One day we had a presenter in one of my classes who said she had a knack for figuring out what field people should go into, even when multiple interests were involved. She invited us to come up after class and ask her for her opinion if we weren’t yet sure what we wanted to be when we grew up.
“So it sounds like you love languages, baking, and travel. Why don’t you open a sweets shop in France?”
“You like listening to new music and recommending it to your friends? Become a music producer!”
“You love children and writing? Write children’s books!”
Then it was my turn.
“I’m a vocal performance student accepted to the major with only a week and a half to prepare for my audition, so I obviously have some talent. My current income is from a jewelry business I run with my sister. We’re also starting to sell supplies and tutorials. This is my new DSLR, which I will use to take commercial photos for my company, but I’m also planning to get into art photography and am considering double majoring in photography. I write copy for my company, but I also write creatively and have dabbled in writing music. I also like editing what others have written. I have several business ideas I can’t act on now – a t-shirt company, a misleading political cartoons blog, a comic strip, and more. Any advice?”
She hesitated a moment. “Well, it sounds like you may be a serial entrepreneur. Good luck.”
But a serial entrepreneur – one who has an idea, builds a business around it, and then sells that company to work on the next idea – didn’t sound like me at all. I didn’t want to be a singer for a few years and then be a photographer for a few years and then be a writer and so on, not to mention I can’t exactly sell a music (or photography or writing) career to someone else. So what was I? What am I?
One who looks at the usual multi-tasking of a regular entrepreneur and decides that’s not enough of a challenge. One who can’t pick up a new skill or discover a new talent without wanting to figure out how to make money from it. One for whom companies are like potato chips – you can’t have just one!
Hi. I’m Michele Howarth. And I’m a polyentrepreneur.