Making your Future Work: Dare to dream for fresh love at work
‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ This inter-generational opening gambit to elicit a conversation from a reluctant niece, nephew or grandchild can be a high-risk tactic. For my jungle obsessed younger brother, the response for many years was ‘a gorilla’. But should we reserve dreaming for the fantasies of childhood? Do […]
Is referral and networking enough to build my Portfolio Executive workstyle?
Many of the Portfolio Executives I work with have had no experience of going out and doing anything more in terms of self-promotion than applying for jobs with a CV through an agent. The idea of doing some kind of outbound marketing and some kind of focussed selling can be very very challenging. Does it […]
Making your Future Work: Is it Time to Work for Yourself?
Has the pandemic given you an opportunity to re-think your personal priorities and re-assess your relationship with your boss? Perhaps you have been on furlough or suffered redundancy and you are ready to make a fresh start. For many of us, working for oneself appears to be an extremely attractive option: work when you want, […]
Writer’s blocks: a couple of hacks to break through to writing regular content for LinkedIn and your own website.
Most of us are not natural authors, natural writers and yes, we can probably write a highly structured report or yes, we can put together some PowerPoint slides for an in-house presentation, but the thought of writing 800 – 1200 words on some kind of topic that is going to build my presence on LinkedIn […]
Have you Futureproofed your Working Life?
There are some pretty scary statistics out there about what can happen as you move beyond 45 in to your 50’s and later. Just to give you some statistics which are pre-Covid. An estimated 2.4 million workers were sandwich carers, caring for both children and ageing parents. Could, that happen to you? Does your […]
Building a Pipeline of Opportunities
One of the great advantages of a Portfolio Executive working is that once you’ve got a mature portfolio of 4-6 clients who are staying with you for 4-6 years, then the number of new clients you need to find per year goes down to about 1. But if you wait until you lose a client […]
Can I earn enough as a Portfolio Executive?
We explore what ‘enough’ means both in the 8 Essentials 30-day challenge (see http://8essentials.biz/) and in some of other blogs about the different life stage at which you want to adopt a Portfolio Executive workstyle. But that fear ‘Can I earn enough?’ is something that I come up against again and again as I talk […]
Am I too young to be a Portfolio Executive?
I had seen the Portfolio Executive as a 2nd Half Career option and assumed that 2nd half starts at 45 i.e. half way between 20 – 70 years old. The 2nd Half Career Option Typically, the people who approach me about becoming a Portfolio Executive are senior professionals, 45 – 55 years old with many […]
10 good reasons why you should not become a Portfolio Executive (2 of 2)
Becoming a portfolio executive is not for everybody and as I’ve been talking to people for the last 5 years, I feel that there are 10 good reasons not to become a Portfolio Executive. For the first five look here. 6 – I’m too busy “I’m too busy in my current roles to consider becoming […]
10 good reasons why you should not become a Portfolio Executive (1 of 2)
Becoming a portfolio executive is not for everybody and as I’ve been talking to people for the last 5 years, I feel that there are 10 good reasons not to become a Portfolio Executive. Here are the first five. 1) It’s too soon If you are under 45 and if you are not highly entrepreneurial […]
Making your Future Work: Getting a KickStart for your career.
There are some impressive young people out there who have found Covid has stopped their career ambitions dead. At a similar stage in my life, it was the kindness of both strangers and family contacts that enabled me to get started and I have never forgotten all that they did for me. Today, I am […]
Making your Future Work: Work and University – Do I need to do both?
Students were hoping to be home at Christmas. Many would have been disappointed by positive Covid tests. Then they were hoping to return for the Spring term and some will have been hindered by the most recent lockdown. Summer vacation, 2021, seems a way to go and an overseas holiday seems more dream than hope. […]
Apply or Pitch? Having Courage for a Future you can Love
Apply? You can easily become hopeless making application after application for advertised positions. Often, you need to customise your CV, write a tailored covering letter and fill in a detailed application form. Typically, you get no feedback but an automated acknowledgement. Many of the big job sites have positions advertised which are not real […]
Making your Future Work – Deepening the love for what you do.
