There are three clients I had conversations with, just from last week, that will think this post was inspired by our chat... because it's something I talk about and come up against so frequently.
When we set out to build a business around our passions, we think it's simply a matter of clearly defining the end destination, then taking steps A, B, C and so on until we get there. And for some people, it is that simple. Easy (probably not) but clear and able to be broken down into a step-by-step plan they can execute.
Sometimes, with certain personalities and passions, the step-by-step is a frustrating, "lean into it and see what unfolds for you."
And I totally understand that frustration.
Today, I'm one of those people with a clearly defined end destination. I know what I'm building, I know who I want to serve and how I want to serve them, and I know exactly what needs to happen for me to get there. A, B, C, and so on. But for many years, all I had was the sense that I wanted to "make a difference" working for myself, without much else besides a wide variety of passion and interests.
It was incredibly frustrating, to say the least. And any time I tried to do one thing or the other, I wasn't happy with my life or my business.
This is the plight of the multi-passionate.
The people who feel called in more than one direction, and have a hard time answering the question, "What do you want to do when you grow up?" It's hard because we think we have to choose between all the things we want to do and be and create.
We think we have to have a business that looks like Super Successful Sally's, because she's making a lot of money doing one focused thing. Because society tells us that we have to pick a career or a niche and hyper focus. But it's so far from the truth! Not every business is able to be hyper focused, and that's okay.
The sooner you stop denying the fact that you're multi-passionate, the happier and more successful you'll be. The sooner you'll be able to gain the clarity that you so desire to move your business forward.
1) Stop trying to focus on one thing.
Please, just stop. For yourself and your sanity, don't try to "find the thing" and focus on just that forever and ever. You know that just reading that sentence made your stomach flip and your heart drop. Be honest.
It's not how you're wired and it's going to make you miserable in the long run. When I've tried to focus on just one aspect of my business (like only doing design work), I'm miserable, and it ends up costing me more time and money. It leads to burnout and me making a disaster of everything! Focusing on one thing is not the only way to be successful, and it's definitely not the way to be happy. Trust me, let it go.
2) Honor the truth of who you are and how you work.
I drive myself nuts... many of my clients have heard this straight out of my mouth on our coaching calls. I drive myself nuts because I'm cyclical in my interests and goals, and I simply can't focus on just one thing. I can't do just design, and I can't do just coaching or running programs. I also don't always want to design, and sometimes I don't feel like doing the calls that come with one-on-one coaching.
It's just who I am, and whatever your patterns and cycles, it's just who you are. The sooner you embrace the truth of who you are and honor the patterns and cycles that emerge for you, the happier and more productive you're going to be, I promise. Its starts with being aware of how your focus bounces around, and what passions and interested resurface for you. Stop denying who you are and begin to embrace your patterns.
3) Create a business as multifaceted and unique as you are.
My business is a fantastic example of this. I coach, write, make art, design, develop, teach workshops, have a video interview series, develop programs, and hope to start speaking this year. I do a lot of things that really, truly light me up, and I've combined them all in a really unique way.
I can't teach you how to do this in a simple blog post, but I can take this time to encourage you to combine everything in a unique way that feels really aligned and really exciting to you. I promise it's not hard, and it will lead to more success than if you just choose one facet or passion. Start by exploring what passion and interests play well together in a unique way, and what passions and interests are better reserved as hobbies and things you do just for you.
Whatever your mix of passions and interests, there's a common thread between them that will be the core of the work you do. Just like mine is "helping people build lives and businesses around their passions" and combines all the things that light me up, you have something similar. You just have to be open to exploring and leaning into the work to see where it leads you...
4) Lean into it and see what unfolds for you.
Just get started. Blog about the things you're passionate about, teach on the topics that light you up, and support people in the way you feel called to support them. Do this before you worry about the brand and the website and the marketing strategy. Lean into the areas you feel inspired and explore the way you feel compelled to create and connect.
The fastest way to find the clarity and focus you desire in your business is to just take action and see how things land. See how they feel for you, and see where they lead you. It wasn't until I started coaching that I learned who I really want to support and how I want to support them. It wasn't until I launched multiple programs in different formats that I learned the best way to deliver them. It wasn't until I started trying and experimenting and exploring that I figured out how to blend my passions in such a unique and fulfilling way.
Just lean in and see what unfolds for you.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of Stephenie Zamora Media, a full-service, life-purpose development, branding, and online marketing boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development, branding, and online marketing to help turn passionate individuals into profitable entrepreneurs.
With over a decade of experience in design, development, and brand/marketing strategy, she's currently helping coaches, solopreneuers, and small businesses create their beautifully branded online presence, without breaking the bank, through her highly regarded Jumpstart Website Design Package.
Stephenie's been featured in The Huffington Post, Yahoo Shine, Positively Positive, and Brian Tracy International. Learn more at www.StephenieZamora.com!
HuffPost Lifestyle is a daily newsletter that will make you happier and healthier — one email at a time. Learn more