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Publisher's Summary

What do you want to be when you grow up? It's a familiar question we're all asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, the question has unintended consequences. It can make you feel like you need to choose one job, one passion, one thing to be about. Guess what? You don't.

Having a lot of different interests, projects, and curiosities doesn't make you a "jack-of-all-trades, master of none". Your endless curiosity doesn't mean you are broken or flaky. What you are is a multipotentialite: someone with many interests and creative pursuits. And that is actually your biggest strength.

How to Be Everything helps you channel your diverse passions and skills to work for you. Based on her popular TED talk "Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling", Emilie Wapnick flips the script on conventional career advice. Instead of suggesting that you specialize, choose a niche, or accumulate 10,000 hours of practice in a single area, Wapnick provides a practical framework for building a sustainable life around all of your passions.

You'll discover:

  • Why your multipotentiality is your biggest strength, especially in today's uncertain job market
  • How to make a living and structure your work if you have many skills and interests
  • How to focus on multiple projects and make progress on all of them
  • How to handle common insecurities such as the fear of not being the best, the guilt associated with losing interest in something you used to love, and the challenge of explaining "what you do" to others

Not fitting neatly into a box can be a beautiful thing. How to Be Everything teaches you how to design a life, at any age and stage of your career, that allows you to be fully you and find the kind of work you'll love.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Emilie Wapnick (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about How to Be Everything

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    3 out of 5 stars

Trying too hard to make a thing out of nothing

To start, I will likely identify as a "multipotentialite". Though I am a Computer science major, I've started and run a small clothing line, produced instrumentals and music, involved in creating graphic designs, logos, websites etc for friends and companies, among a few other things. But the thing is, most of the people and friends I know can easily all be defined as "multipotentialite", maybe not with such an expansive list of stuff. Civil Engineers with a passion for photography. Biological science majors doing music and photography.

It's quite normal for people to have multiple passions. A good number of the examples provided in the book are basically just that. People with hobbies. And so, it's the author's excessive and forceful attempt at trying to create a type of "misunderstood" or oppressed group of people (ie. multipotentialites) out of regular people, that I find extremely off putting, and almost narcissistic. Sadly, I believe this 'we are so special', us against them mentality and deep desire to self validate is evidenced by the main theme of the final chapter, ie. the author's struggles with other identity issues, one of which was her career.

Case in point, the author's defensive recommendation of, 'Maybe this shouldn't be your friend" about acquaintances you meet in some gathering who show a mixed reaction to you presenting yourself as a "multipotentialite". I'm sorry, they are just making conversations. Let's not think too highly of ourselves.

The world doesn't dislike "multipotentialites" who have a passion for and can do many things (something the author inexplicably reiterates several times throughout the book). To the contrary. That is a generally desired and enviable trait. What no one likes is someone who is constantly flaking out of multiple endeavors, passion projects, or careers mainly because of mediocrity or lack of success. And yes, the third reason why people quit stuff is not only due to "resistance" or it becoming too easy. Sometimes people quit because they are very bad at it or are just pure lazy. Let's not blame all failures on "external" forces. That's just very disingenuous.

All in all, this is a very passable book. It has some good tips for folks and entrepreneurs like myself who want to work on multiple projects. Though most of those tips are from other books, so I might have been better off getting those books instead. This is my first ever 3 star rating for all the audiobooks I've listened (and my longest review for that matter). I really had high hopes for this book. Ah well.

7 people found this helpful

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ok

I loved her TedTalk and I wanted to know more about her tips and experiences, but this book only gives generical and obvious advice. I think I was expecting too much from a girl who accurately described my personality, but all the information here just wasn't enough not good. I am dissappointed, but aware that some people will find this book helpful

7 people found this helpful

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GET THIS BOOK

Just what I needed. EXACTLY what I needed to hear! Powerful man... Just powerful! Thanks Emily.

7 people found this helpful

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This Audio book could save my life.

