If you know me or have read some of my other blog posts, you probably know that I am a huge fan of the show, Shark Tank.
I love the whole concept: very driven, inspiring people who come up with great business ideas and present them to investors (the Sharks) who invest their own money as well as their time, expertise and resources.
Unfortunately, the show has grown so much that it’s really hard for a very new/young business to get a deal on the show. The Sharks usually roll their eyes and opt out of the deal if the sales are really low or non-existent.
The flipside, of course, is that sometimes it’s hard to get your business going without certain resources, partners or money. I don’t blame the Sharks, because I can totally understand how they would want to see some proof of success in order to gauge how likely it is that they’d get their money back and, of course, make a profit.
But, that’s enough on the ins and outs of the show itself. What I really want to talk about is a recent episode that really hit home and, to tell you the truth, it made me pretty mad.
There was a woman who came on the show to present a paleo diet bar she created. She is a wife, mom, dental hygienist, and fitness instructor. She didn’t just blurt out all the other stuff she does – the Sharks asked her (which is pretty normal because they want to know WHO they are investing in as much as they want to know WHAT they are investing in).
She’s very into Crossfit and the paleo diet, but that’s not why or how I really felt a connection to her.
She shared that she actually only worked in the dental office one day a week, and she taught fitness classes a few mornings a week before her day really even got started.
Instead of the Sharks being impressed with all that she does and choosing to focus on the product she presented, they chose to focus on her busy life and told her she’s not focused enough on her paleo product. They all opted out of partnering with her, and the whole situation just left me fuming! I even went to the product’s Facebook page and immediately posted a message telling her how I felt and that she’s amazing and should keep pluggin’ along with her bad self!
She made it very clear how important this product was and how much of her life she dedicated to it. They didn’t even ask her WHY she wanted (or needed?) to continue to work in the dental office. Heck, maybe she needs to in order to provide medical benefits for her family. Who knows…but they didn’t even ask – they just judged and assumed (and you know what they say about those who ASSume!).
From where I sat, they were using the fact that she also taught fitness classes and worked in a dental office against her.
Guess what – I do more than one thing, and frankly, I’d be bored and feel unfulfilled if I didn’t. I also teach yoga and fitness classes in addition to being a web and graphic designer. It not only brings in extra income, but it provides exercise and friendships. What could be better than that!
I even taught fitness classes on the side when I had a traditional job in the “real world.” I’d work all day and teach a class in the evening at the same time that I would have gone to the gym anyway. I was getting my exercise in AND making extra money (and developing friendships). Win-Win-Win!
Newsflash: It’s ok to be a renaissance woman. It’s ok to have more than one job or hobby. It’s MORE than ok (and possible!) to be really good at more than one thing, too. It’s called being multi-passionate and multi-talented…and it does NOT [always] mean you are UNFOCUSED!
You also don’t have to have one specific target clientele. Sure, creating a niche is great, but if you enjoy working with multiple types of people or industries, then don’t deprive yourself or your business. There is more than one way to do pretty much everything – so just remember that!
Sure – some people are just not able to focus on or do multiple things. Or, maybe it’s that they are “able” to, they just choose not to.
The whole scene reminded me not just of the fact that I was like this woman in the sense that I teach classes and have another business (oh, the nerve of me to have multiple passions!) but of something someone said to me a couple years ago when I first started my web and graphic design business.
This person decided to open his mouth and say the following: “So, what are you – are you a yoga instructor or web designer or dog rescuer? You can’t do it all – you have to pick one thing.”
Oh really? Watch me! 🙂
Can you imagine how angry that made me? Clearly, this type of statement could only come from a single-minded person who doesn’t realize that it IS POSSIBLE to do multiple things and be good at them!
Well, I’m here to tell him and whoever else feels that way the following:
YOU can choose to do one thing, but I’m choosing to do multiple things. You can be really good at one thing, but you can also be great at more than one thing.
The next time someone tells you to focus or do only one thing, keep in mind that they’re probably projecting their own inadequacies onto you.
Do what you want to do. Do lots of things. Do one thing. Do what works for YOU and not for everyone else out there…because no one knows you better than yourself!
Has someone tried to tell you you’re doing too much and/or to make a decision and just “pick one”? Was that person truly “qualified” to be providing such unsolicited advice?
Tell me about in the comments below…