A number of us have been in social spaces that required us to communicate to people what it is we do. Have you ever felt stuck trying to answer this question because you do a lot of different things? It is a joy to be unequivocally good at several things. You are passionate about several things. Multi-Passionate.
So often, people tell me that they really struggle with selling to others what it is they do. Others also find it challenging in creating a brand that truly reflects with all of their undertakings in life. “Being good at many things doesn’t make you a mess, it makes you a masterpiece.” You must approach your communication with positivity rather than confusion.
To be multi-passionate is to be a person who excels at more than one interest and passion. At many stages in my life, I have felt hyper focused on my career – like when I was in the wellness and beauty industry. But other times I would divert my attention to other things that inspired or excited me. I have always been one to take advantage of multiple opportunities in the business and creative space. This is how I have evolved throughout the years and left footprints in a few industries.
Experts say that being multi-talented and multi passionate are two different things. While being multi gifted or multi talented is an inherent trait, being multi-passionate can be an acquired skill, developed strength, or generated interest to which you pursue with drive and passion. If we are open to growth and change, we are more likely to discover other passions and creative abilities.
There are a lot of myths surrounding multipotentiality. These stereotypes can be very dangerous, for society as a whole, and detrimental to the individual, who internalizes these myths and stereotypes. Here a few falsehoods I believe you should be aware of:
A multipassionate is not flakey or indecisive. Usually, these individuals like to explore and experience more than one facet of life. They are very good at several things but are not specialists of anything. With focus, they can be.
A multipassionate is not confused or scattered. Many comments from others may cause them leave them to have self-doubt. They like to learn a lot of things that seem disconnected, but in the grand scheme of things, their diverse skill-set makes them extremely valuable.
A multipassionate does not have to “choose one thing”. There is so much potential with people who have the ability to effectively learn and manage multiple things. The goal is to use time wisely and manage time properly without experiencing a burnout. Forcing them to conform kills the potential they have.
Multipotentiality is not wrong or something that needs to be fixed. It is a specific trait of your character, a way your mind works, something you were born with and then developed further. “We are not born to become normal; we’re born to become ourselves.” So how do you know you are multipotential?
The first step is the Identification Process. This is usually self-identified and confirmed by other stake holders in our work and life spaces. The confirmations do not usually come packaged in great communication. Rather, one will hear words such as “You’re confused”, “You don’t seem to know what you want”, “You’re a renaissance person”, “A scanner” etc. Or one will start getting advice to try and focus on ONE THING. This is usually the point where one can separate the true multi passionate person from a confused person. The confused person begins to narrow their focus and try to be or do one thing, whilst a multi passionate immediately begins to think through how they can create a mixed platter. This is where the true work starts and transition begins. This is where Coaching and Guidance becomes critical. At this point, we may just be starting out, we may already be in leadership, we may already be in a set profession or we may have already started an entrepreneurship venture. Either way, it is important to acknowledge the transition and act on it.
Research has shown that from historical times multi passionate individuals can become highly successful. Leonardo Da Vinci, and Benjamin Franklin, are some of the historical successes we can look to. Leonardo DaVinci, famous Italian Painter was equally a great draftsman, sculptor, architect, and engineer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Benjamin Franklin is popularly identified as one of Americas Founding Fathers. Well, he was also an author, printer, politician, inventor and scientist whose scientific contributions have influenced physics and electricity. In today’s business environment, Steve Jobs, Tim Ferris, and Richard Branson are good examples of multi-passionate people. Other historical examples include Maya Angelou, Aristotle, and Sir Isaac Newton among others.
Speaking about his own journey of finding self, Nick Maccarone observed that by not limiting himself or attempting to dupe his heart into some “conventional path it knew better than to follow” he allowed himself to “take a little bit from each experience and lean into the intricacies of my being”.
“I am not defined by one thing or by anything,” He wrote on Medium. “I follow where my heart and curiosity beg me to consider. I pursue each path as wholly as I can while not exhausting the possibility of doing the same for another.” he continued.
Here are some guidelines to begin a successful journey
ESTABLISH CLARITY AND FOCUS IN THE CHAOS. The goal of this journey is not to find what you are best at and simply pursue that. To focus in the chaos is to strategically and consciously undergo a self-study of yourself and to connect the missing dots in your passion. The process of gaining clarity is to begin to understand the type of person you are and to be clear on what you have the skills for in every aspect of your passion.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR IDENTITY AND EMBRACE YOUR POSITION. Society as it stands today has not made enough room for people who want to create a world of multi possibilities. You however have to come to the point where you accept who you are without necessarily having to be accepted by everyone else. Marie Forleo, a global business coach who is credited with coining the word multi passionate gives this simple advice. “Having multiple strengths can be a tremendous gift if you embrace it.” When you accept and understand who you are, you can clearly define a path for yourself no matter the number of outlets or branches your passion bears.
VISUALIZE THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION. For every journey, there must be a destination. In the same light, despite the fact that you have a number of things at heart you are pursuing, you should have a goal in mind. What are you seeking to achieve after the process of realizing not one but multiple passions?
FIND THE COMMON CONNECTOR ACROSS ALL STRENGTHS. With a goal in mind, you can start to find connectors across all your passions that will help you to align your position and purpose in a unique and exciting way. Franchesca Bowman a successful multi passionate state that, ‘If you have a lot of different interests, explore them to the best of your ability because you never know how they’re going to interplay or which one is going to really take off.” No matter the extremity of passions you have, there is a common dot between them and that will be the foundation of the work you do.
BEGIN TO CREATE AN ORGANIZED STRUCTURE ACROSS ALL STRENGTHS. View structure as the framework or the core around which your build will be tailored. It is necessary to set-up an organized structure as a map or guidance on your journey. It is easy and common to get lost along the way. You may question your decisions and choices on why you even started this journey. But the structure you create is a reminder of what the end goal or long-term benefit is for you. You are reminded why one or two pitfalls should not sway you from your Model.
The ultimate key to all of the above is to BEGIN! The exploratory and engagement process can always give us the leverage we need to grow to the next level. The best way to go about unveiling your ideas is by acting on them. Pick something on the list, anything – and jump right into it. It is by doing that you discover if the idea is something you want to put your energy into or move to the next thing.
Are we identified or unidentified multi passionates? Do we work with them or do we find ourselves connected to them somehow? Whichever side of the spectrum you fall on, you have a role to play. It is a blessing to have multi passionates on your team. It is also fantastic to be one yourself. The goal is to grow into something beautiful.
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specializing in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017. She has also been featured on CNN.
She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org and @dzigbordi across all social media platforms.