Are you someone who is passionate about so many things but abandoned most of them to niche your business? Multi-passionate people can often feel forced to conform to the standard business model of being an expert in one thing, which causes a lot of internal friction. As the word says, multi-passionates have many areas they are passionate about and can learn new things quite quickly. But this tends to be discouraged in the business world.
Today we are going to chat with D’Ana Joi about a new business strategy that utilizes all of the strengths and passions creatives have to optimize your business’ success.
D'Ana Joi is a multi-passionate blogger, educator, content creator, and musician who believes having many passions is a gift, not a burden. Her mission is to rewrite the narrative that “choosing one thing” is the only path to success. Through her content, live workshops, and online community, Joi teaches multi-passionates how to make friends with focus, craft impactful personal brands, and live a life of creative abundance.
Joi’s perspective on how multi-passionates should run their business flies in the face of everything else you’ve ever been told to have a successful business. And it’s so refreshing! She believes your business can reflect all your areas of interest and to avoid niching if you aren’t inherently called to that business model.
Joi is redefining what acceptable is in the business world. She started her business when she found she needed a way to show up as a multi-passionate creative that didn't feel stifling. That allowed her to express her many passions in one single place. Her blog, Joi Knows How, found a quick audience of like-minded people that struggled with the standard message of ‘if you aren’t specific on your niche, you can’t build a community, and without a community, you won’t have a business or make money.’
‘Niching down’ is all the rage across social media, but for people who are creative and have several passion areas, this is unnecessary and even can be counterproductive to your business’ success. Your passions are your gifts, not burdens, and will only enhance your business.
A lot of Joi’s work centers around reframing the meaning of focus. Creative people have a lot of ideas and interests. They like to get curious and explore. When running a business, it seems natural to focus only on the things that are bringing in money and find anything outside of that scope frivolous. But Joi disagrees.
Once you identify your offer, then you can bring in the elements of your other passions to help promote that offering. She wants to make clear that being multi-passionate doesn’t necessarily mean you have to overwhelm yourself by doing everything you love all at the same time, but rather let all of your gifts support that offer. Know that it’s ok to put one of your passions down for a while if it isn’t serving your purpose right now. It does not make you any less creative or passionate.
Many businesses have quarterly meetings to strategically plan the next quarter’s goals. For multi-passionates, it can be helpful to embrace ‘seasons of focus.’ Joi defines that as 90-day containers where you focus on one specific project. The 90-day container allows you to focus all of your energy on that project, build momentum for it, and then get your energy back at the end of the 90 days to focus on the next project.
This mindset shift is a game changer for creatives. The concept that you can only focus on one thing forever creates too much resistance in creatives. Changing the narrative so that you focus on one thing fully for 90 days and then you can move on to another passion strikes a chord in creatives, allowing them to utilize all of their strengths.
You might not start a brand new project every 90 days. You might have phase one, two, and three of a project. That's also a really good way to look at your overall business because then you can start to integrate your other passions into these offerings that you already have, if it feels correct for you.
When you're a multi passionate person, it's not just that you have a ton of interests. It's that your interests and your passions hold values that are so deeply connected to who you are, and there is an intrinsic desire to share those passions with the world. This can be challenging on social media, because you don’t want to confuse your audience.
Joi has a simple solution for this: email lists. With an email list, you are able to segment your audience based on what they have expressed interest in, and then you send them information based on their interests. An email list gives you a lot more control than social media over what you share and with whom.
Social media does have a place for multi-passionates, though. Joi encourages you to take advantage of story-telling through your profiles. Share your history, explain how or when you became interested in one of your passion areas and you’ll be sure to have audience members that can relate to that story.
Highlight the golden thread that connects your passions. For me, I have two strong passion areas: podcasting and accountability. So I make sure when I talk about accountability on my page, I also mention podcasting. This is my golden thread and will be how my followers can understand the two seemingly different offers.
This is non-negotiable. It doesn’t matter how many offers you have, make sure they are communicated clearly. When Joi launched the Joi Knows How Collective, her mission was clear. It will provide the resources for multi-passionates to optimize their business and their passions, and learn more about the multi-passionate experience. There will be trainings on how to reframe your relationship with focus, how to create a season of focus, and how to find other multi-passionate business owners.
It’s also a space to come together, to feel safe and supported and know that there are other multi-passionate people out there. The Collective provides all the resources that Joi has centered her brand around, making the offer crystal clear to her audience. When she is ready to launch into another passion project, such as an email marketing course, she will create another clear, yet completely different offer.
One more tip: don’t brand your business based on one of your passions. Brand your name so that it can be versatile and change with you as your season of focus changes.
Based in Portland, Oregon, I'm a coach, photographer, food stylist, blogger, and podcast host of the Courage Changes Everything Podcast. Also avid adventuress, wine lover, and rescue owner. Xo