3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Graduated College

College was fun! I got good grades, did a few internships and had a social life outside of studying. You probably heard that your experience is what you make of it and let me tell you – it’s true. I wasn’t the “come to class then go home” kind of student, so learned a lot beyond the classroom. I attended career workshops, networking events and pretty much did my best to make the most out of it.

Still, college didn’t prepare me for the real world. My introduction to the real world was brutal. I was scrambling to land a job after the company I thought I’d work for withdrew their offer. And I had to figure out ways to make money while waiting to hear from employers. I vividly remember this stage. It was a rough rite of passage.

Eventually, I realized what made this transition so stressful. There are things I know now that would have made it easier, had I known that then. I wish someone would have pulled me aside and told me everything I needed to know before graduating. Since that’s not how life works, I can only reflect on these lessons and share them with you.

There’s no better time to start something

Especially at the beginning, when things aren’t too intense yet. Most people spend their freshman and sophomore years figuring out what they want and taking general ed classes. It’s the best time to pursue a passion alongside doing schoolwork!

Some students have to juggle homework, internships and odd jobs throughout their undergrad years, which gives them less time to pursue other interests. If you happen to not NEED to work when you’re in college, you’re in the best position to start something – anything. A business, a side hustle; any outlet to express your curiosity. Chances are, you don’t have a lot of responsibilities (mortgage, children, student loans) to worry about then, so you can take risks and not face dire consequences. It’s a unique opportunity to test some ideas and see how that pans out. If it’s successful, it will also create a job for you when you graduate.

I wish I started my freelance writing business in college. I regret not launching my blog sooner or offering to do pro bono work until I built a portfolio. So if you have time (actually, make time), invest in the pursuit of a passion and you’d be surprised where it can take you.

Grades aren’t everything

I used to stress every exam because I didn’t want anything less than an A. I put so much pressure on myself to achieve the very best that I became very familiar with sleepless nights and coffee-fueled cramming sessions. It’s not a bad attitude, but it can take a toll on your health if you don’t watch out for that. I’m not saying you should get by with minimal effort and procrastinate until the last minute, but remember not to kill yourself over an imperfect GPA. You should always strive for excellence, but only when it doesn’t come to the expense of your health (physical, mental and emotional).

In reality, grades only matter if you plan on going to grad school and have to live up to your target university’s standard. Otherwise, you just need to do your best! Had I known this, I wouldn’t have stressed so much like I did over a B in organic chem and even a C+ in microeconomics (yeah, not my forte). Your GPA doesn’t in any way indicate the levels of success you’ll achieve. There’s a growing trend of not including it in resumes because employers don’t care so much about it anymore. So just remember that next time you feel like the world is falling apart because of an exam.

You don’t need to have it all figured out

A lot of us dread the, “What’s next?” question that comes with the prospect of graduation. It’s probably because we feel like we need to have an answer. If you have a plan and things are going your way, more power to ya! But if like most recent grads you don’t have a clear idea, don’t you worry. I can tell you for a fact that you’ll learn the most from not over-planning and being open to detours. I didn’t know what I would do after the company withdrew their offer. I figured I’d just find another job and work. Had that not happened, I wouldn’t have learned how to brand myself professionally and hustle. These are skills that will serve me throughout the rest of my life.

Post-grad life can be intimidating. You have all this free time and you might feel overwhelmed at times. But you will figure it out. Embrace the changes and welcome the lessons! It won’t be easy, but you will look back and want to do it all over again. It’s a worthy part of the growth process.

Your turn! What do you wish you knew before graduating college? Share them with me in the comments!

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Help! My Parents Don’t Understand What I do

Parents. At their best, they’re supportive; at their worst, they keep nagging you about getting a “real” job. Because I currently freelance and mostly work from home, my parents think I’m not really doing anything. They imagine I spend my days applying to 100 jobs online until I hear from someone. This, of course, is not true, but I don’t blame them for thinking that way.

To this day, many employers struggle with trusting their team to work from home. We are living through changes in the workplace and a shift in career perception, but the older generations aren’t catching up fast enough – if they ever will.

