Developing your Adaptability (AQ): The Ability of Grit
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. ‘Grit’ is a colloquial term we use to express persistence and the capacity to push through. In the context of the Adaptability Quotient, it has a much more specific meaning. Being adaptable is strongly correlated with your capability in Grit. Although people often talk about Grit […]
12 Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Success
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. You would imagine that success is something that we all desire. You would imagine that when we have it, we are delighted and we celebrate it. But there is a strange phenomenon, that many, many people have lurking in their subconscious, which can ultimately undermine their […]
Do I want to be seen as vulnerable simply because I’m older?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Too often, “old” and “vulnerable” are brought together in describing how we should respond to a certain group of people. But the assumption that because I’m old, I am vulnerable is a classic ageism trope. Sexism versus Ageism – Mental Capacity Generally, society is unwilling to […]
Rejecting Client Feedback – The Arrogance Trap?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. As a Portfolio Executive you will have a level of confidence in your professional skill, wisdom and insight that you bring into the role as a trusted advisor to your clients. You may often believe that your client is less expert than you in the field […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Failure
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 11 – Attitude to Failure In our current society, we are always encouraged to set goals, set milestones, set KPI’s, in other words, define over and over again what success looks like. But we are less comfortable with recognising that every time we don’t hit those […]
Can you measure Adaptability?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Is it just Resilience? When I first looked at this, I was very sceptical. What does adaptability really mean? There are lots of responses to this rapidly changing world. One of the most common things that people are demanding of their teams and organisations is resilience. […]
Do I get to do more of what I want the older I get?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. The cry of the youngster is, ‘when I grow up, I want to…’, sometimes I want to become…, sometimes I want to do… . When I leave home, I will be able to … .Maybe it’s get that job, be with that person, go to that […]
Can I be a Portfolio Executive if I can’t Sell?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. One of the biggest concerns that I hear from people, when we start talking about a Portfolio Executive workstyle, is that they feel they’ve got to learn how to sell. Many senior professionals have never been in the situation where they’ve seen themselves as a salesperson. […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Risk
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 10 – Attitude to Risk We are very poor judges of risk as human beings. In our society we invest huge amounts of money in reducing some risks, then are very careless about other risks. So, for example, the amount of money to ensure that aircraft […]
Why does Adaptability Matter?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. We are in a VUCA world : a world in which Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity dominate the environment in which we operate. This creates all sorts of challenges for individuals, teams and organisations. We are creatures of habit. Our whole sensory system is designed to […]
Is Ageism Real in Employment?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Sexism and racism provide a continuing challenge to the attitudes and culture of organisations and society at large, and have now been adopted under a broader agenda of diversity and inclusion. UK, European and international human rights law recognises a number of ‘protected characteristics’ including […]
10 Reasons that Becoming an Entrepreneur Won’t Make my Future Work
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. There is huge publicity for successful entrepreneurs. There are lots of people who have aspirations to be an entrepreneur. Too often, however, people have equated starting a business, as being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur is a very particular kind of individual. They are somebody who relentlessly […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Learning
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 9 – Attitude to Learning There is some very interesting research, which has looked at the attitude to learning in young people, which, I think, translates very strongly to anybody, in whatever walk of life they are. Fixed v. Growth Mindset Essentially, they identified two types […]
10 reasons why being a Contractor won’t Make my Future Work
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Earlier in my career I was an IT contractor, working as a software developer, introduced by agencies. Projects typically ran from three to six and sometimes as long as nine months. I understand the opportunity that being a contractor can be for people. It can appear […]
Mental Health – How to Manage your Mental Health
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Back in March 2021, Jonathan MacDonald, Kaur Lass and myself had conversations about Mental Wellness Habits, this series of articles is based on those conversations. You can read the previous articles in the series here and here. Important: mental illness may require medical intervention. Check […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitudes to Others
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 8 – Attitudes to Others Your attitude to others, is probably one of the most powerful attitudes for success. We are all leaders of some sort or other. We don’t need to have a senior position be a leader. We lead others positively or negative, simply […]
10 reasons why being an Independent Consultant will not Make my Future Work
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Many people as a first step to leaving permanent full time salaried employment think, ‘I can just carry on doing what I’ve been doing, but as an independent freelancer working for my existing employer, then go and find some other organisations that I can be an […]
10 reasons that being an interim won’t make my future work
