How to Be Everything

A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don't Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up
Narrated by: Allyson Ryan
Length: 4 hrs and 59 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

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

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

You'll discover:

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

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

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

©2017 Emilie Wapnick (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

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GET THIS BOOK

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

5 people found this helpful

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ok

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

2 people found this helpful

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Finally I can BE me.

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

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

Thank you Emily and the Puttytribe!

Brett "Brit" Bingaman

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulous book for Multipotentialites!

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

1 person found this helpful

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Feels like coming home...

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

1 person found this helpful

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This Audio book could save my life.

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

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Not very insightful

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

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Loved it

I really feel connected with all that Emily Wapnick had to say in this book, It's been really helpful to find my niche in this world, and answering some of my questions about wether or not there's a place for someone like me in the work world.

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overall great read

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

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Great book for those who don't fit one thing.

This was a great book for those who don't fit one thing and struggle to figure out how they fit in to the workplace. The book offers some great templates, productivity resources, and some great stories for those of us who are more than one

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  • Shreya
  • 02-06-18

Great, informative book

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

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. S. C. Crowder
  • 01-15-19

I'm a multipotentialite!

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

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  • Sylvia
  • 05-06-18

Great for "New" Multipotentialites

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

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  • Ingrid Elkner
  • 11-28-18

Less informational, more encouraging

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

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  • Kathryn De Jesus
  • 04-16-18

Embrace the weird in you!

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