Our guest this week is Miche Priest. She is a multipotentialite solopreneur who is helping individuals get unblocked by using micro-coaching sessions.
In this episode we chatted about reinvention, multipotentiality, generalists vs specialists, harmful advice, solopreneur accountability, and in the end, Miche helped me get unstuck by applying her signature Unstuck In 15 technique.
Emilie Wapnick - Author of 'How to be Everything'
Dr. Subodh Kerkar - Indian Abstract Artist
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Sushil: My guest this week is an expert in reinvention who has changed careers seven times.
She's a multipotentialite solo printer. And her current area of focus is helping people get unstuck.
She uses a method called unstuck in 15. . And it's also the title of our podcast. Please welcome. Mitch priest.
Miche Priest: I thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.
Sushil: I'm very excited to have you. So very you're calling in from.
Miche Priest: Uh, I am calling in from Vancouver.
Sushil: I love the Pacific Northwest. So jumping in.
Seven different career changes. That is amazing. I think it's important to reinvent yourself when you start to stagnate. And you seem to be an expert on the subject.
Miche Priest: Yeah. I've had many interests. since I was a kid, I, when I was little, I
wanted to be everything, from a vet, a veterinarian to, a scientist, a teacher. And then when.
I went to university. I changed my major Seven times my first two years. So I started out in biology and then moved to chemistry and then, changed to art and theater, just everything.
And then, my path has been that way through my career. So I started out as an art teacher and, and then I was a financial advisor. I owned an insurance brokerage. I was a marketing director of marketing at an insurance technology startup. and then from there, I was an entrepreneur at a bank. It's like an entrepreneur, but you get to use the bank's money, which is nice. so I didn't have to bootstrap. And then, I was a product manager at a, pharma management consulting company. and, then I was a product manager at a venture studio, but then, got promoted to being a venture lead, which is a bit different than a product manager. It's more like a, a mini CEO. yeah, so some of the changes are not as drastic, but certainly art teacher to financial advisors pretty dramatic.
Sushil: So much of this resonates with me because I'm also the kind of person who loves to, to a lot of different things. And wouldn't be really happy if I'm just doing one thing. For a very long time. So you're a multipotentialite in the truest sense of the word.
Miche Priest: yeah, I, and I just learned about this word a couple of months ago. So for the longest time I felt like I didn't belong anywhere. I felt like there was something wrong with me because I couldn't find that one thing that I was supposed to be, that question, what are you supposed to be when you grow up?
And I really felt like I didn't belong anywhere. And then I thought, oh, now I'm onto another career. but then I, came across a video on YouTube, about multipotentialites and how it's, a benefit to society to have a mix of people who are specialists and people who are generalists and how generalists can cross.
All of their interests to come up?
with really creative solutions. so. that made me feel a lot more comfortable in my skin.
Sushil: Was this a video by Emily Wapnick By any chance.
Miche Priest: Yes, yes. Yeah. I, couldn't think her name.
Sushil: I was actually in her community for awhile. It's a very, very involved. Diverse community of multipotentialite from all over the world. And I really see the value in being a multipotentialite and having multiple areas of interest. We live in a world that rewards specialists. so i understand where that self-doubt and imposter syndrome can come into the picture as a multipotentialite
Miche Priest: Yeah, definitely. And when you think about it, even our whole education system is set up that way. You go to school, you get good grades and then you get into university and you pick a discipline and then climb up the career ladder. But our education system, I guess in a sense, you learn the different, the different topics, but it's meant to.
Give you exposure, but the purpose is to then pick one. And so it'd be interesting to know what an education system for children would look like where, there wasn't that kind of push or pressure to pick that one path.
Sushil: Yeah, I can totally. Relate to that pressure. In fact, I saw this art installation by this Indian artist Subodh Kerkar
where he had the head of a doll in a vice. And the message was don't put your children's head in a vice. Let them pick what they want to do. Themselves. maybe I should ask you this question. Usually people ask. what advice would you give? But let me ask you. What advice would you ignore as a multipotentialite
Miche Priest: Oh, that's a good question. What advice would I ignore? I guess it's, the main advice of trying to figure out what you want to be I know some people who they're waiting for that inspiration or they're waiting for it to almost come to them and, and then instead of.