Related: Your Dreams Don’t Have to Make Sense to Anyone

If like me, you’ve had to explain what you do to your parents a million times and they still don’t get it, you know how frustrating that can be. You probably had these reactions on many occasions:

Me

Also me

After a while you wonder how many interrogations you can endure before giving up on them completely. What you need to understand first and foremost is this: It’s not their fault. They want to be there for you, but they don’t know how. Even then, the nagging can become downright unbearable. You want to keep doing your thing without shutting them out, but at the same time, you can’t let their expectations distract you.

I hear ya. I’m still going through it, and here’s how I’m dealing with it so far:

Explain your end goal

Any experience can bring you closer to your dreams if you can recognize their value. It’s easier to understand the hustle from this perspective. When it comes to creative fields (or any other fields really), there isn’t a linear path to success. Some people know what they’re meant to do straight out of their mother’s womb while others find their calling later in life. Most millennials experiment with a few gigs before finding what they love. There is no right or wrong way, long as you stay true to yourself. If you can make your parents understand that, they’ll be less likely to question your moves.

Document your wins

I know my parents worry that I’ll end up broke if I don’t have a traditional job, so it’s really important for me to show them that having a 9 to 5 isn’t the only way to make money or be successful. You’ll eventually find out that their biggest concern when it comes to career matters is your financial health. Meaning, it doesn’t matter how you make your money, as long as you can support yourself. Obviously, if you earn an honest living within legal norms.

So, be sure to share every milestone. You got a mention on a major magazine or landed a high-paying client? Let them know! Secured a deal with the very company they’d want you to work for? Even better! Include them in the process as much as possible so that they can see your progress. It will make them trust you more.

Keep calm and carry on

So what you have to tell them a few times before they get it? A mentality is like a habit of thinking and old habits die hard. Be patient enough to explain the generational gap and the new career discourse. If that doesn’t work, show rather than tell them what you’re doing. Maybe a logo you designed or a piece you wrote will do? No job is so abstract that you won’t have anything concrete to present. Even a virtual assistant can point to a project they’ve worked on.

At the end of the day, your parents just want the best for you! They might not agree with your choices, but you don’t have to exclude them from your growth process. The pursuit of your dreams can be a learning experience for all of you.

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5 Ways You Waste Time that You Might Not Realize || From The 4-Hour Workweek

If you’re in the career/entrepreneurship world, you’ve probably heard of The 4-Hour Workweek. In short, this book explores the theme of becoming more effective within one’s unique situation. It’s hard to believe but the author, Tim Ferriss, went from making 40K per year on 80 hours per week to 40K per month on 4-hour work weeks.

I must say it’s the best self-help book I’ve come across after The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What I love about it is that Tim doesn’t give the oh so common advice to quit your job and follow your passions full-time (which, let’s be honest, only a few privileged people get to do) or to pursue entrepreneurship even if you don’t care for it. He speaks to entrepreneurs and employees alike in showing them exactly how to align their actions with their goals. You won’t hear the theoretical cliches like, “Keep your vision in mind.” or “Write a to-do list”. No, it’s packed with actionable strategies. Tim goes into details. He shows numbers. It doesn’t get any realer!

It’s no coincidence that my friend recommended this book to me. I’ve been experimenting with ways to be more effective and use my time more efficiently, and it’s already changing the way I work. It made me realize how I’ve unconsciously been giving away my time and tampering with my own productivity during moments of intense focus. Maybe you’ll relate to them. I’ve summed them up and made a list of the 4 most common ways we waste our time.

On being effective vs. being efficient

Being effective is knowing how to do the things that bring you closer to your goals. Being efficient is performing tasks in the most economical (from both money and time perspective) way. You can be efficient without being effective. That’s the trap most of us tend to fall into. We do things and we do them well just for the sake of staying busy (which is really just a way to avoid doing things we should be doing).