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. I talk to many people who have enjoyed the interim workstyle. They like the excitement of working in a new situation every three to nine months. The challenge of sorting things out and learning new things suits them. It can be a great kicker to your […]
Mental Health – Focus and Passion
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Back in March 2021, Jonathan MacDonald, Kaur Lass and myself had a conversation about Mental Wellness Habits, this series of articles is based on those conversations. You can read the first article in the series here. Important: mental illness may require medical intervention. Check out […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitudes to Habit
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 7 – Attitudes to Habit So much of lasting change that we can embed in our lives comes through establishing habits, our attitude to habits is crucial to our long-term success. We can go out and do a big push to make something happen but the […]
Why full time professional employment won’t Make your Future Work
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. I have spent all my working life around professionals who have sought to build a career through their professional skills. But very early on in my working life I realised that, for me, being in full-time professional employment, wasn’t going to Make my Future Work. As […]
How can I make the most of my holidays as a Portfolio Executive?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. I meet many, many people who are freelancers or interims or who have moved into the Portfolio Executive workstyle and see themselves as almost self-employed. The mindset of people who are in that time for money business is, every day that I’m not looking for more […]
Essential 8: Financial Freedom
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. When I was a partner at Arthur Andersen, we were enveloped by the Enron scandal and suddenly a business of 60,000 people came to an end. It was a personal tragedy for many. What struck me was the difference in attitude around the offices. For one […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Self
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 6 – Attitude to Self Recognising your different selves Your attitude to self is a critical component of your success. I’ve recently become very interested in the thinking behind the model of Voice Dialogue. The people who founded the movement that has become Voice Dialogue realised, […]
Cash versus Investment for a Portfolio Executive
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. As I work with people who’ve got through the initial part of getting their Portfolio Executive workstyle started, I often find there is a tension between taking cash out of the business versus investing in their future. I was talking to one of the Portfolio Executives […]
My Portfolio Executive Website
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. When people first start out as a Portfolio Executive. I believe that having their own website is unnecessary. But over time, people do want to have their own web presence and I’m often asked, “What should I have on my website?” Who you are I think […]
Essential 7: Building your Support Team
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. You don’t need to be alone in making your decisions. Maybe you had parents, friends or partners as key supporters in the past for key decisions. This can be all a bit ad-hoc. One of my ex-Andersen colleagues left the business and has built up two […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Challenge
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 5 – Attitude to Challenge In my experience there are very different ways in which people carry an attitude to challenge. I see there are some people who want to go out and pick a fight with the world, and there are others who, when confronted […]
Becoming Part of the Portfolio Executive Community
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. Starting out on any kind of business on your own, is a lonely, and often scary, process. It’s hard to push through the disappointments but it’s equally hard to understand when you’re doing well. When I work with people one-to-one on developing that Portfolio Executive workstyle, […]
Essential 6: Know your true talents
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. One of my friends was recruiting a recent graduate in IT. This interviewee started to tell him about his time at university organising the annual ski trip. He enthused about arranging it, negotiating deals with the bars, dealing with illness, accidents and unfortunate behaviours, and getting […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Planning
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. 4- Attitude to Planning It may be a trite truism that failing to plan is planning to fail but planning is an essential attitude for success. Planning is part of an overall process which is often initiated by goal setting. I want to focus on a […]
Making your Future Work: Is your age shaping what you love and loving what you do?
You can sign up to our LinkedIn newsletter here. The youngest age a child can work is 13, unless they obtain a performance licence. Generally, there is no compulsory retirement age (with the exception of age limits set by law or jobs that require certain physical abilities). I remember my personal frustration as a teenager […]
What’s the difference between an Interim and a Portfolio Executive?
A significant proportion of the people who come to me to develop a Portfolio Executive workstyle have been working as interims. And at first sight. they’re not very different. You’re coming into a business and helping them build a function or rebuild a function or cover for a function that for some reason needs external […]
Essential 5: Your Personal Brand
If you want to be known for everything, you’ll be known for nothing. Most of us have multiple talents and skills. However, others want to know us as the person who can solve specifically this, or address that. “She’s the fix-it person for turn arounds”. “He’s the guy you call on when you want to […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Gratitude
3 – Attitude to Gratitude Success can often be a lonely journey to achieve and there are many bumps along the way but there is a really powerful psychological tool that I have found makes a huge difference to how we see our world. And as we shift our attitude to our world with an […]
Mental Health – Psychotic or Self-managing?