Trying hard to find that one thing. It's just try everything like anything that you're curious about and just follow your curiosity.
Sushil: Follow your curiosity. I like that. That's. Really empowering advice. I was chatting with a friend last week and something insightful came up. He told me that advice is supposed to empower you. So, if you feel like crap after someone gave you advice, Then they probably are giving you a system of rules to follow.
And usually people are giving advice. From a specialist perspective, they give you advice, like stick to one thing or. Pick one thing and go with it. And this kind of advice can be very disempowering to someone who has a wide range of interests. Rules will tell you what you can and cannot do. Or you should or shouldn't do.
Whereas advice will actually empower you. It'll open you to a world. Of possibilities. And that's how I feel. Good advice should be.
Miche Priest: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And then there's those things like the 10,000 hours, focus and yeah. But I, yeah, I like that idea of being more open-ended and that's the thing it's like being a specialist or being a generalist, like neither of them are right or wrong. It's just creating space for generalists to exist.
Sushil: I think that's what Emily was aiming to do with the community. And now with the internet and globalization, something like that has become a lot easier. And it's become easier to find your tribe
and. Community really helps us come up with. Better solutions to our problems.
So tell me, what are you currently working on?
I'm always working on several projects at the same time. And I'm sure you can relate to something of that.
Miche Priest: Yeah, that's a, that's definitely where I am. I, so at the beginning of the year, I started 100 days of no code. So if you go to 100 days of no code.com, there is a free curriculum. You get an email a day. As a prompt so you can choose to do it or not. but basically it's a half-hour activity using no code software.
So this is where you can build websites and products without knowing how to code And, what's nice about that is I learned about all of these different tools and then, Projects, I would have never even thought of. And so some of those projects have carried forward and I continued, one of them is the unstuck and 15. so that started from a curiosity and a tweet I posted. And then, I just asked as, if you're stuck with anything, I bet I can help in 15 minutes with three questions. and then
I was surprised at how many people responded. So I just started meeting with people and just sending them, a Google meet link. but then with doing the a hundred days, no code, one of the projects was to build a website. So then I built a website for it. and and then now, more ideas are coming. another thing. With helping career changers is a website I built through a hundred days of no code. is this homeroom concept.
So taking online courses together. it's a lot of times when you're changing your career, you need to up-skill and online courses are great. it's nice to get, information from people who are in the trenches And, doing the work and they're sharing their wisdom. But if anybody's like me, you sign up for the courses, you have good intentions, you might start it right away, but then don't go back to it.
And every week, tell yourself, oh, I need to do this course. which is exactly what happened. There's Justin Welch's LinkedIn course I really wanted to take in every week. I was like, I'm going to for sure do it. It's, only three hours. Oh my gosh. I could find three hours in a week and then I didn't. I thought if I had a group of people I could be accountable to, that would help me, And a surprising benefit is, taking the courses with other people as you get to see how they see the information. So you get a different type of learning by learning in a group So, like you said about, it's easier to find your tribe. I feel like, I've been able to find my tribe with some of these projects.
Sushil: I can attest to the power of online courses, because that was the part that I took after quitting my job. I did a lot of courses. And I also agree that it's difficult to keep yourself accountable sometimes. Because when external motivation. Goes away. Then you're completely reliant on yourself and that can be challenging.
Miche Priest: Yeah, you don't have that person that writes your paycheck, telling you to do something.
Sushil: Yeah, it's definitely one of those challenges when you are going. Down the solo path. Maybe you could talk about that. How do you keep yourself accountable? When there are no deadlines when there's no. Paycheck or external motivation
Miche Priest: well I guess to go back a little bit, I didn't know, solo preneurs ship was really. I thought you needed to choose to be an employee or an employer. And so after I had my business, I, for several reasons didn't want to do that again, being responsible for other people's paychecks is a big responsibility. and one that I took very seriously. And then I tried being an employee. I got laid off three times, so I'm just, I'm the type of person that, I find meaning in work. So I don't need a lot of. external motivation. Another concept I, came across recently is these three categories of workers.