March is usually the time when the wedding fairs start anew with all the hopes of new life – spring lambs, bluebells in the woods and cooing pigeons across the city. But the wiser amongst us will nod sagely and tell us that marriage is so much more than a wedding. Similarly, university students and […]
Can I really be a Portfolio Executive? Part 2
There are a whole host of other professionals, some which are fairly sector specific and some which are much more general. Perhaps you have got 15-20 years’ experience in a particular field and you are wondering whether you can become a Portfolio Executive. This is Part 2 of a two-part article in which we will […]
Can I really be a Portfolio Executive? Part 1
There are quite well-established patterns of work for part-time Finance Directors and HR Directors and increasingly for people in Marketing and in Sales. I am also seeing more and more people being part-time CIOs and part-time CTOs. But what about some of those other professional roles that don’t feel quite so mainstream or that are […]
Starting a Conversation with a Potential Client
As you start to engage with potential clients beyond your immediate network, you need to find a way of pitching your value to people who don’t already know you. You may be recommended, introduced or just connected on LinkedIn. How do you start that first conversation with someone who you don’t really know? First […]
Success in Crisis
Why a recession is great for start-ups What do AirBnB, Uber and Groupon have in common? They were all founded during the 2008 banking crisis. In fact, it was Andrew Wolstenholme who coined the phrase “Never Waste a Good Crisis” in his visionary report on the future of the construction industry as a sustainable, low-carbon […]
Who do you want to be known as on LinkedIn?
When I start working with people who want to build a Portfolio Executive workstyle, one of the key tools for them to develop their presence, build their reputation and find new clients is LinkedIn. But, before we can do any of those things, we need to spend some focussed time thinking through who they want […]
Making the most of your Family as a Portfolio Executive.
Some of the people that I am working with to build their Portfolio Executive workstyles, are at a life stage where they want the flexibility to spend more time with members of the family. There can be a variety of reasons for this and the motivations can also be radically different. Here are a few […]
Making your Future Work: Sacked! finding a future you can love
I knew the axe was going to fall; I knew when it was going to fall and now my job was over. I thought I was mentally prepared. I had some dreams for the future. There was a bit of a financial buffer but now I need to get out there and find my next […]
Making your Future Work: Taking a Sabbatical – renewing your love for what you do
The relentless tyranny of the urgent and the ever-growing pace of challenging change can slowly erode the joy from the passion that brought you to your chosen career. In the same way that a marriage can be refreshed when the couple commit to a regular date night away from the children and the pressures of […]
Upgrading your Portfolio
When I am working with people who are building up their Portfolio Executive workstyle, very often they start working for smaller businesses than works best for them. They are also offering lower rates than they eventually can demand from the market. I encourage them to just get started. Quite quickly, as they work with these […]
What Qualifications do I need to be a Portfolio Executive?
When people come to me and they are exploring whether a portfolio workstyle is right for them, I tend to feel that people fit squarely into one of two camps. Experience v. Accredited Qualifications There are the people who come to me and their qualification for being a portfolio executive is their CV of working […]
Goldilocks and the Portfolio Executive
The first challenge for a Portfolio Executive is to work out what the ‘Director of’ or ‘Head of’ function you are going to adopt. The second challenge is to work out what is the right size of business for you. Like Goldilocks you don’t want something that is too hot or too cold, you want […]
I’ve tried being an Independent Consultant and now I want to be a Portfolio Executive
Many of the people who come to me who want to become a Portfolio Executive, were in a full-time salaried position, but have stepped out to become an Independent Consultant. They may have been able to work with a previous employer to do some consulting work. They know that they have deep expertise in a particular […]
Is Ageism a Myth?