Growing up I was asked the same stupid question: 'What do you want to be when you grow up or what do you want to do with your life?' I thought I wanted to be a chef but I didn't have the drive to pursue it. I thought I wanted to be a scholar just to look smarter, but it turns out I just wanted to please everyone including my strict family. During highschool, my interest in music grew stronger but my mother wanted me to be a pharmacist, lab technician, or research assistant. I had so much potential in high school but I didn't know how to live up to any of them. Early in life, I was obsessed with gaming and had a fascination for cartoons. I would imitate what cartoons do. So then I thought voice acting might be my calling. My purpose in life. This audio book has taught me that it's OK to have many interests and passions. It taught different projects on how to go anywhere in life with different skills. I'm glad I found it.

2 people found this helpful

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I finally have a name for this “thing”

I heard Emily’s ted talk and I’m happy she wrote this book. I’ll keep it on heavy rotation when I need affirmation that being multi-passionate doesn’t make me flakey. Rather, it keeps me interested in life.

2 people found this helpful

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Not very insightful

While the author has made some interesting observations, anyone well learned in introspection will arrive at the same conclusions.

1 person found this helpful

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Finally I can BE me.

I have listened to this book several times. Even contacted Emilie through puttylike.com.

I have waited for 51 years to come out as a multipotentialite/Polypractitioner. I built an entire organization of people who demonstrate the qualities and talents.

Thank you Emily and the Puttytribe!

Brett "Brit" Bingaman

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous book for Multipotentialites!

If you are constantly fascinated by different things and want to do them all, this is the book to help you find direction and use your capacities to the fullest! It was so useful to hear that I'm not the only one and to learn about some concrete strategies for surviving as someone with a plethora of interests

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overall great read

As a multipotentialite I couldn't pay attention but so much ;) truthfully though, the book gives voice and hope for those who have many passions but can't decide how to prioritize.

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Feels like coming home...

So many moments of recognition, laughter, sighs: this is so me! Another meaningful contribution to understanding who I am. Thanks for sharing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sylvia
  • 05-06-18

Great for "New" Multipotentialites

If you have just recently realised that you're a multipotentialite, I highly recommend this book. It gives some practical information on how to find a balance between your different interests.
However, I didn't get much new information out of this book as I've already been working doing many different things for years. So if like me you've already found a way to include your many different passions in your life, I don't think this book is really necessary for you.

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  • Shreya
  • 02-06-18

Great, informative book

I've been needing this book for a while. I have one big critique of it though- it doesn't talk about the "how". Exactly how did the people interviewed for this book change between career fields or start their own businesses all the time meeting their financial goals? This is the main source of anxiety to me and it has never been answered by anyone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. S. C. Crowder
  • 01-15-19

I'm a multipotentialite!

Good introduction to multipotentialites. Some of the advice gets a bit samey towards then end of the book. Great exercises though and some excellent tips

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  • Doomsayer
  • 11-28-18

Less informational, more encouraging

Affirming for anyone who can never just be one thing! But the book feels like it's mainly listing work types/models of polymaths. I didn't learn much, but I come from a kind of liberal family, and my parents' generation worked 40 jobs in their life. So I see it as more a book of permission. And reducing GUILT. Damn, that guilt stuff is strong.
Would be nice however to have a book such as this that guides people on how to make an income being a wearer of odd or multiple hats. It's an exhausting, often unrewarding hustle game now days, and other guidance is just entrepreneurial marketing grossness.
I'm glad I read this book. I wish I could get my dad to read it so he could know we are not beautiful flakes - we are novel minds.

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  • Katarzyna De Jesus
  • 04-16-18

Embrace the weird in you!

If you have ever felt like a lone wolf or a black sheep because of your varied & mismatched interests, by the end of this book you will happily embrace & celebrate this weirdness in you. Even more, you will learn how to use your seemingly scattered pursuits to your advantage & build a sustainable life as a mutipotenialite!