There are people who have a job and they find meaning outside of work. and then the career people who go up the ladder. And and then the, people who are where work is they're calling, they're like looking for that, thing to immerse themselves into and find meaning in work. So I'm more of that kind of person. for me, like turning off is my challenge. And so even though I'm a solo preneur and I'm doing my own thing and I don't have the financial pressures and things like that. I just, I love working. I love creating, I love building ideating meeting with people so sometimes I need to create space to, not do those things.
Sushil: I'm definitely someone who needs to find. Purpose in what I do full book. And the other end of the spectrum is that if you don't enjoy what you do. It could lead to a complete shutdown in your life.
I went through something like this in my previous job. And I was completely disconnected from what I did. Four. And this led to a phase in my life where i was not productive at all ,
Miche Priest: yeah. Yeah. And I've been prone to that as well. I actually went on disability for three months for burnout. it was, yeah, just a culmination of things, but it happen. And especially today with knowledge work and. We're trying to figure out as a society, what it means to lead knowledge workers.
And, we don't have this machine and you're a cog and you do this thing. And then as long as all the cogs do their things, the machine works. It's now, contributing, creatively. And so I think, Yeah, we're navigating that. And then us in this generation, that's facing burnout And stress, are going through this pain for hopefully future generations will have it better.
Sushil: Yeah, I'm not familiar with the term knowledge worker. Could you expand on that?
Miche Priest: Oh, yeah. Yeah. if you think about like pre-internet era, certainly there's, there were the knowledge workers, the writers and creators And things like that. But, with the industrial age And automation, car manufacturing, extracting natural resources, things like that, the roles that were needed.
We're predictable. So if you, say we're an engineer or a doctor, a teacher, your path was to get educated and learn how to do those things. And then the variance in your day to day. Isn't as great as today with knowledge work it's, for building technology and building products and doing things that have never been done before. it takes a lot. experimenting and thinking through things and collaborating, and your day isn't necessarily, ha doesn't necessarily have the same components and you don't really know what path to take to ensure the outcome that you're looking for. yeah, so knowledge work is more of that figuring out space.
Sushil: Thank you for explaining that. And I can totally empathize with your situation about the burnout. I was on short-term disability, myself from January to. April of 2020. And it was for the shutdown that I was going through in my previous job. Although I am grateful that I had the option of taking time off. Uh, I didn't stay with the company because.
When I spend time. , understanding myself. I realized that this is not working for me and I have to go and explore what else is out there.
I'm very curious to know what the unstuck in 15 technique is. Would you be able to apply it? To someone like me
Miche Priest: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Happy to, break it down and tell you the methodology behind it. Yeah. So basically, what happens is, I'll have you tell me how you're stuck and then I meant to only ask three questions. So I try really to, burn one. So if I accidentally ask a question, it counts as one of the three. And so it's a challenge for myself and then, yeah.
Typically for whatever magical reason, by the 15 minutes, people tend to be unstuck or at least not as stuck. Yeah. So tell me how you're stuck
Sushil: I'm stuck, figuring out a way to have cashflow in my life. I'm going through a career pivot. Right now and living completely off my savings from my previous job. It's been good. The time off has been great. Uh, I have been able to spend some time. Healing and resolving traumas and getting a better understanding of myself.
But now I'm ready to project myself into the future. With motivation and confidence. And I want to start. Establishing some revenue streams.
Miche Priest: Okay. so just so I make sure I understand. you're in this place now that your, so you're living off your savings and you're looking to find ways to generate. Uh, revenue. So I'm bringing in money. And so you're looking for ways to find, or not find cashflow, but create streams of revenue my question one is, what are all of the options available to you?
Sushil: Now the challenge as a multipotentialite is that I have way too many options. And I try to do them all at the same time.
I am an artist. I paint so I can do something with art selling paintings
Working on online courses. Uh, in fact, I'm working on something similar. Like getting unstuck I'm. Looking on a course to help people get unstuck. By using art. And I'm also a stand-up comedian. Um, I've not been doing comedy in a vial.
And I want to get back into it. That's another option. And I love writing online. I'm trying to establish myself as an online writer.
I also enjoy this podcast.
It helps me meet people. From all over the world and have insightful conversations
so I feel there are so many options that I sometimes get yanked in different directions. And that's one of the reasons I probably get stuck.