For example, an employee might invent stuff to fill those 8 hours in the office when that won’t help them advance in their career. I’ve been there. I’d take more bathroom or water breaks and go on short walks more often instead of watching a tutorial on how to edit videos with Premiere Pro. Or I’d spend more time organizing my desk when it wasn’t necessary. I was efficient, but not effective. In the example Tim used, same goes for the person who “checks e-mail 30 times a day and develops an elaborate system of folder rules and sophistication techniques for ensuring that each of those 30 brain farts moves as quickly as possible. As Tim says,

It’s good to be efficient at something, but it doesn’t add value if it doesn’t move you closer to your dreams. Being efficient with regard to effectiveness is the key! Of course it’s easier said than done, but it begins with identifying your goals and figuring out the most efficient ways to spend your time. And this involves eliminating unnecessary distractions.

Related: 4 Ways to Accomplish Your Goals in 2017

How to Maximize Your Time and Be More Productive

Time wasters 

Those things that can be ignored with little or no consequence. These include:

Constantly checking e-mail

We all do it. While we wait on a bus or train or use the computer to write a blog post. We try to distract ourselves with our inbox. Two things are always true: 1. They never stop coming and 2. They pressure us into opening them and add to our to-do list. With emails, it’s hard to distinguish tasks that are not urgent or important from tasks that are important but not urgent. A common scenario is having a to-do list and then forgetting what you had to do because an email came up. We not only waste time entertaining all of them, but also become less effective by doing things that could really be ignored.

Mindlessly surfing the web

When you do anything on the computer, the temptation to open a new window and do something else is strong. You decide to take a quick 5-minute break and go on Facebook to watch a video then find yourself watching a bunch because one automatically plays after the other. Or you get the notification that an old friend liked your picture and in no time, you’re on this person’s profile going down memory lane.

Answering phone calls or text messages

You hear your phone ring and you immediately stop what you’re doing to attend to it. Nothing makes you lose focus faster. More often than not, these can wait and it’s not worth interrupting what you’re doing.

Attending meetings that are unimportant

Meetings are the easiest ways to waste time. Back when I worked at a startup, I would go to our weekly Friday meeting just to avoid work and not do anything. The snacks were also great incentives. You can probably relate to having to attend meetings that will not help you do your job better in any way.

Another thing is going to meet someone to do work when it can be done remotely. For example, I once signed up for this job on Craigslist and the person suggested we met in person. I asked if we could have a Skype call instead and they agreed. It saved time and cost.

Consuming content with no useful applications in your life

I used to delay the launch of my blog by reading articles on Medium. I had convinced myself that they were motivating me when really they were just a way to procrastinate. Sometimes, you have something important to accomplish and that’s when you should beware of what you consume and the people you surround yourself with. It’s trendy to be on top of celebrity news, but what real, practical value does it add if it’s not something that interests you? As Tim recommends, “cultivate selective ignorance” and read what will only help you take action.

10 minutes every hour of checking and responding to e-mail. 30 minutes of scrolling down social media feeds. 45 minute phone calls with your best friend. You may not realize it, but these unnecessary distractions add up. You could use these 2-3 hours for leisure once you successfully complete your most important tasks.

Like this post? Be on the lookout for the next one where I’ll share how to eliminate these distractions from The 4-Hour Workweek. Also, get my FREE time management guide here.

Don’t forget to share this post and subscribe to my newsletter where I share tons of tips that help multipotentialites make a living by doing all the things they love.

How to Include Your Side Hustles On Your Resume

If you have a side hustle, you know how fulfilling it is to work on it. You get to express your creativity, refresh your skill set and even make additional income. What a lot of people fail to realize is that, a side hustle is a job in itself. Only difference is that the work is usually done by a team of one.

If you’re a blogger, you’re pretty much doing the same thing as an online magazine or digital media company. Same for a freelance photographer or videographer as an agency. You’ll find very little difference between what an individual with a side hustle does and the work of an institution with more resources. I’d even argue that a freelancer does more work because they wear many different hats until they can afford to hire people. Any side hustler is in fact their own CEO, COO, CFO, photographer, editor, public relations, marketing director etc. Given the reality of it, having it on your resume is a strategic move.

Listing your side hustles as freelance positions

MYTH: My side projects don’t count as experience.

Did you acquire skills that are relevant to the position you’re applying to from your side gigs? Then they’re important! Think of them as a regular jobs and write the description accordingly. Just like you would for your professional experience, mention your accomplishments, the people you worked with and throw in some numbers when possible. That’s it!

