In this episode, Terri Babers busts through the myth that you have to choose one single niche and that anyone who can’t do this is somehow defective. And she explores the upside of having many passions and talents and how you can harness them to live an exciting and full life.
End Niche-Picking Paralysis
Refuse to Choose
3 Key Points
People with multiple passions, multi-passionaistas, are curious, have a zest for life and love learning; they are enthusiastic and creative and these are their top character strengths.
Stop spinning your wheels, wasting time, money and energy trying to fit in and pick one niche if you have multiple passions and talents.
You can’t do everything at once, but you can do them one at a time over time.
[00:51] Ellen: Hi everybody. Today my guest is Terry Babers. In a world where gurus consistently urge coaches to niche down, to choose just one career path, lifestyle and business-design coach and personal-development consultant, Terry Babers says, “It’s time to stop, stop spinning your wheels, and wasting time, money, and energy trying to be like everyone else. If you are a Leonardo-style thinker, don’t keep struggling to fit the Mozart mold of societal expectations. If you have many talents, skills, and passions and want to pursue them, go for it,” says Babers. “Don’t shame or guilt yourself into being defined by negative labels like fickle, unfocused, flighty, irresponsible or directionless. Instead, imagine the possibility that you can be a multi passionista,” and I love that. So, with that, I want to welcome Terry to the call. Welcome.
[1:51] Terri: Hi, I am excited. This is cool.
Ellen: Yeah, I am too. We’ve known each other a long time and we’ve never talked, face to face. So why don’t you tell us more about your story and your multi-passionista tale?
[02:08] Terri: Well, you know multi-passionate needs, so there are a lot of us out there, and I think there are a lot of us that have put ourselves in the closet because of all that shame and guilt, and we can’t even decide what name to call ourselves. There are multi-passionate Renaissance souls, multi-potential like, Leonardo’s, Neo generalist, polymath. It goes on and on and on. We have all these names for us. I kind of thought I was happy being the way I am through high school until eleventh grade. High school was great because you have four totally different classes all day long, then you switch and you get four more classes, and in the next day you kind of overlap and go, and it was great because I could learn all about in one week, English literature and English grammar, which I love grammar by the way-outlining sentences was fun for me, history, science, physics, P E. Home-Ec all in one week. It was fun.
Ellen: I could do without the physics.
[03:06] Terri: Yeah, no, physics wasn’t good for me, really wasn’t good for me. In fact, wait until I tell you why I decided to become a dental hygienist. At the end of eleventh grade, they started telling us we had to pick one. We had to decide what we were going to do with the rest of our life.
[03:25] Ellen: Really? I didn’t get that until college.
Terri: Well, well, if you want to go to college, you have to take the college courses.
Ellen: Oh, I see. Right.
Terri: The reason is this thing we’re going to study for this college and careers class and Miss Silverfarm, long, red pointy fingernails, and she comes up to me as I struggle. We didn’t have Internet in those days. I had this giant patients and careers book and I’m going through and that looks so good and I want to do that. They want to do that one. She says, and she slams her fingernail down. (She said) “Pick one, you got to pick one. “I don’t want to pick one. I want all of them.” That’s when I realized, and everybody else was happy picking something.
[04:06] Ellen: I don’t remember picking anything. I guess I must have them. Terri: I picked dental hygiene. And I picked dental hygiene. Ellen: Yeah. Mine must have been liberal arts, I’m sure. Yeah.
[04:18] Terri: Mine should have been because I love everything. Yeah.
[04:20] Ellen: Well, I went to the same thing in college. I remember when I got to be a junior. You had to pick a major, and you know how I picked my major? I looked at what I’d already taken and what did I take the most of. It was sociology. That became my major and my minor was English, and then I just had to take a couple of the core classes and I was done.
[04:45] Terri: Well, I picked dental hygiene for a couple of reasons. I thought there was no math, and I hated all the math, and I thought my boyfriend was going to dental school and that would be a perfect match. The reasons, the two reasons I picked it. And people pick career paths and businesses for the strangest reasons. Well, what I found out was there was a ton of math, organic chemistry and all kinds of stuff. And while I didn’t get engaged to him, I broke up with him, so I didn’t marry him. But then, I was stuck with it for twenty years.
