About the Episode
Hey Outlaws, I’m so excited to bring on the master of multi-passionate entrepreneurship, D’Ana Joi Spencer, on the podcast today.
Joi believes that having many passions is a gift, not a burden, and she’s on a mission to rewrite the narrative that we must choose one thing to be successful.
This episode is going to challenge so much of what we’ve been taught about running an online business, and it’s much needed.
You’ll hear why you should choose to but yourself first rather than niching down, how to find the right support as a multi-passionate, and so much more. Enjoy!
Topics discussed in episode #62
- When Joi began to realize she was multi-passionate and her journey to accept this
- The power of asking yourself good questions to find the answers you’re craving
- Why Joi believes you should choose yourself rather than choosing a niche
- How to not sacrifice your creativity while learning to be dependable
- How being multi-passionate can differ from being a more linear entrepreneur
- Ways to prevent overwhelm as a multi-passionate as an entrepreneur
- Finding the right business coach as someone who is multi-passionate
- What it means to Joi to be an Entrepreneurial Outlaw
D’Ana Joi, who goes by her middle name “Joi,” is a multi-passionate educator, community builder, and content creator. She believes having many passions is a gift, not a burden, and she’s on a mission to rewrite the narrative around “choosing one thing” being the only path to success. Through her e-book, signature course, and upcoming podcast, Joi teaches creatives how to make friends with focus, overcome overwhelm, and step into their Multi-Passionate Mastery.
Connect with Melanie here:
Melanie Knights (00:03):
Welcome to entrepreneurial Outlaws joy. I am so excited to have you here and to chat with you about being multi passionate.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (00:12):
I could not be more excited to get into today's conversation. It's gonna be a really, really good one. Thank you so much for having me.
Melanie Knights (00:18):
Yeah, I, I feel like I have so many questions to ask you because as I was saying, just before we started pressing record being a multi, multi passionate entrepreneur, isn't something that I really fully recognized in myself or allowed myself to be, or accepted myself to as in, until 2020. And I've been running my business for a few years before that. So I'm really curious. And I know everyone listening is really curious to know more about your own journey to realizing that you are a multi passionate person and also giving yourself the permission to embrace that side of you as well. Mm-Hmm
D'Ana Joi Spencer (00:55):
<Affirmative> so I would say that I am a bonafide, multi passionate, like since birth <laugh>, but I, when the more like tangible realization sort of came front of mind, it was when I was in my early twenties. And, you know, that's sort of the time in your life where you're thinking, you're starting to think a little bit more long term, you're thinking, okay. So, you know, it's my twenties, I guess I'll start figuring out what it is wanna do and where I wanna put my attention and what I wanna focus on. And so, as I started to be in that space of figuring things out, I did feel this pressure to choose one thing. I kept hearing that quote about like, you've gotta give 10,000 hours to something and be an expert. So I would think about all the different things I was interested in and try to figure out which one of them I wanted to go quote, unquote, all in on.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (01:51):
And I remember that at one point I wanted to be like a merchandiser for interior decor. So I wanted to be a buyer. I wanted to travel around the world, buying unique pieces and selling them to F stores. Cause I love thrift shopping and I love hunting for like magical things and I love home decor, but then there's another part of me that really wanted to just be a singer and a songwriter because I love to compose music. And then there was a part of me that thought, well, maybe I'm meant to write children's books because I have experience with working with kids and I love to write, so all these abilities where I thought it would feel really exciting and expansive, it actually made me feel paralyzed because I could not choose this concept of choosing one of those paths was really just something that felt foreign to me, it felt like something was not right about that.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (02:45):
And so, you know, I sort of just kept doing my thing and I ended up just nannying and making some money that way through my childcare career and letting that be okay for a while. And then one day I realized that I wasn't ever gonna be able to choose one thing and it's because I'm not meant to. And so I started to turn that idea on its head. And I thought, instead of choosing one thing, what if I just chose myself? What if, instead of trying to niche down a peek, a niche, I became the niche. I'm the niche list. You know, a what if I just went that direction? And so as I started to, and this is why asking ourselves questions is so powerful, right? Because we don't have to also know the answer. We can just ask the question. So as I put that question out, then more possibilities started coming to me.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (03:34):
Well, what if I started a lifestyle blog because then I could write about many different so objects. It's not a big deal. If I talk a little bit about home decor and then I do a little bit of this and a little bit of that. So that's where I landed. And I would say it was in my late twenties where I finally just said, you know what, I'm multi passionate choosing one thing. Isn't gonna work for me. I'm gonna choose myself. And I'm just gonna put all of my passions on a blog and see what happens. That was really the pivotal turning point for me. And that's kind of what started this whole path that I'm on now is because in doing that in choosing one platform, instead of one thing, and really allowing myself to just dump myself on the internet and talk about whatever I wanted for the first time, I felt this energizing experience of having creative freedom, right.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (04:30):
And just being able to express myself and what happened was my self confidence started to really build because that blog was the first thing I could stick with. It was first thing I could follow through with it was the first thing that I said I was gonna do it. And I actually made it all the way to the end and launched the thing and did the thing. And so it taught me that I wasn't endlessly flaky or endlessly indecisive. It's just that I need to make decisions and choices in service of my creativity, not making choices and, and trying to make decisions so that I can put my creativity in a box. And so once I had that revelation, me having the blog was cool. It was fun for me, but the way I felt the confidence that I felt, the excitement that I felt, I wanted to figure out how I could share that with more multi passionate, you know, like wanted to be that mentor that I never had. I wanted to be the person who said, there's another way. And it doesn't involve you sacrificing your creativity. And so that really became the catalyst for everything that I'm doing today. So that's my very longwinded answer for you. <Laugh>
Melanie Knights (05:38):
That was not long winded, honestly. <Laugh> okay, great. That was, I make, I make a short story long. So, you know, somebody can message me and be like, how are you? And you'll get a 15 minute voice message. So no, that was not a long response at all. I thought that was great. And I'm already, I've got this big smile on my face, cuz I'm like, I know so many people who are listening to this thinking, oh, oh, is that the thing? Is, is that why I feel this way about business and about picking this one, one niche or this one choice. And, and I could resonate myself so much of what you were saying, because I think throughout my, my entire, I would say probably high school career. And then as I got older and was unsure of which direction to go in, I felt constantly flaky.
