Welcome to our Multipassionate Muse interview series, where we chat with self-described multipotentialites. Need a multipassionate crash course? Take a look on our terminology page and take the multipassionate quiz! Today we’re talking to Jess Lively, a writer and consultant who helps people live with intention.
In your words, what is a multipotentialite/
I would describe a multipotentialite as someone who has many interests and talents that they want to include in their life or career. They don't feel the need to hone a specific skill at the exclusivity of other opportunities.
Describe your various passions and projects.
At the moment, I help people design lives and businesses with intention. This includes one-on-one consulting, live workshops, interior decor, brand direction, an ebook, and a business launch program.
Where did you first hear the term multipotentialite/
multipassionista? Did it immediately resonate with you?
To be honest, I have never heard the terms multipotentialite/multip
Though the terms themselves never really resonated with me, I totally fit the description to a T!
Looking back, would you say you've always been a multipotentialite (were you that kid running multiple businesses from your front yard?!)?
I definitely was one of those kids! I started my jewelry business at the age of 15 by accidentially selling ankle bracelets at a local pool. That very day, I decided to launch a jewelry business and little by little took a hobby and turned it into a part-time babysitting alternative.
By the time I graduated high school, my little jewelry line was carried in 12 stores and I was on my way to business school at the University of Michigan. After graduation, I took that same jewelry business full-time.
What is the biggest challenge of being a multipotentialite?
For me, lately, I am struggling to find a good balance between all that I am juggling. There are times when I am handling way more than is healthy for me.
In fact, my project manager a few weeks ago sent me an email encouraging me to take it easy because she knew all that I was juggling at once. And though I appreciated her concern, I thought she was crazy.... until I found myself on the verge of tears at a FedEx store exhausted and overworked on a Friday night. Needless to say, she was right.
Now, I'm working on being more selective about what I'm doing and learning to say no or to delay projects until I truly have enough time. It's not easy to wait on awesome ideas, but it is necessary for me to enjoy my career and my life.
What parts of living a multipotentialite lifestyle are the most rewarding?
The most rewarding thing is that I feel like I have a career that is truly made just for me! It includes all of my strengths and interests. Though it can be hard to explain at a dinner party, it is in many ways my dream career.
We hear a lot these days about side hustles, solopreneurs, and multipotentialites. Do you think it's a fad or the way of the future?
I believe that it is extremely popular at the moment, and in many ways can feel like a fad. On the other hand, I do believe that as people begin to ask for more from their careers and their lives, they will find new and creative ways to explore their interests. So in essence, it feels like a fad simply because it is new in contrast to the past few generations, but it will continue to mold and develop in the future in interesting new ways as Gen Y and Z make their mark in the workplace (editor's note: read more of Jess' thoughts on this in her post My Take on Whether Entrepreneurship is a Fad).
Any words of wisdom/warning for other multipotentialites?
Having just gone though a burnout phase after trying to do everything that I wanted all at once, I suggest exploring 2-3 things at any one time. In order make true progress, avoid burnout, and hone your skills, I think it is important to recognize our limitations as a single person or small team.
We can do everything we want throughout our lives but we cannot do it all at once. We need to look at this season in our lives and decide to intentionally focus on a few things at a time. We can later let those pursuits evolve into other new areas as our intuition advises.