[05:22] Ellen: Oh God! Now I don’t feel so bad. I went to graduate school in architecture, and the reason I did that was just to please other people and because I wanted to do something that was professional, but at least I only lasted two years, not twenty. And then, I quit. And everybody thought I was insane, and my boyfriend didn’t want me to leave. But anyway, if people have been following my story, I ended up agoraphobic from it. I was so miserable. And so, I ended up in therapy, and from therapy I became a songwriter. So, it worked out.
05:5 Terri: It all does work out the way it is supposed to.
Ellen: Absolutely does.
Terri: And I survived as a dental hygienist for two reasons. Again, for a two-year degree is all it required. I was making a lot of money, and I could move anywhere and get a job, and I liked to move at the time. So, those two reasons kept me there for twenty years. Finally, I got a disability, and I couldn’t do it anymore, and it was a blessing. Yeah. And I went to the Alaska division of vocational rehab to figure out what can I do instead. It was ‘89 through ‘91 I was struggling, and I went to the division of vocational rehab for health. And we did all kinds of testing. And, of course, what I learned is I could do anything. Now what? That’s no help.
Ellen: Well, I actually did a book on that where I told this story, and I recently took my story from the book and I posted it on, I think I put it on my blog, but I put it on Medium, I put it on LinkedIn, but it’s called “The curse of being creative.”
Terri: Oh yeah. It is!
Ellen: And yeah, for me it was like not just could I do a lot of things, but then wanting to be creative and trying to run a business also. But the curse of, yeah… it was really hard to pick one thing and do one thing, and I really love what you’re saying because even in my business, I’ve started teaching people how to do books, how to write books and everything in 2004, so I’ve been doing it a long time. But when Kindle came in, then I started doing bestseller launches for people, and I have a hundred-percent success rate doing that, taking them to number one. But then what happened was nobody was hiring me for anything else. I was just doing those. And then, I got really like, “Oh, I don’t like this. I don’t like being pigeonholed in this one thing.”
[07:49] Terri: Yeah, you’re capable of so much. And well, working with voc rehab, what I ended up doing is learning. What I was essentially doing was coaching people who have really significant invisible disabilities, and I realized shortly thereafter, while I was in graduate school at the time, trying to figure out something different to do, and I realized that everything I was helping these people with, typical people who have no disabilities could really use the help.
Ellen: So they didn’t need to have a disability for you to be able to help them.
[08:25] Terri: Yeah. Well, and then, I discovered that there was such a thing as coaching. That’s all, it kind of blended together back in 2003, and I started studying career coaching and very quickly learned, or realized, that everything that happens in my life bleeds over into my career and my business, and everything that happens in my career bleeds over into my life. It’s woven together.
[08:48] Ellen: They’re interconnected.
[08:53] Terri: Yeah, they’re really interconnected, so I got a whole bunch of more training and coaching. But it was in 2006 and, of course, all along the way, I’m trying to pick a niche because that’s what all the coaching gurus tell you to pick a niche.
Ellen: I actually did a book for one of my clients and it’s called Niche Down. That’s what it’s called.
[09:10] Terri: And it must have been really hard for you because, well, I guess as an observer…
[09:16] Ellen: Well, I’ve niched down, like I said, my whole thing was around books, but then as you go on, and you learn more and you want to do other things, you kind of find ways to expand. That’s why it’s Books, Business and Abundance and not just books. The name of this podcast, right?
[09:30] Terri: In 2006 both his books were published Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher, and the Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine. Barbara talks about us and calls us “Scanners” because we’re always scanning the horizon. And yeah, sometimes, we dive deep and we develop a new expertise. Like somebody will go like this and decide to be a lawyer, go to law school, and while she’s down there or working her way back up and do it, she decides, “Oh, you know what? I think I’ll be a chiropractor.” And so, she goes to chiropractic school because love of learning is key.
Terri: So, we have this scanning thing where we’re looking on the horizon for all sorts of, we don’t look, we just naturally find all these amazing, powerful things.
Ellen: Yeah, but you made a really important point. You said learning, like one of the things I have to be so careful with is I can get so into the learning that I don’t even want to work. I’m just learning.