Melanie Knights (06:26):
You used that word and that's constantly how I felt. I was like, oh, it's, this is the thing, oh, this is the thing it's like, no, actually all of the things were the thing mm-hmm <affirmative> and I just needed that place to be able to do them all and to, but to embrace them, you know, maybe not all at the same time, cause that could be a lot, but give myself, you know, periods of time where I could work on these different things and allow each one to have its own space. And just the way you describe choosing yourself, I was like, that's just so beautiful because it's so true as well, like allowing ourselves to choose ourselves. One question that did come up that I'm really curious about is like once you had done the thing and you had created the blog presumably you kind of entered into this entrepreneurial space where everybody was talking about online business and talking about blocking and how to market and all that kind of stuff that come with being in the online space and creating content. And I'm curious to know if you ever found yourself struggling with your passions at that point, because there's such a narrative of like pick one thing that you have to choose one product or one way of delivering things.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (07:36):
Oh my goodness. Yes. And you know, even still, this still comes up for me. So just for context, I submitted an application to be on someone's podcast, you know, they were looking for guests mm-hmm <affirmative> and I thought, oh, you know, I'd be a great guest. And so I, I submitted my application and on my website it says like, I'm ready to get rid of this blanket statement, advice of choosing one thing, right? Like it's such a blanket statement. Like what does that even really mean? Right. So I have that on my website and the podcast host reached back out to me and basically said like, I, I don't agree with that. I think you do need to choose one thing. So, you know, I'm not sure that it would be a good fit. I was like, oh, interesting. You know, so I still run up again.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (08:20):
There are still so many people who believe that the only path to success and the only advice that is reasonable advice is to pick one thing. Now, when it came to blogging back when I first started my blog, which was back in 2017. Yes, absolutely. There were a lot of advice out there about niche down and choosing your niche. Most people say, pick your niche first, create your blog second. But the thing to remember about my particular path is that I started by choosing myself and I anchored back into that many, many times. And I still, to this day, I spend intentional time anchoring back into that choice point because something that I tell my clients all the time is self-acceptance and like self acknowledgement. It's a repetitive process. It's something that not signing up to do once. It's something that you're going to do over and over and over again.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (09:20):
So when you really root down into that, okay, I'm choosing myself and I have declared that I'm multi passionate and that I, my talents are a gift and they're not a burden. I'm not gonna look at my passions as something that makes me a burden on anyone else or myself. So I would make that choice over and over. And what that did was it became a filter. So when I would hear someone say, well, you need to niche down. Like if you're gonna have a lifestyle blog, what are gonna be your main, you know, your main things I would say, mm, that doesn't apply to me cuz I'm multi passionate. And the whole point of this blog is I get to do whatever I want. Right. So I just kept filtering any advice that I would hear through the lens of not everything's gonna apply to me because I've chosen that I am multi passionate and that my path isn't gonna look like everyone.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (10:07):
Else's now I realized very quickly that while I was starting a business, I'm actually pioneering a movement. It, because there aren't a lot of places you can go where someone's gonna tell you, you actually don't need to choose. Right? Like that advice is so counterintuitive. So I think of it as using my own life as an experiment to go first, to try this new way of doing things, to develop F that work for me in a unique way. And then I will bring it out into the world and see, can it help someone else? And then when I see that it's helping my clients or it's helping my students, then I know we're onto something. And then we keep developing it from there. But in the very beginning, I would just tell myself, I don't have to choose one thing. I've already chosen one platform.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (10:55):
That's good enough chosen, blogging as the medium, through which I'm going to express myself. And I focused on that one medium. I think that's a cool loophole. So if you're in this place of like, I don't wanna choose one thing, there's a lot of different subjects that I like. Can you consider if there's a platform that can hold all of that? And can you that a feeling like you should only talk about one subject, just try to be a little bit consistent on one platform, because then what happens is you are not sacrificing your creativity, but you are learning how to follow through. You're learning how to show up. You're learning how to feel safe and sharing what you're talking about. Right? And then what starts to happen is once you really make the choice that you're gonna choose yourself, that you're multi passionate and that you're good with that, right?