Women & Equalities Committee Report It is very interesting to see the ‘Older People and employment: Women and Equalities Committee report’ developed by the House of Parliament Select Committee published almost a year ago, and the response to it. There were some very particular findings that I think are strong indicators that ageism in employment […]
Portfolio Executive: DIY or …
You are an experienced professional. You know your stuff and are successful in your own field. Why can’t you just step out on your own and become a Portfolio Executive? Why can’t I do it myself? And if I’m not going to DIY my Portfolio Executive future then what are the other options? DIY…Yes… So, […]
Why a Virtual Assistant is a great Portfolio Executive role model
I am very struck by the way that I am continually approached by individuals who are setting themselves up as virtual assistants or remote PAs or whatever they want to call themselves. I realise that they are taking that portfolio executive approach to heart in the way that they organise themselves and their services. Defining […]
Key Persons of Influence and the Portfolio Executive workstyle
I’ve been very impressed by the thinking of Daniel Priestley and his book “Key Person of Influence”. He tells a compelling story about how you build profile in your market place so that you become a key person of influence in order to attract people to your offer, to make your offer a premium offer […]
If only I knew then what I know now
Being a Bruce Lee fan doesn’t make you an expert at kung fu any more than reading a book about leadership makes you a leader. That’s why I joined the FuturePerfect CEO Growth Academy. It’s like a dojo for business leaders who are serious about mastering the mindset, skills and behaviours behind entrepreneurial success. It’s an ongoing […]
Want freedom from the rat race, doing what you love?
If you’re tired of company politics, getting stuck in a rut and hitting the hamster wheel when you least want to, then perhaps it’s time to consider your alternatives. You can start your own business or you can find a better way to do the work you love, where you get to choose the projects that interest […]
5 Tips to get started in a Portfolio Career
Do you ever dream of a different life? Perhaps the 9am-5pm corporate world has run its course in your life? Or was it really 8am to 10pm, and you want more flexibility and variety in your work? For me, the lure of the monthly salary and the ‘safety’ of a regular corporate job was too much […]
Have you got your 2nd Half Career game plan?
What can you do when you’re twenty plus years into your career, age between 45 & 55 and you realise it’s only half time? If you are an experienced professional in salaried employment at this point, you are probably beginning to notice that what’s working for you now won’t work for you in the future. The corporate […]
What could it mean for you to be a Portfolio Executive?
You may not have reached the main board of the company you work for, but you are identified as a seasoned, experienced professional.Maybe you are a finance or an HR director. Perhaps a senior role as a change, creative or product director. Can you see the opportunities for promotion are starting to diminish? Does your work […]
Are you ready to jump – or will you wait to be pushed?
It’s a scenario facing many of us at some point in our lives. We want to make a decision but something holds us back. Will caution or fear stop us making that move – or will we jump and discover it was well worth the risk? I remember an incident from my childhood when I […]
How to demonstrate your value as a Portfolio Executive
So, you are thinking about becoming a Portfolio Executive? If you’ve read our previous blogs, you’ll know about the benefits of this workstyle and career path and how you can build a portfolio of rewarding part-time executive positions. But to make this new world a reality, you have to be able to demonstrate the value […]
Are these career frustrations making you re-think your plans at half-time?
If you’ve reached 45-50 then you’ve probably been working for 25-30 years. In theory, you should be at the top of your game, enjoying your career and the quality of working life it brings. However, research consistently says otherwise. If you are anything like the senior executives we talk to, there are real frustrations that […]
Worried about your executive career? There’s a perfect storm ahead!
You might recall the film ‘The Perfect Storm’ with George Clooney. It should have been blue skies and plain sailing for the highly experienced skipper and his crew – except for a combination of events and conditions that no one saw coming. If only they’d taken a different course. If you are a senior manager […]
Are corporates having a mid-life crisis?
Corporates have created an ‘up or out’ culture, one that will ultimately lose the experienced professionals they’ve worked so hard to attract and retain. It’s a mid-life career crisis that’s impacting some very talented people, many with years of valuable experience. That’s bad news for an organisation’s knowledge and talent retention but that’s their problem […]
Why you should consider the charity sector as part of your Portfolio Executive work style
Many of the people I talk to about their 2nd Half Careers are keen to make the second half count. They want to look back and see not only success but also significance for their lives, particularly their working lives. They are open to becoming a school governor, a charity trustee or volunteering for a […]
What does ‘permanent full-time salaried’ employment really mean?
