Conventional internet wisdom (yes, we’re making this a thing) tells us to find a niche. I’ve even touted this sentiment myself. However, I think I’ve fallen into the same misunderstanding that many others have, which is that this notion means that we must all be specialists.
Come to find out, that’s not it at all (more on this in a sec).
However, in my previous ignorance, I jumped into the shoes of one specialty after another trying to find the right fit. I went all-in on being one thing. And then the other thing. And then…
As soon as one started to feel comfy in one pair of shoes, I’d get… Uneasy. Or bored. Or claustrophobic.
If you can relate, you’re likely a polymath. A renaissance person. A multipotentialite, as Emilie Wapnick calls us.
We like different stuff. And that’s awesome. We can even make a living doing this today.
We polymaths can smoosh our interests together and make a living by serving a certain subset of humanity who cares.
I mentioned Emilie Wapnick because it was her TEDx talk (I’m a couple years late — sorry, Emilie) that made me realize I’m one of them. I’m a multipotentialite. I can’t get myself into a neat and tidy package no matter how hard I try. And I guess that’s perfectly fine (even though I still can’t answer that question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”).
Ahhhhh. My shoulders loosened so much on that discovery. When I looked at my most important work — this very publication — it was as clear as day: I like to write about… Life. And life involves seemingly random stuff. But it all kind of works out. And people seem to like it (matter of fact, I just learned that it’s the #1 single-author publication on Medium, which I’m still processing).
I can be me. All of me. And I can serve you in a way that no one else does, as random as that may be.
I can write about spirituality and creativity and business and writing and my kid and my beard and love and poetry and… Yeah.
Somewhere in the middle of all that is a thing. A life. A life that, I’m sure, I’m not alone in. A life that you can relate to and glean wisdom and insight and LOLZ from — if even a little bit.
We only need a few to serve. The ones as weird as us.
Jesus only had twelve. Look how that turned out. (Maybe good — maybe bad — depending on how you see it.)
So, if you’re a multipotentialite, welcome. We’re kindred souls.
Know that niching down and finding your tribe does NOT necessarily mean specialization (although, it can).
So go forth, share wildly, and serve deeply.
And when they roll their eyes and say, Well, THAT was random, you can smile and say… Yeah… Thanks…