Jack of all trades, master of none.
Whenever I hear this saying, I get that skin-crawling feeling like seventeen cockroaches are squirming up my legs.
And, if anybody ever told me that because I have multiple passions, I’d never be an expert at any of them, I would probably slap him/her. (Who am I kidding? I punch—I don’t slap.)
Then, I’d say, “Oh yeah? Well, I run a successful business from my pajamas. I’ve been featured in U.S. News and World Report. I’ve made $21,350 in one month. I’ve spoken at the Etsy Success Symposium and at creativeLIVE.” (And, I’d keep listing my successes until I ran out of breath or the police were called.)
But, seriously, I can’t stand that saying.
If it were true, I’d be crap out of luck.
I adore so many things: writing, reading, teaching, photography, vegan cooking, knitting, painting, sewing, making jewelry, drawing and more.
It’s a lot of stuff. I know. Some are just hobbies. I don’t make any money from MOST of the things on that list, but I have figured out how to combine some of my loves to form a business that I can’t get enough of.
I write books (haven’t you heard of Marketing for Creatives?), blog posts, video scripts and email updates.
I read A LOT to stay inspired and to continue learning about the topics that I write about and teach.
I teach through speaking (like this creativeLIVE workshop: Build a Successful Creative Blog) and leading online courses.
I use my photography in PowerPoint presentations when I speak, in my books and workbooks, and in my blog posts. Even though I don’t directly sell it, photography has become a big part of my brand.
I share recipes and my creative projects on Blacksburg Belle.
Thankfully, I’ve figured out a way to make it all work together. I couldn’t possibly limit myself to one thing. I know that I wouldn’t be happy.
My best advice for those of you who also feel pulled in different directions is to experiment with ways to piece those things together. At first glance, they may not seem to work together, but if you get creative, you could figure out a business model that works for you AND that’s incredibly unique.
Remember that you don’t have to make money directly from each thing you love. That’s where a lot of creatives mess things up and get a bit carried away.
My business would be kinda crazy if I tried to sell books, courses, photography, knitted products, hand-sewn products, jewelry, art, etc. Right?
However, many successful creative entrepreneurs combine their passions to form businesses that stand out from the crowd.
Mayi Carles uses all of her own hand-painted, custom illustrations for her blog. Even though she doesn’t focus the majority of her business on her art, it’s in everything she produces like Life is Messy Bootcamp and her adorable planners.
Marie Forleo has infused her love for hip-hop and dance into her videos where she gives out quality, free business advice every Tuesday.
Michelle Ward capitalizes on her theater background in her life and career coaching business. She recorded herself singing for her video intro and outro, she plays a ukulele in her videos and she uses her past as examples in her blog posts over and over.
Instead of dismissing pieces of yourself, consider baking them into your business. It makes it extra special.