Emilie Wapnick: How To Make Money Doing Exactly What You Want To Do

How four creative approaches can give you the life you’ll love

Katie E. Lawrence
6 min readMay 9


Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Emilie Wapnick is well known for her TED Talk, “Why some of us don’t have one true calling”, and her website, PuttyLike.com. I first fell in love with the concepts in her book when I read the title: How To Be Everything — A Guide For Those Who (Still) Don’t Know What They Want To Be When They Grow Up.

Wapnick writes about four different ways you can “be everything”. She provides four separate “work models” that you can fashion your life after, depending on your interests, your field of work, and your circumstances. I want to break down each of these different work models and show you how you can implement them in your own life:

#1: The Group Hug Approach — In this approach, an entrepreneur only owns one business or holds one title as a part of a greater business/company. However, they wear many hats. They either have a job or a business where they get to do a little bit of everything they love.

This is where the more famous creators come into the picture. These are the people who have a business, a brand, a company, etc. and they do everything for it. They’re the writers, the YouTube creators, they lead the coaching group through their Patreon and are the boss of whoever they’ve hired to help them run their brand/channel/etc.

“Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging.” — Brené Brown

I feel like Brené Brown, vulnerability researcher, speaker, and podcaster falls into this category well. She runs her empire of products, channels, teams, and books. She’s the writer of the books, the main host of her podcasts, the speaker behind it all, and the one who did the research herself for what she’s talking about.

She’s also the boss, the manager, and the team leader for everything. That’s a lot. But you can tell that she loves it — and it’s working out really well for her. She gets to wear many hats, lead the work that she’s doing, and generally be a blessing to the world.



Katie E. Lawrence

Senior studying Human Development & Family Science at Auburn University. Aspiring mental health counselor. Wannabe comedian.