[10:25] Terri: And with the Internet, oh my gosh, we dive in.
[10:31] Ellen: Oh yeah. I did it last week. I was like, so many people were offering these free masterclasses. And I was like on four of them, and they were several days, and I was like, “Oh my God, I got to get back to work,” you know? But I was having so much fun.
Terri: Well, I strongly suspect that love of learning, curiosity, zest, which is the same thing as enthusiasm, creativity, those I think are the top character strengths of most multi-passionistas.
Terri: And so anyway, these two books were published the same year. I ended up taking coach training from Margaret Lobenstine
Ellen: Oh Nice.
[10:11] Terri: But I worked with her and I’m still working with Barbara Sher and using the materials from this. But these are books that I make sure all my clients have. And there are more coming. Books; it’s your thing. So, I just wanted to say this about it. There’s this one called The Neo-Generalist. This is a lot more of this looks at looks at how the silo, he calls them the silos. People are in their little cubicle, cubicle nation kind of thing. And it takes multiple, you have to have connections to be able to solve the world’s problem.
Ellen: Right, right.
Terri: You can singularly focused. And the cool thing about us as a multi-passionatas is often within ourselves, we have those facets, those multiple areas of expertise. And I think we’re much more willing to listen to other experts and online courses. And to me, it’s just so exciting how many opportunities there are. And every time we find a problem or a challenge, what that means is there are amazing opportunities.
[12:16] Ellen: Yeah, there are.
Terri: Yeah, it really is.
[12:19] Ellen: And also the other thing too is with the Internet, it’s always changing. So, like some of the things that I taught early on, they have gone out the window, but some of the aspects of them are still perfectly good. And then, I’ve incorporated them in other ways. So, that’s how the creativity keeps coming back around is you kind of have your foundation, but you can kind of move from there too.
Terri: One of the things I think that’s kind of mistaken, people often think creativity means you have to be an artist.
Ellen: Oh, no, no.
[12:51] Terri: You have to be a writer. So, well and a lot of us are writers and sculptors. But there’s this creativity that involves, well, I skipped forward back in the 70’s, I was trying to figure out why I was so fed up with dental hyping and the Johnson O’Connor research foundation looks at, it’s based in DC, and it’s scientific quantitative research on what is it that makes what people claim creates life satisfaction? What traits do people in a variety of professions have? And one of the things that came up, one of the traits is to something called “ideaphoria”. And that’s a rate of flow of ideas. So, how do your ideas flow? Everybody has a rate of flow of ideas. I happen to have one that’s in the 97th, 98th percentile. The rate was so fast. Sometimes, I would worry that I had dyslexia and I’m not dyslexic, but I was tested and I don’t, and a lot of us, some of us do, but a lot of us think we do, and we think we have a disability because we have this tremendous creativity, and passion, and curiosity, and can’t niche down like your other author said, Yeah, I do need to write a book.
Ellen: Yes you do.
[14:17] Terri: So, you’re talking about all these workshops. I’m putting on a five-day workshop. Yeah. It probably ended up being nine days with the bonus, but I’m calling it in the “Niche-Picking Panic.” I don’t know if panic is actually what we feel (inaudible).
Ellen: Well, I think when you’re in high school or you’re in college and that at that point, it’s panic, but now, I don’t know if it’s panic. I think for some people well, you know what? I’ve actually working with one client where it’s kind of is panic. It’s like, she has so many things that she can do that she could not focus on what she should do. And so, the first call that I had with her, we really just went through all the things that she could do, and what things she was willing to do, and what things she was not willing to do. And also, sometimes, I’ll just listen to people, and they’ll say things, and then they’ll go right on. And I’ll go, “But you said that was a passion. You said…” But they’re so in their head about it that they don’t even really hear what the ones are to pick out.
Terri: Oh, that’s what you just said is points right to a tip. I would give every multi-passionista, whether they’re a coach and consultant, or some other stay-at-home mom or a trust-fund baby who can’t figure out what to do with all their money. If you’ve got all these ideas and all of these passionately held interests in your head, as long as they’re staying in your head and swimming around you, it’s like treading quicksand.
Ellen: Oh yeah, totally, yeah.
