Overcome the limitations and frustrations of a single job lifestyle by investing your skills in a portfolio of work streams. Here you'll find the information, resources, opportunities and the support you need to start or grow a portfolio life.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Self Employment is not the same as being an Entrepreneur

The word “Entrepreneur” gets bandied about by many people, suggesting that this is the best way out of unemployment. People who are made redundant are advised to “Become and Entrepreneur!”
Well, it is not as easy as that. A person who has been employed in a corporate environment, and who is used to the facilities and structure of a big business does not easily walk away and become an entrepreneur.

An entrepreneur is someone who starts a business and intends to grow it into a substantial company, or at least to a point of being able to employ others. In the South African context Adrian Gore is an entrepreneur. So is Brian Joffe, and there are quite a number of others. They are people who have built enterprises that have thrived. They are the real entrepreneurs, and all the more so if they have been able to list the business on the Securities Exchange and have made big money.

Self Employment on the other hand is what has been done by a great many more people who simply have set themselves up as one-man-bands, who offer their services as consultants, lawyers, medical specialists, geek techno “freaks” and an army of others who ply their various trades as individuals, and not in teams or corporations. Self employment could, of course develop into entrepreneurial ventures. This however, does not happen as a matter of course.

Most people who decide to live a portfolio life are self employed. Some have invested in entrepreneurial ventures started by friends or others in their network, and some have started their own companies, but generally they are self employed individuals. 

If you are thinking of self employment and want to know how to start, here is a great deal of information available. Start with Bloomberg Businessweek's 20 steps to self employment

Click here to see, "The Changing Face of Entrepreneurship in South Africa", by Gareth Cotton.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Think again about Retirement

This week there are general strikes in France because the government wants to increase the retirement age from 60 years to 62 years. Just about the whole country is on strike over a mere two years!

What this indicates is not just how the population feels about two more years of work before retirement, but how much people in France look forward to a time of switching off and not having responsibilities.

How misguided they are!

Retirement which was conceived as a time of secure “winding down” and a reward for a long working life, has become, instead a time of worry and of concern. Savings are no longer safe in supposedly secure investment accounts, and health issues and their costs are major worries for many people considering retirement. Not only in France.

So retirees are increasingly looking to some form of continued work and additional income after retirement. The problem is that searching to find a “job” when retired is an uphill struggle. Many people cannot even find meaningful work while young and ambitious, let alone when they are no longer seen as energetic and able to contribute fully. Building a Portfolio of meaningful income streams well before retirement would seem to be a logical approach to managing these risks. Instead of pursuing a hard-to-find single job, looking for contract work or servicing clients with the skills you already have is more sensible. Take the leap of being self-employed, and building a client base is what many people will be doing in the future.

See “Even the Rich are Nervous about Retirement” on Newsweek here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Join us on Facebook

The nine to five lifestyle is an outdated way to work and live. The portfolio life principle is about arranging your life for financial freedom and much more fulfillment.

We want to change the way people work and live. Firstly we want to undo the programming that we have all undergone, making us believe that a single permanent job is the ideal lifestyle arrangement.

Join us on Facebook where we'll take on a more interactive format to build portfolio lives. Here you can tell us your challenges, get advice and network.

Click here to visit our Facebook page.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

In case you missed it: The wish to create... and innovate

Our mission on earth is to create and to innovate.

People who feel trapped in routine jobs or boring life styles often have a covert desire for creative opportunity. The wish to do something new and to make a difference.

Some write poetry on the quiet, or dream of starting a rock band, or have a longing to start a new business. Whatever. People need the image of themselves doing something original and to vent their pent up creative juices.

Some famous figures in history are role models. King David of the Bible was at first a shepherd, and then a soldier, and then a king. But he always also was a poet, and a musician. He did a harp gig for King Saul, and on the side was writing the Psalms. And he reminded us that we were created in the image of the Creator.

From Leonardo de Vinci who was an artist, an engineer, an inventor and a sculptor, through to Einstein, Edison and others, there have always been people who have used their creativity. U2’s Bono is not only a famous musician and a rock star, he is also a serious peace negotiator and someone who has brought a new vision to the AIDS crisis in Africa.

For too long most of us have been programmed to work inside a company, or organization, which is the creation of someone else. And always we are admonished to think of the risks when an entrepreneurial venture is suggested. But things are changing. More and more people are opting for a life which is not just one dimensional. They are taking hold of the need to create and to innovate. They are starting new businesses, or expanding their own talents for music or writing and doing many other things in a Portfolio Life.

Here are a few techniques to spur creativity from some of the greatest innovators ever, like Da Vinci and Enistein:
  • be a poet,
  • be a thief,
  • throw a fit,
  • hop about,
  • daydream,
  • push the limit,
  • paint a picture
Click here to learn how to use these techniques.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Inspiration: Steve Jobs tells his incredible story

Steve Jobs may not at first glance have a portfolio life but he is a truly inspirational thinker, leader and do-er, and these are attributes that all people need if they are to take control of their own lives and careers.

Steve tells how we was fired from Apple, a company he started, and about his fight fight with cancer. Picking yourself up and dusting yourself off, the process of creative destruction is essential for any successful portfolio life.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

In case you missed it: how to avoid the idea generation trap

Its time to stop dreaming and start doing.
Scott Belsky is the inspirational creator of the Behance Network (a creative network) and the 99% (a think tank dedicated to making ideas happen)

watch this video on The 99% here