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When you start your business, no matter what field that’s in, more than likely you have heard the phrase niche down. You’ve been told to figure out the one kind of person you want to target in your business, but as a multi-passionate, that feels very limiting. I know it did for me, especially as an introvert. The good thing is that you don’t have to always follow the rules of entrepreneurship. If you are passionate about multiple things as an entrepreneur or business owner, then just let go of the need to niche down and focus more on the experiences that bring you joy with the work you do and the clients you work with. It’s time to embrace all of the things that make you passionate in your business.
Our guest on the podcast today is Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur & Business Coach, Portia Yip. She is a coach, mentor, copywriter, and artist. She guides creative business owners, introverted entrepreneurs, and multi-passionate souls towards growing their version of a purposeful business as they turn their passions into profit while taking imperfect, inspired action.
Before going all-in with her business, Portia was head of communications at a non-profit for five years. In late 2019, Portia took her business around the world— traveling as a digital nomad before intentionally “getting stuck abroad” due to the pandemic. Currently, Portia supports creatives via one-on-one business coaching with a focus on mindset, storytelling, simple biz systems, doable strategies, and empowered marketing. She also plans to launch an immersive group coaching program.
In this episode, Portia and I dive into:
It was about eight years ago when Portia started her business as a freelance writer and this was before she even knew what a side-gig was. It was around the same time when she started her full-time job at a non-profit organization. With her freelance writing, she took on projects for all sorts of clients and industries. This was a creative outlet for her aside from her full-time job, but she began feeling like something was missing. She knew she wanted more freedom, flexibility, and creativity out of her days though, so she began traveling and creating abstract art to sell at markets to try and fill the void that was missing. That feeling never went away for her and after lots of reflecting and soul searching, she finally came to the conclusion that the 9-5 lifestyle wasn’t for her. It took a full five years for Portia to finally get the courage to quit her job, but she finally did three years ago and went all-in with her business.
She focused on copywriting services for creatives and service-based businesses and just kept the art going on the side. Since her business was mostly remote, she and her partner decided to travel for a year. They left in September of 2019, and about four months into the trip, she started getting burned out. She had a lot going on and her workload was getting to be too much. That feeling of void crept back up again and after doing more reflecting, she realized that she wanted to do even more and impact even more entrepreneurs like herself to be able to help them in a different capacity than her copywriting work. That’s how business coaching appeared. She signed up for a course, got certified as a life and business coach, and then COVID hit. Even though the world was uncertain at the time, she was able to start helping creatives, service providers, and multi-passionate entrepreneurs create a more purposeful business for themselves.
Being a digital nomad really fascinates me, and it’s something I would love to do someday, but Portia learned so much about herself as a person while traveling and working remotely. It allowed her to tap into two things she really enjoyed – doing work that she was passionate about and seeing the world. Her advice for anyone who wants to take the leap to travel and work remotely would be to learn how to be comfortable with change and being able to adapt. She says you have to love the flexibility, too, especially working in a different timezone and in a totally different environment. It’s not for everyone. There were definitely days where she wished she had her stable office environment and daily routine again. You have to be more open and go with the flow because you may have to take client calls at three in the morning with the time zone differences. Portia only had to do that a few times before that became a hard no for her. The main thing is that you have to go through it to really understand how to navigate the time zones and working from a different country.
She really loved the flexibility of it, being able to live long term in a different country, and then being able to travel on her own time. It was a huge thing for her to be able to slowly travel and stay in one place for at least a month. This allows you to adjust to your surroundings before hopping around every few days to a new location. This is a great way to create some sort of routine, especially with running your own business. Having a routine is key to your success and being able to focus on your work, marketing, or anything else to build your business.
There’s a high probability that as a multi-passionate entrepreneur, especially a service provider, that you will offer multiple services. Whether you are in the health and wellness space and also have a passion for marketing or you are like Portia, who is a business coach and copywriter, you get to choose what you do and how you share that with your clients and audience. For Portia, with copywriting her clients tend to be creative entrepreneurs, introverts that are more like gentle souls and obviously multi-passionate. She wouldn’t really pinpoint it to one specific industry, but it’s more service-based online entrepreneurs like course creators, other coaches, and those running health and wellness businesses. Her coaching clients tend to be more copywriters, designers, artists, and makers like those who sell their work at markets. One of the main themes she has noticed for all of them is that they want to run a business they love that’s purposeful and sustainable.