[15:59] Terri: So, one of things I always advise is two things actually, start with a sticky wall. So, get a total wall, take all the pictures off of it and make a sticky note for everything, every training you’ve taken, every exercise you have, every passion you believe you have, every creative pursuit, make a sticky note for every one of them, and put them on the wall, and ultimately, go back and group and loop those, so that you find the key commonalities, and you can see where they weave together. So, it’s like a giant mind map is what it ends up being. But again, out of your head, all these ideas. And the other thing, and this is so much fun, is to create a never-ending resume.
Ellen: What’s that? [16:38]
Terri: Well, you go back to the first thing like you might’ve been three years old and you remember being really proud and happy and that’s something you put it down on your never-ending resume. And I like to use index cards and so, you get yourself a card box. I like to put them in chronological order. So, maybe you had a lemonade stand when you were five, and maybe you wrote your first play when you were seven. All of these different things that you’ve done going through all the jobs you’ve held and all the classes you’ve started.
Ellen: And then, what does that do?
[17:10] Terri: What it does is it really show you once you, and you can’t do it all at once., you do it over time.
Terri: And you file it up in chronological order. And what it does is show you all the capable of doing, and it allows you to show what you don’t want to do any more of and look underneath. For example, the three-year-old who rescued the puppy in the pool, whether or not the puppy needed rescuing, she might’ve made it more dangerous to do it, but this person has this sensitivity. One of her character traits is that she really cares, and she wants to help.
[17:51] Ellen: Oh, I see. So, seeing what the commonality is for things that you did.
Terri: Right. Yeah. So, it pulls it all together. And of course, you have to spend time going through this and putting it on a timeline. But what it does, Ellen, is it takes you out of your head, right? You to look at all this stuff you’ve done and see that there really is substance to all these things you’ve cared about. And I tie it to a strengths assessment. And we look at a lot of different things. But it really helps get to the foundation of who you are at your core. And everybody needs to know who they are at their core. It’s really useful. It’s especially useful for someone who can’t pick a niche. Because it helps you have a foundational look at the substance of who you are. So, you may have attended three professional-degree programs and have also been a yoga instructor and a piano teacher. You put all those together; there’s an expertise and a strength of character that is there and ties it all together, helps you make a choice. And I didn’t say pick, I didn’t say focus. That’s a big F-word, focus. Multi-passionistas really don’t like that word focus. ut helps you choose focal points and a focal point is like a marquee diamond, and you have these facets. Each of these facets are things that are important to you. They’re actually things you’ve done or things that are you at the core, and those focal points draw down to something that you can choose for now.
[19:44] Ellen: Well, let me ask you something about that because it’s really interesting. I was in the music business for many years, and then life happened in a way that I couldn’t be in the business anymore at that point. And I thought I was going to come back to it relatively quickly and twenty-five years later (laugh)…I spent like nine years after my parents died, I had to sell our house, and it had my world-class recording studio in it. So, there went my living. It took me about nine years of just dealing with family stuff and just getting our bearings. And then, I went online. And then, I thought, “Okay, well I’ll do this a few years and then I’ll be ready to go back, and I’ll have the flexibility and everything. “ Well, 2008 happened, and then, that didn’t happen anyway, so it’s just been in the last year that I really started saying, “This is insane.” It’s like I kept putting it off and putting it off, and putting it off, but wasn’t that I didn’t want to, it was just that I had become really focused in another direction, but I kept growing in ways where I kept changing what I was doing, but now I really see what you’re saying, but then, what happens is it’s like I have these focal points, but it can still really feel like a juggling act. How do you deal with that?
[20:58] Terri: Well, Barbara Sher has great advice for that. She calls us scanners, different kinds of scanners.
Ellen: What’s the name of that book again? Let me write that down.
Terri: Refuse to Choose.
Ellen: Oh, Refuse to Choose. Okay. [21:10]
Terri: Use all of your interests, passions, and hobbies to create the life and career of your dreams. Great tagline. You know more about taglines than I do. Well, for my workshop, I’m calling it into the Niche-Picking Panic and that was originally going to be a tagline, and now I’m making it the main title, and I haven’t figured out a tagline to go with it. And so, I could use your help.
Terri: So, here on page 175 of his book, one of the types of scanners is the plate spinner.
