are only a few things which they actually enjoy THE PROCESS OF DOING. My advice? Give yourself permission to try every idea you have—and do it ONE. AT. A. TIME. Make it a process of elimination.

    The only way to discover your passion, your message, your focus, your voice, etc. is to just do a lot of stuff. 

    It’s all in the doing, folks!

  12. Marinda love this Marinda, and you are DEFINITELY and example of someone who hasn’t been afraid to try ti ALL out! I’ve loved watching you experiment and play with all your ideas!

  13. sfpincchicago Sounds like you’ve done it right! Having many interests is a human condition, but knowing how to use them in business isn’t just about smashing them all together.
    What is your business?

  14. JanHenry1 Lis does an AMAZING job at this – that girl has like, 7 businesses! But she’s very clear that they should NOT all be one business.. AND instead of sitting back thinking about it forever, she takes action on her ideas right away to see how the pan out.
    Hehe – what – you don’t want to do social media for marine scientists JanHenry1 ?? :)

  15. MichelleBobrow I actually LOVE that advice. There is nothing wrong with passions on the side – they don’t HAVE to be your business.

  16. MichelleLawson You’ve got this Michelle. Focusing on the one thing will give yo space to do the other things outside of your business!

  17. FlorDeOroTejada Thanks Flor. How are you??

  18. LisaFiorvante haha ahhhh the good old :knit your clients a scarf” example – I think I told you that in our message session eh? 
    There are so many ways to bring in your side interests without them having to make you money. OR – don’t bring then in at all! Sometimes hobbies are best left as hobbies

  19. MetNightOwl So true! Loving something and having the ability to teach it (let alone sell it!) are very different things.

  20. Rebecca Tracey sfpincchicago I am in the professional wrestling & Mixed Martial Arts business.  I sell vintage and contemporary media, from all promotions, but of course, the focus is on the national promotions, since they have more items available.

  21. XianNewman

    November 10th? Wish I’d found this post 4 days ago because it’s exactly what I needed to read. I’m done with starting over – it’s time to make it real!

  22. I’m relieved to find I’m not the only one pissed off with the same old success lit ideas that have been around forever. “Find Your Passion!” has led more people down the garden path than a hiked-up skirt in a downtown alley. If you’d allow me the indulgence, I just posted a blog article a couple of days ago about five other self help myths that are demons in damsels’ clothing: http://tgimylife.com/2014/12/six-self-help-myths-that-are-killing-your-success/

  23. Teresa

    I actually coach multi-passionate mom biz founders and am one myself. It’s not having diverse interests or passions that get’s people stuck. It’s the fear of making a choice. It’s the lack of clarity around what they feel really good about and care enough about to stay-the-course and work at building. Creative people have a different way of approaching things. I think it’s often misconstrued as flakiness or judged because we’re expected to do everything the same as everyone else. Some people learn differently and have to process things their own way–nothing wrong with that. Who are we to judge? I can see how the tone of some of this post could be misunderstood as being negative around having or seeing oneself as multi-passionate. At the end of the day, it’s not about getting clobbered over the head with someone else’s opinions or point-of-view–it’s about being willing to jump for what you say you want, fail and try again OR maybe kick ass the first time around! Many women take a little exploration before they really discover what their core focus is…no harm there–if they learn, grow and eventually nail it!

  24. Teresa

    I agree, Marinda.
    Well said.

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  26. T. Page

    This post is absolutely perfect. Every sentence empowered and spoke to me. It’s unbelievable. Thank you so much, Becca!

  27. Jenna

    Yes. This. All of it.
    Thanks for speaking the truth.

  28. Peyton

    This is pure gold. I can always count on you to say it like is it! Having it all–business, life, passion, etc–sounds like the cry of a highly privileged and uber entitled. The MARKET doesn’t give a damn about a business owner’s passions unless it aligns with theirs! Preach on , preach on. Love it! ;)

  29. Rachel

    “I am taking a stand for STARTING. Before it’s perfect. Before it feels in line with the moon and the stars and your tarot. Before you feel like it’s THE idea.” LOVE this, and love the rallying cry to just fucking start already!

  30. Brit M

    I am still on the fence. I think a huge standpoint of your article is about basically not pursuing anything, and in this point I agree. If this is an excuse for refusing to start or consistently pursue a business idea, I don’t agree with it.
    Some people genuinely have a passion for many things though. I personally love doing multiple things, and as I develop an interest further I don’t always create a revenue. I do have 3 children 3 and under currently, and am a stay at home mother, currently not looking for something to generate a revenue since my time and investment it with my children.
    I love sewing, I love health, I love fitness, I love beauty/self-care, I love creating a curriculum and parenting my children, I love to cook, and home decorate. Skills can take time and money that people don’t always have.
    Also, statistically speaking, many home/small businesses that are so dedicated will never catch on or take off. Nothing is ever cut and dry.

    Drawing a line and saying all circumstances are excuses/bullshit is silly though. Similar to saying “all birds can fly”.