Multipotentialite Showcase: Jacob Witzling

I wrote the other day about my new realization that I am, in fact, a multipotentialite (someone with a lot of different interests and the inability to specialize no matter how hard I try). And I got a lot of emails from folks who resonated.

So I’m kinda geeked out over this discovery right now. This means that, whenever I see someone in my boat, I get a little giddy (because solidarity, right?).

Well, I want to take a sec to honor another multipotentialite because he did something particularly bold as far as online-persona-type-stuff goes.

Let me say now that most of my Insta feed consists of #cabinporn. I love cabin porn so much. I’m a fiend.

That’s when I ran across one of Jacob’s photos. I clicked through to see the rest of his work and noticed that he had quite a following (107k followers, currently). Although his page is chock full of some of the best cabin porn I’ve ever seen, that’s not what really stood out.

What stood out was how he worded his profile…

Yep:

‘Cabin builder and 2nd-grade teacher.’

The first part of it — the cabin builder part — is obvious. But he totally flaunts the fact that he has a day job doing something totally unrelated to cabin building.

This flies in the face of traditional internet marketing/brand-building wisdom and I love it. I don’t know about you, but I was taught that, in order to grow a following, you had to dig into a certain niche in order to be an ‘authority’ in that particular area. This also means, no going outside that boundary.

But he’s like — yeah, I love building awesome cabins plus my day job is pretty great too. He could have left the teacher part out and gone all-in on the cabin builder side. No one would have blamed him (most wouldn’t have known the wiser). They would have seen his Instagram page and asked themselves, wow, how do I do what he does and make a full-time living as a cabin pornographer?

And they would have been fooled. Because Jacob has a job that (maybe?) supports his passion. He fully owned and flaunted his multipotentiality.

And that, I think, is commendable.

Rock on, Jacob. Rock on, multipotentialites. Own your random lives, flaunt that day job, and thrive as only you can.

P.S. If any great photographers/sponsors are reading this, I’d love for you to partner with/hire me to help with your cabin pornography efforts. Not to take the photos (although I do take pretty mean iPhone shots), but I could write really sexy stories and descriptions of cabins that other cabin porn addicts might get all aroused by. Just putting that out there.

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I am a multipotentialite

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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…

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