Growing up, I never had a clear vision of what I wanted to do with my life. I had tons of hobbies I loved, but I didn’t know which to follow into a career. When college rolled around, I worried over which major to choose, afraid of everything I might miss out on by taking a single path.

As a new business owner, I struggled with the same thing. I had tons of business ideas (more than I knew what to do with), and I didn’t know how to choose one and let the others go. While others were wondering what kind of business to launch, I had a whole list of backup plans ready to go.

Turns out, there’s a word for this type of business owner: a multi passionate entrepreneur. And while this way of thinking felt like a weakness when I was younger, it’s proven to be a major strength in both my business and my personal life.

Here’s what I’ve learned about being successful and fulfilled as a multi passionate entrepreneur.

What It Means To Be a Multi Passionate Entrepreneur

I knew I was multi passionate even as a kid. I had several different hobbies – from table tennis and horseback riding to singing and everything in between. I couldn’t settle for just one thing. I thought being multi passionate meant I was indecisive or unfocused. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to see it as a positive.

You might also be a multi passionate entrepreneur if…

  • You have more business ideas than you know what to do with.
  • You’re a “jack of all trades” and love adding new skills to your tool belt.
  • You pursue (or want to pursue) lots of different hobbies.
  • When you pick up a new hobby, you start thinking, “How can I make money with this?”
  • You struggle to nail down your “elevator pitch” because you do so many different things.

If that sounds like you, congrats! You have room in your head and your heart for multiple passions. That’s something to be celebrated.

The Myth of Your “One True Purpose”

I’m in a Facebook group from 20-somethings, and one of the big questions I see from younger women is, “How do I pick a major for college when I don’t know what I want to do with the rest of my life?”

I had that question as an early 20-something, too. I thought I was supposed to pick a major, get my degree, and follow that path clear to retirement. At 20, I felt pressure to know exactly what my one true purpose was. (Guess what? I didn’t.)

Here’s the thing: Your “one true purpose” is a myth.

There’s not a single path you have to uncover, follow, and take to the end of your life. There’s no single job that will make you happier than all the others. And honestly, there’s more to your “purpose” than a career, anyway!

You are allowed to love and pursue as many passions as you want. You pick any path, and you can change course whenever you want. Life is not linear, and your career doesn’t have to be, either.

When I learned this truth, I was able to release the pressure I’d put on myself to have it all figured out. I read stories about women changing their careers ten years after college or starting businesses in their fifties. I spoke with successful entrepreneurs who practiced totally random hobbies in their free time. And I accepted that I didn’t need to know my “one true purpose” because it simply didn’t exist.

So shake off the nerves, take a deep breath, and take a good, long look at all the paths available to you. You don’t have to choose just one!

How to Be Successful as a Multi Passionate Entrepreneur

Being a multi passionate entrepreneur doesn’t mean doing everything, nor does it mean picking one passion and ignoring the rest. It’s all about finding balance within yourself and in your career.

Start with your end goal and work backwards.

When I first stared my business, I was convinced I needed to pick something I loved doing and find a way to build my dream life around it. The more I’ve learned on this journey, though, the more I’ve realized I had it all backwards.

Instead of trying to conform your passions to your dream life, start with a clear vision of what that life looks like. How much time do you spend working? What does that work look like? What kinds of things do you do in your free time? Get really granular, and paint a picture of your ideal life and career.

Then, work backwards! Which passion could get you there? Which would allow you to live that life? You might love horseback riding, but if you want to live in the middle of NYC, that might have to be a weekend hobby, not a full-time job. A more office-based passion might allow you the time, money, and freedom to pursue those other hobbies on the side.

Determine which passions are money-makers and which are just for you.

Hustle culture might tell you differently, but here’s the truth:

Not all of your hobbies should make you money.

I’ve always been tempted to turn every single hobby into a job. Even as a little girl, I was dreaming up ways of selling my arts and crafts to classmates.

And it didn’t end once I got a full-time job in adulthood. Whenever I spent time working on a new craft, writing in my journal, or even just taking an afternoon walk, I was hit with this creeping sense of guilt and the thought, “I could be making money right now.”

While I truly believe you can make a career doing what you love, I don’t think you should turn everything you love into your career. When you take a relaxing hobby and place a dollar value on it, you create pressure – pressure to get better, to keep with the trends, to make money. As soon as you start feeling that pressure, those hobbies are no longer self care.

Some hobbies should stay hobbies. Determine which of your passions are just for you, and keep them sacred. If you think about it, self care is a moneymaking activity. Even if these hobbies aren’t making you money directly, they’re helping you take care of yourself. That’s worth something.

Learn to love change.

When I made the decision to quit my corporate job, I was utterly terrified. I pictured how far I’d climbed up the corporate ladder, how much energy I’d put into getting there. I knew what I wanted, but part of me feared I was throwing away something good.

As soon as I left, though, I felt this sense of total relief. When I started working with my own clients, I realized I hadn’t lost anything. All the skills I learned in the corporate world followed me on my entrepreneurial journey. I hadn’t abandoned my career, I’d just made a shift.

Now that I’ve experiences such a huge change, I’m much more comfortable pivoting in my business. If you want to be a multi passionate entrepreneur, you have to get comfortable making these shifts – whether you’re changing your career path entirely or just adjusting your business model.