Entrepreneurs – Now that You Are Pursuing a ‘Portfolio Career,’ How Do You Handle It Productively?

How do I handle a “Portfolio Career” – having many different careers? What are my suggested approaches to starting, organizing, handling time management and other concerns? In this article, I share some of the “how’s” that have worked for me. These are beliefs, tools and ideas that I use. However, just remember that each person is unique and will have different ways of approaching the exciting life style of having a “Portfolio Career.”


1. It takes courage and a willingness to risk to make positive changes. It is usually some form of FEAR that keeps us from pursuing our passions. List some fears that may be holding you back.

2. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” I feel strongly – and it has always worked for me – that when we need to know something or someone, or have picked an area of interest, the right person with the appropriate message will appear. What do you need or want to learn?

3. Speaking of learning, I feel that to stay vital and excited about our lives and our careers, we should practice continual learning through books, tapes, classes, seminars and exposure to stimulating events, exhibits, etc. What learning “action steps” will you take in the future?


1. Organize in a way that works for you. I use a PDA (Palm Pilot), many file folders, post-it notes, an excellent contact manager (ACT), financial program (QuickBooks), e-mail, and my computer. What saves me is keeping caught up – on phone calls, filing, putting things where they belong, planning, doing many things at the same time, yet devoting an intensity to all I do. What works for you – or could work for you?

2. Join Professional Organizations. For every career imaginable, there is an association or organization with members who have something to do with that career. The resources are boundless. You share ideas, tricks of the trade, networking for opportunities, friends, associates, and give and receive more than you can imagine. A terrific organization that helps everyone is Toastmasters International. To get a listing of clubs in your area, visit their website. Visit several clubs to get an idea of the flavor and strength (each is a little different).

3. Put together a “Visual Portfolio” of your “Portfolio Career” as it grows and expands. This will serve as a selling tool for adding new professions and/or finding new clients. Keep testimonials, photos, articles, honors, awards, a list of achievements and an up-to-date resume (I use a functional resume as opposed to a chronological resume, but it is also acceptable to use a combination of the two).

4. Time Management: I use the “Put First Things First” system proposed by Stephen R. Covey in his incredible book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. This remarkable book will help you in all areas relating to your life, your relationships and your “Portfolio Career.” In addition, because most people who embrace the idea and style of a “Portfolio Career” are creative types, another excellent book about time is Time Management for Unmanageable People by Ann McGee-Cooper with Duane Trammell.

Final Thoughts: A “Portfolio Career” isn’t for everyone, but if it appeals to you, go for it! I can guarantee that each day will be exciting and new, filled with joy. Just remember to persevere, believe you can do it and don’t listen to the WB’s (Wet Blankets).