author coaching joyful biz starter leader podcast

Episode 29: Emilie Wapnick on Being a Multipotentialite

Emilie Wapnick is the Founder, and Creative Director for Puttylike, an online home for “multipotentialites,” which are people with many interests and creative pursuits. Her philosophy is that you do not have to do just one thing with your life, and that it is possible to integrate your many interests into your life. Emilie is a writer, speaker, mentor, coach, and she is currently working on a traditionally published book, as well.

Emilie Wapnick on Being a Multipotentialite

Joyful Biz Starters Series
If you’ve been listening for awhile, you know that I often talk about being a multipotentialite. It really helped me to understand why I sometimes gravitate to a topic, only to feel like I’m “done” with it, sometimes not too long after I’ve started it. I love that Emilie has been able to make the fact that she does not have to choose just one thing her career, and I hope that you really enjoy this interview.


In this episode, Emilie and I talk about (and I included timestamps if you want to fast forward through!):
– (4:25) her early sparks of joy, including “concocting weird projects,” and painting, drawing, playing violin, cultural events, gymnastics
– (4:50) the many fun and inventive projects she and her friends created in the park – including a fortune telling business, selling origami boxes of candy, and a gymnastics show, plays, and a neighborhood newspaper
– (5:35) what Emilie does now, with Puttylike, and her definition of a “multipotentialite.”
– (7:00) some of the pain points Emilie encountered as she was looking for a “traditional” career path, where she would hit a pattern of thinking she had “found her thing,” but then grow uninterested in it, and change direction.
– (8:55) how Emilie discovered that she could tap into what worked best for her, and made a career of having many different interests (hint: she had been in Law School and got involved in an interdisciplinary music project)
– (10:30) growth of community – once she’d realized what she wanted to do, how long did it take for her to find and grow a like-minded community?
– (11:00) the impact of the Ted Talk on the size of the community (link is below)
– (12:15) my realization as to why being a project manager for many years was a great fit for my own multipotentialite personality
– (12:55) Emilie’s new book, which is about the different kinds “multipotentialite friendly careers” for multi-pods: Group Hug, Slash Approach, Einstein Approach, or Sequential
– (17:10) the myth of needing to find a “specialty” or a “niche” and a few well known multi-pods to see as an inspiration
– (18:40) how to capture all of the ideas in your multi-pod brain, so you don’t lose them (one of my personal fears: so many ideas! so little time!) and how to play with the ideas, while not getting overwhelmed
– (20:20) Emilie talks about how she recently gave up her smartphone for a simpler model, and the difference it has made in her time and way of thinking
– (23:00) do Multi-pods suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) more so than other groups of people?
– (24:15) the Putty Tribe is opening back up, and Emilie explains what it is, and how it works
– (26:00) an explanation of how to set up what Emilie calls a “Renaissance Business”
– (27:45) what is next for Emilie, including her book, coming out in Spring 2017 being published by Harper Collins
– (28:50) what surprises people about Emilie’s work, and what Multi-pod type she identifies with for now
– (30:20) how the “imposter syndrome” shows up for multipotentialites
– (32:00) Emilie’s message to people who are not multipotentialites but work with, or know people who are
– (32:30) Emilie’s advice on how to bring YOUR dream into action
– (33:30) Emilie’s thoughts on how to jump start your joy

Emilie Wapnick on Being A Multipotentialite

Emilie’s site: Puttylike
Emilie’s Ted Talk on Multipotentialites
Emilie’s post about giving up her smartphone
Headspace meditation app

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  • Robin Rue (@massholemommy)
    March 28, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    That sounds fascinating. I am looking forward to tuning in to hear more about what she has to say!

  • karen
    March 28, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    I think its so important to have a huge variety of interests – keep yourself open! And its fun to keep exploring. Makes things fun…and helps to not get “bored” in one activity!
    Karen |

  • Cristina
    March 28, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    Oh wow. I am totally a mutipotentialite. I never knew it was a thing but could totally relate to the characteristics. Who knew? Flabbergasted. Will check podcast for sure!