Ellen: Ah, there we go. [21:48]
Terri: If you think about it, the plate spinner has six sticks picked on each stick and each plate, each stick becomes a focal point. And while the plates are all spinning at once, the choices that the person makes about which one to tap, where to go, are individual.
Ellen: Right. Are what?
[21:11] Terri: Individual. Ellen: Oh, individual.
Terri: The person doesn’t have seven arms spinning all of them at once. The person has developed a strategy to allow those seven plates, six plates to continue spinning, even though she moves (inaudible) from one plate to another at the right time. And she talks about toolkits to use, and she calls it the “alternating current model”. The ACDC currents go from one to another. And it’s a whole chapter in her book, but it’s a fabulous thing. And the main things to use as a plate spinner is a scanner idea book. I’ll show you an idea book. This is an idea about yeah, does she call it an “idea book”? No, she calls it a “day book”. I call it an idea book. And what you do is you treat this kind of like Leonardo DaVinci. You would write on the left page, and make sure that there was room to write more stuff, and move it over to the right page. I was thinking in terms of how our levels of interest move,
Ellen: Oh. uh-huh.
Terri: Oh, these are important, and all of them are valuable. So, I’m sketching them out. This is based on something I found online. And I sketch them out, and then that was an idea cause I wanted to keep it, then moved on to something else, and then I thought I could go back and flesh it out. I don’t have to apply it right now. I don’t have to worry about losing it; it’s there for me when I need it. And that is really useful for us.
[23:39] Ellen: In all the time that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never heard anybody talk about this. Terri: I think more people are talking about it. There’s starting to understand. I think there are way more Leonardo’s then the world recognizes, pressures us to be like Mozart. Ellen: Well, I think because of that, like you said, the shame, people are afraid to come out and say that that’s what they are. But then, what happens is, one of the things that can happen is like they become, this woman became a serial entrepreneur. They’ll start on something, and they’ll get to a point and they go,” I don’t want to do this anymore.” And then, they’ll get out of that and they go to the next one, and they go to the next one. But the problem with that, the way she was doing it was she never got to the point of turning the corner financially. So, what do you say to that?
[24:27] Terri: So, part of what’s going on there is in a lot of ways, a lot of us treat our businesses like hobbies or businesses like charities. So, we give it away and give it away and give it away because it’s so much fun, and we don’t make any money, and we get frustrated with it. And something else strikes our fancy and so, we decide “I should leave that.” So, when, not if, but when we can choose to stop treating the business, we really want to have like a side hustle. It might be a side hustle because you have a job to support you, if you don’t have a husband or a trust fund or a whatever, to stop treating this side hustle like a charity or like a hobby, unless you want to keep it as a hobby and that’s an option.
Ellen: But know that’s what you’re doing.
[25:22] Terri: Know that’s what you’re doing, that’s right? And so, there are four big challenges that everybody has with niching; passionistas really have this. The first is the problem of focus and the challenge of focus. The second is the challenge of time like going to go around in circles doing all of this, or I’m going to be a serial entrepreneur, which is a little bit different. The third challenge is money. And we think because we’re interested in it, because we’re passionate, and all the gurus tell us follow your passion and the money will come, Uh-uh.
Ellen: That’s the one. Every time I see that I want to strangle somebody because I was in the music business for years, I got a Grammy nomination, and the money didn’t come. So, I’m just telling you guys,the money didn’t come.
Terri: And you don’t have to make money at everything you love.
Ellen: Yeah. But it was three years from the time I got the Grammy nomination until I even got another cut, and I never made big money at it. I won a lot of awards, but I never got the big cuts.
[26:32] Terri: Yeah. And that’s really hard because then it all falls on you again.” I’m so good at this and I help so many people with it and I can’t make any money, “What’s wrong with me?” If you recognize “I’m doing this because I love it” as long as you know whether it’s a charity, or a hobby, or a business and treat them differently, and there are ways to do that. Now I called myself “a lifestyle design and business coach.” When it comes time to setting up your bookkeeping or your marketing, all of those are part of business. I collaborate with somebody on that because…
Ellen: It’s not your thing.