D'Ana Joi Spencer (11:44):
Once you make that choice, you allow it to be a repetitive process that you're gonna keep making that choice again. And again, what will happen is you'll start to tell stories if you're someone who is okay with opening up a little bit and being vulnerable, the stories that you tell can really weave together any number of your passions simply by expressing that it's who you are. So I can talk about the fact that I'm passionate about home decor in the same breath. I can talk about the fact that I'm passionate about singing and songwriting. If I find a way to tie that together through storytelling. Right? So my passion for home decor is because I love creating environments that feel nurturing and interesting and fun and beautiful. And I think it's so cool to manipulate cool space and create an entirely new experience.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (12:36):
My passion for music is similar because I can transport someone through time and space simp simply through lyrics and simply through song. And it's like almost, it's almost the interior design of the inner space that I get to manipulate through song. So that's just an off the cuff random example. But I think that sometimes when we don't allow the space to continuously choose ourselves, we don't even get to the place where we allow those connections to arise. So my whole thing was kind of really using my own life as an experiment and seeing what happens if choosing one thing just isn't even an option. What happens if nicheing down, isn't something I'm available for. And I found that what emerged was quite way more interesting to be honest, <laugh> to be honest and you know, and I'm still at a place where I wanna get better with sharing more of my passions, cuz I have been a lot more focused lately in the educational side of my work and really helping other people through what I'm teaching.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (13:44):
So some of my lifestyle content has definitely taken the backseat and some of my passions aren't as on display as they used to be. But that's okay because there's seasons for everything, right. There was a time in my life where I was a lead singer in a band and I was performing all over the city and that was my life. And there was a time where I was performing live on Instagram, even and singing and playing my ukulele on Instagram every week, every Sunday. But as my focus started to shift and thing started to organically line up, I have sort of arrived at a niche now at this point, but there's such a difference between choosing a niche nicheing down and the organic arrival to a niche that you've created on your own, through your work and through your own experimentation. And now I'm getting back back to the place where my work is to start to pull back the curtain a little bit and start sharing a little bit more of what I've been doing outside of my work.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (14:46):
And it's been really fun to allow that to come back into the center of, of my awareness now, but in the beginning. Yeah. if you like went to my Instagram and you scrolled way, way, way back, you would see like pictures of crystals, pictures of my ukulele, pictures of house plants you know, just really sharing all these things that I was passionate about, very unabashedly and always framing it as I'm multi passionate. And I'm not gonna apologize for that, you know? So I think there's seasons for everything. And it's interesting too, because sometimes when we have these conversations, it can feel like there's two extremes where it's like, okay, so I'm multi passionate. So that means like I need to show everyone that I'm doing at least three things at the same time, or, you know, I've gotta, I've gotta really, like, I've gotta act that out as if it's a performance or something that needs to be done.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (15:37):
But I believe that when you really embrace who you are as a multi passionate, it's simply who you are, it's who you be. It's, it's an undercurrent. That's just always there and always present. You can have a very focused business, very focused offers and still have a multi passionate spirit. Right. So it's been really, really fascinating, but I would say I just, I continued to choose myself over and over and over, and that really took the pressure off of nicheing and it became a great filter and I knew very early on, a lot of advice didn't have apply to me. And that actually lit a fire under me to put a different voice out there. Like we were talking about before we started recording. I feel that you do the same thing, right? It's like when we, when we, when we're yearning for someone to say something different, sometimes we realize mm-hmm <affirmative> oh, I need to say that. You know? Yeah. Yeah. So that's really, the whole niche thing is something that I just, yeah. I just chose not to engage with that advice. <Laugh>
Melanie Knights (16:42):
And, and I mean, firstly, can I say I'm so glad that you did <laugh> or didn't cause hearing your experience, hearing your journey. I mean I don't know. There were so many things. I was like, oh, there's so many questions to think of because I'm a huge fan of music and the experience I have at least pre COVID when I would go to shows. And I struggled so much when I was in the, before 20, 20 sharing those parts of me through my business, because it didn't make sense at the time because I was so focused on nicheing down, but music was a huge part of me and you used the word storytelling and that was the big shift that came for me in 2020 was I think in the throws of everything else that was happening externally, I just said, well, you know what, maybe now's the time I'm gonna speak up.
Melanie Knights (17:40):
And I started speaking up about the things that I felt were really wrong with the industry and it turned out I wasn't alone. And through the art of storytelling, this podcast was born. I mean, this podcast is rooted in music. Like that's where it came from. And so for me, hearing you talk about how, you know, I would go back if I went back and I'm definitely going to scroll back and have a look <laugh>, but I'm like, yeah, exactly. Like all these parts of you. And I think the, the word that came to mind was you were talking about that kind of experience and it being, you are not having to do three things at once just because you are a multi passionate, like it's okay to have a focused business. And I think that's something that has come up for me in the last, maybe six to 12 months, I'm like, huh, do I have to be doing lots of things at once?