To better illustrate this idea, I will share a few examples based on the most common side hustles:

Blogging

Company: Blog Name

Role: Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Key points to highlight:

  1. Research, produce, edit and optimize content for the website including case studies, success stories and newsletters
  2. Maintain brand voice on all social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  3. Work with a small team of contributors to create an editorial calendar
  4. Pitch local publications to secure guest posting opportunities
  5. Secure sponsorship deals and brand partnerships through engaging content

Main takeaways: You know how to do the work the company splits across different teams and you have a well-rounded skill set.

Photography

Company: Business name

Role: Freelance Photographer

Key points to highlight:

  1. Responsible for all aspects of production: scouting locations, researching/booking models, compose shots, capture subjects, edit and retouch images
  2. Market services to local businesses or small publications to foster brand partnerships
  3. Regularly cover events like XYZ

Main takeaways: You won’t need to be trained on most editing softwares since you’re already familiar with them. You’re not afraid to put yourself out there.

Tutoring

If your goal is to become a teacher or instructor, you can’t forget these 23 students you helped get better at math. Here’s how to list your experience:

Company: Business name

Role: (Insert any subject here) Tutor

Key points to highlight:

  1. Customize lesson plans and teach in either one-on-one or small group settings
  2. Collaborate with other teachers to prepare standardized tests to track students’ progress
  3. Grade quizzes and exams and provide feedback
  4. Observe and understand students’ behavior and communicate with school, parents and other stakeholders
  5. Develop professional skills by attending meetings, seminars, conferences etc.

Main takeaways: You are pretty much a teacher and we need to hire you asap!

Selling on Amazon

Company: Business name

Role: Account Manager

Key points to highlight:

  1. Manage inventory and sell a range of merchandise to existing costumers and prospects
  2. Promote services on different channels (social media media marketing, Google AdWords etc.)
  3. Ensure the correct products are delivered to customers in a timely fashion
  4. Develop trust relationships with costumers by resolving any issues they face
  5. Effect changes in products, service, and policy by evaluating customer feedback, results and competitive developments.
  6. Monitor competitors by collecting information on pricing, products, sales techniques etc.

Main takeaways: You’re entrepreneurially minded and you can roll with the punches.

Tips on writing the job description

a. Provide just enough details so to leave the opportunity to chat more

b. Model it after the description of the job you’re applying to

c. Put special emphasis on the skills (technical, hard or soft) you developed

Conclusion

Any side hustle can be branded as professional experience. Nothing teaches you more than an entrepreneurial venture so don’t be afraid to flaunt what you know.

Have your side hustles ever helped you get hired? Please share your experience with me in the comments!

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How to Find What Connects All Your Passions

Being a multipotentialite can make you feel paralyzed at times. The ability to do many different things, the passion for a variety of subjects and the fear of missing out can all act as detractors to your genius. Integrating your different passions and interests into a meaningful career path can seem like an impossible task.

If you’re like any other multi-passionate creative, the following scenario should be familiar. You start a project and get really excited about it. Then you think of a few other things and start to feel overwhelmed because you don’t know how to distribute your time or what’s even worth allocating time to. Analysis paralysis sets in and you start to wish you weren’t so different.

Being a multipotentialite is nothing to feel guilty about. On one hand you will always have options, but on the other, you might feel like you’re not effectively using your potential because you’re interested in almost everything. But believe it or not, there’s an overarching theme in all your passions. Finding that point of intersection can help bring everything together and give you a better sense of direction.
Here are three questions to ask yourself in order to figure out where all your passions connect:

How do I want to impact the world?

