January 31, 2023
“You can’t have it all,” they said.
“You need to niche down,” they said.
Well, I’m living proof that they’re lying. Buuuuut, if you’re trying to manage a multi-passionate career, just know that you’re in for some hard. ass. work.
(This stuff is not for the weak.)
After 3 years of navigating the worlds of owning an online brand AND pursuing showbusiness, I think I’ve *finally* figured out the balance. So I wanted to write this blog today for all of you multi-passionates out there who feel like they’re struggling to make all their passions work. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
A Bit of Context
If you’re new to this blog and you’re like “who the hell is she to be talking about this!?”, I wanted to offer a bit of backstory.
So, hello! I’m Sarah Kleist 🙂
I’m a New York City-based actor turned brand and web designer who juggles both at the same time. A typical week in my life includes sending in audition tapes via my agent, designing and developing custom websites for my incredible clients, creating value-packed videos for my TikTok audience of over 60K, and writing this blog (and corresponding newsletter!) that you’re reading right now.
It’s a lot.
It has me working 14-hour days sometimes.
On the flipside, I am financially stable in a way I’ve never been in my life, I am able to do whatever theatrical projects I want without being worried about whether or not they are going to pay my rent, and I feel so freaking fulfilled on a daily basis to be doing all the things I love but *also* be making an impact in the lives of others.
SO, now that you have a bit more context about me, let’s dive into it, shall we?
You Can Have It All, Just Not Every Day
When I first started my business, I used to say “you can have it all, just not all at once“. And I think that’s largely true. In the beginning of any new endeavor, you might have to put the breaks on some of your passions… for now. When you’re just starting out, you’re learning and creating so many new skills a day that your brain may not be able to handle a secondary passion on top of it.
And that’s okay!!!!
Complete balance may not be achievable. At least not yet. But it’s entirely attainable to grow into a multi-passionate career you’re proud of that *also* works for you and your life. Here are some of the tangible systems I’ve set in place to manage my creativity and energy effectively.
Identify Your Priorities for the Year, Quarter, Month, and Week—and Be Realistic!!!
At the start of each year, I like to write down a huuuuuge list of things I’d love to achieve in a perfect world—in every area of my life. (However, if you’re finding this blog in the middle of July or something, you can do this whenever! This is just when works for me.)
Then, I take a few weeks to marinate on those ambitious goals and get really clear on what I think is realistic for the year ahead. Oftentimes, the list becomes a big mush of random things from random parts of my life that I want to accomplish, with no actual plan of action to get there.
Finally, for each realistic goal, I create a list of things I could be doing to achieve them. And then I categorize those tasks by whether I think they are a daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly routine to implement in my life.
Those become the building blocks of my multi-passionate routines.
Multi-Passionate Careers are Comprised of Small Routines That Make a Big Impact
The key to creating a balanced multi-passionate career is a list of small routines you do every single day, week, and month that contribute to each of those parts of your life.
So, given that my goals are to 1.) be a working actor, 2.) run a successful AF design business online 3.) grow my TikTok following, and 4.) heal my relationship with my body & wellness, here’s the stuff I try to do every single day. To make things easy, I keep a log to check it off the list and track as it goes.
- Do my journaling practice—for my mental wellbeing! (Takes 10 minutes.)
- Check Playbill.com and actorsaccess.com for the upcoming auditions, and submit my headshot to whatever roles I see fit. (Takes 30 minutes TOPS.)
- Post a TikTok video and a repurpose it to Reels (Takes 10 minutes.)
- Go to the gym. (Takes 1 hour.)
- Do my skincare and drink whatever my favorite greens powder is at the moment. (Takes 10 minutes.)
- Hit 8-10K steps, because being sedentary is the worst for my design creativity. (Takes all day, but I’m moving around anyway!)
- Eat healthy, which to me, just means lots of proteins and veggies. (I gotta eat anyway, so figuring out how to get more protein in is only adding a few extra minutes added on.)
Do all of these things always get done every day? No. Do they get done a lot of the days? Yes. Do you have to be this wild when creating your own routines? No. Am I just nuts? Maybe.
The important part is carving out a way to spend at least 10 minutes a day on each of your passions, so that you always feel they are a part of your identity and you’re always working towards your goals in those areas. Even in the off-seasons, when I’m not performing in a show, I am still submitting my headshot and resume. Even when I’ve been drowning in client work and haven’t had a TikTok video do well in a while, I’m still posting.
Map out the things you can do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis this way, and then *actually stick to them*. You’ll be shocked what happens when you do.
Bonus Tip: Keep a Log of all the Stuff You Did
As a person with a multi-passionate career, do you resonate with this?
“I’m doing so many things all the time and it feels like I’ve done nothing at all!”
You have. You’re just burning the candle at both ends, so you’re forgetting. That’s exactly why I started something that I like to call the “to-done” list. Essentially, it’s where you keep a log of everything you do every day, so that you can properly reflect and look back at all that awesome stuff you accomplished.
It’s great for the ego, if I do say so myself. It’s also shocking what you can do in a week, month, and year. But if you’re trying to live a truly balanced life full of tons of different passions, it’s also great tool for seeing just how balanced your week, month, and year was. Then you can course-correct as you go.
If you’re looking to dive more into this, I actually have a free template and how-to guide here!
Know that “Balance” is Subjective
As someone with a multi-passionate career, there will be periods of your year (or even your life) where one passion is taking precedent over the other.
For example, last year I did two productions of the musical Kinky Boots. And while I was loving every single second of getting to be back on stage again, my design business took a bit of a backseat. It had to—if you’ve ever been a part of a theatrical production before, you know just how time-consuming and exhausting the process really is.
So, while I was able to do a bit of client work here and there, it was nothing like the amount of time I am able to dedicate to it when I’m not in a show (aka, most of the time). And that’s okay! I loved pouring myself into the show when I was in it. Equally, I loved coming back home and pouring myself back into my business.
A Multi-Passionate Career is Not for the Faint of Heart…
… but it is for the strongest and most open of minds. If you’re stubborn enough to live this way, then I’m confident you can manage it. I believe in you!
If you liked How to Manage a Multi-Passionate Career, you might also like…
Hi, I'm Sarah Kleist.
Brand & web designer, personal brand strategist, and marketing educator obsessed with the power of connecting with audiences.
An actually-fun-to-read weekly newsletter about marketing, design, business, the arts, creativity, mindset and more.
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