Melanie Knights (18:33):
That's that's not always healthy for me. And what I've realized is it's almost like just a mindset shift for me. It's just shifting away from needing to niche down. And instead, almost like letting the universe guide me and allowing myself to go, okay, well, this is what we're doing right now because this is what I'm really excited about. And this is what people I'm also really interested in learning about from me. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> and if those two things can come together and I can produce something or create something that's going to really help other people and also help me pay my bills, then that's, that's a great thing. That's a great place to be. I, and I think that was the, the biggest, at least struggle I had in the early days when I realized that I wanted to be doing all these different things was okay, well, how do I pick one <laugh> and not give up?
Melanie Knights (19:25):
Because my past experiences had told me that I was flaky and that I was, I was almost like I was at quitter because I, I would constantly be like, well, is this the thing I should be focusing on? And as soon as it didn't feel like it was this thing that was going to completely transform my business or my life I'd put it down. And I would feel like I couldn't go back to it because the idea that we are not allowed to change our minds as well. Mm. Has really bothered me. Yep. And I'm really a big believer and a big advocate for allowing people to change their mind in business. Like, oh, that's not the thing I actually want to do. Mm-Hmm <affirmative> or I'm going to pivot and I've seen it a lot more in the last couple of years. Mm-Hmm <affirmative>.
Melanie Knights (20:08):
But I think it's still something that we need to talk about. Have these convers, because it's so important that we can recognize that yes, there may be a certain oneness to online business and there's a lot of people out there and people teaching it, like you said, you know, this, this person who doesn't agree with not mushing down, but it's often taught in this very one sided and linear way. And that does work for some people, but it's certainly not the only way. And for me it feels very like itchy and boxed in <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> how do you see, or how have you found, cuz I know that as you said, your business has been more focused on kind of the educational part mm-hmm <affirmative> how does bus, how does approaching business as a multi passionate person differ from these very linear and one sided ways of mm-hmm <affirmative> running a business.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (21:03):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> what a great question. So I would, first of all, say that there is a certain acceptance that gets to be present as a multi passionate in knowing that your path is not going to be linear. Now the entrepreneurial path is not linear anyway, but mm-hmm <affirmative> as a multi passionate, it might be even more of an adventure. You might get to try even more things in a shorter amount of time. You might experience more accelerated personal growth because you're willing to try more things in a shorter amount of time or over a longer stretch of time. It might take a little bit longer to figure you're out. What are your favorite things to talk about? Right. There gets to be this organic arrival. So I'm gonna give you, I'm gonna give you one of my favorite analogies to really explain what I would tell anyone.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (22:00):
Who's kind of wondering about approaching business as a multi passionate. So the overarching piece of advice before I go into the analogy is, excuse me, is to, to have the most gratifying and luscious experience as a multi passionate, be willing to embrace every single stage and phase that you go through and know that they are all, all potent and that they are all beautiful. And they're all perfect. It's when we want to rush to the point where we have everything figured out and we wanna skip the process and just totally disassociate from our bodies and not be present and aware of what we're going through on our way to that point. That's when we get a lot of turmoil that enters the room, right? So I think that if we can embrace each phase of the journey in business as multi passionates, it is just so much more impactful.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (23:01):
So let's say that it is a hot day and you want some frozen yogurt and it's endemic is over and it's totally chill and safe to go inside of a frozen yogurt shop. Right? What's the first thing you're gonna do. They're gonna give you that little taster cup, right? You grab that little taster cup and you go and you try out a bunch of different flavors after you try it out, a bunch of flavors, then you go, okay, I'm ready for my big cup. To me, that is exactly what being in business as a multi passionate is like, sometimes you're gonna be in little cup phase as I'd like to call it where you're just trying things out. You're tasting things, you're trying things. But just like when you're in the froyo shop, you know, intuitively I'm ready for my big cup now. And if you're like me, even that big cup has more than one flavor in it.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (23:57):
I like to put Oreos on the bottom, crush them up. Then I do like one flavor. Then I do another layer of something texture. Then I do a flavor, right? It's this combination. And then after you have that combination, you leave the yogurt shop, right? And maybe you sit outside on the bench and you eat. Maybe you walk around the block. Maybe you feel really content. Maybe you don't need to go back into the shop to try new things out for a while, but life is cyclical and there may come another where you find that you're entering back in to try more new flavors. This to me is a really powerful analogy because that is what it is like to be in business. As a multi passionate. You give yourself a period of time where you can, if you, if you are willing to give yourself a period of time where you are in that little cup phase, where you're trying things out where you're gonna say, you know what, for the next six months, I'm going to try things out and I'm gonna see what really, really resonates with me the most.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (24:56):
