multipotentialite…it’s a thing and I am one


full grown

Let’s say you’re at a cocktail party and the guy in last year’s suit marches over, sticks his hand out and says “Hi, I’m David. I’m an attorney. What do you do?” If you’re like me you stand there looking baffled. David the Attorney probably is not terribly impressed and he walks away looking for someone with a single noun descriptor that he can relate to.

Meanwhile, if you’re like me, you are still trying to figure out what exactly you do. I don’t have a noun. I don’t even have a paragraph. Forget the elevator speech, I have a full on rival to 24 hours of happy. With less dancing (except when I’m making dinner). And according to Emilie Wapnick this is just fine.

She calls me a multipotentialite. And I’m thinking that most people who live and breathe the creative are very much the same. At various times of a day, week, life…I am a mother, an interior designer, a garden designer, a therapist, a permit puller, a graphic artist, a jewelry designer, a writer, a cook. And I’m sure I’m not done yet. So when I find someone extraordinary who mixes and morphs and doesn’t live by a single noun, I feel validated.

You and me, who can’t pick a single noun/profession/dream, we are more interesting for the lack of a narrow definition and dare I say more valuable.

Gavin Munro may not know the word multipotentialite, but I think he probably is one. He grows chairs. He started a company called Full Grown. But his chairs aren’t art, or trees, or furniture they are art and trees and furniture. So he is a horticulturalist, an artist, a manufacturer, a furniture designer, a carpenter, a world saving environmentalist. And a really patient man.

full grown

photos courtesy

It’s people like Gavin who are helping to move our world forward. People who don’t focus so intently on one thing that they lose sight of the bigger picture and what’s happening around them. IDEO knows this….they gather people from several disciplines to solve a single problem. And many creative firms are now following suit. For you and me and Gavin who can’t settle on a single noun to identify ourselves, we should fit right in, don’t you think?

Keep dreaming, keep doing and keep in touch,