You can think about this in different ways. What causes do you care about? Alleviating poverty? Increasing literacy? Protecting the environment? At the end of your life, how would you want to be remembered? How can you use your skills to get to that point?
There are two types of multipotentialites: the ones who can do different things within a particular field and the ones who juggle projects in unrelated domains.
Suppose you’re a psychotherapist who helps young adults face the hurdles of growing up. On top of your full-time job, you have a podcast, blog and YouTube channel, and also host workshops where you share what you know in a digestible way. If we take a closer look at all your gigs, the overarching theme is helping people. How are you doing that? Mostly through education. This tells us how you want to be remembered. As someone who positively impacted people’s lives. Keeping the end in mind helps make sense of the process.
Now, imagine you’re an architect, guitar player and standup comedian. Harder to figure out what connects these interests right? The overarching theme could be that you’re most passionate about delighting people. Whether you give aesthetic pleasure through your architectural designs, stimulate the brain through your compositions and making people laugh with your jokes.
As long as your activities are connected to your overarching goal, they don’t have to make sense to people. The important thing is to do some soul searching and really figure out what matters to you. Don’t worry about people not understanding your dreams or naysayers discrediting your process. You owe it to yourself to pursue everything that gets you fired up.

What can I not live without doing?

For me, the answer is reading and writing. When I read, I’m inspired to keep producing. Even when I was taking science classes in college, I always made sure to add a creative writing class to stimulate that other side of me.
Being aware of what you can’t do without is important in prioritizing. It also allows you to incorporate that into everything you do. Whether I’m taking pictures or producing videos, I know I’m still telling stories. It might be my overarching theme, but it’s what brings everything together for me.
Think about activities that always somehow find their way into your day to day. They may be things you do on your free time and that you also do to some extent at work or for your side hustles. They will tell you more about who you are than anything else.

Will this bring me closer to my long-term vision in a few years?

You only have so many hours in the day, so it’s important to get the most out of all them. Over time, I’ve learned to be selective with the responsibilities I take on. I’d say passion is the most deciding factor, but there’s also the question of what’s in it for me. If a job will not contribute to my life in any other way than monetary, I’ll usually go for something more meaningful. Similarly, I get a lot of ideas but I can’t physically pursue all of them because I’ll only be interested in some for a very short time.
If your big goal is to become the editor-in-chief of a digital magazine, the following are all things that can take you closer to it over time:
a. Starting a blog (because you’ll get the hands-on experience of creating content, managing a team of writers etc.)
b. Work at a magazine (because you’ll see the ins and outs of what that’s really like)
c. Freelance write for digital publications (for the network and skill set)
d. Take a coding class (because some technical knowledge can never hurt)
I could go on, but the point is to become more intentional about the things you allocate your time to. Ask yourself how important it is and if it’ll continue to matter then go full throttle in the direction of your goals.
Being multi-passionate isn’t always easy to manage. You’re constantly reinventing yourself or learning more about what’s really important to you. But some regular soul searching should make the journey easier.

What’s the overarching theme behind all your passions? Let me know in the comments!

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4 Career Resolutions to Make in 2017

I don’t believe you should only make resolutions at the start of each year, but I really enjoy the tradition. It forces you to take a hard look at your situation and assess the changes that need to be made.

With 2017 around the corner, it’s a good time to review the year and commit to some new goals. I started writing down my 2017 career resolutions after I heard a quote from Doug McCormack in the Listen Money Matters podcast. It goes:
“No matter what your profession, you are a business owner. Your business sells labor and manages assets to support the spending needs of your family. Labor is likely your largest asset and must be actively managed just like your finances.” – Doug McCormack.

This quote has changed the way I think about my career. It reminded me of the book, “The Start-up of You” in which the authors make you see yourself as a company and urge you to invest in your success. This new approach will definitely manifest in my professional life and I set 4 main career goals for 2017. Feel free to use them as inspiration to advance in your own career:

Constantly update my skill set

The multipotentialite in me already has that covered, but I plan to take it to the next level. For example, if I decide to freelance in graphic design, I will master all the tools like Illustrator and InDesign. I’ll take it a few steps further and create different marketing materials. You get the idea. I basically decided to allocate more time to developing my abilities.
In a world where job security is obsolete, the ones who really stand out demonstrate adaptability, open-mindedness and curiosity. If you’re feeling stuck at your job, take on a new challenge and learn something new. If you don’t want to switch to an unrelated area, work within what you already know. If you’re a teacher, maybe you can sharpen your communication skills or learn how to use multimedia in your lesson plans. Whatever it is, keep pushing yourself. You will position yourself for upward mobility and financial progress.
Find the medium that works best for you to learn. Workshops? Seminars? Podcasts? Online courses? Books? The tools abound.
The saying, “Be so good they can’t ignore you” is my daily mantra. It’s easy to fall into stagnancy, but your brain will thank you for always exercising it.