Miche Priest: My first question was what are all the options available to you? So you're exploring, painting, creating courses, stand up, comedy writing. so then my next question is with all of the options available to you? what information is missing for you to move forward? So your goal. so your point B your destination is, cashflow. So getting revenue streams and then, your point a today is that you have all of these options in front of you.
So what is missing, in order for you to bridge the gap?
Sushil: I would say execution. Is sometimes not.
Going through all the way. I feel like I do this with a lot of projects that I work with. I get super motivated. Work in a very short burst. And. It becomes. Very overwhelming and I stop. So I have this unsustainable append on model. That prevents me from having a consistent output. So to sum it up, I think consistency. And execution.
Are two of my problems. If I can find a way to enjoy the process and each atomic step. It would become. A lot easier to sustain this
Miche Priest: Okay. Okay. So you don't enjoy the process and then this piece with the execution. Okay. So then my third question, there's two that I want to ask, but I'm only allowed to ask one. So what would have the better output. I think my third question would be given what you're trying to do and given, like how you feel about the process and things like that. what can you do to help set yourself up for success?
Sushil: This is something I've been thinking about for a long time. I keep getting this message that I need to incorporate more play in my process. I'll give an example. With podcasting.
I love meeting people. I love ideating. I love the influx of fresh concepts and each episode is a learning experience for me. More than anything. But.
In the workflow of producing an episode I find the process to be like a chore. And maybe being more playful. Would help with the process.
Same with art. I absolutely love painting. It's a beautiful form of expression. But when I think about.
Turning it into a revenue stream.
I start. Ruminating on how to be better at social media. How to game the system. Or if I need to make Tik TOK videos. Or whatever. And then .
I think the focus shifts from enjoying the process to. What I need to do.
Rather than just going with the flow.
Miche Priest: yeah. Incorporating more play. And I think to also more options. So anytime you catch yourself saying. I should do this. So for example, like I should do social media or Tik TOK or things like that. That could be like a signal to yourself that it's not necessarily something that you want to do or that, and then that may not set you up for success.
So what. Do is look to reframe it and see like what other options. So go back to the first question, what are all the options. available? So maybe you don't have to use social media. Maybe you don't market yourself. Maybe you can offer, place your offerings on marketplaces. there's sites, what is it called? Saatchi, I think is an online. Yeah. it may be worth doing some research to see, what are all the options. available to me for this thing that I feel like I should do. And then, and then of those options, how can Introduce more play into it, or maybe it's about time boxing.
It things like that so yeah, that's that would happen quickly. I think we got that in eight minutes instead of 15 I don't know, if
feel like you're a little bit less stuck or if that was helpful.
Sushil: No, it was perfect. As I said, I always learned something from talking to someone. On this podcast. And even if it was eight minutes, I feel like the insights were very on point. And helped me consider. the things I can do to improve my process.
Miche Priest: Yeah. and I feel like the premise behind this is, like I don't, I feel like everybody has the answers within them, so I don't need to know, all of the details or the nuance. I just need to know enough to be able to add. Questions that can create more options. So for example, my first set of questions generally, cause I never know what people are going to say they're stuck with, so it can again, like most of them probably 80% are career related, but some are personal. like one lady, my first call actually, she was contemplating leaving her husband. it could, it could be anything. So my first.
Sushil: And you met this person on Twitter.
Miche Priest: Yeah. Yeah, I think so. There's some safety or comfort in that anonymity. maybe. but yeah, the first question is generally, widening the lens. So a lot of times when people are stuck, they're stuck between two options and they're thinking more in the binary. So, then if you can widen the lens to what are all of the options available?
To you And sometimes it it helps to talk to other people. so. you could talk to other people who are multipotentialite and see, how they go about, generating revenue streams. And then the second set of questions is getting more detail about all of your options. what information is missing or, a lot of times when we're stuck in these two and.
Are what we know about the options is limited And sometimes getting more information can help eliminate options or help, generate more options. and then the third question is the one that really varies the most. There are two categories I'm starting to spot now are around, reframing. So, like when we say we should do something, it's how can you reframe that?
Or, how do you set yourself up for success? Or how do you create an environment that is more conducive to you? closing that gap between a and B And then the other option for the third question could be risk. Sometimes people. No, that there are more, options available to them.
