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How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up Hardcover – May 2, 2017
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“Feel-good, encouraging advice on distilling a variety of passions and interests into success. This book is chock full of great exercises and practical advice and we highly recommend picking up a copy. ” (Forbes)
“We are all unique, so why does there only seem to be one path towards success? How to Be Everything throws out this one-size-fits-all approach and explains how to make our diverse skills sets work for us. (Todd Rose, Harvard University scientist, co-founder and president of the Center for Individual Opportunity, and author of The End of Average)
“Emilie brings hope, tools, inspiration and affirmation to the most misunderstood and undervalued segment of our society: multipotentialites. I raise my fist in solidarity, and celebrate this groundbreaking book!” (Pamela Slim, author of Body of Work and Escape from Cubicle Nation)
“If you’ve struggled finding your place in a world that rewards conformity, you know that choosing a single profession isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. You’re no longer alone—Emilie’s HOW TO BE EVERYTHING is a beautiful guide with practical tools to help you find your way without losing yourself.” (Chris Guillebeau, New York Times bestselling author of The Happiness of Pursuit and The $100 Startup)
How to be Everything helps you understand and process your diverse skills so you don’t have to sacrifice your potential. This book will help you fulfill your biggest dreams; all of them! (Buzzfeed)
“If you still don’t know what you’re doing with your life, Emilie Wapnick’s new book will make you feel better.” (Bustle)
“How to Be Everything is an empowering guide...This book is for the kind of people who can’t choose just one path because they aspire to be Art Directors + Restaurant Owners + Teachers + Best-Selling Authors + more all in this lifetime” (Darla Magazine)
From the Back Cover
What do you want to be when you grow up?
It’s a familiar question we’re all asked as kids. While seemingly harmless, it 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.
• How to identify the best career fit for your unique personality
• How to make a living and structure your work around many interests, especially in today’s uncertain job market
• How to focus on multiple projects and make progress on all of them
• How to handle common insecurities, including 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.
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More than validation (which would have been enough), her writing then and her writing now with How to Be Everything gives me the strength to embrace my multipotentialite identify. I’ve used her stories and insights to find work that lights me up with the ability to use so many of my gifts or quirks.
I use what Emilie calls “Group Hug Approach” – someone who wants to combine as many passions, skills, and creative outlets into a single role. With her help, I’ve been fulfilled as I share my love of (for example) bringing people together, small group facilitation, simple-living, and Excel spreadsheets … all in the same hour. And you know what? People find value in ALL I have to give, not just that small slice of me that I’d otherwise be able to show.
HTBE is way more than just Emilie and her clever writing, though. She did some deep research and interviews to bring the stories and action items of other multipotentialites into the light. With all the thoughtful questions or practical exercises sprinkled throughout the book, you’d have to willingly not want to become a more complete version of yourself to finish reading without your own plan to explore your possibilities.
The book is beautifully designed, has some hand-drawn images straight from Emilie, and is broken up into small enough chunks to jump in even if you only have a few minutes. However, I would like to see an updated version with an emphasis on shorter paragraphs and better transitions into the case studies and historical anecdotes.
I can recommend How to Be Everything with every fiber of my being. So my hope is that you can benefit from Emilie’s multipotentialite world even half as much as I have.
There were immediately actionable items presented that I've already started working on and I feel like they're helping me reach my goals.
The author's enthusiasm for her subject is one of the most positive framings of this idea that I've ever seen- after reading her book I don't feel like I have to be apologetic about who I am now, I truly feel that being an enthusiastic generalist is a positive factor in my life.
And what I most enjoyed about the book was her repeated suggestions that there are more than one approach or solution to the dilemmas we face as multipotentialites. I'd read at least three books on the subject previously but this was my favorite because the other books presented blueprints for success that I felt were too narrow and fit me somewhat but not perfectly. Ms. Wapnick did an amazing job of providing practical guidance and empathy while making it clear that in real life, every person is an individual and will find a unique path.
Emilie knows her subject very well. If you have struggled with how to deal with the pressures (internal or external) of thinking that you *have to* specialize and that this is the only way to be successful, I think you will find this book very enlightening and very useful.
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