Work for what I want

2016 has taught me a valuable lesson and that is to stop waiting on people to give me the green light. I used to wait on opportunities to come my way, but once I realized my power to create opportunities for myself, I never looked back. I’m not one to complain, but whenever I get frustrated, I will take it upon myself first to fix a problem.
Too often we react to our circumstances when we have the tools to change them. We dread Mondays and get excited on Fridays, but we don’t look for a job that will change that mindset. We wait for a promotion, yet do nothing to actually earn it. Don’t let people decide what you can or cannot achieve. If you picture it, work for it.
As the saying goes, “One year from now, you’ll wish you had started today, It’s that simple. Just START.”

Read more

I did fine with reading one book a month this year. I also listened to a lot of podcasts and I don’t plan to stop anytime soon. But in 2017, I want to raise the bar to 2 books a month. In an earlier post, I talked about how I’m currently learning about investing so I will most likely be reading more books on the topic.

You can gain so much knowledge from reading! If you want to familiarize yourself with a particular topic, pick up a book. When I read Seth Godin’s thoughts, I feel like a marketing expert myself.

Network and pick my circle carefully

As much as I hate to say it, “your network is your net worth”. As much as we’d like to do everything ourselves, we were brought on this earth to coexist. As Stephen Covey argues in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “the ability to work together (interdependence) is what will allow us to advance together”. Meeting new people is fun and most importantly, being surrounded with the right ones makes all the difference!

We absorb so much of our environment it becomes crucial to carefully design it. If someone (or something) isn’t adding to your growth, limit (or if possible, remove) your exposure to it. You only need people who believe in you and make sure you support them as well!

Related:

How to Pursue All Your Passions at Once

The Secret to Career Success No One Tells You About

What are your new year’s career resolutions? Let me know in the comments!

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How to Pursue All Your Passions at Once

My name is Shelcy and I am a proud multi-passionate millennial! I probably came out of my mother’s womb with a pencil and notebook – writing down all the things I was born to do. Having multiple passions makes life more complicated, but it can be a strength if you embrace it.

I’ve talked a great deal about the many things I currently have going on. My primary job is in digital marketing with a special focus on social media. On the side, I freelance in writing, photography and video production. I’m also taking courses in coding and investing. Even with all this, I somehow make time for my loved ones every week.

I used to feel hesitant whenever people would ask about what I do in social settings. I’d stutter and ramble on. I’ve come to accept my personal brand as a multipotentialite. I know it sounds crazy, but I feel very fulfilled by my crazy lifestyle. It accurately reflects my multi-dimensional self. I’m always learning and challenging myself to do more.

If, like me, you’re multi-passionate and you’re wondering how to pursue all your passions at once, consider the following:

Pick your 9 to 5 carefully

A lot of people think of pursuing their passions in terms of their primary job. It makes sense because that alone takes so much of their time. If you can only manage a full-time job, yet you are passionate about seemingly unrelated things, make sure your main gig incorporates different responsibilities. In creative industries, it’s not uncommon for people to have hybrid roles where they do a variety of things.

For example, if Jane is passionate about technology, business development, content analytics and marketing, a career in product management might be a good fit for her. Her tasks would constantly vary and she’d get to explore all her interests.

I cannot see myself doing only one thing at my job. That’s why on any given day, you’ll find me blogging, taking pictures, writing copy, creating videos or doing community management. This is because my position falls under the umbrella of “digital marketing”.

Keep in mind that your 9 to 5 doesn’t have to be a regular office job. Whether it’s working for someone or  for yourself (as is the case for a freelancer or an entrepreneur), your primary job is what you dedicate the most time to.

As Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”

Start a side hustle

There’s no better way to scratch an itch than to start a passion project. Maybe it’s catering lunch for special occasions or bartending on weekends. Whatever it is, a side hustle can be the creative outlet you may not find at your job.

