The movement of the multihyphenate is here, and with it comes a new generation of people (and their unbridled passions) who make a living by doing what they love.
Our culture is brimming with high-profile multi-hyphenates–Emma Watson, Jessica Alba, Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zendaya, Kim Kardashian, and Rihanna are just a few who come to mind. If you asked these women what they do for a living, their answers would be scattered across the board–and that’s on purpose.
Rihanna would tell you she’s a singer-philanthropist-beauty mogul-lingerie designer.
Zendaya could describe her job title as an actress-musician-producer-singer-fashion icon.
There’s a lot that Kim Kardashian could say about her career, but these days, she’d probably describe herself as a reality tv star-law student-model-influencer-prison reform advocate-founder of modern shapewear.
Paris Hilton, on the other hand, has a direct quote on the subject. When asked what she does for a living, Paris had this to offer: “I’m a CEO-entrepreneur-artist-DJ-model-actress-singer-humanitarian-activist-artist-investor-boss babe.”
And from my all-time favorite multi-hyphenate, Athena Calderone of Eyeswoon: “My own journey has definitely been anything but conventional. I’ve tried it all–– dancing, modeling, clubbing, yoga, acting. And while at the time those endeavors often felt like detours, perspective has shown me they were actually really important stops on the path that would lead me to EyeSwoon and life as my truest, most artistic, multi-faceted self. … I still don’t have it all figured out, but if I’ve learned anything from this crazy journey it’s that being bold, asking for help, and trusting your gut can get you farther than you could possibly imagine.”
In a nutshell, a multi-hyphenate is someone who works multiple jobs rooted in their fields of expertise and passion as a lifestyle. As an artist-attorney-entrepreneur, multi-hyphenate is a title I’m happy to own (because who wouldn’t want to be aligned with badass women like Emma Watson and Zendaya?). If your job title is broken up by a series of hyphens, then congratulations–you’re one of us! Rock those hyphens with pride, babe.
The best part? Multihyphenate careers aren’t exclusive to famous people with the time, money, and bandwidth to wear half a dozen hats just because they can. Today, people are increasingly choosing careers that allow them to work on their own terms over traditional 9-5 jobs, empowering a new era of passion-pursuers to earn their keep with work they love. From wedding photographers who practice law to registered dieticians who influence millions of followers on Instagram, there’s never a dull moment in the life of a multi-hyphenate. I know this from personal experience.
My dual career as a photographer and a lawyer often leaves people confused:
“What’s your main career path?”
“How do you manage to do both?”
“Hang on–left brain or right brain?”
“What does your day-to-day look like?”
“How do you earn the majority of your income?”
“Where do you see yourself focusing in the future?”
I find it interesting how our society is always trying to put each other in boxes when it is never that simple. We’re so intent on getting each other to choose a path when we’re all intended for so much more than a single calling. My identity is so much more than each of my individual career paths. In fact, it’s the fusion of my passions that allows me to serve my clients in a way no one else can.
Living a life driven by multiple passions may seem like a recipe for chaos, but it’s possible to find balance. As an attorney and a photographer, I spend about the same amount of time on each. Occasionally, as I bounce from a bridal consultation to a legal strategy meeting with a retainer client, it can be a tricky balance to keep up with. Over the years, I’ve become better at juggling our connected brands and optimizing my bandwidth with time-blocking strategies so I can stay in one mindset throughout the day.
We’ve worked hard to differentiate our brands from each other in order to create a seamless client journey from start to finish. We have meticulously defined each offer suite, aesthetic, and ideal client archetype across our various companies to ensure the lines between them are crystal clear. Nevertheless, there are still some moments of confusion on the client end of things, but that’s feedback we take in stride. This kind of career never gets boring, that’s for sure.
In fact, there’s a lot to love about multi-hyphenate life. For one thing, it’s always interesting. Another big plus: Multiple streams of income provide more stability and security, which aren’t always easy to come by as an entrepreneur. At the end of the day, what I’ve loved the most about this life is the way it empowers us to find meaningful connections with each other. By growing and expanding our internal staff, we’ve been able to scale each of our businesses sustainably without ever flying too close to the sun.
What stands out the most to me about a multi-hyphenate career is this: Your days may be busy, but you’re not barreling toward chronic burnout the way others might think. Choice is what separates a multi-hyphenate career from working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Life as a multihyphenate is driven by passion and the desire to create meaningful work, while necessity motivates the latter. Getting to live a life of your design is worth the chaos, but beware of spreading yourself too thin–it happens faster than you think.
If you ask me, the future is looking bright for multi-hyphenates. Now more than ever, people are turning their side hustles into full-fledged, self-designed career paths. In a capitalist structure where it can be difficult to thrive, I’ll always celebrate those who go against the grain to find their own definition of success. When it comes to my ambitions as a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur, I’m keeping my options open. I’ll lean into my law practice and my photography business as demand ebbs and flows–and that’s the beauty of it.
I’ll continue to elevate and lead Magdalena Studios, our phenomenal team and boutique photography studio serving the Tri-State area. Meanwhile, Scott and I continue to take on more exclusive, luxury destination weddings with some of the most sought-after planners in the world. We’re also hard at work behind the scenes developing a rad new photo booth experience for our local events industry that we can’t wait to unveil.
To make creative legal counsel accessible to small businesses and entrepreneurs of all kinds, I’ll continue to develop The Artists’ Lawyer, my online storefront for contract templates, digital products, and tailor-made legal tools. I established Easy & Bay, a sister law firm to The Artists’ Lawyer, to serve the industry’s top creative entrepreneurs and small business owners with white glove legal services, easy-to-access trademark assistance, and ongoing retainer partnerships.
The greatest lesson I’ve learned as a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur? Leave nothing up to chance. That means being radically intentional about where our time is spent. It’s small but meaningful changes that allow us to invest in our clients, grow our team, and develop our online offerings now and for years to come. Learn more about our connected brands and how they work together to form a comprehensive, intentional experience for every client we serve.