They get more information but there's still that hesitancy. So I might ask what's stopping you from moving forward. or what, what are all of the risks available? And sometimes just talking through the risk that. that they perceive helps them think, oh, this is a risk, but I could do this to mitigate it.
So that's my, unstuck and 15 process so far.
Sushil: It's a very unique way of helping people find solutions. And you know what, before you said it. I was actually going to ask you if it's a technique of. Basically allowing people to find the answers within themselves.
In fact, I'm also trying to do the same thing with this podcast. It's not about telling people. To live in a certain way. It's about letting people. Taking this information and finding the answers themselves. From a personal perspective. I'm noticed that fear leads me to be stuck a lot. And the reason I've not put myself out there. To express myself in a very authentic way. Is that I've always had the fear of. My savings running out or. Not feeling secure.
So I've not been taking risks or experimenting. Because of this thing hanging over my head. And the funny thing is that if I remain stuck in the fear. Of not doing things that I love, that I'll be indefinitely stuck for a very long time. And. I'll be stuck for maybe 15. Days weeks years, it could be a very, very long time.
So it's time to get unstuck.
Miche Priest: Yeah. Yeah. And a lot of times the fear comes from having unknowns So if you can identify the unknowns and then how to surface unknown unknowns, that can help with the fear as well. Yeah. And then being an artist too, putting yourself out there, there's the vulnerability to that as well
Sushil: Yeah. I don't tend to city has become very challenging in the times we live in. Because if you put out something and.
Someone disagrees with it. It is a strong pushback. I feel like you then course correct. And there seems to be this pander culture. In art. These days. Just to be on the safe side. And that's why a lot of people are struggling with authenticity.
So maybe being mindful and expressing yourself the way you wish to express yourselves. Is the way to create really good content.
Miche Priest: Yeah. and that's how you find your tribe. Like somebody who disagrees, there's just not part of your tribe and. you see the people out there that take a strong stand, like Joe Rogan, Oprah, Trump, they take a strong stand and they have, many people who oppose them, but they're still successful and being true to themselves
Sushil: Definitely. And it's very interesting that you gave examples of extremely polarizing figures.
Miche Priest: Yeah.
Sushil: Having an attitude of learning or learning how to learn. Would be. Very crucial. With the examples that you just gave. Because I am also working on this mindset that we can't learn anything from someone. That we disagree with.
I'm sure my mom, if she's listening, then she will just jump in and say that I don't listen to anything that she has to say.
But as you said, you can learn a lot from someone like Joe Rogan. Maybe he's not someone I agree with on all fronts. But what I like about him? Is that he has guests who are very diverse. And all across the spectrum. And it's not always people he agrees with, but he's still open to conversation.
And dialogue. And that's what I like about his podcast.
Before we close. I usually like to ask this question. To all my guests. What is one small positive change. That anyone can incorporate in their lives right now.
Miche Priest: Oh, there's so many, the one that to mind, it's actually the title of a book. Hal Gregersen wrote a book called questions are the answer. And I think a lot of times, when you're stuck or feeling any kind of tension or angsty or you're in, a dialogue with somebody and there's tension inks, I think, it's not just asking questions, but asking high quality questions from a place of curiosity that help you overcome that
Sushil: Ask quality questions from a place of curiosity.
I think. That's a skill that everyone would benefit from.
It's been an absolute pleasure, Mitch. And as a fellow multipotentialite. I am rooting for you, and I want to see what you can do with your amazing ideas. And all the projects that you have lined up.
Where can someone find you on social media? Or anywhere else?
Miche Priest: Oh, yeah. I just want to say thank you for having me. Sushil this was a lot of fun. And if people want to find me I'm on Twitter, I love Twitter. So I'm there all the time at, meesh priests. So M I C H E P R I E S is probably the best place to find me. But if you want to do an unstuck in 15, a session it's unstuck in I N 15.
So the number one, $5.
Sushil: Perfect. I would be linking all of this information in the show notes. Again, Michelle, it's been an absolute pleasure. And i really enjoyed this conversation
Student of the Creator Economy
7 career changes from art teacher to AI Intrapreneur, Miche left tech startup hustle culture to make small bets designing work to fit her life. She’s a no-coder building micro-coaching, info products, and pursuing anything that captures her curiosity to help people get unstuck and live the life that’s waiting for them