I’ve come to appreciate that being a multi-passionate means you’re forever rotating between three phases of being:
The transitory “I want to burn my life to the ground” phase.
The passionate “I have a new idea” phase.
The relaxed “I’m happy where I am” phase.
There’s no arriving for us. There’s no final career that if we just figured it out, we would stop wanting more. The blessing and curse of our multi-passionate hearts is that the constant hum of ambition? It never goes away. And we both know we wouldn’t want it any other way.
What arriving looks like for us then, is the ability to move through these phases—over and over again—with grace. Like a dancer, transitioning from one movement to the next, knowing that each step has a purpose in the sequence of the routine.
But in this world where single-passionates (is that what they’re called?) are the definition of success, the rhythmic dance of multi-passionates is replaced by a conveyor belt, backed up with all of our untouched curiosities throughout the years.
I started this newsletter in my transition phase, on October 6th, 2020.
If you weren’t around then (or simply curious what the inside of my mind was like) here’s a piece I wrote around that time, The Overthinker’s Guide to Pivoting. Still holding onto Shopify, onto my side hustle, onto my writing, onto my weekly webinars, onto everything.
This transition phase should really be called the hoarding phase. Not wanting to give anything up… fear of choosing the wrong thing… overwhelmed with where to even start.
It’s also marked by our desperate grip on every new idea that happens to fly by, as if this idea right here will finally be the answer to our discomfort. And because we’re perfectionists who love “All or Nothing” thinking, we then oscillate between hoarding every idea and burning it all to the ground. One day motivated, the next day slumped on the couch. Up and down, up and down.
Ever notice how entrepreneurs seem to disappear for a while before returning with some exciting new business? We think how lucky they are, how easily ideas must come to them. In reality? They have just crawled out of a transition phase. I’m sure of it.
I’m more than sure of it, in fact. From my days at Mindvalley and Shopify to now my consulting days, I’ve seen hundreds of 6 and 7 figure business owners who, behind the scenes, are regularly going through this phase. The difference? They know that something grand is about to pop off for them.
If we look at it this way, the transition phase is quite wonderful, no? It means we’re actually letting ourselves grow. The only goal here is to perhaps shorten our time in the angst or become more graceful at it, but never to avoid it—because what comes out of it is the passionate “I have a new idea” phase. That moment when it finally clicks, when you finally drop those things you were desperately holding onto. You really do become weightless.
But this next phase, too, has a dark side to avoid: our hustle for self-worth.
Boundaries out the window, relationships out the window, routines out the window. We are perfectionists after all, aren’t we? We want to get it right, get it perfect, and now that we finally have a direction? We’re ready to board the hustle train.
I’ve been in this phase enough times—and have burned myself out enough times—to approach it more delicately this time. Two weeks after leaving Shopify, I wrote this hustle manifesto for myself, To Hustle or Not to Hustle, That is the Question. I’m proud to say that two months into this phase, I have stayed true to my boundaries and have avoided an unrealistic sprint towards success.
My perfectionist brain has absolutely tried to creep in on a daily basis, but I’m a little more aware of it now. Now, I recognize when it tells me to skip my afternoon Peloton ride to get more work done. I recognize when it tells me that sleeping in for an hour has made my entire day worthless. I recognize when I finish my to-do list and it tells me to get a head start on tomorrow. I recognize when it tells me to give up my creativity day every Friday to get shit done instead.
Despite this, it really is one of the best phases in my humble, business-loving opinion. We’re releasing our passions into the world, finally showing up for ourselves, and letting the conveyor belt of ideas start moving again. I have given myself roughly until September of this year to sit in this build phase. Long enough that I can pace my energy as I execute on my goals, but short enough that I don’t overthink my actions and get moving.
Then comes the third phase, the relaxed “I’m happy where I am” phase. It’s where we acclimatize to our new way of being—an opportunity for our identity to catch up to our growth. We can’t glorify this phase on social media because it happens in our mind. A quiet confidence builder. I’ll keep you posted with whatever I discover when I’m here. But one thing I know? It won’t be an arrival phase. Yes, I will find beautiful comfort in it, but too long here and I’ll lose my muscle for change.
Pretty much what happened to me last year. Forgetting that I had quit before, that I had started my own business before, and worst of all, forgetting what the voice of my passion sounds like. Brushing it off as an annoying pest when I should have embraced it much sooner like the long-lost friend it is.
I’m writing all this as a reminder to myself.
And maybe as a reminder to you, if you’d like.
That when those moments come, we can remember that the overwhelm of the transition phase is worth it, that the excitement of something greater is coming, and that our ambitious drive for growth is something to be proud of.
Despite what our single-passionate world tells us.