As a multi-passionate creative, it can be extremely tough to narrow down what you want to do. How do you choose which idea to pursue when you have so many, and when they all sound so interesting?

Since we obviously can’t pursue every idea all at once, we need to practice patience. Then, I believe, we need to follow our curiosity.

In my eight years (thus far) of self-employment, I’ve done just that — followed my curiosity.

I originally started with what I knew: I’d gone to school for office administration, and had worked as a secretary for several years. I’d also been a book blogger and independent book reviewer for the previous eight years. So, my first business idea was to be a Virtual Assistant for authors.

Yet, as I spoke to the various authors I met, I discovered that what they most needed help with was marketing and promotion. So, I shifted my business to help these authors get their books seen.

After about a year, I was restless. I knew that doing this kind of work wasn’t the best fit for me, so I questioned what I’d rather be doing. And, with some journaling and self-reflection, I decided to try being a professional blogger.

This didn’t really take off, though, as I would’ve needed a larger audience in order for the ads and affiliate programs to even be available to me, or for them to produce a worthwhile income. So, it was back to the drawing board.

After more self-reflection and journaling, I realized that I had always felt drawn to things like coaching, advising, and mentoring. So, I figured I would try coaching, especially since people seemed to be able to get started in this fairly easily.

Much to my surprise, I landed my first client within the same week! (I had made mention of my new services on Facebook, inside of a group, during one of their promo days, and found someone from that).

Turns out, I had found a piece of my puzzle (the bigger picture of how I was created to serve, using my innate gifts). Coaching felt like what I was meant to do.

► RELATED: Find YOUR unique blueprint for how you can best serve the world, here.

Part way through my first year of coaching, however, I got distracted when a friend (re-)introduced me to network marketing (NWM). [I’d been an independent consultant with The Pampered Chef years before, but hadn’t realized it was part of the larger industry known as network marketing].

Thus began three (3) years of trying to continue building my own coaching business, while also chasing the network marketing opportunity. And, in that same time frame, I ended up testing out seven different NWM companies, looking for one that fit me best… to no avail. (I have since come to realize that it’s because marketing isn’t one of my core strengths.)

My time spent pursuing that industry did teach me a lot about running an online business, mind you. And it helped me to learn more about what does and doesn’t work for me. Plus, as an added bonus, I met a lot of amazing people through NWM — including my own coach, Crystal!

As of 2020, I finally stopped trying to force myself to fit an ideal I’d held in my mind’s eye, and I admitted to myself that NWM wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I also realized that I couldn’t properly build 2 separate businesses at the same time — especially not if I wanted to do things well. Instead, I needed to devote all of my time, energy, and attention to growing just one of them, first. And once that business was running successfully, then I could choose to take on something else, if I still wished to do so.

Sure enough, once I began to give all of myself to my coaching business, I started to make progress, again.

Now, has it been completely easy? No.

Have I decided on a single idea to pursue, at the expense of all the others? Also no.

I still get new ideas all the time! And some do seriously tempt me to change my course.

However, I have done so much self-reflection, searching, and journaling in the past eight years, in order to understand who I am and how I am wired to best use my gifts to make an impact & income, that most of the new ideas that cross my path, now, just aren’t appealing enough to pull me away from the business model I am currently focused on pursuing.

If you need help getting that same level of clarity, so that you can be content with the path that best fits you, check out my “My Unique Blueprint” mini-course. It will walk you through the same process I went through, and help you to find your best-fit path to making an impact and an income (but it won’t take you seven years, like it took me!).

I was so tired of jumping from one thing to another. I’d get going in a direction that felt so perfect for me, and I’d be really excited, thinking I’d finally found my “thing” . . . only to lose interest, again, a few months (sometimes weeks) into it.

I was always starting over. And it was exhausting.

Thankfully, I came across a handful of things that helped me get some stability — to be clear on what does and does not work for me, and that helped me to figure out which way to go.

Here are a few of those things:

1 | JOURNALING

I’ve kept a diary, or journal, since I was around 10 years old. And, while it started as a simple log of what I did each day, it has now morphed into a way for me to sort out my thoughts.

I know a lot of people are intimidated by the idea of journaling. But there’s really no right or wrong way to do it. Just grab a pen and notebook (or, an app — whatever you prefer), and start jotting down what’s going on, how you feel about it, and any ideas you’ve got for how to proceed. Over time, it will become more natural.

The benefits are huge, though. I’ve had so many “aha” moments from reading back through old entries, or just from pouring out my thoughts and being able to make sense of what’s been tangled up inside my head.

2 | CURIOSITY (or, a willingness to learn)

Because I am always exploring new ideas, and reading to learn new perspectives & new ways to do things, I’ve stumbled across some amazingly helpful books and articles.

Two such things I read gave me a huge “aha”! They both said that we don’t have just one thing we’re meant to do with our lives — that our “purpose” will shift and change along with the different seasons of our lives. Maybe in one “season”, mother hood is your purpose. And then, in another, perhaps entrepreneurship becomes your purpose. (And, even within those things, it could get even more nuanced — like biological children & adoption; or “working” as a blogger/affiliate, and coaching).

