A business coach who's taught thousands of people explains why it's OK to be a jack-of-all-trades instead of knowing exactly what you want to do
- Marie Forleo is a business and life coach who created the $2,000 (R28,000) "B-School" class in 2010 that now has 40,000 members.
- Forleo calls herself a "multi-passionate entrepreneur" and finds value in being a jack-of-all-trades.
- Forleo recommends pursuing every passion you have because you never know when your skills can converge.
Marie Forleo was a dance instructor, worked on the New York Stock Exchange, bartended, taught a dance class, and had a brief stint in ad sales before growing her business- and life-coaching platform.
When Forleo started giving strangers advice almost 20 years ago, she barely had her own life together, she said on an episode of Business Insider's podcast "This is Success." Now her $2,000 "B-School" class, which she started in 2010, has more than 40,000 members.
"I call myself a multi-passionate entrepreneur," Forleo said.
When Forleo started reading books about success, she said she found the pages encouraged people to nail down a niche skill and excel at it. But Forleo didn't want to give up her various passions for one — she finds value in being a jack-of-all-trades.
"I was like, but wait, there's all these things I want to do, and I found no examples in these books for someone like me," Forleo said. "I think that there are others of us who have a multitude of passions and talents and that we're just coming into an age where that is not only acceptable but needed."
But even as a business and life coach, Forleo said she felt uncomfortable using that term when she was growing her platform. "I felt really uncomfortable calling myself a coach because I had an interest in spirituality, and digital marketing, and business, in health and fitness, in hip-hop dance."
Instead of ignoring her interests, Forleo said she combined them. "I realised that I had this passion for dance and for fitness and that I wanted to give it a go. I wanted to have that be a part of my career. Not just something that I did as a hobby," she said.
Forleo recommends exploring everything you are interested in, "because there will likely come a convergence point at multiple areas in your future where everything you've done before comes into play and then all of a sudden, like in my case, it creates such a unique strength set and talent set that is unmatchable by anyone else".
Forleo said that building up her various skills, like dance, helped her understand how to coach, be in front of a camera, and get people to follow her.
"So many of the things that I did earlier come into play now, but I could've never predicted it," Forleo said. "And if I never gave myself permission to pursue all of my passions and kind of take the path that's a little bit off to the side, I don't think I'd have the business or the life or the satisfaction that I have today."
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