So, I’m not crazy? Just a scanner.

I'm Katy

Here I spill the tea on balancing hustle and heart with tips and tricks for thriving in business while taking care of yourself, because success is best served with a side of serenity!

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If you’ve known me for any length of time, or even not very long, you’ve probably figured out that I have, ahem, “dabbled” in a few different passion projects over the years.

The following quote was taken from Refuse to Choose! by Barbara Sher regarding a Scanner Personality type. I seriously don’t know that I have never read, seen, heard anything so validating in my life. And I’m only on page 54.

“You’re not going to find one passion so great that all the others will disappear, and you wouldn’t like it if you did. You will find many passions. You’re not expected to make a commitment to follow one career or lifestyle track to the very end of your life—your genetic mandate is to make many commitments and enjoy each one to your full capacity. One path will never be enough for you.”

Can we just talk about how the discovery of the Scanner Personality has changed my entire outlook on life? Until very recently, I thought my jumping from one passion project to the next was my inability to commit to anything, which reads to most people as flighty, non-commital, lazy and a big, fat, loser failure.

Oh, and let’s not leave out crazy.

  • Why can’t I commit to anything?

  • How come I get bored just when things are getting good?

  • There’s never enough time to do it all, so I just won’t do anything…

And most importantly to me:

  • Why I am I the only one?

Let me tell you how I stumbled on this, and considering how a scanner personality is defined, it’s a frickin’ miracle it’s taken almost 42 years for me to find it.

I’m in a “blogging” Facebook group (of course I am) that comes as a perk of the Elite Blogging Academy I purchased some years ago. A couple weeks ago when I was struggling to find the perfect domain name for this website, I posted a question in this group. It went something like this:

“I have been sort of a stalker on here for a couple of years; started with one idea, took a break and now have committed again with a version of the original idea. I thought I was through Unit 1 but I keep going back to my domain/avatar/blog name. Hopefully some of you that have made it big, or even medium, or are struggling with this too, can help a girl out?

I’ll try to make this short…I found a love in writing, but mostly about personal struggles. I actually have a few businesses and consider myself a “serial” entrepreneur. (My husband and I own a flower farm, wine bar, wood working and countertop business and I am a yoga instructor…oh, and I work at a health club.)

My first attempt at blogging was a personal journal of a 90 day break from alcohol. I quit drinking for three months and documented all of it (this is sort of a big deal for 40ish year old mom in Wisconsin #landofcheeseandbeer ). I had a pretty decent following of friends and family that liked my writing style but once the “challenge” was over, the blog sort of ceased to be necessary. I like the idea of starting a “sobriety” or “change your relationship with alcohol” blog but I have a ton of other things I like to write about and know a lot about; starting a business, goal setting, yoga, mental health solutions, greif/loss, etc. and I don’t want it to DEFINE the blog…or me.

So, here’s are a few of my questions to all you fine bloggers….blah, blah, blah.”

The questions are actually unimportant and while I only got a couple responses/comments to this post, this was my holy shit moment:

Her: “I don’t have any advice as I am struggling with the same things. As a scanner personality interested in lots of things, niching down and zeroing in on my avatar has been incredibly difficult.”

(Of course I immediately Google scanner personality and travel down the rabbit hole for two hours)

Me: “OMG…I didn’t even know that was a thing; scanner personality.  Well, I guess I know what I am doing with the rest of my night.”

And, guess what I’ve been doing over here ever since?

Before I get in to the specifics, let me just say what a sign of relief this has been for me. As I got a little older, I could see the advantage having all these ideas flying around in my head but always felt like I had this major weakness in my inability to finish what I started.

Ta daaaaaaa! Scanner.


Do you know a scanner?

The “scanner” personality type was coined by author Barbara Sher. While this is one word for it, I’ve seen others used like multi-potentialities (that’s positive), multi-passionate (sort of passive-aggressive), renaissance (really?) and “polymaths” (when you look that last one up on wikipedia it’s a little more year 1624 great scholars and thinkers-ish than I’m ready to embrace.)

Here are a few other traits you might recognize in yourself or someone you love but have a hard time understanding (ahem):

  • We perhaps desire a range of things and pursue ALL OF THEM with great passion and energy.

  • We are equally fascinated by quantum physics, obscure languages, meaningful hobbies, music, art and developments in web technology.

  • We excel at starting and learning, starting and learning, starting and learning; deriving pleasure from finding out how things work or, more importantly, IF they work.

  • If there is a goal, it’s never mastery of a topic. We don’t aim to be masters of what we start, only to start.

  • We have creative ideas ALL the time, whether it’s for a book, a TV show, an art project, a website, a business, starting a movement, creating a brand, or writing a bestseller.

  • Often these ideas come at us while our minds are most at rest or in nature.

  • We have truckloads of seemingly unrelated interests and choosing between ideas can be stressful and paralyzing.

  • The thought of concentrating on one single topic for the rest of our lives horrifies us. Like…horrifies us.

  • Our houses and cars are usually messy. (Actually, I didn’t find that yet, but I’m hoping to )

  • We start lots of projects but don’t always finish them before we get into something else.

  • We start lots of projects but don’t always finish them before we get into something else.

The repeat of that last one was not a mistake.

Are you a scanner?

If you can say yes to a few or more of these qualities (or all of them like me), then you are a scanner! Hip hip hooray. ‍

The good news is that scanners are some of the most creative people in the world according to Barbara Sher, “our focus on breadth rather than depth allows us to make connections between disparate worlds that others can’t see.” We’re open-minded, fast to learn, and we’re happy to share.

Sounds like we’re pretty awesome.

The bad news is that the world doesn’t always approve of scanners. We get labeled a “Jack(ie) of all trades and master of none, lazy, flaky, or worse. The modern world approves of the deep diver – someone who specializes in one subject – forgetting that some of the most remarkable people who ever lived were renaissance men or women. Check back for a post on Celebrity Scanners

I could go on and on, but I won’t for today. There’s a whole WORLD of information out there about this very topic and now I’m fascinated, so if this isn’t something that interests you, #sorrynotsorry about the litany of posts that are going to follow this…for a while at least .

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i write therefore i am.

Hi, I'm Katy.
Your lifestyle designer and business mentor.

Writing is my way of unwinding and letting my thoughts roam free. Every so often, in the midst of this creative chaos, something clicks, and I'm like, "Hmm, maybe someone else will dig this too." So, I toss it out into the world, hoping it lands with someone who gets it.
I hope that's you.

Learn more

In a world that continually celebrates the achievements of women breaking through glass ceilings, climbing corporate ladders, and excelling in their chosen fields, it's easy to assume that these high-achieving women have it all together.  Read more.

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