Terri: Or, why I was a dental hygienist? It’s cause I thought I didn’t have to do numbers. Ellen: Right. But I think is when I was in architecture school, I had to take trig and I loved it. I was really good at it. But it surprise me because I don’t think of myself as a numbers person, but the irony of it is I use it all the time when I analyze Amazon and bestseller rankings, I used numbers all the time.
Terri: You use it as a musician as well, and so, if you lay out your never-ending resume, all the things you’ve done, there’s an undergirding there with numbers. Okay? There is a strength with you that has to do with that and your music and with the bestsellers and your architecture all prove that.
[27:54] Ellen: I know. And it’s funny cause you don’t see yourself that way. You don’t think it’s like “How are these things all related? That’s insane.”
[28:04] Terri: And that’s what you want to do is see how they’re related. “Do I want to continue having this as my charity? And maybe I kind of like doing this, and I’m really, really good at it, and I have a training and skills, and I could make money at it. So even though I lose a little bit of the passion, maybe I can continue to pursue that as a business and charge enough money of the people who can pay and will pay, so I could give it away over here to the charity or give it to myself as a hobby.”
[28:39] Ellen: Or, be a philanthropist; some people decided to do it that way.
[28:43] Terri: Yeah. And you got to be making some money somewhere. It’s all part of the lifestyle and what you want to do with your life. Oh, I didn’t tell you the fourth one.
Ellen: Oh, okay.
Terri: That’s important. So, first was focus, challenge, and focus in the challenge of time. And the last one, my money. And the last one is this challenge of other people’s expectations. So other people, and by the way, other people can sometimes beg…
Ellen: In you. Yeah.
[29:15] Terri: So, they expect us…they’re so proud of how much good we’re doing in the world with this particular role. And we’re making such good money, and are staffed in our colleagues and our clients all love us. And they don’t want us to leave.
[29:32] Ellen: It does happen to me, they didn’t want me to leave.
Terri: Yeah. Now, that’s what happened to you. And those expectations bring all kinds of shame and guilt to us.
[29:43] Ellen: Yeah. And it’s hard. It’s hard to break away from now and everyone’s telling you you’re crazy and why would you do that? And you’re almost finished with it, and then you’ll have it. And just all those things that inside your heart that you’re never, and this is the funny part, inside your heart, you go, “I’m never, ever, ever, ever going to use this.” And then, you know what happened? My parents’ house was damaged in the Northridge earthquake. My parents passed away, and I had to fix the house.
[30:11] Terri: And you used all your architecture.
Ellen: I knew how to read a blueprint, and I knew how to talk to the people, and I knew how to get it done. But I didn’t use the design and all that of building a house or any of that kind of thing. But yeah. But the stuff that was the most boring was the stuff that I ended up using.
[30:29] Terri: It’s really something, but it wasn’t boring. But yet you feel some pride in having used that even though you felt shame in leaving.
Ellen: Oh, yeah. No, if you saw our house, it was absolutely gorgeous by the time we were done. Yeah, yeah, what I was able to do with that was fabulous, but the actual learning to do it was boring as hell.
[30:50] Terri: Well, here’s what I know. Addled off that list of fickle, flighty, irresponsible, blah, blah, blah, blah. One of the things they call us frequently,” Jack of all trades, master of none.” And what I know is that we’re actually a master of many.
[31:10] Terri: And that’s actually how the original Jack-of-all-trade’s description back in the day, whenever it first came up. But it’s this person, like farmers, Oh my gosh. Farmers in the old…they have to be a master of many. And somebody on a ship, the shipbuilders and the guy; there are so many. Leonardo da Vinci’s he’s a master many.
Terri: Some might say Mozart was because he could write music for the entire orchestra, hear them all in his head, and he could write that music and he could write different styles of music. So, within his specialty…
[31:55] Ellen: Right. He could do a lot of different things.
Terri: Yeah. But we had ended up having a lot of specialties. Most of us, or a lot of passions. And so, in my Facebook group, the Multi-Passionistas Profit and Impact Tribe because profit doesn’t have to be there, but it’s a nice thing to have if you really want to make an impact and if you’re not a trust-fund baby, and you don’t want to be poor. You don’t want to be Mother Teresa, you want to be mother Teresa, you don’t mind being poor, then you can make an impact without a profit. But in that group, we have people who have all kinds of interests, and they support, and encourage and do not judge one another.