And then I'll double down on something and see what I wanna express through that. But I'm gonna just give myself a chance to try some things out and I'm going to see what it looks like to do that my way. And then I think I'll know kind of what I want to maybe put more energy into at whatever certain point, right? And it doesn't mean that I can never change my mind, but I'm just gonna kind of take this approach. If you can allow for that, it's really, really powerful. And this is another reason why I don't tell people, oh, just quit your job. Just quit your job. And like go all in. Because I personally think as multi passionate, if you have a job that's paying you and you don't have to worry about making a living through this experience of figuring out how you wanna show up as a multi passionate, that is the most powerful thing ever, because then you're not making choices based on, well, I need to make cash right now.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (25:52):
So yes, if you can have some kind of support while you're in that little cup phase, even better, even better, but it's really just embracing all the different stages and all of the different phases. And knowing that even if you let's say you make a core all about how to launch a podcast, right. But you know that you're multi passionate. So mm-hmm, <affirmative> the language that I love to use is like, okay, during this particular season of focus, I'm putting my creative energy into launching a course about creating a podcast. And, and here's the difference between someone who's accepted that they're multi passionate and someone who feels like that's a, a, a burden. So someone who's accepted being multi passionate, who's going that route, right? They say, okay, I'm in a season of focus. I'm gonna create this course about launching a podcast. Okay. So season of focus, the reason that that language tends to really land for multi-pass is because seasons change, it doesn't sound finite.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (26:52):
It doesn't sound like it's the only thing you're ever gonna do. It's just right now. But the multi passionate approach is okay, how can I bring my creativity to the table? As I plan this podcast course, how can I allow my other passions to show up and support me in this versus someone who is a little bit more repressed might say, okay, I hope I can stick with this. I don't, I don't know. I always get distracted. I hope my other passions and the things that I'm all also excited about. Don't like, pull me out of this. Like, oh my goodness, can I even do this? So it's such, it, it's a little, it's these small nuances, but that perception is everything. So instead of like, I'm so worried I'm gonna get distracted or I don't know how to follow through with this. And all my other passions are just gonna be SW around in my head.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (27:44):
And am I really gonna be able to stay committed to this? It's I'm in a season of folks focus of this right now. And I'm so excited to see how my other passions are gonna show up to support me in this. I'm so excited to create this my way. I'm so excited to embrace that repetitive process of choosing myself, even as I focus is on getting this course off the ground. So that is what I mean about how we approach business as a multi-passionate it's a noun. It's not a verb. It's not, I must do all of these things in order to prove that I'm multi passionate it's I am multi passionate. I have nothing to prove. It's simply I am. It's the approach that I'm going to take with whatever I choose to do.
Melanie Knights (28:33):
And, and I <laugh>, I'm trying to work out which question do I wanna ask first? And I'm so curious, because when you were talking about your fro your shop analogy, which I love by the way, I was like, yes, I miss going to the Froyer shop. Not that we have them really in the UK, we have a few, but yes, I've definitely been to them, but there was two things that came up. One was I realized you could, and, and maybe you, I dunno what, what your thoughts are on this, but do you feel as though there can also be stages where you are for your shop or little cup mode with certain aspects of your business? Like, for example, right now, I think that I have been probably for the last six months, I'm in little cup phase with my marketing in particular.
Melanie Knights (29:21):
Mm-Hmm <affirmative> like, that's everything else. I'm pretty like, I know which direction we're going in. I know all these different things, but it's like the marketing I'm testing out different things. I'm trying to go I'm I'm saying to myself, okay, this is the direction we're going in. This is my focus. How do I wanna market this now? Like, what's, what is, what are my options? And where are, where do I wanna put my energy and my time and my resources. And the other thing that came up as well was I started to think back to when I came into my online business and I kind of had a different journey. I came in and hire a business coach straight away, cuz I had had no trust that I knew what I was doing. And now I kind of think, well maybe, maybe not.
Melanie Knights (30:07):
But one of the things I realized as I was listening to your explanation and your analogy is that so often the testing out the flavors being in little cup phase, it was <affirmative> for me, it was, I was told that that was wrong. Like I was being distracted. I had limiting beliefs. Now of course I do have these things <laugh> but this was like the label that I was constantly given. And the way I was told I, the reasons why I was told I wasn't success for was because of wanting to try out things, wanting to test out which flavor goes where wanting to test out the different textures, the different layers, how does this all fit together? And it just really stood out to me that this was one of the really big contentions I had when I started in my business. And for many years and reasons why I kept up seeing my different passions as a, as a problem, as something that was holding me back in business. And I'm curious to know whether, you know, whether it's like through your group programs or whether it's through clients that you work with, is this a common theme? Is this something that you hear a lot from people in, in the online space?
