During the last week, my inbox and Twitter stream has been full of your stories about being More Than One Thing. Although there are a zillion ways to be more than one thing, and a million ways of working it out in your business, it seems that most everyone's stories fit into one of three patterns:
- You wear a lot of hats. As a maker-seller, you design the product, make the product, do the bookkeeping, manage the marketing, and label each and everything. This is less about your you-ness and more about scheduling, being productive and making a map. Whether you sell scarves or apps, being a small business owner is all about juggling the myriad responsibilities and priorities.
- You have so many interests, but your public “persona” doesn't reflect your gorgeous ginormousness. You might sell sewing patterns, but you also knit and do puppetry. Oh, and you love Battlestar Gallactica and vegan cupcakes. You feel the pressure to “just do one thing” in order to seem more “professional”…but it's starting to wear you down. While you want to bring your unique you-ness into your business, you struggle with knowing what you want to make part of your public persona. (This is the thing I have the hardest time with.)
- You are known for making and selling one thing…but it feels limiting. You want to introduce a new product or line, but you're not sure how it fits in the other stuff you've been doing.
Do you recognize yourself in one of these?
(or maybe all three?)
The good news: it's normal.
As your business grows, you grow. As a maker, your creativity wants new-ness and excitement, and after a while, doing and making just one thing gets boring (and stifling). Feeling the chafe of wanting to be more than what you have been, to bring more of yourself into your business is a sign that you're that building a more sustainable business.
It's worth the initial struggle. When you create different streams of income, you've got a stronger business. When you're more you, you find new customers. When you try new things, your creativity is reinvigorated. Both Kim and I have stories of resisting and then, finally, embracing our multitidues and finding greater success, greater connection, more fulfilling work.
So where do you start? If you recognize yourself in one of the scenarios above…what do you do next?
It's a process.
It takes time to first just get comfortable, and then to get strategic about how to resolve it.
In my experience, the process can be something like:
1. Identify the multitudes.
Go through the above three scenarios and list out all the ways this is true for you.
2. Find something to start with.
Take a look at your list and notice: which one wants to be shared? Which part of you feels stifled right now?
Try incorporating just a smidge more of you in your next blog post, newsletter or even product description. And then take note, what happens? For real scientific proof (especially useful if this feels scary), conduct a real experiment.
What are your multitudes? What do you want to experiment with?
Kim and I are sharing real-world strategies for broadening your business by embracing your multitudes in tomorrow's workshop. We'll cover hire-me pages, juggling multiple income streams and managing multiple projects (we'll cover scenario #2 + #3.) If you're struggling with the “too many hats” problem, we create personalized solutions each week, inside the Starship.