The recent announcement by Deutsche Bank of 12,000 job cuts reminds us all that there is no such thing as permanent employment any more. And yet for so many of us, our parents’ aspiration for us (and perhaps ours for our children) is a permanent full-time salaried job as a qualified professional in a leading […]
Finding freedom from the relentless cult of work
The reality for many of us is that we spend far too long at work. The baffling part is that we’ve let it become the norm. Why is that? What does it actually mean for this precious life that we only live once? A recent article in the New York Times, identified a segment of […]
Contracting … why it’s the career fix that fails
When you are working in a permanent salaried position, contracting can seem like quite an attractive option. You see contractors join your organisation, they seem to have less responsibility, they do their hours and go home (without taking work with them!). What’s more, you suspect that they are being paid a bit more than you. […]
Becoming an interim…. it doesn’t come without risks
So, you’ve reached the point in your career where becoming an interim looks attractive. You’ve taken stock of your knowledge and experience and it feels like a route that’s worth exploring – and it may well be. But, as with any form of career change, there are pros and cons. What might work very well […]
So, you want to be an entrepreneur? Here’s a different route.
There is a real hankering for many to start their own business – and there’s no shortage of empowering television, especially for younger people it seems. The Apprentice is now on season 15 and Lord Sugar’s search shows no sign of slowing down. But while programming might be aimed at the younger demographic, the reality […]
Becoming a Coach is not necessarily your golden ticket.
If you are in the 2nd half of your career and exploring possible new directions, you may have considered training to be a coach. Or, perhaps you’ve already trained and are looking to build a business around those new skill sets. Coaching skills are highly valuable and will give you powerful new techniques to use […]
Building the right networks as a Portfolio Executive
As a senior executive, you’ll have developed very good networking skills within your corporate environment. You were good at connecting with other senior leaders across your corporate structure, you’ll also have built networks with suppliers and customers. Those networks will have served you very well in your corporate career. But, if you are building a […]
Turning disappointment into positivity as a Portfolio Executive
One of the toughest things to deal with when you are setting out as a Portfolio Executive is disappointment. You may have felt less sensitive to it when you were in your previous corporate life because you could always tell yourself that the ‘no’ wasn’t really about you – it was because of the organisation. […]
10 things we learn from Megxit?
Harry has taken the courageous step to reshape his working life and there are lessons for us all: 1. Be very clear about the future you want Harry and Meghan have aspirations to live in a new location with a new lifestyle – without a strong vision for the future you can lose your way […]
Should your employer control your love life?
In the era of the #metoo movement, there are many voices suggesting that organisations should actively manage the power relationships between employers, managers and staff to avoid situations of potential abuse. Organisations are seeking to prohibit inappropriate behaviours and relationships as well as define boundaries of permitted intimacy. It is a tricky tightrope to walk […]
What do I need to start my Portfolio Executive business?
Are you setting up as a Portfolio Executive or planning to? The chances are you’ll have a long list of things you want to get in place, the reality is you won’t need half of them, at least not yet. This article is written from the perspective of someone who helps people build up a […]
There’s no age limit on daring to dream
I’m a firm believer in the power of dreams when it comes to achieving what we want from our relationships and our working lives. And, while some might feel that we lose our enthusiasm and excitement as we move into the second half of our careers, I remain convinced that our dreams can still move […]
You need to define your clients’ success
When you are building a portfolio executive workstyle, your client will want to be clear about the value and quality you bring. Demonstrating that clarity will be beneficial for you too and will help you keep the relationship going for as long you want. In this article I share some of the ways that you […]
New IR35: should I stop being an interim, contractor or independent consultant?