D'Ana Joi Spencer (31:23):
<Affirmative> absolutely. Anytime I meet someone and we are, you know, maybe starting our coaching relationship or, you know, they're showing up to a group coaching call. I always start with expressing that there is this repeat of trusting yourself and really accepting your, your unique path. So where you, where you mentioned, you know, that when you were in little cup phase, you were maybe told, Hey, you, you know, okay, you gotta focus. You know, I don't know, maybe. And I understand you have all these other ideas, but we're not here to talk about that today or things like that. Right. I also had coaches who did that for, to me, but it felt to me like, oh, okay, just go ahead and put a dag in my heart. Why don't you like, it felt offense. It felt violent to me to be told that. Yeah, because I, again, I, I started all of this with choosing myself for, and that became my filter. Right. So mm-hmm, <affirmative> because I would hear coaches tell me these things. I mean, I was asked to leave a program, a coaching program because the coach told me to just pick one thing and I was like, I'm so sorry. Like, I don't know if you've not seen my content or anything, but that's the opposite of who I am. <Laugh> like, that's not gonna work for me. And hold on one second. My dog's scratching at my door. Gimme one second. I'll pick it right back. Okay.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (33:13):
Okay. Sorry. I just put him in the bed. Okay. So <laugh> so I was in a lot of tissue where I was told this by other coaches and it would feel really offensive and almost kind of like violent. <Laugh> like, you know, why would you tell me to choose one thing when the whole premise of this business that I'm trying to start is that I'm multi passionate. You know? So mm-hmm, <affirmative> because of that, when people would enter into my space, the first thing that I tell any of my clients, anyone who wants to work with me, anyone who joins a group program is that I am here to support you. I'm here to give you as many insights as I can, but over and above anything that I ever tell you, I need you to trust yourself. <Affirmative> I will never ask you to abandon yourself, knowing to take my advice, always trust yourself.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (34:11):
This is how I begin a coaching relationship. Because without that, without that upfront in the beginning, we end up in really weird coaching relationships. Like <laugh> weird code opinion. You know, so I'm not here to ask anyone to abandon their self knowledge in order to that's my dog, sorry. <Laugh> in order to try on that's something that that I'm offering now, when it comes to like the specific question that you ask, like, let's say someone comes to me and we're doing, maybe we're doing like a 90 minute strategy session call. Okay. For example, and someone comes to me and they say, okay, so here's this idea that I have, and this is kind of what I wanna do. And then I also have this other idea over here. And I'm just feeling like, oh, I'm a little bit like scattered. So the difference between a multi passionate coach, or at least I can speak for myself and a traditional business coach is I follow that up.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (35:17):
And I say, okay, is there anything you're not telling me? Is there anything else you're working on? Is there anything else in the background? Is there anything else that kind of has your attention, cuz I want you to bring all of yourself to this call. Mm that's just how I coach. Yeah. <Laugh>, that's how I coach, cuz I'm not afraid of someone having many, many passions. I'm not afraid of someone wanting to go in a lot of different directions because my job is to say, okay, let's look at everything that you're considering. Let's see what the commonality is between all of them. Let's look at the deeper values that each of these things hold and what that says about you as a person and then let's focus on how can we tell stories to weave these things together? And then what feels like it might be the first, most approachable season of focus to create so that we can start to gain momentum on some of these things, right?
D'Ana Joi Spencer (36:10):
So you wanna gain momentum. If you can gain momentum in a specific area, then you get energy back from that. And then of course you can start something else. So I don't teach people to try to do everything at once because that's a recipe for overwhelm, but I do teach that we get to accept that we have many passions. We get to see sort of the underlying space where they all intermingle and know that. And then from there we can ch use a season of focus based on some more big picture, long term goals. And also the lifestyle that you wanna create. If you wanna create a lifestyle where, you know, you don't have to show up on calls all the time and you don't really wanna be a one on one coach, then maybe the first season of focus is creating some kind of online program that can be running in the background while you work on other projects. Right? So it's really, it's really taking a more holistic approach. And I think this is why it's important for anyone listening. When you are looking for your coach, when you're looking for someone to work with, if you're multi passionate, it's okay to ask them, do you have any experience coaching, multi passionate clients? You know, how would you approach giving advice to someone who has many passions protect yourself, you know, qualify your coach and make sure that they're not going to just cut you down anytime you mention more than one idea.
Melanie Knights (37:32):
Yeah. Which is good advice. Anyway, because I, I know that so many of us have entered into relationships where it's almost like it's whether or not we as the client are a good fit and it's never, at least in the early days when I first signed my business, it never even occurred to me that I could actually pre-qualify a coach because the, that pedestal that so many experiences are put on means that it's like, you can't question this. And I think not only is that a massive red flag in itself and more and more of these conversations are happening publicly. So we are aware of the fact that, oh, no, we actually get to put our money in a place where we feel really safe. But like you were saying, we can ask those questions so that we can make sure that when we do get into that relationship, we're not being asked to leave a program because of the fact that there is this disconnect between actually how we want to build or grow our businesses or the types of types of business models that we wanna actually kind of bring together and be able to explore all of those.