Ellen: That’s great.
[32:51] Terri: For a variety of interests. Like I said, I think there are a lot more multi- passionistas out there. You’ll know it, because they hide it even from themselves. Talk about it.
Ellen: Or, they think or they think that, like you were saying before, it’s almost like they think there’s something wrong with them that they can’t pick that thing, and then they feel like lesser than, or, they don’t even want to talk about it because they’re hiding the fact that they didn’t pick one.
Terri: That’s right. And it’s sad. And then, they get scared; they don’t want to tell anybody, especially their coach and they’re paying $10,000 to this coach to help them get their…
[33:34] Terri: FOCUS! It’s an F word, so we’ve got this, this coach, this lifestyle coach; they’ve got a business coach; they’ve got a marketing coach,
Ellen: And it’s still not working, that’s not working for them.
[33:49] Terri: Not working for them, and if they can just develop the clarity in who they are first, and get clear on who they are and what they stand for, and the underlying expertise they have, so they may be a lawyer, a chiropractor or a piano player and a yoga instructor, but there’s something underneath that that is core to their expert.
Ellen: Yeah. A lot of times, they become a coach on that thing.
[34:18] Terri: Multiple things. A lot of coaches, I think a lot of coaches are multi-passionistas, which makes it even more confusing because the coach’s advice is always niche down, niche down, niche down. And so, niche is important for some reasons.
[34:33] Ellen: Oh yeah. You only have so much money to spend on your marketing, and you can’t market to everybody, and you can’t compete with Walmart and Costco and all that. So, you have to have a niche. The other thing that a niche does do, like for instance in my niche, there are a lot of people who call themselves a book coach, but because I’m so creative, and I have the business side, I really am focusing on people who are creative visionaries, and change-makers, and people who kind of come from that same mindset that I come from, because I know number one, how painful it is, but I also know how much I can help them more than somebody else could who was a book coach. So, and that sense niching down is really good if you’re in a niche and you’re trying to figure out how you fit into that niche differently than everybody else, but also having different passions. And I’m a perfect example of all of this because I have that, but then I also have the books and the songwriting, so I get it.
[35:35] Terri: And you’re Architecture.
Ellen: Well, the architecture isn’t my thing, but although I do like fixing houses. We also bought fixed and sold houses in the late nineties, and it looks like it’s that’s coming back around to now.
Terri: Yeah, I guess.
Ellen: That would be interesting because people are, yeah, they’re going to be great deals, unfortunately.
[35:54] Terri: One thing to know. When I talk about yes, niches important, one of the main reasons that you don’t have to be panicking about picking a niche. Pick just one for now.
Ellen: For now. Yeah.
Terri: Capital letters in either in parentheses or not, but for now, it is a powerful way to think about what you’re doing. I need to make some money, I want to make some money, and I want to do it something I love so that I can be a philanthropist in this area. When you give, give, give, you got to set it up so that you can receive in order to keep giving.
Ellen: Yes. Absolutely.
[36:33] Terri: If I don’t charge enough for my services, if I haven’t figured out a way to niche for now, so that I can make some money now, I’ll end up working at Safeway as a cashier. Nothing wrong with that, but I’ll do that for money to survive. And that doesn’t give me time to do anything.
[36:53] Ellen: Right. But well we got to start wrapping it up here. So, what would your best tips be before we wrap it up?
[37:01] Terri: Oh, my best tips. Get around other multi-passionistas. That’s absolutely most important tip. Get around other Renaissance souls. Read these books that I gave you. Get yourself an idea book. You get these for $5 at Michaels, and they all deliver them.
Ellen: They’ll deliver them. Okay.
Terri: But this is really, really powerful. So, for example, I was trying to do a mind map of my services. I was all over the place. Well, you’d get the mind map together, and then you can add to it. So, I added to it. And, I can continue to add to it, and I can cut things out of my research and the things I learned. This idea book helps you get out of the quicksand-treading mode.
Ellen: Yeah, you could see it on paper rather than keeping it in your head.