Anybody who is working as an interim, contractor or even an independent consultant, should have heard of IR35. IR35 is an HMRC regulation that seeks to ensure that taxes relating to employment can’t be avoided by the use of an intermediate company. Many of you will be aware that a new regulation is coming in […]
When interim roles no longer hold their appeal
You are a highly experienced, seasoned professional, and you have stepped out on your own to become an interim manager. You’ve started working at very senior levels, where you get drafted in to sort out a significant challenge in an organisation. It sounds like just the sort of work you were looking for when you […]
Building your runway for Portfolio Executive lift off
You have made the decision that you don’t want to stay in your current position in corporate life, despite the salary and the benefits. You also recognise that the transition to the more fulfilling Portfolio Executive workstyle isn’t going to be straightforward. So, to give your future direction the best chance of success, you’ll need […]
Have I got the right professional background to become a Portfolio Executive
Are you considering becoming a Portfolio Executive as the next stage of your career but aren’t sure if your professional background has given you the right skills? In this article I share some examples of types of roles that can transition very successfully to work with a portfolio of businesses, bringing their specialist knowledge to […]
Do I need to be a key person of influence?
It’s a very noisy market place, particularly if you are just setting out to establish yourself as an independent Portfolio Executive working with several clients. Just do a quick search on Google or LinkedIn, the market for people seeking to sell their expertise is very crowded. You’ll soon see just how many small consultancy practices there […]
Ageism – Victim or Victor? You have a clear choice.
When I was in my early twenties people would introduce me as a computer ‘whizz kid’ and that was really exciting! It was in the early days of the whole micro-computer revolution and being considered a ‘whizz kid’ was the equivalent of the fashionable ‘geek’ of today’s current generation. But, ‘kid’ had within it a […]
How to use a diagnostic as an effective sales tool
Building trust for a long-term relationship as a portfolio executive As you start to identify clients, one of the things you need to do is establish a compelling reason for them to buy now. You want to build a long-term relationship, but most people won’t commit to a long-term relationship until they have worked with […]
Maintaining a part-time role
As I work with people building a Portfolio Executive workstyle, one of the biggest challenges I come across is “how do you maintain a role part-time?”. In this article I explore what is different from full-time and what stays the same. This requires both a mindset shift and a challenging balancing act. The challenge of […]
Portfolio Executive: what about using an intermediary
Can you have your cake and eat it? Can you be a Portfolio Executive but be able to minimise the transition to this new workstyle? Can you get someone else to do all the things that you do not feel you are very good at doing? Can you have another organisation that takes you on […]
Winning and keeping clients: Capability Maturity diagnostic
As you start to engage with clients as a Portfolio Executive one of the key tools you need is a diagnostic to enable you to demonstrate the value you bring as early as possible in a relationship. This article explores the three powerful way a diagnostic works for you: 1) Enables you to do some […]
The power of becoming a Trusted Advisor
A critical part of your role as a Portfolio Executive is to build a relationship where you become the trusted advisor of the CEO. Sometimes your role won’t bring you direct access to the CEO, but you should still become a trusted advisor to whoever is your sponsor. Moving from an Employee Mindset What does […]
What must you do before you quit for your 2nd Half Career?
You have decided that you want to have a radical change of direction. You want to move on from your current employer. You want to step out into a new workstyle. You want to build a new career for the second half of your working life. Commit to plan and prepare There are some immensely […]
A little work will make your pension go so much further.
You may be aware that for many people the kind of annuity rates they can get when they cash in their pension have become very disappointing. I did a quick review of the kind of annuity that you could get for a million pound pension pot, aged 65 as a man and £50,000 a year, […]
Ten Pitfalls to avoid in setting up your 2nd Half Career
As soon as you start to be intentional about shaping your 2nd Half Career, you will be faced with important choices. These are the top 10 ‘gotchas’ that I have seen amongst professionals as they begin to move forward. 1 – Expensive Postgraduate Qualifications The first pitfall to avoid in setting up your second half […]
Finding the right size business for your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
I am working with former Finance, HR, Marketing and Sales Directors as well as CIOs / CTOs and a variety of other experienced professionals to build a Portfolio Executive workstyle. I have come to believe that there is not a ‘one size fits all’ answer to how big a company you should target for your […]
Selling your 2nd Half Career to your Current Employer
Probably the context in which you have the strongest relationships and the strongest potential to develop your 2nd Half Career is actually with your current employer. At first sight, you may question how favourably your employer will look at your proposal to become independent. You may be a senior member of the team, somebody they […]
Pricing as a Portfolio Executive
As I work with people developing their portfolio executive workstyle, one of the biggest challenges we come across over and over again is pricing. There are two very different ways of thinking about pricing. Cost Plus Pricing The first way is ‘Cost plus’. People sit down at the beginning of the year and they say […]
Are we all millenials now?
