Book Review: How To Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up

Since elementary school, I’ve been a bookworm. A coach once asked me what was one of my fondest achievements and the first thing that How to Be Everything Bookpopped into my mind was that by mid-year of the third grade, I had read all the books in my school’s library. They asked the County Library System to send a Bookmobile, so I could have some new books to read! I’ve built a large personal library, much to my wife’s dismay, that is obvious in every corner, nook and cranny of our small condo.

As a Learner (so says Gallup Strengths Finder), I focus on things that relate to my passion for personal purpose and identity and seldom read fiction. My coaching specialty is career transitions and I could not ignore Emilie Wapnick’s book, How To Be Everything: A Guide for Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want to Be When They Grow Up.

This is a fun book and I learned that I’m one of the people types Wapnick identifies. This book explains what Wapnick calls Multipotentialites.

  • Super Powers

The really cool news is that as a Multipotentialite, I have superpowers! As a lifelong geek and science fiction aficionado, this made my day as I dug into this tome with great excitement. Wapnick defines 5 superpowers and I’m lovin’ all of them.

In this brief review, I won’t spill all the beans and go into depth, but here are a few quotes I highlighted in my Kindle version to peak your interest:

“Multipotentialites are often described as “bridge builders” or “hubs of the wheel,” because of how easily we communicate with and lead multidisciplinary teams.” Location 540

“Multipotentialites have always been innovators, and innovators have often been multipotentialites.” Location 594

  • Four Models for finding a Multipotentialites place in work and life:
  1. “WORK MODEL #1: THE GROUP HUG APPROACH The Group Hug Approach is having one multifaceted job or business that allows you to wear many hats and shift between several domains at work.
  2. WORK MODEL #2: THE SLASH APPROACH The Slash Approach is having two or more part-time jobs and/or businesses that you flit between on a regular basis.
  3. WORK MODEL #3: THE EINSTEIN APPROACH The Einstein Approach is having one full-time job or business that fully supports you, while leaving you with enough time and energy to pursue your other passions on the side.
  4. WORK MODEL #4: THE PHOENIX APPROACH The Phoenix Approach is working in a single industry for several months or years and then shifting gears and starting a new career in a new industry.” Locations 876 to 910

Throughout the book are sprinkled some great coaching questions and thoughts shared by Wapnick. For example:

“What would your life be like if you gave yourself permission to be everything you wanted to be? What could you create or solve if you were to lead with your abounding passions?” Location 2615

If you are a coach that helps with life purpose, career change, or you need to know how to work with multi-talented people that feel stuck in their current situation, this book will give you some tools and resources to deepen the client’s learning and ability to take action steps with confidence.

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