Let’s go back to our fictional character Jane. If being a product manager doesn’t completely satisfy her because she’s also passionate about event production, she can get involved in communities that regularly throw events and learn the ropes. Then she can eventually start her own event series – and if she wanted to combine all her interests – organize meetups to connect other product managers.

Regardless of your reason to start a side hustle, it’s a great way to explore a passion, learn a new skill and possibly earn some extra income along the way.

As Roy T. Bennett said, “Believe in your infinite potential. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself.”

Cultivate hobbies

The best way I’ve heard someone define a hobby is, “Any activity that makes you lose a sense of time”. What do you do when no one else is watching – collecting coupons, writing poetry, reading? The answer will hint at your hobbies. A hobby is different from a side hustle in that it requires no special time commitment. You do it whenever you want and there’s no pressure to achieve a specific outcome.

Keeping Jane as our example – it turns out she loves gardening too! It’s not a skill she’s expecting to monetize. She just does it on the weekends because she genuinely enjoys it.

Putting it all together, here’s what the life of a multi-passionate like Jane would look like:

From Monday through Friday, she works as a project manager where she gets to indulge the analytical and business-driven side of her brain. Sometimes after work, her creative side takes over and she hosts a variety of events like workshops or meetups to network with different people. When the week ends, she loses herself in gardening because she finds it therapeutic.

See, it’s totally possible to pursue all your passions at once! It takes a lot of work, but the results should be measured in happiness points.

The difference between people who dream of doing what they love and the ones who do is that the latter group takes action. Dreaming is passive. Moving is proactive.

To quote Shanti about doing all the things you love, “At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, your hair messy and your eyes sparkling.”

Are you multi-passionate? How do you pursue all your passions at once? Let me know in the comments!

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3 Traits Every Multipotentialite Shares

While most people typically follow a traditional path – go to college, get a job then work until retirement, multipotentialites are different in that they actively carve their own. They don’t necessarily have one true calling unlike people who discover their vocation early on. They try different things, start passion projects and leverage what they learn in order to reach success. Because they go against the grain, they tend to face more challenges in their quest for fulfillment.

Traits every multipotentialite shares

Being one myself, I’ve been around a lot of other multipotentialites and I’ve noticed some commonalities among us. Each one of us is unique in our talents, gifts and creative pursuits, but something connects us all. I’ve boiled it down to the 3 traits every multipotentialite shares in the inforgraphic below:

Are you or do you know anyone like that? Please let them know they’re not alone and share this post with them!  You can download the infographic here.

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Related: Your Dreams Don’t Have to Make Sense to Anyone

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3 Actionable Tips to Leverage Being a Jack of All Trades and Land More Gigs

Your Dreams Don’t Have to Make Sense to Anyone.

When I was little, I felt the pressure to blend in with my classmates when my teachers asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I’d absentmindedly repeat what everyone expected me to become, “a teacher”.

Exploring My Potential

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At a young age, I taught kids from low-income neighborhoods how to read and write. I really enjoyed the experience; it was not only humbling, but very fulfilling. This is how my family and friends came to think of me as a teacher. I absolutely loved it, but I always felt like I could do more. Yet, my career options were limited – or so I thought at the time.

Growing up, I was never encouraged to challenge the status quo. That applied to my career as I thought having a traditional profession was the only way to success. Despite that mindset, I jumped on every opportunity to release my potential. I created a few side hustles, which I documented here. I participated in extracurricular activities and cultivated hobbies.

Articulating My Vision 

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At 13, I knew how to draw, paint and write poetry. I was also learning how to design clothes and sew. While this gave me a better sense of who I wanted to become, I was still not able to articulate it. It contrasted with my parents’ expectations and deviated from mainstream careers. Fear kicked in and I chose to conform to the existing paradigm.

I didn’t have the courage to completely rebel so I struck a happy medium. I majored in neuropsychology and minored in creative writing and media studies. I needed to nurture the side of my brain that craved creativity. By that time, I knew I wanted to create stuff for a living. While taking organic chemistry and molecular genetics, I ran a lifestyle blog and started a YouTube channel with my sister. I stubbornly fought to keep my passions alive. I had a genuine interest in the brain and its role in behavior, but I couldn’t see myself  following that path after graduation. So I built up the courage to tell my parents I was choosing differently. Few people approved my decision, but there was no turning back. It was intrinsic to being who I am. I felt alone in my quest, but I didn’t let the naysayers stop me. I have since dedicated myself to the pursuit of what I love.