It was such a relief, though, to know that I wouldn’t have to box myself into one path for the rest of my career! It made all the difference!


3 | COACHING

I’d heard, over and over, that you should invest in yourself by hiring a coach. The experts all say that it’s the way you scale up. But, when you’re broke, that seems impossible.

The good news is, it’s not impossible. I kept searching and praying, as I was desperate for the accountability, and I was eager to learn. And eventually, God led me to find someone I could partner with in a bartering situation — I helped her, and she gave me coaching in exchange.

And, oh goodness! I have come so far since beginning to work with my coach! My progress excelled at lightning-speed, and I got so much clarity! It really does help to have someone you can bounce your ideas off of, who will ask you clarifying questions and who’ll challenge you to go beyond what you think are your limits. I truly thank God for my coach!

(Note: A lot of what I needed in the early years, I now realize, was more of a strategist than a coach, because when you’re just starting out, you don’t know what you don’t know. A coach’s questions, therefore, can sometimes be more frustrating than helpful, whereas, a strategist will offer suggestions and advice. However, there comes a point where you’re ready to shift from strategist to coach, and I found my coach right when I needed her the most).

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Now, thanks to this combination of journaling, curiosity, and coaching, I feel confident in my path forward. I still have certain kinks I’m working out, of course. But overall, I’m much more grounded, and I know what will or will not align with where I intend to go.

Check out my services if you’re interested in fast-tracking your own clarity. I offer single sessions, as well.

So many people have a ton of great ideas — they just have no idea which of these they should pursue, and they are terrified of getting it “wrong” — of choosing the “wrong” thing.

There are, however, ways to move forward, and feel confident in your decision. Here are 3 tips to help you choose…

1 | THERE IS NO WRONG CHOICE

Sure, whatever you choose may or may not be a right fit for you. But, you had to make that choice in order to make that discovery. It’s a lesson, so learn it and then move on to the next thing. Know that you can always make another choice … you are never stuck.

2 | YOU MUST TAKE ACTION

Just going over and over the options inside of your head will never do you any good. It only serves to make you frustrated, and leaves you going around in circles (speaking from experience!). The only way to truly know if something will or will not work for you is to get out of your head, and do something with your options.

Maybe you try this new job or path for a while (an internship, perhaps?). Or, maybe you talk to someone already working in that line of work about what it’s really like, day-to-day. You could even try shadowing someone at their job, for a time, to get a feel for the type of work and its environment.

But again, you must get out of your head if you want to truly find your answer.

3 | MAKE TWO LISTS

Several years ago, when I was stuck in a job that I hated, I got out a piece of paper and made two lists: Jobs I’d Loved & Jobs I’d Hated (really, it was more like lists of tasks at each of my previous jobs that I’d either enjoyed or couldn’t stand). I listed out everything I could think of, whether these jobs had been paid, or volunteer, or even just odd jobs done for family members. Some of the items on my lists included:

Loved: lots of sunlight | freedom to make decisions | no strict dress code | able to generate ideas.

Hated: micromanaging boss | confined to a single spot all day | uniforms | being on-call.

Having these two lists, and the awareness these gave me, helped my next job to be so much better! It was near-perfect for me (as far as 9-to-5’s go). I had a ton of autonomy, didn’t have to get dressed up, was never called to cover a shift, and my boss was pretty cool!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Really, the main point to remember is that you can always make a different choice. Heck, what I went to school for isn’t even close to what I now do for a living! But it took a lot of trial and error to figure out my true path. Nevertheless, I’ve found it and can now confidently reassure you that you, too, will eventually find your way.

LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me three of the options you are currently considering. I’d love to hear about what interests you!

Picture this: You find something to do that you really enjoy, so you dive in and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can. You feel like you’ve found your “thing”.

But, after a while, you start to get restless. You wonder if this isn’t really your thing, after all, and your attention wanders.

All-of-a-sudden, you discover something else that ignites a spark in you! So, abandoning the first thing, you dive into this new thing and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can.

But after a while, you once again start to feel restless…

Sound familiar?

I am here to reassure you that you are not actually “crazy” … or “flighty”… or “immature” … or “lazy”. You are, in fact, a multi-passionate!

MULTIPASSIONATE: “a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.”  (aka: Renaissance Soul | Generalist | Scanner | Multipotenialite)

When I first discovered the concept of multi-passionates, through reading “The Renaissance Soul” (Margaret Lobenstine), I was so relieved! Family had always told me I needed to “settle down” and “just pick something, already!” So, I was constantly at war within myself. It felt nearly impossible to choose one thing, and accept that this would be my fate. It scared me.

Yet, on learning that there were others who were just like me — that I wasn’t actually supposed to stay with one thing forever — I was overjoyed!

Back in the Renaissance days, studying in multiple fields was actually encouraged. It was a good thing to be interested in music, and art, and mathematics, and scientific inquiries.

And, check this out: It’s a very sought-after thing, these days, to be adaptable… to know a lot about many different topics is actually to your benefit! Employers love to see people who pick up new skills easily. You’re already ahead of those who don’t care to learn more, preferring to think they “know enough” already.

