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 […]
12 Key attitudes to success: 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 to Success: 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 (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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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, […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]