    • Paula
      March 29, 2016 at 8:09 am

      I hope you enjoy it – and be sure to check out Emilie’s site, too 🙂 Thank you for visiting, Cristina.

  • Dani CC
    March 28, 2016 at 11:05 pm

    It’s so refreshing to see a title to something we can totally relate with. That’s why I love blogging get to talk about so many different topics.

  • Debra
    March 28, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    I love the whole idea behind this! I love something for a little while and then I am done and ready to move on!

  • Rachel Langer
    March 29, 2016 at 2:48 am

    Oh my goodness this it totally me! I used to think I was a quitter but I don’t really quit things, I am just done and off to find something new.

    • Paula
      March 29, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Me, too, Rachel. My interest wanes on things, sometimes much quicker than I’d thought it would, but there’s usually a sense that I’ve learned everything I needed to know, and can put it to rest. I hope you like the interview!

  • Amanda Love
    March 29, 2016 at 4:26 am

    OK so this is totally me. I had no idea there was a word for it but I’m loving it. Multipotentialite is perfect! I need to tune in and listen to what she has to say.

    • Paula
      March 29, 2016 at 8:06 am

      I’m definitely a multipotentialite, and once I knew it was a thing, it made so much sense!

  • Rose Sahetapy
    March 29, 2016 at 9:14 am

    I didn’t know there is a word to describe, but now I know Multipotentialite, and I can say I’m a multipotentialite. Someimes it confuse people around me, how can I like something, work on it, then turn to other interest in an instant. Thanks for sharing this,, will definitely chek the podacast.

  • jill conyers
    March 29, 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love the word multipotentialities. It’s new to me but there’s just something about it.

    March 29, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I think it’s great to have a lot of interests. It keeps things interesting. Some people like my husband always need new things to do.

  • tp keane
    March 29, 2016 at 2:15 pm

    I’ve never heard of this before but I’m intrigued. I reckon that I too like to dabble in many creative outlets. Glad I’m not the only one.

  • Mariah
    March 29, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Its so me! I have so many interests and not enough time for all of them! I incorporate many of them into my businesses, photography, writing, food, but reading, walking, hiking, and other things dont make it onto the list enough!

  • Sheena Tatum
    March 29, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I have so many areas of interest, I’m STILL surprising my husband with what I know, haha. I attribute this to my parents who always said, try something first before asking for help. So, I did and have found a lot of things are a lot easier than we expect!

  • Heather
    March 29, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    This is definitely me! I’m glad there is a name for it 🙂 I constantly feel like I need to box myself in, but have so many interests it never works!

  • Megan McCoig
    March 29, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    I can totally relate to this. I find myself enjoying so many different things that I believe I can strive in and have fun with!! Such a great podcast.

  • Ana De- Jesus
    March 29, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    This describes me in so many ways and I would get frustrated at myself for being like that but I have realized it is all part of a creative process.

  • Dawn McAlexander
    March 30, 2016 at 2:15 am

    I think it’s great to be a multipotentialite and consider myself one, too. Why put all your eggs in one basket that may only make you happy for a short while anyway.

  • Brittany
    March 30, 2016 at 2:22 am

    I love the idea of this! I will definitely be checking out the podcast as soon as I get the chance!

    Southern Soul

  • Candi
    March 30, 2016 at 3:39 am

    This could be me. I have always enjoyed lots of different creative things. I had no idea there was a name for it.

  • CourtneyLynne
    March 31, 2016 at 1:08 am

    Ooooo loving this idea!!!! I’m going to have to give your podcast a listen! Sounds fantastic

  • karissa
    March 31, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I relate to this whole idea. I’m interested in doing so many things as well.

  • Lesley Carter
    March 31, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I’m totally a mutipotentialite. I never knew it was a thing but I can relate. I’m always trying something different.