So much has been written about millennials and their preferences and attitudes towards work and as I review these thoughts about millennials, there are three things that strike me: Three things about millennials The first is that they recognise that they have to manage their own working lives, their own careers. The second thing is […]
Can I only be a Portfolio Executive?
Can I only be a portfolio executive? Or can I have a richer portfolio than that? portfolio sustainable independence career future focus change opportunity network relationship They want to do some other ‘stuff’ and this seems to be driven by two desires. More money now! The first one is short-term economic gain. Although they absolutely […]
From success to significance
You are a professional who has worked perhaps ten, fifteen, twenty years in your chosen profession and you have achieved a level of success. You have a senior role, a reasonable salary and you are looking forward and thinking about what you want to do with your 2nd Half Career. portfolio sustainable independence career future […]
Why Consulting is Not Fit for Purpose
Lessons from Big Five Consulting I have worked for a global professional services practice where I was a partner and where I was consulting for large and medium sized businesses. After being in that firm for five years I became very disenchanted with what big consulting did for its clients. Now, I recognise that there […]
Who should I pay to help me be a Non-Executive Director (NED)?
I am continually active on LinkedIn and I am incredibly open to signing up to various email newsletters. As soon as I had ‘Director’ in my job title, I was approached by several different organisations that promised me that they could make me a successful Non-Executive Director. Maybe you are too? There is a wide […]
I am too busy to find clients
Having worked to help people build their portfolio executive proposition and to go out and win their first client. I increasingly hear them telling me that they are too busy to find anymore clients. At one level this is a great success story. They have more work than they can cope with. Fantastic! But […]
Working until you are 100 – freedom or slavery?
In 2019, BBC Radio 4 celebrated the fact that the long-standing actress playing Peggy Archer was still working in her 100th year. The famous matriarch in The Archers continues to feature in the story line while being played an actress several years older. Can you imagine a future where you are working in your 100th […]
Understanding Referrers and Connectors
Word of mouth marketing is recognised as the most powerful marketing tool we have in our armoury and as we build our portfolio of clients then word of mouth will be crucial to bring in new clients. This is simulated on social media, but true word of mouth marketing is one person talking to another. […]
Eight Essentials for Freedom and Joy at Work
As I work with people who are developing their Second Half Careers, a pattern is beginning to emerge. It seems that there are eight essentials that will enable people to really set out a future which is going to work for them into the second half of their working lives. I believe that by tackling […]
Taking the career long view
It is very easy for us to stay focussed on the next promotion, the next job, the next assignment and to see our career as moving up an escalator one step at a time. But when we are asked to plan our finances, we recognise that there are times of investment and there are times […]
Preparing your Network for your Portfolio Executive Workstyle
Finding your role as a Portfolio Executive is a different kind of journey than finding your next job and often if we have been in corporate life for a long time, our network can be very limited in scope. Our network tends to be within the organisations in which we work and sometimes with our […]
Do I have to run a business to be a Portfolio Executive?
At its simplest a Portfolio Executive is spending their time being a part-time head of or part-time director for a portfolio of businesses. In essence what they are doing is acting as part-time employees for each of those businesses. So, portfolio sustainable independence career future focus change opportunity network relationship The answer to this in […]
Financial Freedom: Preparing for your 2nd Half Career
For many of us we get to a stage in our lives where we have built up a series of obligations and commitments which rely on a certain level of income. We are used to a standard of vehicle that we change at a regular frequency. We have got used to a house with a […]