How to be Everything

How to be Everything by Emilie Wapnick celebrates multipotentialites. What are multipotentialites and are you one? Simply put by author Emilie, a multipotentialite is: “someone with many interests and creative pursuits”.

Or in other, somewhat negative terms: a jack-of-all-trades, a generalist or a renaissance person. So we’re talking about the opposite of a specialist who follows one true calling, like the doctors and lawyers of the world.

Emilie describes herself as a multipotentialite who has pursued (and later ditched) many work passions and projects, including law, website design, song writing and filmmaking. For years she thought this characteristic was problematic, because specialists viewed her as flighty or non-committal. Really the only problem was that she didn’t have the language to label herself as a multipotentialite and the awareness that this is no bad thing!

Her book is fun, informative, educational and celebrates the multipotentialite community – she makes you feel valued for not being a specialist set on following one path through your career.

Based on her research, Emilie covers four types of multipotentialite in the book:

  1. The Group Hug Approach: “having one multifaceted job or business that allows you to wear many hats and shift between several domains at work.”
  2. The Slash Approach: “having two or more part-time jobs and/or businesses that you flit between on a regular basis.”
  3. The Einstein Approach: “having one full-time job or business that fully supports you, while leaving you with enough time and energy to pursue your other passions on the side.”
  4. The Phoenix Approach: “working in a single industry for several months or years and then shifting gears and starting a new career in a new industry.”