I’ve just started working portfolio-style for the second time in my career. What does this mean? Well, it means that I am interested in doing lots of different things, and that I am good enough at some of them for people to pay me. Rather than have one job that I go to each day, as I have for the past three years or so, I divide my time between an array of freelance contracts, side projects and individual engagements. And its bloody marvellous.
This isn’t so daunting for me this time around as I’ve done it before. In 2005 I left the safety of full time employment and launched headlong into the freelance life, albeit with a contract already in place that would more than tide me over. With the bills covered I spent my remaining time experimenting with other ideas: I began offering other types of marketing service, built up a network of marketing services suppliers, launched a home IT support business and became a blogger and commentator on all things tech.
Back then I didn’t really plan to change what I was doing. I liked the freedom of the portfolio approach. But the grass is always greener and all that, and so before long ambition and the added impetus from a friend and business partner drove me to turn one part of my portfolio into a full time job. What was me doing consultancy became two of us as small agency. Then came the first employee, then came a buyout and soon we were part of a larger business and I was back to a normal job again.
That’s how I spent the last three years pretty much, until the grass became greener again and I decided that I missed the freelance life. I missed the variety, the option to run with the various opportunities that present themselves, and the ability to bunk off on a Wednesday afternoon and go fly my kite. With my daughter growing up fast, the opportunity to spend more time with her also weighed into the decision.
Having returned to portfolio working I am convinced it was the right decision. And this time it’s even better. In the last few years I have learned a lot, and so have more to offer prospective customers for my various services. I also better understand the processes I need to establish in order to make my working life profitable and efficient.
I intend for work, the life of a portfolio worker, and the balance between life and work to be a big part of this blog. I hope to be able to offer some decent advice and share my experiences of the highs and lows of portfolio working. As you may have guessed, in a nicely circular flourish, this blog is now a part of my portfolio.