Review: How to be Everything

You might be familiar with Emilie Wapnick from Puttylike, from one of the courses I’ve worked on with her, or maybe you’ve seen her TED talk:

What you might not know is that she has a new book out: How to Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up. If you’re one of the Renaissance souls, polymaths, or multipotentialites (as Emilie puts it) that’s often left high & dry by standard career/life advice, you’ll love it. 

Example career path of a multipod – look familiar?

Here’s a few things you have to look forward to in the book:

  • Why the 10,000 hour rule isn’t all it’s cracked up to be
  • The strengths we can lead with, including idea synthesis, rapid learning, and more
  • How you can use your interests to lead you to innovation
  • The specifics of lifestyle design for multipotentialites
  • …and a lot more, including productivity tips & how to explain your many interests to people who just don’t get it

What I really appreciate about Emilie’s approach is how grounded and practical she is. A lot of the older books on Renaissance types focus on reassuring people that they aren’t broken and re-inspiring them. Maybe it’s the narcissistic millennial in me, but I’ve never been super concerned about that. Instead, I wanted to know how to make things work for me, in a system that isn’t always built for people with as many projects and interests as I have.

Years later, I’ve got that figured out for the most part, even though I still have my stumbling blocks – but if I had this book ten years ago, it would have been a lot easier to get here. Emilie has managed to combine motivational/inspirational accounts of multipods around the world and throughout history with practical tips on incorporating all of your interests into your life, without getting burned out (or being broke all the time). If you’re struggling with any of those things, I’d definitely suggest you check it out