Marie Forleo defines herself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur and if you listen to her story of how she arrived at her current position as one of the leaders in the entrepreneurship space you understand why the title fits.
Her story sounds like many I have heard across the region and even my own. Caribbean people are naturally talented at many things and we often give away our gifts at no cost to others because we do the work effortlessly. I don’t mean “we try a ting” to see if it can work but look at a challenge in front of us and take it on as if we were trained in that area, with degrees hanging on the wall to prove it.
Being multi-passionate as an entrepreneur can make it really difficult to answer that question of “what is it you do again?” It’s now the norm on social platforms to see every name followed by multiple hyphens as everyone does so much or needs to in order to pay the bills. How do we position ourselves when our skills and interests cross multiple disciplines?
A label such as this seems bent on leading you down a destructive path of trying to be all things to different people but it need not be so. When you think of the most popular brands in the world what comes to mind? LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube are all social networks but they each appeal to different audiences and we use them differently. Consider how they differentiated themselves in the market. Google built its vision around making search easy and accessible. With every new area they explore, be it virtual reality or driverless cars, it comes down to ease of use and accessibility.
What is the why behind all of these multiple gifts and jobs you have? Dig a little deeper and ask yourself what drives you?
I have always loved writing for the sake of writing. It is my way of hearing myself think, process problems or encourage myself. I believe it is the gift God gave me to build myself up FIRST. The spill off, is that others get to be blessed by my gift and this gift has also allowed me to earn a living to care for my family.
What I had to figure out was what was driving me? It was more than putting words on a paper or in a blog post. I enjoy when I use my words to help a business owner gain the visibility they need or when I can encourage a woman not to give into fear and press on. I use my words to express ideas around the things in my community that others are afraid to give voice to. Suddenly I was not simply a writer, but a media strategist, activist, journalist. I don’t need the titles when I am clear on why it is I write for myself and for my clients.
You may be a multi-hyphen, multi-passionate entrepreneur but get clear on your why. Filter every job offer through that lens and it will help to keep you in check and congruent with what your soul needs to thrive. I won’t judge you if simply getting paid for work delivered brings you joy. However, when you are ready to do your best work across multiple labels, it will be more impacting when it falls in line with your why.
Nerissa Golden writes on entrepreneurship, leveraging technology and media to change lives and communities. She is a six-time author, now fusing business strategy with romance in novels. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.