I used to believe that I had to pick one thing and focus on it.
Why? Because EVERYONE told me that was true.
My parents, my friends, best-selling books, podcasts and thought leaders all had the same message.
The only way to be successful is to niche down.
There is plenty of evidence to back that up. People and companies are more successful by niching down.
It’s a fact.
(cough cough: But it’s not the only way…)
I have friends who specialised in their niches and became more and more successful.
But I couldn’t.
I tried niching down multiple times but always failed. And this used to fuck me up.
It always went something like this…
- I would fall in love with a new project.
- It felt like true love. Like I had finally found my soul mate after decades of heartache.
- I would enthusiastically declare my true love to anyone that would listen.
- But one day, not so long afterwards, I would wake up and feel, well, nothing…
- It was at this point it dawned on me that it wasn’t true love after all. It was just another holiday romance.
- And I — once again — was a fool for convincing myself otherwise.
I grew to dread that feeling of emptiness in the pit of my stomach. I felt hollow.
I was lost but not because I didn’t know where I was. I was lost because I didn’t know where I should be.
And that is far worse for ambitious people!!
It’s soul crushing knowing we have bags of unfulfilled potential but don’t know in which direction we should focus our energy.
So we get stuck.
There were long periods in my life when I didn’t know who I was because I didn’t know what I wanted to do.
I suspect you have felt that too, right?
The only rest bite from the emptiness was the nauseous feeling that engulfed me as the shame coursed through my veins into my very being.
The shame used to keep me stuck. Well, that’s not strictly true, it was avoiding further shame that kept me stuck.
Every time I fell for another project I would stop myself. Why?
Because it seemed pointless to start something new as I would only get bored and quit which would lead to more shame.
So, ravaged with fear, I stopped making decisions.
And then I beat myself up for being unproductive.
Sometimes I started projects but would second guess myself. I had a fear of missing out on all the other projects I was interested in.
I never committed to my projects. Failure became self-fulfilling prophecies as a result.
Which made me feel even more foolish and shameful.
Finally, I realised this was a self-limiting belief. I am a multipotentialite.
We are a small fraction of the general population.
Niching down is a conventional wisdom. And conventional wisdoms are created by specialists for specialists.
And I was both unconventional and a generalist.
Therefore conventional wisdoms are shitty advice for multipotentialites.
Specialists have a high boredom threshold. They can do the same thing over and over for decades.
But they often lack purpose in their careers.
If we were all supposed to niche down and do the same thing over and over for our entire lives then why do 85% of the global workforce dislike their jobs?!
Sure, specialists can pick one thing and focus on it. But they are mostly disengaged and unhappy with that choice.
They just tolerate it and live for the weekends.
That sounds like a shit sandwich to me.
Conventional wisdoms are false social programming for multipotentialites.
Once you wrap your head around that you will see things as they truly are.
I had been the architect of my own shame.
Don’t get me wrong, people had shamed me whole my life.
- “Stop being so sensitive”
- “You could be anything you wanted if you weren’t so lazy”
- “Why do you get so emotional about everything?!”
But I was creating shame. We can’t control what people say to us but we can control how we react to it.
I created my shame by trying to fit in.
By desperately wanting to fit in with a specialist society not designed for me I created my shame by comparing myself to its standards and ideologies.
"Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid."-Albert Einstein
I created my own suffering by wishing I was like everybody else.
But I’m not. I’m an unconventional multipotentialite.
I think differently. I see the world differently.
And this is my strength and not my weakness.
And that was my ‘aha’ moment.
Why? Because I was no longer held back by the rusty shackles of comparison.
I am weird and I’m fucking proud of it. I am a maverick, a creative rebel, I am one of the marvellous minority who sticks two fingers up to the status quo.
This changed my life. And career along wth it.
Every started falling into place.
I was supposed to follow my curiosity.
Career success is like a river. Our curiosity is the current.
The more we fight the current by trying to niche down the harder it gets. We get in the way of the current — and we get stuck!
If we zoom out, the #1 goal of every multipotentialite is be more authentic.
Our curiosity is 100% authentic.
We don’t force our curiosity. We don’t even direct it, we simply become it as it consumes us.
We are socially programmed to believe we need to pick one thing and focus on it.
The harder we try and force ourself to niche down the more miserable we become.
Because it reinforces the fact that we cannot niche down.
Which makes us feel like we’re broken.
We need to follow the current and go with the flow.
Flow state is our authentic self. When we’re creating in flow we are creating without ego.
It’s the only time we create anything with judgement or expectation.
We are simply lost in the joy of the creative process instead of the expectation of external gratification.
Or the anxiety of not receiving it!!!
“Much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on.”
“Let your curiousity and intuition lead you” — Steve Jobs, Stanford Commencement Speach.
I was supposed to fall in love with different things. It’s not that I got bored and quit, I had just learned all I needed to know.
My curiosity was quenched. I simply moved on to the next source of my curiosity.
I don’t have deep knowledge about one subject.
I have significant knowledge on multiple different topics. I can see their connections and join the dots to solve problems.
Its the blending of all my multiple interests, passions and obsessions that gives me unique insights.
This is why so many people come to me with their problems. It’s the same reason people approach you to solve their problems.
We know a shitload of stuff.
We can synthesise our knowledge in multiple areas to solve specific problems.
We can then niche up our interests, skills and passions to solve those problems in a unique manner.
Building successful businesses and personal brands is all about helping people by solving their problems, too.
We just need to learn how to do it.
If you want help with niching up you can book a session here
Thanks for reading
Peace Out ✌️
✅ Digital Course
On final draft of the script. Finally. Phew!
Ditched over 10,000 words. The goal is to help people get from A to B in the quickest way as possible.
The enemy? Overthinking and overcomplicating the shit out of everything!!!
The solution: Simplify, simplify, simplify…