Back in March 2021, Jonathan MacDonald, Kaur Lass and myself had a conversation about Mental Wellness Habits, and this series of articles is based those conversations. Important: mental illness may require medical intervention. Check out nhs.uk/mental-health/ for important information. It’s hard to miss the increasing call for us to talk about our mental health. The […]
Making your Future Work: Is your future doing what you love and loving what you do?
As I write this (Oct 21), the headlines trumpet that job vacancies are at an all-time high. Workers are expected to have more choice and opportunity than ever before. But for many of us, as we consider our future, we are confronted by two, seemingly unresolvable tensions: our working future with our employer and our […]
What’s the difference between an Independent Consultant and a Portfolio Executive?
I am talking to more and more people who are attracted to the idea of the Portfolio Executive workstyle and are keen to develop a different approach to their Second Half Career. But often they feel quite confused about being an Independent Consultant versus being a Portfolio Executive. But the reality is there’s a very […]
Essential 4: Courage to Succeed
We may not often see the choices we make as requiring courage. In fact, too often, we find rational excuses to justify avoiding difficult decisions rather than recognise that we are motivated by fear, uncertainty, and doubt: deep seated emotional responses to the challenge of particular choices. We have developed programmes of default behaviour (habits […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Change
2 – Attitude to Change Underpinning any desire for success is a desire that things should be different. If you have already achieved success, then you may not want anything to change but most of the people I meet who are successful are not prepared to rest in the status quo. Achieving one success for […]
12 Key Attitudes for Success: Attitude to Opportunity
1 – Attitude to Opportunity We all want more success don’t we! When I look back through my life almost all my success has come from my attitude to opportunity. It was Napoleon who said, “Don’t give me great generals, give me lucky generals” and I think the attitude of a lucky general is […]
Enabling people to buy through powerful conversations
Many years ago, I trained as a coach and as an executive coach you are taught to ask powerful questions and to engage in conversations which leave people at choice. I firmly believe that the most effective conversations with potential clients are conversations where you enable them to buy, particularly if you are offering them […]
6 steps to creating a 2nd Half Career
You are recognising that the 2nd half of your career will not be a continuation of your current path of advancement and opportunity. So, what do you do? Step 1: Confront the reality revealed by your Future Work Prospect Score Take our new Future Work Prospect Score quiz here. Whatever your final scores, there are […]
The Challenge of Purpose and Passion
We can so often get drawn into taking the next step up the ladder because it is expected of us without checking whether it really takes us further to fulfilling our purpose and passion. Are you trapped in what you have to do? Trevor (not his real name) used to work for a professional services […]
Making your Future Work: Is four days a week enough to love what you do?
In a world in which working from home has meant that too many of us are ‘always on’, the idea of a 4-day week can seem like an extravagant fantasy. But there is increasing evidence that limiting work hours increases productivity of individual workers and increases the economic productivity of whole nations. Scandinavian countries already […]
Freedom & Joy – is This as Good as it Gets?
Working in a big professional services firm, I was waking up the train driver at 5:15am to get into the office by 7am and lucky to be home by 8pm. I was often at an airport on Sunday afternoon so I could be in a foreign city the night before a time zone shifted start […]
Audio Podcasting and the Portfolio Executive
Audio podcasting has now become a mainstream medium. You only need to see how the BBC has jumped on the band wagon to realise that it now stands alongside TV, radio and audiobooks as an essential ‘broadcast’ medium. The number of podcasts is huge, and the great joy of audio podcast is that it can […]
Video and the Portfolio Executive
Social Media organisations have been promoting video as their preferred engagement medium for quite a long time now. Making videos is more accessible for the average person than ever before. But I think you want to consider very carefully how you want to use video to build your profile as a Portfolio Executive. There are […]
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 […]
Should you have a side hustle?
So you have got your day job but you are recognising that this is not forever, and you would like to do something that you can enjoy, that is going to earn a bit of income, and that maybe something that will help you to create your future. This is “a side hustle”. Something that […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Can I only be a Portfolio Executive?
Can I only be a Portfolio Executive? Or can I have a richer portfolio than that? As I continue to work with people building up their Portfolio Executive Workstyle, I am finding an increasing trend that people want to mix it up a bit. They want to do some other ‘stuff’ and this seems to […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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. […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]