Here are just a few ways you can use this aspect of your personality to your advantage:

  1. Highlight your adaptability and flexibility when applying for jobs.
  2. Become a resource — share your knowledge wherever you see a need.
  3. Combine several of your loves to form a new path of employment for yourself!
  4. Appreciate the variety in your life — that you’re never stuck in one place, forever.
  5. Think about the many new people you’re getting to meet, in all of these different areas — this makes you a master networker!

So, be encouraged. Own the fact that you love a lot of things! Accept that you’ll always feel bored once you’ve “mastered” knowledge of a certain topic, and see it as a good thing that you’re ready to learn something new!

passion vs curiosity

Follow Your Passion“. It’s a phrase we’ve heard over and over and over. Yet, recently, I was introduced to another view of this concept, thanks to author Elizabeth Gilbert. She has had a change of heart … and so have I.

Elizabeth Gilbert was asked to speak at one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, a while back. Her topic was titled “Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity-Driven Life“. This is the talk she gave:

And, because some of you may be more like me, preferring to read, over watching the video (though, I do still highly recommend you watch the video, if you have time … Liz is a great speaker!), I’ve transcribed the video for your convenience:

[Oprah gives intro] [Liz:] Sweeties! Sweethearts, my loves, we’re here, in so much grace… Thank you. Thank you so much. So listen, I’m here today to do something that, I have to be honest with you, that I never in a million years thought I would ever do. I am here today to speak out against passion. You heard me right: against passion. And I know it sounds very strange and weird, but I want you to stay with me on this. Because I really believe what I have to say here, today, may bring a measure of comfort, specifically to some of you, in particular, and I’m hoping it really will.

But I have to back up for a minute, and just say, to come clean, that I am the least likely person in the world ever to become a committed anti-passion spokeswoman. The fact is that I have led my entire life guided by passion. Particularly in regard to my work as a writer, which is a vocation I have been chasing my entire life with a love that you could call obsessive.

I can barely even remember a time before I knew that I was going to be a writer, that I had to be a writer, that I needed to be a writer, that I was going to be a writer, no matter what it took.

I was probably like 5 or 6; I was a book-loving child. And, I remember I pieced it together, at last, that books do not just magically appear out of the ether, but that people make them. They create them, from their imaginations. And that kind of person who does that, is called a Writer. And once I had that piece of information, that was it: my destiny, from that point forward, was sealed, I made my decision. And I have never veered from that passion since.

I have to be very honest with you, because it would be disingenuous of me to play at anything else: Passion has worked for me. Passion was the thing that kept me writing in the new, early years, before anybody else except me cared about what I was doing. For a long time, I made a living as a diner waitress, and a bartender. And passion was the thing that made me come home from those long shifts, smelling like other people’s French fries, with really sore feet, after a really long day at work, and then I would take off my shoes and sit down, and go to my real work. And that real work was Writing. I did that, day after day and year after year. Even when I was getting nothing out of it, except for rejection letter, after rejection letter, after rejection letter. But I didn’t care.

I didn’t love it. No one loves being rejected. But passion — my passion for writing was so big that it made me stay in the game, even through all of the obstacles. And then, finally, I got lucky enough to become a published writer. Then, in 2006, I got really lucky. I wrote this book called, “Eat, Pray, Love” — you remember that one? — and, it became really successful, much to my surprise. And as soon as that happened, as soon as I became successful, THIS started to happen… people started putting a microphone in my hand, and they would send me up on stage, and they would ask me to stand there and speak about how I had gotten there, and what I had learned.

And so, of course, the minute I had the opportunity to speak in public about the thing I cared about and believed in the most, what did I talk about? Passion. What else would it have been? There was no other subject, as far as I was concerned. Passion, to me, was everything. It was the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the one true path, and the only way forward. And so, in audiences across the world, I would just stand there on stage and I would say some variation of this, night after night.

“You know what you have to do, every single one of you? You have to identify your passion. You have to identify that tower of flame within you that will be your guiding, purposeful light. You have to find that thing that makes you feel like your head is on fire, that makes you feel like there’s a soul revolution going on deep inside your rib cage, that makes you feel like you would sacrifice and risk everything for that thing, that nothing else matters, that thing that you KNOW you were born to do. Then you have to get every molecule of your being, and you’ve got to funnel it directly and powerfully into that thing, that one thing, and no other thing. And you’ve got to focus on that forever, and that way, and only that way, will you succeed.”

I’d be up there on stage, and I’d be quoting Vince Lombardi, and I’d be quoting Winston Churchill, and I’d be quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, and I’d be quoting Jonathan “freakin’” Livingston Seagull, and I’d be telling people that ‘if you can dream it you can be it’, and that you’ve got to ‘jump so the net will catch you’, and ‘what would you do if you knew you could not fail’, and you guys… you know all the bumper stickers, you probably have them on your car, right?

We all know these slogans. But I did it with enormous sincerity, because I really believed it. I believed that I was doing a public service by telling people that they had to live their lives exactly the same way that I had always lived mine. I preached that, because that was my fundamental truth, that was my certainty. And then, something happened.

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