Why A Portfolio Career Can Be So Satisfying For Those With Many Interests

by Pamela on January 3, 2014

It’s Not About Having It All. It’s About Doing What You Love

What did you want to be when you grew up? We are conditioned to think that we have to pick a profession and stick to it. More and more people are

I’m a Life and Business Coach. That’s a vague term, isn’t it? To be more precise, I’m a communications expert. Those who meet me quickly realize that they can trust me to coach them when they have any kind of communication conflict that they need to address (or can’t escape) in their business or personal life. If you want to work on your interpersonal skills, hire me- plain and simple. I love what I do and I’m good at it. I have a knack for listening carefully and getting to the root of the problem and I’ll give it to you straight. I’d also like to think that I’m at least mildly entertaining during my sessions, which makes it fun for both of us.

I also love cooking. My friends encouraged me to start a second business, Cook With Pamela, as a vehicle to teach others how to cook. I look at it as a way to feed my creative side- literally. So far, I’ve managed to balance my two loves. Each requires a different skill set and provides a unique sense of accomplishment. As a coach, I can’t tell my client what to do. The answers are within them. My job is to draw it out of them, reinforce, validate, and help them consider the possibilities. When I’m doing cooking demonstrations, I get to be instructional because that’s what people pay me to do- teach them. It’s the perfect balance for my personality and skill set.

What I have is called a portfolio career. It has a few definitions. In my case, I have a core occupation (coaching) combined with a personal interest or hobby (cooking). The two have seemingly little to do with one another. They both require me to work directly with people, but other than that….not sure.

Having a portfolio career has its pluses and minuses. I get to do two things that I love and I don’t get burned out on either of them. I split my time and resources, which can be a challenge. When you run your own business(es), marketing is a full time job and since I have two different audiences, my marketing efforts suffer. I’m concerned that prospective coaching clients will take me less seriously once they find out that I run cooking classes. If they look me up on Google, they’ll see that I have many interests and I don’t want that to diminish my ‘street cred’ as a coach. The absurdity of what I just typed is not lost on me. If my dentist was also working at a bar on the weekends, I’d think that was peculiar, but does that mean he’s not a good dentist? Not a successful dentist? Could it be that he just wants to talk to people that can actually answer back once in awhile? Perhaps he has loans from dental school and just bought a successful practice and the office needs remodeling?

You CAN be great at two things. You can be great at many things. Really. It may be unconventional in a world where people naturally ask “what do you do?” when they first meet you. They want to hear a short phrase that usually starts with “I’m a —-.” When you hear “I’m a Life Coach and I also run cooking classes” or “I’m a CPA and a Yoga instructor,” what’s the first thing that pops into your head? Is this person a Fraud? A Flake? Flighty? or Multi-talented? Entrepreneurial? Ambitious? Believe me, I’ve had to wrestle with my own gremlins over this question!

All I can say is that I love my portfolio career, even if it does trip me up at cocktail parties. When asked “what do you do?” My answer is usually “how long do you have?”

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)

Previous post:

Next post: