#29: How to Thrive as a Multi-Passionate Creative with D'Ana Joi Spencer

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

Today we are talking with D'Ana Joi Spencer about what it means to be a multi-passionate creative, how to realize what your passions are and how to integrate them in your business and how to thrive in business by prioritizing tasks and gaining clarity.

D'Ana 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 podcast, Joi teaches creatives how to make friends with focus, overcome overwhelm, and step into their Multi-Passionate Mastery™️.

Learn More about D'Ana Joi: https://joi-knows-how.com/


Bryan McAnulty: Everyone says you should niche down. Well, what happens when you have multiple creative interests ? today I'm talking with D'Ana Joy about how multi-passionate entrepreneurs can succeed. Welcome to the Creator's Adventure, where we interview Creator's from around the world, hearing their stories about building a business.

My name is Bryan McAnulty. I'm the founder of Heights Platform. Let's get into it.

Hey everyone. We're here today with D'Ana Joy, who goes by her middle name, Joy. She 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 ebook course and podcast Joy teaches creatives.

How to make friends with focus. Overcome overwhelm and step into their multi passionate mastery. Joy. Welcome to the show.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Thank you. Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Bryan McAnulty: So my first question for you is you help multi-passionate people bring their ideas to life and prioritize their business.

Can you explain a little bit about the meaning of multi passionate and I guess more specifically what it means to you?

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yeah. Sure. So the working definition that I kind of made up, cuz I don't know that there's a specific one out there. It's kind of still a new and emerging concept if you think about it.

But I have these kind of three qualifiers that make up. Multi passionate person. So the first one is you're a person who has a lot of interest and also, you know, you're interested in a lot of different things. So we're not necessarily talking about a hobbyist. Who's just kind of like interested in a lot of things and wants to dabble.

A multi passionate person has these deep interests that almost they get sucked into something they wanna rabbit hole when they find something new, they like learning new things. So they have a lot of different interests on, on some varied topics. And then the second qualifier is you have raw talent to kind of back those interests of, so if you imagine someone who goes, Hmm, it would be kind of cool.

Learn how to play the ukulele. They grab a ukulele, watch a few YouTube videos and turns out they're really good at the ukulele or, Hmm. A watercolor I've always wanted to do that. Take a few YouTube classes on that. And all of a sudden they're like, maybe I should just do a watercolor course. Cause I learned this really quickly.

So that intersection of having a lot of interest matched with a lot of raw talent that kind of backs those interests up. Now the third qualifier is really, what's gonna separate a multi passionate person from a hobbyist or someone who just has those varied interests, but maybe doesn't wanna do anything with them.

A multi-passionate person asks themselves. How can I express as much of myself as possible in this one lifetime? How can I maybe create a business where I can merge all these passions? That's the deeper desire. So those are my three qualifiers. If you have a lot of interest, you happen to be good at a lot of things.

And it's okay to admit that part of being multi-passionate is owning that and being confident about that. So you've got a lot of interest. You're good at a lot of things, and you have this desire to express them, to share them in some way. Then you're a multi passionate, creative.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. So I think this is something you would refer to yourself as being multi passionate.

Can you share some examples of your own passions and which ones you've either incorporated into your business or monetized in some way?

D'Ana Joi Spencer: absolutely. So I'm very passionate about singing and songwriting. I do play the ukulele, which is why I use that example. And there was a time in my life where I was performing in bands and I was a lead singer in a couple of bands and getting all around, you know, Los Angeles where I live and that time has sort of come and gone.

But now. Still integrate music into my business. I write theme songs for my offerings and so if I have a new program launch or I'm doing a workshop, I'll write a song. Explaining to people why they should come and join it. And then I will maybe put that song on my podcast, for example, or if I'm tired of doing podcast episodes where I'm just talking, I'll insert what I call an interlude episode, where I sing a song instead.

So that's how I've weaved my music into my business, without it being like, oh, I'm also a performer and I have an EP out which maybe will happen later, but is not happening right now. I, at one point had a greeting card company that I started because I love. Paper crafts. I love multimedia. I like doing things that are tactile because we live in such a digital landscape.

So I like creating greeting cards. I was making them for my family for Christmas, and everyone kept saying, you need to sell these. You need to sell these. So I tried that and it didn't quite work out for me. I realized I don't like making the same. More than like once or twice mm-hmm . So it's kind of hard to sell handmade cards if you're not like creating these designs that people can order in advance and know what they're gonna get.

So now the way that I integrate that into my business is gifting to my clients. If I wanna send them a message or I wanna send them a card, I know that I've got the skill of being able to make a really unique, handmade greeting card that I can send to my clients. I also love copywriting writing in general.

One of my earliest passions. I've been journaling and writing stories since I was six years old and that's become a part of my business because I still blog. I publish articles on medium and I love to write. There's probably a book somewhere in my future. So that's integrated into my business, not to mention.

Just all the copywriting that comes with having a business in general. So I'm fortunate that I have that skill because I can utilize that in my own business, through email marketing, landing pages, all of those things. Then I have other passions that aren't quite in my business, but I do feel that they all contribute.

So my passion for home decor and interior design has to do with creating a nourishing environ. and so how can I also do that at the start of a coaching call? How can I create a setting? Maybe it's not staging a home or, you know, decorating a living room, but how can I make it an inviting atmosphere? So these are kind of the ways that I think about my passions, even if they're not literally integrated into my business, because I am an embodied multi-passionate person.

I asked myself, how can my passion in one area support my efforts in another? And that's been really helpful for me to embrace all of who I. Without feeling like I'm overwhelmed by trying to cram everything into one business.

Bryan McAnulty: Cool. Yeah. I really like that. I think that it's, it's really good because there are definitely, I think a lot of people who feel similar and, and feel that, oh, well, how, how can I integrate these other things that I'm into?

And I like the music example in particular that you gave in the beginning because it's similar for me. I like music as you, you can maybe tell behind me here with the guitars and stuff, but the intro song for our podcast, I produced that and created that myself and some others might say like, oh, well, I don't see people doing that.

I just see them getting a stock music or whatever that seems to be like the popular thing to do. So maybe I shouldn't do that, but I think that it's really good to express yourself and, and do those things and put, put that extra creativity into those things that you have this passion or skill at, because yeah, in the case of like something like you, you or me making a song for our show, it, it doesn't really have too much of an impact, like on the end listener or anything like that.

People may not even know that, but I think the little things like that can add. Into understanding the, the brand of the, the person you're working with and the business that you're working with. And I think there's bigger things that can come from it too. Like you mentioned that there's, there's ways that everything connects that you may not think of even

D'Ana Joi Spencer: totally.

And I've actually had a few people reach out to me and thank me for singing a song on my podcast. When we do things like that, it's really giving permission for other people to go, oh, I can, I can share more of my passions. I don't have to just stay in line, you know? So I've had people reach out and say, thank you so much for just singing on your podcast.

Like not only is the song great, but it just reminded me that I can share as well. So we never know who we're gonna influence. Do people know, is this the first moment that people are gonna know that that's your intro song or is that like a known fact?

Bryan McAnulty: I guess it's the first time I mentioned it on the, the podcast.

Maybe I mentioned it somewhere else, but yeah.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Great. Okay. Well I'm so glad everyone knows now. Now they can be inspired by that.

Bryan McAnulty: Oh yeah, definitely. I think like the, the worry that people might have about thinking that, oh, I, I don't know if I should do this. Like you mentioned with singing on your show, I think it's something that once you do it, as you said, Let other people know they can do that, but it's also attracting the right audience to you because the whoever else's audience that you're comparing to that doesn't do that.

Or that is, is more normal or however you wanna define it, that's fine. But there are people out there that are probably just like you, who would think about doing the same thing or would en Joy the same thing. And when they come across you, they don't, they don't know that you're like them until they see that you do it.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: So totally, totally.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. So I think one of the challenges that multi-passionate individuals face in business is trying to fit into that traditional narrative of specializing in one niche or topic. So what would you say to, to someone who's been told? Oh, I have to focus on this one.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Niche. I love this question.

I love talking about the concept of nicheing down and unpacking. Because oftentimes the language that we're using when it comes to nicheing down is choose a niche. Right. Even when I first started blogging way back in 2017, I was blogging to give myself a voice as a multi-passionate person. And yet all the advice that I saw around blogging was, okay, great.

Pick your niche first and then start blogging. And I was like, no, that's the opposite of what I'm trying to do here. And so the way that I like to think. Nicheing down is think of it more like an arrival. And here's a fun analogy that we can use. You know, when you go into a frozen yogurt shop, pre pandemic times you, you used to, or maybe you still can, in some places you would grab that little taster cup and you would kind of walk around the frozen yogurt shop.

Fill your little tiny cup with different flavors, you taste it. You kind of get a feel for, oh, I like that one that one's too sour. That's too sweet. Can't eat a whole cup of that or whatever. And you're sort of gathering this data through that little taster cup. And then at some point there's just a switch that goes off where you go, okay, I'm ready for my big cup.

I know what kind of yogurt I wanna get. And typically if you're anything like me, you're like, okay, I'm gonna do a combo. I want two different flavors and I want some toppings in there. So if we are gonna relate that analogy to the idea of meshing down, it's okay to allow yourself to be in little cup phase.

There's so much merit to trying things out and getting a feel for what you actually like and the issue with thinking that you won't be successful until you niche or the way to be most successful is to niche down right off, right out of the gate is that you might not be giving yourself enough time to experiment and get a feel for what you truly like.

To allow the process of an organic arrival to your niche to come through, because it is inevitable that you're going to eventually realize, oh, I keep talking about this thing. Even if you let yourself, for example, with my blogging, I was used to blog about plant care, home decor, how to re upcycle glass bottles.

Like I just blogged about whatever I wanted, because that was the point for me of starting a blog. But then I started writing. Some essays about creativity and what it was like being multi passionate. And I got a very distinct, different feeling when I was writing about that subject. It was like, I couldn't get enough.

And I still allowed myself to write about other things, but I kept coming back to creativity, being multi passionate, and wanting to write about that. And so I just organically arrived at, okay, this is the thing that I keep coming back to. I'm not going to. You know, never, ever, ever allow myself to talk about how much I love plants, but it's clear to me now I have a niche and it was like, Hey, oops, I have a niche.

It was just so organic. But I didn't. If I had started my vlog and just chosen a niche, I can guarantee you, it would've been like. A home decor blog, and then I wouldn't be doing the work that I'm meant to do in this lifetime because I would've felt that pressure to just choose. So that's what I mean about allowing your arrival to your niche, to be an organic process through trying things out, seeing what you like and paying attention to what you return to over and over and over again.

Just like in the frozen yogurt shop, you don't walk around with your taster cup forever. You eventually get your big cup. That is what it's like to niche down. And then you eventually exit the yoga shop, sit on the bench in your content. And sometimes you might have a whole revamp, you know, where you realize I don't like this anymore.

I need to go back into that little cup phase and that's okay, too. So it's really honoring the whole process in a more holistic way. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: I really like that analogy. I think that's great. . Yeah, I think that people tend to think that the how can I say this? Let me think. So I, I lost my train of thought a little bit, but I, I really like the analogy and I think, yeah, the maybe what some people are saying when they say, oh, you should niche down.

Maybe what they're partially saying that, or, or putting such a focus on that is. They want you as the, the business owner to gain some kind of focus, not be too scattered and two, to make sure that you actually get started with something. And, but you're, you're losing some of the, the detail and the nuance in that, I think, which is what you just explained that it's okay to try a couple things.

As long as you get started. And then once you get started, the, that real, that actual thing that becomes your niche can reveal itself to you from trying out those different things. And a lot of what you're saying I can relate to from my journey in business as well of trying out different things. And I don't think I would be where I was today.

If I didn't do something very similar.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yeah, that's so true. It's it is about getting started. You don't wanna stay in this kind of, I'll just think about going to the yoga shop, right? You don't wanna stay in that place. You wanna exactly get in there and start actually trying things actually seeing what's right for you.

You know, you might start off wanting to be a coach. And realize the consultant model works better, then you might realize actually I actually would just rather provide a service and have it be very simple because coaching is a little too much. You, you never know until you try, but that's a great point.

You do wanna get started. Don't just wander around, outside the yogurt shop, go in there and start tasting things.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Make sure you get in the yogurt shop. Yeah. So yeah, that's, that's one of the reasons I think that being a, an entrepreneur and creating some kind of information or learning. Like coaching courses, all that is so interesting, but I like to remind people as well, that there's not like one thing that you should pick like, oh, well, coaching is better or courses are better or memberships are better.

It really depends on you and your business and, and what you wanna do. And I would, I would suggest design your business around the way you want it to be, rather than what somebody tells you is gonna be the most profitable.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yes. Yes. Yes, yes. Every time so that you can be happy and sane and know that you're building something that's sustainable for you.

Cuz when you build things that are based on what worked for someone else, you know, it could work out for you, but usually it's gonna be your own version of that. So it's kind of better to start off with what's my version of this. What would work for me? What, what does my version look like? What are my toppings in my yogurt cup?

If we wanna just like beat this analogy into the ground, but yeah. Make sure that you're customizing it to. for you. And you're right there really, isn't one thing that's better than the other. I've released digital products and thought like, great. I don't wanna get on any calls. Let's just, we'll just sell an ebook and hopefully that'll be enough for people.

And then I realized I kind of do wanna talk to people. I do wanna coach, I wanna have that relationship. So I started a coaching program, you know, I'm moving my business completely off of Instagram because I'm so dedicated to my podcast. That that feels like a more meaningful place for me to be. It happens over time, but it's really important that you remain sovereign in all those choices that you're making so that your business can feel like you and good for you.

That's really important.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. And I think to, to note for, I think we're pretty clear with it, but to make sure there's no confusion, like we're not saying like, go reinvent the. You don't have to do that, but figure out the things that you en Joy more in, in what you're doing in business, try to focus on those things without feeling that you have to do everything the way someone else is doing.

Yes. So back to this multi-passionate idea we mentioned a little bit of the idea of focus and, and making sure that you're not too scattered with things. How would you say that a multi-passionate business owner. That has these different product offerings or maybe they're even across multiple niches.

How are they able to gain their audiences trust without either appearing, unqualified or maybe appearing like they're too scattered across different topics?

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yes. I love this question too. So I have another analogy for this. let me just try to answer without it. And then I'll probably mention it anyway to kind of tie it all together.

You know, so far in this conversation, I've talked about how I love music. I've talked about home decor. I've talked about plants, right? I've talked about a lot of different subjects, but they're all inside of one story. They're all inside of the story of how I came into being a multi-passionate coach or what, you know, my journey has been.

And it's very similar when you have multiple products or multiple offerings, and you wanna share about them, but you are maybe like concerned that you're gonna confuse people. The number one way to there's two parts to this, actually. So let's, let's make sure that we cover the first part, which is very important.

The first thing is. To ask yourself the question, are you confused or are they confused? Because a lot of times people go, well, I don't wanna confuse my audience. And they're projecting that onto their audience where your audience might very well be like, no, makes sense to me. That's fine, but because you are internally confused and you don't have that internal clarity, then you're projecting that onto other people.

So that's the first question. Are they confused? Do I have evidence that people are confused or am I internally conflicted? So I'm too afraid to even try to put these multiple things out there. That's the first question it's really important. I coach my clients on this all the time. So kind of get to the bottom of that.

The second thing. You can talk about, I mean, we just did it. We talked about music and how we put music on our podcast, but it's still underneath an umbrella of a story about what it's like to be a multi-passionate creator. What it's like to be someone who's. Trying to figure this thing out of how do I share more of myself?

How can I break this box that I know I don't belong in. So think about it like that. And then here's the analogy I have to do it. Think about any TV show that you watch. It could be game of Thrones or stranger things. When you're watching these shows. Oftentimes there's various things happening. There's different scenes, different low.

I. Game of Thrones, there's different locations. And you have to kind of keep up with all of this. And when something new gets introduced, we don't turn off our TV and go like, oh, Nope, I'm confused. Doesn't make any sense. We follow along because there's a story. There's an overarching story. There's a common goal with both of those shows, right?

Everyone in it. Yes, they have. They're having different experiences, but there's a common goal. So if you are a multi-passionate person and you have maybe different businesses or one business that has multiple level of offerings, maybe you have entry level and then more advanced whatever your product suite looks like, think about what is the common goal that ties them together and focus less on.

This idea that it's gonna be so confusing and more on. What's a story that I can tell to help this all work together. So the common goal, for example, for like, let's just say we have a health coach or someone in the health industry. Mm-hmm the overall common goal might be to live a healthy lifestyle that doesn't like cost you a bunch of money.

For example, like how to live a healthy lifestyle, that's completely accessible. To things you're already doing, maybe that's the common goal, but think about how many products and how many programs and how many things can fall underneath that. Some of it might be a calendar or a schedule. Other things might be recipes.

Other things might be an accountability group. There might be all these different touch points, but the common goal, the common story. Hey, I know I've been introducing a lot of different things to you, but that's because I want this healthy lifestyle to be as accessible to you as possible. So I wanna meet you where you are.

That's why today I have yet another new offering. Do you see? It's just that little bit of storytelling that ties it all together. So that's my number one piece of advice. And then going back to that first part, make sure that you have that internal clarity. Write out all your ideas, get them in front of you, get them outta your head so you can see them and kind of start to look at what's the common thread.

Get that clarity for yourself first, because if you don't have clarity first and you start trying to talk about everything that you're doing, you'll project your confusion onto your audience. Great.

Bryan McAnulty: I like that. I really like how simply you put it because it's something that people might wonder.

Well, how, how can I explain all of that? But if you. Cohesively have this, this story that you tell for yourself, even to explain how you would do that. You, you can turn it into something like you did, where it was basically a sentence or two that describes, well, this is how it all fits in to the overall result or vision or goal that we're going after.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yeah. And most people, I mean, so let's say someone's listening and they're saying, they're thinking, well, My ideas are completely disjointed and there is no common goal, right? Or like, yeah, some of my stuff is about this, but other things are about something else. If you feel that way, then think about the common value.

Underneath it, maybe the literal outcome is different, but if you value something like connection or you value something like accessibility or you value something like authenticity, that's enough as well. You can start there, start more broad. And then as you kind of refine your messaging and refine your storytelling, then you can get a little bit more granular.

But I promise you there's a common thread that links the things that you're putting out into the world because the actual common thread is. It's all coming from you and you have certain values, you have certain principles in your life that make you attracted to the things that you offer. So there's always something, I just wanna say that in case anyone's listening, going, no, that doesn't apply to me.

It totally does. You just might have to dig a little bit deeper and peel back some of those layers.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, it's great. Yeah. Thanks for mentioning. So I would say most of our audience is composed of creatives who are either selling online courses. Maybe they're coaches, maybe they have a membership site, something like this.

And I think a lot of them would identify with this idea of being multi passionate after they're hearing about it here today. But for people who really just kind of started to think about this internally, How can they kind of realize that maybe they, they are multi-passionate and that they can uncover these passions and talents.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yeah. So kind of go back to those three criteria that we mentioned in the beginning. Do you have a lot of interests that are paired with, oh my gosh, I'm so good at this. And I'm not even trying that hard. I just happen to be good at this thing. Do you continue to uncover new skills all throughout your.

Are you someone who's eager to learn? You're not afraid to try something new and then there's kind of the shadow side too. So I think now's a really good time to bring that up. Do you sometimes feel that you have too many ideas? Do you feel flaky? Wishy-washy a little bit all over the place. Have you had conversations with family members where they say, so what are you up to now?

And you kind of know that they're expecting you to say something different and then you're gonna feel like crap and go hide in the bathroom, you know, have you had these experiences? Do you sometimes feel a little bit misunderstood? Like you don't get it because this world caters to specialists and that doesn't fit.

You have you heard the phrase Jack of all black of all trades master of none and felt super triggered. Like these are also some markers that might tell you that you're a multi pate person and it's unfortunate that there are so many shadows to it, but that's why I'm doing the work that I'm doing to kind of bring us into the light because I want you to know that you're not alone.

There are so many people who identify as multi passionate and not everyone has language. Some of you listening, this might be the first time you're hearing that combination of words. Doesn't make you feel tingly. That's another sign that you're multi passionate. The first time I didn't make that up by the way I heard it somewhere else.

But the first time I heard the term multi-passionate creative, I got full body chills and I wanted to just break down and cry because it was the first time I was. Okay, there's a word for it. So I'm clearly not just a flaky, overly creative person. Who's never gonna be successful cuz they can't fix something.

Right. It gave me this terminology that I could get behind. It was a label that actually felt empowering. So that's another way to tell your multi passionate. So if you are coming into that and if you're thinking, oh my gosh, this is me. The first thing to know is that you're not alone. There are a lot of people out there who are also multi passionate.

The second thing to know is. once you embrace that, that's who you are. It's time to begin to filter out advice that doesn't apply to you. So just like, you know, Bryan and I were talking about nicheing down, for example, you know, you're gonna hear a lot of advice in the business world about picking a niche, but if you already know that you're multi passionate, now you can start to filter this advice and go, that would work really well for a specialist, but I'm multi passionate.

So what does my process look. and just asking yourself those questions, giving yourself permission to do things differently is gonna be really, really important along your multi-passionate journey. The next part is it's great to feel empowered about being multi passionate. I spend a large part of my career, just pumping people up.

This is a good thing. Here's why you should embrace it, but it's even better to have practical tools and practices that you can apply to your life. That allow having many talents to truly feel like a gift and not a burden. And that's where the second half or where I am now in my career has emerged where I'm more.

Did and giving you tools and practices that you can take with you. So if I can plug my podcast right now, this would be a great moment. Oh, sure. I have a podcast called multi-pass and mastery. And the goal of that podcast is to give you tools and practices that you can apply in your life so that you can start to see.

Oh, wait a minute. I totally can focus. I just need to do it in a way that works for me. Oh, hold on. I can gain a lot of clarity and create clear priorities if I look at it this way instead of that way. So come hang out with me over there so that you can feel nourished and know that there are resources specifically for you.

Because. Half of it is yes. Embracing that it's not a bad thing. And the other half is having evidence of that. Right. A lot of multi passionate spend so much time starting projects and stopping in the middle and then starting something else and stopping in the middle. And so they gather all this evidence or we gather all this evidence that we're not good at it.

We, we just we're flaky. We just can't get it together. So. What, what I wanna see and what I'm working toward in this lifetime is having multi-passionate gather evidence of the opposite. I can finish what I start. I can gain meaningful momentum on one project before I start the next one. And it's never about choose one thing that is like, I do not say that, cuz it is just not about that, but it is about having priorities.

It is about knowing what to start with first. What can come after that in a way that's gonna feel really good for you, your ability to do those things. That's what creates the confidence in being multi passionate, because you feel empowered and you now have evidence that having many ideas doesn't have to be endlessly distract.

Because you have a system for that. You have a process for that. You now have evidence. I can finish what I start. I'm just gonna do it in this particular way. Or I need to recommit every single day or every single week. Cuz once it's not gonna be enough, I'm gonna get distracted. It's about getting to know yourself, feeling empowered by it, but then having those tools to really back you up.

So come listen to my podcast and we can keep this conversation going over there. Got it.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, I think. The the idea of not, not finishing certain things and everything slightly off topic, but a lot of creatives also struggle with the idea of imperfection. And I think that if you can learn to. Over time, become a little bit more comfortable with imperfection and just make sure that you're making steady progress towards some overall goal that then that'll help you out, regardless of if you're focusing on multiple different areas of your business or your life.

My next question is that if you have all these different things that you're, you're trying to do, how can you actually go and prioritize this into. For most people is already probably a busy schedule. I think we saw somewhere on your site, you have like a framework for something like this.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Yeah. So I put together a framework called the priority mapping method and it's specifically for multi passionate who wanna break free from the pressure of wanting to do all the things at once.

Because when you have a lot of ideas and a lot of things you wanna bring out into the world, it feels exciting for like 10 minutes. And then after that, it's completely overwhelming. And the interesting thing is I think a lot of creatives think, okay, I'll get a planner. And you know, the layout of the planner will like magically give me priorities or I just need to get on click up or as sauna.

And then I'll magically have my life sorted. and what you find is while those are all great things that I personally love. If you don't have an internalized process for knowing how you can prioritize one thing over the other and what that looks like for you, all the planners and all the project management software in the world, they're not gonna be able to do that for you, cuz then you're just putting everything that feels.

Into a structure and everything's still due at the same time and it doesn't really help. So a brief overview I'll give a brief overview of my method. And then yeah, I have a free training that really breaks it down in more detail, but there's basically three phases. The first phase is cultivating clarity because all the work that I do, it's gotta start with you understanding who you are and what you want.

Right. Just like we're talking about at the top. It's not. Fitting into some idealistic version of what it looks like to be successful or have a successful business or anything like that. It's who are you and what do you want? So the main modality that I use in the method to help you learn about this is human design.

Now it's a little bit, woo. It's like astrology on steroids, but it helps you get to know who you are in the world and how you exchange energy with the world, how opportunities might come to you or things like that. So it's a really great tool to. To help you gain that clarity. And unlike some other, like the Ingram or things like this, it's not a personality test.

It's based on your birth date, your birth time and your location. So it's not something that's gonna change over time. So it's something you can continue to learn. So inside of my method, I have a human design practitioner who comes in and teaches you how to. All this juicy information about yourself, specifically for the purpose of cultivating clarity as a multi-passionate.

So it's really interesting and really, really cool, but clarity's the first. The second part is stacking your priorities. So after you have clarity, you know who you are, you know what you want, right. You're figuring that out and you're starting there. Now. It's time to create what I call your priority stack and the simplest way for me to explain this is it's the answer to this question?

What can I start with first that will make everything I do after easier and more en Joyable for. So, for example, let's say you wanna launch an online course, start a podcast and sell a product. Let's say those are kind of your three things that you wanna do. And maybe you have this sense of urgency of, well, I have to do them all right.

Now. They all need to happen at the same time, which is kind of what we all fall prey to. And then it's like really hard to make meaningful momentum on any of them. So if you were using the priority mapping method, you would pause. You would make sure you have clarity about who you are first. We already got that the way, but then you would ask that question.

Well, which one of these can I start with first? That's going to allow everything that comes after easier and more en Joyable for me. So you might realize, well, if I start my podcast, Then I start to, you know, create a relationship with people they're coming back every single week to hear me talk. So once I launch my course, I might actually have an audience to launch it to, I can even take some of the concepts that I'm thinking about for my course and use that to map out my podcast.

I can see which episodes do the best and maybe that can even make it easier for me to create my course. Right. So something like that. And then you might say, well, there might be a really cool tagline that comes outta my podcast or from my course, that would be great on a water bottle or great on a t-shirt or, you know, maybe something in my course, in the modules that I create, maybe that will turn into a journal or something physical I can sell.

So let me hold off on the product side. I'm gonna do my podcast. Develop that audience engagement then the next quarter or the next year, whatever I'm so into expansive timelines, it does not always have to be quarterly. You know, then I'm gonna launch my course and then I'm gonna allow the, the mixture of my podcast and my course to be amused for a product that I can create.

So you notice, I didn't say, well, you need to pick one. Are you gonna be product based? Are you gonna be a podcaster? Are you gonna do a course? Because that's just not necessary. You don't have to pick one, but it's that question? Well, what can I start with first? That's gonna make everything else easier and more en Joyable for me, that reframe is really, really powerful for creating priorities.

So that's phase two is stacking your priorities in that way. The second, the last phase phase three is focusing to follow through because it's one thing to say, cool, I'll do podcast first course, second, and then a product. It's another thing to actually do that. and this is where focus comes into play.

And so we use a method called the three part focus framework, and that means that you're not looking. I can, I gotta, like, I have to reign it in. Cause I love talking about focus. I, my whole first season of my podcast is all about focus. So I'm gonna really try to simplify, but basically I think we think of focus as this big ominous thing that either you just have it or you don't.

And there, we don't spend a lot of time unpacking the very concept of what it means to focus and what I realized from observing my own process and getting so frustrated that I wasn't able to quote unquote focus was that the word focus meant different things. For me, based on the outcome, I was desiring sometimes focus meant.

Okay. What is on my plate today? What should I be doing right now? That's gonna move the needle and it actually meant I need some clarity around what's the most important thing. Other times focus meant. I need to finish everything on this list. I need to actually check things off the box and other times focus actually meant I need to take a break.

My brain is overworked right now. So there's three types of focus that we use inside of the priority mapping method. One is called intensive focus, and that is expansive. It's like, think of going to a conference where it's just you and you. You're the keynote speaker. It's all about you. And you get to just be with yourself and be with your ideas.

This is the time where you look at your priorities. You look at your commit. You make sure they match up. You look at the deeper why behind everything that you're doing, and you spend this quality time with yourself where you can ask yourself questions. is this still, what I wanna be doing is my plate over full.

A lot of times we don't give ourselves that opportunity to ask those questions. And that is a type of focus. It's just a more expansive type of focus. The second type of focus is active focus and that's when you're getting things done. That's when you're writing the emails, that's when you're building the course and we need that too, but we need that after we have that more expansive view.

The third type of focus is passive focus. This is when you give yourself a break and this is not working so much to the point where you have to take a break. It's intentional breaks by observing your energy and kind of knowing where you need those breaks. And you can do something like listen to a podcast or go for a walk or take a nap, whatever feels nourishing for you.

But I like to honor that as still being a type of focus because without it. The whole active focus thing. Isn't gonna work, cuz you're gonna be too tired to actually do it. So that's what we do in phase three, once you master and there's other things in the actual method, but it's just too much to get into, but once you get those three things, okay, I've got clarity.

I'm clear on my priorities and I have a process for focusing. It doesn't matter how many ideas you. You will know how to organize them for yourself in a way that feels good. And the cool thing about this method is it's not for people who are already kind of organized, like a lot of time management systems are, this is specifically developed for multi-passionate.

So all the language in it, every part of the approach is from a multi-passionate to a multi-passionate. So it's really unique and it's been really impactful for, for my clients and my community.

Bryan McAnulty: That's great. Yeah. Thanks for sharing. I think I could go more into the, the focus thing with you as well. I don't think we have enough time here today, but I do like to think of it in a similar way that it, you can't just say, well, I'm gonna just be ruthlessly, like doing things and, and checking off boxes nonstop.

And that's just how it is. It, it is. I think that the way to be the most successful. And also en Joy yourself and, and make it through that whole process is that the it's more of a wave. Like just like you need to go to sleep, you need to have this period of reflection rather than just doing things, not stop and then, and use that reflection and learn learning and, and stepping away from things to be able to come back and then make sure you're doing the right things again.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Absolutely. It's so important. It's so important cause we're not machines. Yeah. So yeah, we have to honor that, especially as creative people, a lot of times when we are doing those, those more task driven things, you know, we're sometimes in problem solving mode that just comes up for us. And so it's important that we give ourselves spaciousness where we're not solving any problems and we're just allowing ourselves to be so that those creative ideas can come in.

And when we cut ourselves off from that, I think. It's harder to feel fulfilled in anything that we're doing.

Bryan McAnulty: Yep. I agree. So one of the things we like to do on this show is to have each of our guests ask the audience a question. So if you could ask our audience anything, what would that be?

D'Ana Joi Spencer: So my question would be now that you've listened to this conversation, Do you feel that you're a multi-passionate creative?

Do you feel that this is something that you want to begin to integrate into your lifestyle? Are you more curious about the multi-passionate way of life? Are you kind of ready to stop trying to fit yourself into a box? And are you realizing that maybe you're not meant to be a specialist? Let us know. I would love to grow this community and it's really powerful to say yes I am.

So if that's you let us. That sounds

Bryan McAnulty: great. Yeah. And, and if you, if you would say yes share with us what you would say your passions are as well, that would be nice to see. Yeah, totally. Alright. Joy. Well, thanks so much for coming on the show before we get going. Where else can people find you online?

D'Ana Joi Spencer: sure. So a great place to come hang out with me is on my podcast. It's called multi-passionate mastery and you can get that anywhere you listen to podcast. I also do have a free training called how to bring your ideas to life on a completely stress free timeline. So we can link to that somewhere around here.

Those are two great places to start and that'll get you in my world and we can just take it from there.

Bryan McAnulty: All right. Sounds great. Thanks.

D'Ana Joi Spencer: Thank you.

Bryan McAnulty: If you en Joyed this interview and want the chance to ask questions to our guests live tune in on Tuesdays when new episodes premier on the Heights Platform, Facebook page, to learn more about the show and get notified when new episodes release, check out the Creator's Adventure dot com until then keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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