Owning My Dreams

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Just because people don’t understand it doesn’t mean it’s not valid. Your dreams don’t have to make sense to anyone. We all have unique talents and the potential to live the life we want, but too often we choose to fit in a box for the sake of safety. We ignore our inner voice and do what’s expected of us, knowing we need more to be happy. We can always tell when something is not meant for us, yet we let fear hinder us. Fear of failure. Fear of disappointing the people around us. Or maybe we lack confidence in our abilities. As Robert Kiyosaki said in Rich Dad, Poor Dad, excessive fear and self-doubt are the greatest detractors of personal genius.

Let that sink in…

I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years. I know that I’m fueled by doing different things, which makes me the perfect mutlipotentialite. I’m seeing some success with what I’m doing, but not that’s the most important thing to me. The best part is that I’ve learned so much from the process that I’m fine with any outcome. Obviously, I want everything to work out, but it’s not a zero sum game to me. I will win either way because of developing a growth mindset.

Think about it. You take a risk and decide to carve your own path. What’s the worst-case scenario? Failure? Embarrassment? You’ll survive. When your self-worth is validated by an outcome, you remove the possibility to learn from every experience. Every new venture provides information that will allow you to grow. As with everything in life, finding yourself is about the process. Be brave. Take small steps in challenging your fear and give yourself the chance to be.

How to Maximize Your Time and Be More Productive

If you could master only one thing in life, I would argue it should be time management. It’s the one skill that allows you to do everything – and do it well. Until there’s a cure for procrastination, we’ll just have to try our best. Even then, I’m not sure it’s possible to be human and not procrastinate. The two seem mutually exclusive. But it’s worth learning how to maximize our time for greater, long-term gains.

I’m currently juggling multiple projects: two part-time jobs, two writing gigs, a career development blog and a YouTube channel. People always ask me how I manage to get these done and quite frankly, I’m still figuring it out. Like everyone else, I procrastinate way more than I’d like to.

Recently though, I decided to make some adjustments. I took a hard look at the way I spend my days and realized a few techniques that have allowed me to be more productive.

Reduce time spent socializing

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It’s easy to think one can just make time for things they care about, but with a finite amount of hours per day, a more effective strategy would be to change the way one already spends their time.

I used to go to at least three networking events per week and go to brunch every weekend. I quickly realized I was doing myself a disservice by doing things that weren’t directly helping me reach my goals. Instead, they were costing me valuable time and money.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t set time to meet new people. There’s nothing wrong with having a schedule for that though. Don’t just go with the flow when you have things to do. Be more intentional with your time. It’s tempting to go to every dinner party or free networking event. But realize that the more you entertain these distractions, the more you’re delaying your projects. By structuring social time, you save on precious hours and money (#winning).

Limit content consumption

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The Internet has a way of hijacking our mind without our own input. When you watch a video on Facebook or YouTube, the next one automatically plays and you often find yourself checking it out. Netflix releases all episodes of a series at once – which leads to binge watching. It’s never been more important to be aware of the trap of mindless consumption.

I used to delay launching my blog by reading a bunch of motivational articles on Medium. I convinced myself it was worth it when in reality, I was just looking for an excuse not to start. Don’t make the same mistake. Figure out why you spend time doing something. Don’t confuse being busy with being unproductive. Don’t mindlessly consume web content and distance yourself from what needs to be done. Take control and be more selective.

Prioritize 

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You’ve heard that one before so I won’t spend too much time on it. I just felt the need to reiterate how crucial it is. Listing out your priorities helps you spend your time more efficiently as it keeps distractions away. What works for me is setting calendar reminders of what needs to get done. I treat my personal projects like I approach my tasks at work. I write them down, create an action plan and execute them one by one. Having a fixed deadline to complete them and people to hold me accountable definitely helps. Try setting these standards in your personal life.

Check out: How to Manage Time with 10 Tips That Work

What are some time management tips that have worked for you? Please share them in the comments.