Melanie Knights (38:42):
And I think that's so, so powerful. Just in of itself, being able to pre-qualify somebody and being able to have those conversations. And I think you could probably tell so, well, I guarantee that you could tell so much by actually having those conversations up front. So I, I just love that. I love the way that you are so open and honest when getting into those relationships with the clients and the way in which you really make sure they understand <laugh> that this is not gonna be, as you put not gonna be some real, really weird codependent coach relationship. This is gonna be, you know, you bring it all of you to the table and then we are going from there. I love that so much. Yes. So
D'Ana Joi Spencer (39:24):
Beautiful. Absolutely. And I do wish that more people took time to qualify coaches. I think sometimes we learn this the hard way we get kicked out of the program <laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> or get blindsided or we, you know, we feel that we get burned and then we're like, Ooh, okay, next time I'm gonna ask some questions, you know? But yeah, we can, we can really start there. You know, you can start there, you can say, oh, well have you, have you coached anyone who's multi-pasionate or you can look for a multi-passionate coach, right? So I'm one of them, there are others, you know, and it's something I'm so grateful that we are entering into a space where this is a conversation that is being had. Finally, finally, finally, finally, so there's so many benefits. I even tell people, if you have a traditional business coach, that's totally fine.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (40:10):
Book a session with me once a quarter. And my job will just be to make sure that you're not losing your multi passionate perspective. You know, it can even be supplemental because I think that there is space for traditional business advice, right? The advice to go all in on one offer is not bad advice. It's not that that doesn't work. It's just that there's gotta be an awareness that it's, that's not everyone's path. And it's also not that cut and dry, like sure. You can go all in on one offer after you've tried out a number of things and have evidence that that's the thing that you actually wanna do. You know, it's like people give this blanket statement, advice without context of everything that comes before. Like all the people who say you just gotta have one offer, one offer, go to their Instagrams and scroll back.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (40:57):
They have not had this one offer. You know what I mean? Yes. They probably had multiple iterations of their podcast, multiple brand rebrands. Like we arrive to the place where we get in this experience of we've brought so much of ourselves to the table in this one offer that we can actually go, oh, really deep in it because it's so juicy and nuanced and layered, but that's different than just saying, okay, if you wanna make a million dollars, you've gotta pick one thing. It's just like, can we stop with the blanket statement, advice? There's no context there and that's not actually helpful, you know, <laugh> so
Melanie Knights (41:37):
And you are so right. Yeah. I mean, like you said, there's very few stories where, and I mean, I don't, I don't even know if I know any stories where it really truly was like, oh, I walked into the online business space and I created this one offer and then it, I made a million like, yeah, that just, that that's great marketing, but that's not necessarily the truth. Because so many people who do, you know, or even in, or even in marketing it's because they start out as influencers and then their audiences grew and it's like, that's, you know, those, sometimes those results are not always going to be it's repeatable for somebody who comes into the online space with the clear objective of starting a business. Like, and that's where I think the, the transparency sometimes can be. So not sometimes it's always important, but the transparency, in my opinion, cuz I'm very like tell me everything mm-hmm <affirmative> is really, can be really.
Melanie Knights (42:33):
And of course people, you know, are absolutely more than it's more than okay for them to tell parts of their story. But I think when there's parts of the story that are held back and that impacts people's either decisions to invest or manipulates people, that's what we start to see those red flags. And it's like completely, you know, that's when it's wrong. And that's when we need to shift into the more transparent conversations of like actually being a coach or a mentor or whatever the label is as someone who is like, you know what, I might not be the right fit for you. <Laugh> mm-hmm <affirmative> like, and that's okay. Yep. Like it's okay. Totally. I have absolutely loved having this conversation with you. <Laugh> I feel like there was just so many amazing moments where you, I think you just have given so many people listening permission and just dropped breadcrumbs where they're like, oh, okay. I know even for myself, it was really great to hear your, your story and these ways in which you have been able to bring all that together. And it was just amazing. And I do have one last question. Sure. It's something that I ask every guest of the show and that is what does it mean to you to be an entrepreneurial outlaw?
D'Ana Joi Spencer (43:56):
Ooh I love this question for me being an entrepreneurial outlaw means showing up and serving in a way that honors my personal energetic output. It means the, that it's okay to have strong boundaries around my energy. It's okay. If I'm sort of building a lazy girl's business, like <laugh>, it's okay. If I wanna not, not work as little as possible because I think again, we get into like a context situation there when we start saying that, but I think it's okay for me to say, Hey, you know what? I don't really do long term one on one coaching. And instead I have group coaching packages. This works for my energy. It's okay for me to say I don't have more than two calls in one day and I feel no shame about that. It's my choice. That works well for my energy. So for me, I don't know why, but that's just the first thing that kind of came up. If I can put my energy first, my energetic output first and really honor that, that to me feels like the path of the outlaw, cuz I'm trying to build a business that allows me to be creative and well, those are my biggest authorities. Yes. I wanna help people. Yes. I wanna serve and I wanna be well rested as I do that.
Melanie Knights (45:20):
Yes. Us speaking to my soul. <Laugh> absolutely. That, that to me is, I mean that is the place where I'm have been in for a couple of years because again, just being okay with the fact, Hey, I only take two calls in a day or you know, I'm, you know, for me, it's like I'm taking a week where I don't take any calls like these decisions, you know, they need to work for us and I'm yeah. I just, I love that. Absolutely. Yeah.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (45:50):
We get to be well definitely. And we don't need to be on endless calls in order to make an impact. We don't have to have business models or coaching containers that we secretly despise. We don't need to have a super full calendar and we get to just do things our way. And I will say again because of our, both of our love of context and transparency that this is work for me to really, truly believe that it is okay for me to rest and that I don't have to be working all the time. That is an active choice that I need to root into again and again, because a lot of times I do feel guilty like, oh my gosh, well I barely worked today. And it's like, okay, but everything's fine. You know, it's fine. You did what you needed to do and now you get to rest.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (46:45):
And it's just like that concept, especially just continuing to detox from like the grind culture that, you know, I was in, when I was working in, in the startup environment when I still had a nine to five it's it's, it's a challenge. And so I'm not even saying that it's easy to choose that it's, it's, it's almost easier to stay busy and feel super gratified in that than it is to absolutely like prioritize rest and say like, okay, if I have, if I have three calls in one day, I that's all I'm doing that day. I'm not doing anything else. Like I'm having those calls and then I'm gonna go get my nails done or something, cuz I'm not gonna do any work after that. Cuz that's it like my energetic budget has been spent already and to not feel any guilt around that is it takes some work and it takes some deconditioning. So I don't wanna say like, oh yeah, I'm just like building this leisurely business. Cuz yeah, my brain comes in and tells me all the time that I'm just lazy and that I need to be working harder. But you know, as a black woman I'm really working to heal that, you know, my line, my ancestry we've worked hard enough and I wanna break that cycle. So, but it's work. It takes, that takes work in itself too. So I just think that that's helpful to, to say on the back end.