As an entrepreneur sometimes you can niche yourself down into a box. There is so much information out there about how you need to niche down for your business to flourish and grow, but that’s not always the case. Of course that works for some, but for multi-passionates that doesn’t have to be an entrepreneurial ‘rule’ you follow. At the beginning of Portia’s business she tried figuring out what she wanted to do, but finding a niche was really hard for her. She didn’t want to limit herself by only targeting one type of person or one type of business. She believes that is how she was able to get around that by being open to every opportunity that came her way, figuring out what she liked, and then what she didn’t like. She wouldn’t suggest or tell anyone to pick one thing right off the bat because you could spend so long focusing on attracting that one type of client and if you really don’t like something about it, then it’s not going to work for you long term. Don’t worry about the niching thing right away because as you gain more experience, you’ll figure out what you like and don’t like. If there’s something you don’t like, just drop it. If you’re curious about something, why not just go ahead and jump into it and try it out. The other thing to keep in mind as a multi-passionate is that you don’t need to be doing everything you love at the same time or feel like you have to drop something and never do it again.
If you are in the beginning stages of your business, Portia says that it can be hard because you’re dealing with so much new territory. It can feel overwhelming and you can get lost in all the noise out there of people saying you should do this or that, but you need to know that it’s okay to try everything and do everything that gets presented to you in the beginning. You want to keep planting those seeds of opportunity for yourself everywhere and allow yourself to do things imperfectly. Take your time to hone in on your truth, your messaging, your mission, and give yourself permission and grace to say, it’s okay if it might take you a little longer to figure things out because as an entrepreneur it is a journey. It’s never about the endpoint. Give yourself the freedom and flexibility to explore things, try different things, and eventually, you’ll start to figure out what you want to really focus on.
A great idea that Portia got for introverts being able to come together and connect online without physically going to a co-working space came from someone who was doing something similar. She used to go to co-working spaces and found that it took a lot of energy to pack up your laptop and other work materials to physically go from your home to a co-working space. She thought that if you could just do it from the comfort of your home while connecting with people for a couple of hours, that would be a better way for some people to connect. There are still people going through lockdown or are not comfortable going out yet, even if things are opening, so it just made sense for Portia to create these free co-working sessions. One of the many great things is that you can meet people from different parts of the world because it’s not just limited to your local cities.
She started these co-working sessions about a month ago and they happen right now bi-weekly on Tuesdays at 11am, mountain time. They last for about two hours and they’re super casual and relaxed. People are able to show up anytime they want and they’re meant to almost be an accountability session, too. It also allows you to meet others, connect, casually chat about what you’re working on, and any challenges you’re having. Portia started them as a way to start building a community around those who want to meet others in an easy space by just connecting anywhere online via zoom. Even for myself as an introvert, I am craving connections, so this is a great way to do that.
A great way to make an impact on the world and let your audience and potential clients know who you are on a deeper level is to find a way to give back using your business. Giving back shares more about who you are as a brand, and what values hold true for you in your business. Giving back is one of those things for Portia that has always been central in everything that she does in some way. Where she found that she got tripped up was with the how part and a lot of people think giving back just means donating and giving your money to charity and nonprofits. There are actually other ways to do it, especially if you’re new to your business, and you don’t have a lot of money to donate. Portia suggests donating your time, which can be giving some of your services away as pro bono or at a reduced rate for a charitable organization, or any causes that you’re passionate about. If you can link that to your work, you can donate your time that way and help others with your services and time. Another organization she found is Kiva. They are micro-loans that you invest in, and then you actually get that money back once the loan has been paid off. It’s a part of the microfinancing world and it has been a very interesting way to give back for her in smaller monetary amounts where that money gets cycled through.
Portia gave so many valuable and helpful tips on learning to embrace your multiple passions as an entrepreneur, especially as an introvert, on this podcast episode today. She shared how working for a non-profit organization eventually led to starting and embracing her multi-passionate business, being a digital nomad and living the location independent lifestyle, offering multiple services as a multi-passionate, starting your own business and allowing yourself to try new things, community and accountability through co-working, and how giving back in your business helps to humanize your brand and values.
Don’t forget to follow Portia on Instagram for more tips on growing a more purposeful business as a multi-passionate. She also has her one-on-one business coaching to help you find clarity around being a multi-passionate, and creative co-working sessions would also be great for you as an introverted entrepreneur seeking connection in a more relaxed atmosphere online.
[1:34] Portia’s story from working a full-time non-profit job, traveling, and starting her business online
[5:18] The biggest piece of advice Portia has for anyone wanting to travel and take their online work with them
[7:20] Working with lots of different clients as a multi-passionate, offering multiple services, and letting go of the need to ‘niche down’ too deep
[12:20] Getting lost in all the noise when you start your business to allowing yourself the freedom and flexibility to try new things and using those experiences to figure out what you love
[19:16] Creative co-working sessions that are hosted by Portia and how the more relaxed atmosphere of meeting up online is great, especially for introverts craving connection
[22:26] Using your business to help give back, making an impact by serving others, and how it’s a great way to humanize your brand and values
If you enjoyed this episode, I invite you to take a screenshot and tag me on your Instagram stories @introvertcoach and tell me your biggest takeaway!
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