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How To Be Everything
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Listen in 20 min.
Learn the key ideas of the book by Emilie Wapnick

How To Be Everything

Founding your career plan on your passions

How to be Everything helps us to plan our professional lives based on our many passions and interests. Emilie Wapnick interviewed hundreds of happy and fulfilled ‘multipotentialites’ to get to know what they all had in common, in spite of the very different paths they had chosen and their wide range of experiences. She discovered that they all had one thing in common: they had planned a life which could guarantee them not only an income but also variety and self-fulfilment. This book explores the four working models that can provide all multipotentialites a with guide on how to build a fulfilling career: The Group Hug, The Slasher, The Einstein and The Phoenix.

How To Be Everything
Read in 16 min.
Listen in 20 min.

A Multipotentialite is a person with many interests who is not fulfilled by pursuing one single, specialised career

A multipotentialite is someone with many interests, talents and creative pursuits, who doesn’t subscribe to the idea that one career path is enough. They don’t believe that choosing to specialise in one subject can be the only option to feel fulfilled both professionally and personally, and they think that it is possible to successfully pursue different avenues. A multipotentialite is attracted by things that are completely unrelated to one another, and knows how to easily adapt to different tasks. The different ways that we see this characteristic are varied; to get an idea, it’s something like a cook experimenting with different recipes. They might choose to put several saucepans on the hob at the same time, and cook all of them with the same heat, or they might decide to prioritise one dish and simmer the others, without rushing. We could also picture a chef standing over a bonfire with one giant cauldron.

However they may decide to express this tendency in their personal lives, in their careers, multipotentialites do not operate in a straight line; the lines that they follow tend to be somewhat transversal, and they will make the most of their skills by applying them to various disciplines, and in novel ways.


The key ideas of "How To Be Everything"

A Multipotentialite is a person with many interests who is not fulfilled by pursuing one single, specialised career
The superpowers of a multipotentialite: idea synthesis, rapid learning and adaptability
To live happily we need a project that can guarantee us an income whilst offering us meaning and variety
The Group Hug Approach is a work model that brings together multiple interests and passions in a single professional activity
The Slash Approach involves a person having two or more part-time jobs
The Einstein Approach: just one full time job that is enough to pay the bills and leaves us some free time to pursue our passions
The Phoenix Approach: working in a single industry for a few months or years and starting a new career in a new industry
Productivity means knowing what to focus on and taking action to achieve our objectives
Time management that takes into account the importance of routine and allows us to respect our energy levels
The need for change comes when things begin to become predictable, boring and no longer stimulate us
Some tricks to help get going: start when you are in a good mood, use a timer and divide the projects into small parts
The biggest challenges for multipotentialites: lack of security, always feeling like a newbie and impostor syndrome
Criticisms should be dealt with first and foremost by understanding the true intention of the critic
Take-home message
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