October 25, 2016 at 7:59 pm #31046
Apparently people have noticed that I dropped off the radar! Nice to know!
I found I was feeling a bit stuck in how to proceed, because I have so many diverse interests and wasn’t clear how to make all my many ideas hang together as a business or even as a presence online. And the totally sensible idea of “pick one” made me feel squirrelly. That became a real stumbling block, but I didn’t realize it until I looked back later.
In the late spring, I stumbled onto courses and resources from Emilie Wapnick. Her TED Talk on “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling” was life-changing for me. Since then I’ve taken her course on how to create a business for “multipotentialites,” as she calls people like us. Having lots of interests and skills can be an advantage, if you understand it correctly. It can also look like a problem when you try to focus on a single business idea. I decided to follow this detour.
Since then, I’ve read Barbara Sher’s book Refuse to Choose! about “scanners,” Sher’s word for people like me. She created categories of scanners (also called Renaissance Souls by another author, Margaret Lobenstine). There are cyclical scanners, who cycle through the same interests over and over, and sequential scanners who take up an interest for a while, then drop it and move on. I’m mainly a cyclical scanner, but occasionally I take up a topic for a while, drop it and never return.
Sher points out that Scanners are driven by different goals. Completing something, like a university degree, may seem like an obvious aim, but they may quit before that’s done, and feel regret. She says different people get out of things what they wanted, even if it wasn’t the degree. Scanners may take up a topic or a skill until they’ve learned what they need or satisfied their curiosity, then they move on. Often they’re driven more by curiosity than by a concrete goal. For me, learning and curiosity are my major drives. If I know a topic well, I need something fresh to keep me interested. Which is actually a huge advantage for someone who wants to teach e-courses, because there will never be an end to what fascinates me or what I can teach. I’ll never stop being a learner. I just need to harness this to make it work for me, and for my potential students.
Learning how to make being a scanner an advantage requires a change in mindset. Scanners/multipotentialites usually are fast studies, we have a huge number and range of skills, and once you get to a certain level of ability and accomplishment, skills are transferrable. We also tend to see the big picture, because we’ve had so many different experiences in life. But the job market can be problematic for people who look like they have trouble committing or sticking to one thing. And committing to just one thing can make a Scanner very anxious, because we’re afraid of giving up all their other interests. What?!?! Give up ALL THE THINGS?!?!?
I spent most of the spring and early summer taking courses and reading books on this, then switched gears because of summer company and art projects. Then I had to gear up for my trip to England and Ireland in September.
In April, I took an online course, the Brand Mapping method with Sarah Hart (suggested to me by my buddy, Sharyn Warren!) on how to design a brand and develop a website and assorted features for online businesses, like e-books, sales pages, websites. It was very helpful, and I have lifetime access to the course material so I can keep going back as I add to what I’ve got. I created a brand concept for myself before I got rolling on the multipotentialite/scanner topic, and it turns out my brand ideas will work very well for a multi-faceted business model.
Since I got back from my trip, I’ve signed up for Fizzle and joined Emilie Wapnick’s “Putty tribe,” a community for multipotentialites. So I have lots on my plate, but I’m working towards a goal here. Creating an e-course is definitely on the agenda in the next 6 months. It’s not that anything will change in what I teach, it’s that I want to create a certain context and setting for what I’m doing, so my breadth of interests look deliberate and intriguing, part of a package, rather than looking flaky and unfocussed.
So I took a few steps sideways in order to to look at the bigger picture of what I’m doing.
I just started doing Phase One on the Fizzle Roadmap and already have new insights. I have my list of topics, and my list of skills and expertise, which mostly overlap but not entirely. When I applied a litmus test for profitability (from somebody else’s guidelines on business ideas) I discovered that the topics I’m interested in tend to be obscure, but my skills and expertise, especially the ones I most take for granted, people pay money to learn about. Like, event organizing. I’ve been organizing events of various sizes, from dinner parties to art shows to festivals to medieval events for 2000 people, since I was in my early 20s. It’s easy for me even when it’s aggravating. It never occurred to me anyone would PAY to know how to do it! But there are high-ranking books on Amazon on this very topic. I’m not sure how I’d put together a course on this or if I’d even want to, but that insight alone has opened up new possibilities for e-courses.October 26, 2016 at 10:17 pm #31062
Bradley MorrisMountain Guide@bradleytmorris
What an awesome recap of your journey. Thanks for sharing!
It’s amazing how those side steps are completely necessary. I’m confident you’re making all the right moves int he right order. The fact that you’re becoming more passionate, growing a ton, learning a lot about yourself and still feeling motivated says it all. Just keep doing what you’re doing, keep trusting that intuition and to the top of this mountain you shal arrive, BUT with the best possible course you could create with all these other elements combined.
Love the guys at Fizzle. They are super fun!
Do keep us in the loop and keep us posted on how we can best support your creative transformation.November 7, 2016 at 11:01 pm #31323
Andy FreistMountain Guide@andyfreist
Awesome check-in JoAnn!
I too discovered Emilie Wapnicks work last year and dove head first into it all.
I really resonate with the idea of being a multipotentialite – doing the same thing for too long really wears me down.
So I 110% hear you and totally understand 🙂
Embracing the idea of finding an “overarching theme” has been a game-changer for me.
Currently I have two projects that really encompass everything.
1. The Great eCourse Adventure
and 2. Audio Alchemy
For GEA, you’re already well aware of the vast diversity of what we create on a daily basis. Theres always something new to chew on.
For Audio Alchemy, this is something that is really just as big and diverse as GEA. In a nutshell, it’s combining music production with the principles of alchemy. We produce a bi-annual retreat (which starts tomorrow), I produce events, I produce music, we’re making an e-course, etc etc. Its a huge universe to play in.
That’s the interesting thing about both of these projects – they are both so big and vast that they really feel like worlds rather than projects.
The important thing is that these worlds are big enough to keep me exploring and playing and avoid ending up feeling trapped and limited (which is far too common for us multipods)
So yes, it’s all about finding that overarching theme (universe/world), which ties everything together (Audio Alchemy, or Great eCourse Adventure) and then creating tons and tons of value within those worlds.
It’s a winning combination 🙂
So stoked for your breakthroughs and looking forward to what comes of it!
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