Melanie Knights (48:04):
Absolutely. And I appreciate that and I, I, I have those conversations with myself off that I am I being lazy? Could I be more successful if I just did this, this and this. And you know, that, that I've had to tell my, you know, I had to really have some very hard conversations myself to back off <laugh> and it's like, no, this is okay. And I, and I think there are so many things that you've spoken about today. And on the podcast we've been talking a lot about slow business. And one of the things that I've mentioned in a previous episode is that if you, if you Google slow business, you get a couple of really great blog. And then after that, it's just a whole lot of stuff about how to fix your business because it's slow and it's like,
D'Ana Joi Spencer (48:50):
No, like interesting.
Melanie Knights (48:52):
It's okay to choose a slow business. And these two, these few blogs I actually found that were really great references and research mm-hmm <affirmative> they're only in the last couple of years. Oh yeah. They were
D'Ana Joi Spencer (49:02):
Only working the last couple of years. That makes total sense. Sense.
Melanie Knights (49:06):
Yeah. It's like, oh, Hey, we had to wait for a pandemic to happen for us to be able to wow. Recognize that the pace we were going at was not okay. And that actually it's hustle culture and it's yeah. It's being, you know, it's this idea that to be successful, you must work harder than everyone else, but people aren't gonna pay you money just because you work harder than everybody else. Especially not in online business. No. Cause they
D'Ana Joi Spencer (49:29):
Don't care. <Laugh>
Melanie Knights (49:31):
There's no a
D'Ana Joi Spencer (49:31):
Reason. And I don't know about you, but like, yes, I want, I can see the vision of the kind of business that I wanna build. And I see the mission, I see the impact. I see the lives that I can touch, but I wanna be able to like enjoy that and not be exhausted. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, but I picture the impact that I may, and I picture this lifestyle that I wanna create and the business that I get to create to support that. Like I'm well rested and I'm able to show up in my fullness because I'm not exhausted because I'm not spending all of my time in recovery. Right. So I think like that's another thing really considering who do you want to be as a person and how can you, how can your business or anything that you're setting up for yourself as an entrepreneur? How can you make sure that it's in support of that and not in opposition to that? And that can mean so many things. It can mean getting really good at delegating. Right. It can mean it can mean so many different things, but I think it's so important to, to always come back to that place, to always come back to that place.
Melanie Knights (50:44):
Yeah. I love that. I, and I said, I had one last question and we carried on talking cuz of course that's <laugh> I told you short story long. That is what I do. <Laugh> okay. So before we wrap up, I would love it. If you could just tell everybody where they can find more about what you do and where they can find you online. And I know that you have a couple of, of, you know, free things and things that you wanted to talk about as well. So yeah, sure. The
D'Ana Joi Spencer (51:11):
Floor is yours. Sure. So to keep up with me online you can definitely check out my podcast. It's called multi passionate mastery. The whole first season is about my approach to focus as a multi passionate. So if you feel like focus has been that one thing that just sort of really kind of triggers you all the time and it's just that one thing you can't quite figure out as a really creative person, then you'll probably love the first season of the podcast. Definitely check that out. And then I'm also on Instagram. My handle is at joy knows how joy is spelled with an I and there's a dot period in between each word. And yeah, I also have a free focus style quiz. So I think that when it comes to being a multi passionate and you know, starting to figure out what that means in terms of how you focus, we spend a lot of time thinking about what we lack thinking about what we're not getting.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (52:07):
And we focus is hard for us. So I wanted to create a quiz to really show you that we're all starting with something. You already have a way that you focus that works for you. And in, in starting to uncover that you will begin to see that focus is something that is a little bit more malleable and shapeable than maybe you to realize. So take the focus style quiz, you'll see which type of focus style you have. And then I'll give you some tips for how to work with that. And then you'll be invited to grab my ebook. If that's something that you wanna do to really help supplement and learn my three part focus framework. So you can find that at join us how.com/quiz, or you can just go to my Instagram and click the link in my bio and you can find it there as well.
Melanie Knights (52:55):
Amazing. And we will make sure that everything is linked ever in the show notes as well. So you can also have that and find it <laugh> as well. So there's lots of different ways, but thank you so much for taking the time to record and have this conversation because I know that it is impacting so many people. And it's the first time we've really got into this and I'm so glad that you were the person to bring this conversation to you, our audience. Yes.
D'Ana Joi Spencer (53:22):
Thank you so much for having me. It's been a pleasure.
Melanie Knights (53:26):
D'Ana Joi Spencer (53:28):