Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Portfolio careers and personal business models

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what my next career move is.  Face it, the economy is not great and most people at my level are staying put in their jobs and most companies are not wanting to hire someone with a high price tag if they can get by without it.  So while I know there are many companies that need someone like me to create and build value for them, finding them right now is difficult.

But the good news is that I landed this strategic consulting job on my own.  And it is going fine.  After a week and a half, they (pseudo) offered me a full time job.  I say pseudo, because it was completely vague on the job role and no mention of money.  Do they think I just fell off the turnip truck and will be so excited to have a job offer that I won't negotiate on the $?  They have me confused with someone else.

So while there is a $ number at which I would say yes, I really don't want to be working 60 - 70 hours per week with them.  I really have been thinking about what does it mean to have a portfolio career and can I build something like that.  I have two leads on other part time consulting roles.  Could I possibly build something that has enough recurring revenue and opportunity for new projects and time for working on knitting designs?  That is really what is interesting to me.  Seems like I owe it to myself to try it.

I was reading a blog about entrepreneurs and freelancers and came across Gina Trapani from Freelance Switch. She has a Personal Business Model, described here which says she spends 30% of her time on  projects she does for love, 30% on projects she does for education/learning new skills, 30% projects she does for money alone, and then10% of her time on admin.  The jackpot of course is finding projects you love and learn from that pay money.  (For example I'm learning and earning from my current project but not loving it - two out of three is not bad.)

Her goal as a freelancer - make stuff that is meaningful, learn new skills and make some money.  That is a great mantra to live by.  So this afternoon and evening when I have meetings on the two pipeline prospects, I will keep that in mind.

By the way, today is the first day of school and here is obligatory first day of school picture.  The first year that my son is taller than I am.  Though I confess, I did poof my hair a bit today.   These are hipstamatic photos so they are supposed to be artsy like this - another word for blurry.

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