[37:51] Terri: And you don’t have to worry about losing it. I think two big things. One, get around other multi-passionate; join my Multi-Passionate Profit & Impact Tribe for one. Two, get an idea book and use it, and you can get instructions for it in Barbara Sher’s book, Refuse to Choose. Get this book. So, working with these two people, and if you are more of an intellectual, and you want to see case studies, this is a good one, The Neo-Generalist. Reading the books puts you under the influence of people who can really help you. So yes, you connected and networked with people. These authors are tremendous people to connect with. Then, of course, if you join my, my Multi-Passionatistas Facebook group; you can join that. It’s a free workshop. One of those workshops, you said that you were taking five of them all at once.
Terri: Well I’m calling it a “play shop” because it really is fun, and it’s going to happen in May (and again in September 14th. She puts them on periodically.) and you have to be a member of the tribe first, and then you can enter this. It’s going to be like forty-five minutes to an hour every day with about fifteen minutes of homework, and by the end, you may not have zeroed in on exactly what your niche is, but you will have so much more oxygen around the concept. You won’t feel so tense and tight around the whole concept of niching, and you’ll be more clear and confident about yourself as a professional running a business. And you’ll have some ideas to direct you. I think the keys to get your ideas out of your head and get yourself around other mass multi-passionistas. Those are my expert tips.
[39:33] Ellen: Great advice. I love the idea that if people needed to go through this challenge, that you had this challenge coming up, so how do they get to the challenge?
Terri: Okay. They become a member of my Multi-Passionistas Profit & Impact Tribe. When you post this, there’ll be a link they can follow.
[39:47] Ellen: Okay.
Terri: If they choose to simply go to the tribe and become a member, please, I beg of you, fill out the three questions. Don’t skip them because one of the questions is how would you find out about us? “Oh, I listened to Ellen Violette.” What is it?
Ellen: The Book Business Abundance Podcast.
[40:09] Terri: “Books Business Abundance Podcast and Ellen, she’s one of us,” but let us know. It’s really important because I want to give Ellen credit for having you come into the tribe. It’s important.
[40:21] Ellen: Thanks.
Terri: And there are teachings at least once a week, and I got rid of all my rules, and I call them suggestions; there are no rules. And one of them, it’s very different from most people’s Facebook groups is that when you come in and you have a passion, or an interest, or a promotion, please do a Facebook live about it. And not only is that okay, I really want them to do that!
[40:46] Terri: And that way you can hear the passion that comes out of the other multi-passionate needs to experience in and get to know them through. And that’s what I want us to do is experience one another, and be able to collaborate with one another, and weave our expertise together.
[41:01] Ellen: Yeah, and one of the best ways to make money at the same time is by joint venturing with other people.
[41:08] Terri: Absolutely. And like I said, when I run a program, I do teach bookkeeping. I’ll bring in a person who is a profit-first specialist. And I do a little bit of time stuff, but like I said, I’m so utterly organized. I have a beautiful, magnificent case of the messies
Ellen: That so funny, somebody was asking for podcast guests, and I was going to sign up, and it was somebody I already knew and I said,” Well, you should come on my show.” And she sent me a thing to fill out. And one of the questions was, “What is something funny or strange about you that we should know?” And I was saying to Christen, my husband, I said, “Okay, so what’s funny about me and he first started cracking up? Because I am very focused in my business in certain ways, but in my personal life, I am flighty and I am all over the place and all that kind of stuff. And so…(Laughing)
Terri: That’s beautiful; that’s you who you are.
Ellen: It’s totally who I am. My mother used to say, “If my head weren’t attached, I would lose it.”. So, that’s it for today. To get the transcripts, go to https://booksopendoors.com/podcast and to continue the conversation, come to my Facebook group, and I put that with the transcripts at https://booksopendoors.com/podcast and I really want to encourage everybody to come in and say hi. Tell us what you thought, what your best takeaway was from this. And I really hope to see you in the group.
And aside from that, if you want to write a book, and if you’re a creative visionary, a change-maker, a messy person, feel free to hit me up on Facebook. I love connecting with people on messenger, and you can also always find me through the groups or my website at BooksOpenDoors.com. So, till next time,
Terri: Thank you so much.
Ellen: You’re welcome. Bye-bye.
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