One aspect of my coaching work with clients is to help them develop and implement a portfolio approach . Some of these shared insights may be of use to you: 

1. A portfolio career is the pursuit of more than one income source simultaneously, usually by applying the various skills you’ve developed throughout your career to different types of work. For example, you could combine consulting with part-time work, teaching at a local college and freelance writing. You could use your speaking and facilitation skills to lead workshops at companies or educational institutions. You could even develop your own product or service. 

2. A Portfolio lifestyle involves a balanced lifestyle including earning your income from a variety of sources. For example, you might work on freelance contracts or as a part-time employee for several organisations, and perhaps also run a business.

  • In this way of working income is gained from several sources
  • It is popular with those who have specific skills that are in demand by different organisations.
  •  At different times you might combine self-employment with, for example, short-term contracts or part-time, temporary or project work.
  •  Each job adds skills and experience to your portfolio.
  •  This type of work allows flexibility and can also be secure.
  •  A balance can be struck between paid and unpaid work and an improved lifestyle

Working with several clients I have noticed that some attributes or qualities help to underpin success including : 

  •  some risk tolerance and courage,
  •  high self motivation and resilience , 
  •  adequate personal finances
  • curious an interested in continuous personal development ,
  • good interpersonal , self marketing and networking skills, 
  •  seeking appropriate support from others
  • willingness to take on new challenges and 
  • able to multi task.

“The quality of your life is proportional to the quality of the questions you ask?”

Anthony Robbins


If you are considering a portfolio approach an effective initial stage is to reflect carefully and consider specific criteria:

  • What aspects of my personality  and values help me to be a good fit for specific components of my portfolio ?
  • What existing skills and experience should I capitalise on?
  • What interests or hobbies might I expand on or cultivate further?
  • What new education might I need to complete?
  •  What new skills or experience might I need if I want to include in my portfolio an area of interest or something totally new to me?
  •  How will I research and test different possibilities?
  •  What balance do I want between leisure,family,friends and work time ?
  •  What are my financial requirements  in order to support myself and my family?
  • What resources and support can I call on as I make this journey?
  •  What  financial investment might I need?
  •  What systems and infrastructure will I need in place? 
  •  Can I generate passive sources of income?

GUIDING  THOUGHT :   STOP ,THINK and then ACT when well informed – there are 168 hours in a week  ( and typically for one third of that we sleep!)  –  so how many of your  approximately 100 waking  hours will you spend on each component ?



  • Consider the vision for your initial portfolio – What do you want more of and less of in your life?
  • Understand the requirements for each component
  • Analyse the gap between your current knowledge and skills and the portfolio component
  • Consider how to fill the gap ( Education , Training, Reading, Working in a similar business to learn the ropes ,Speaking to people working in that area , etc.)

An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory  – Engels

Having thought through and settled on at least some initial portfolio components you are ready to:

  • Research the enablers for that option
  •  Understand the time commitments involved
  • Estimate any costs involved and income generated  where appropriate
  • Develop an implementation plan
  • Move to implementation – learning as you do so

Action Process

Using the knowledge gained from your planning and preparation establish the components of your initial portfolio based on the best mix for you right now .

For example this could be any mix of components such as   :

  •  Own business ( wide range of possibilities)
  •  Franchise ( wide range of possibilities)
  • Non Executive Director
  •  Interim Management
  • Contract/Temporary work
  •  Consultancy
  •  Coaching in various fields
  •  Charity paid and unpaid work
  •  Voluntary work
  •  Magistrate
  •  Local Politics
  •  Trustee roles
  • Writing – technical /fiction

This is the secret – the repertoire. You have to try to consolidate your repertoire. It is a big step if you know how to do that.  Cecilia Bartoli

A portfolio approach implies an ongoing , flexible and evolving journey. The components of your portfolio can change and evolve. Consolidation, nurturing, sustaining and developing become essential drivers

Some components can be removed if they are not meeting your needs or criteria.

New components can be added as you learn more and discover new possibilities.

In this sense it is worth reviewing and evaluating progress at key stages to see what needs to change as well as being constantly curious and actively researching new possibilities.

View Peter Cobbe's profile on LinkedIn


  • NOW ACCEPTING NEW CLIENTS : Coaching via Skype / Facetime / 1 to 1 meetingsMy career experience includes HR Director and senior executive roles in Barclays plc and Tesco plc leading major transformation and complex change programmes reporting at Board level .I have an MBA, BA and I am a member of the  Association for Coaching. I am an accredited coach with over 12 years of private client coaching experience and as an associate consultant with Penna (UK) dealing with career, life,executive and business coaching and counselling. I work in mentoring and coaching partnerships with executives to help achieve gains of importance to them.I help people of all ages, different cultures and job levels to understand more about themselves, their impact on others and how to develop across major dimensions in life.
    I respect the integrity and confidentiality of my clients building on their existing great skills and abilities and evolving enhanced self guidance : ” No one in the world was ever you before, with your particular gifts and abilities and possibilities.”Specialties: Holistic / systemic approach to coaching
  • Achieving a portfolio lifestyle
  • Remote coaching via Skype and Apple Facetime
  • Coaching for Executive performance /High Potential including C level
  • Senior Executive mentoring
  • First 100 days
  • Career Coaching/portfolio lifestyle
  • Coaching for powerful presentations
  • Life Coaching
  • Executive advice on staff insight surveys
  • Facilitating key meetings and C- level strategic retreats engaging around people decisions that flow from business choices
  • Business/HR Strategy ,Change Leadership
  • Communications strategy
  • Psychometrics,NLP,Emotional Intelligence
  • Confidence&Self Esteem
  • Creativity coaching
  • Independent Consulting propositions coaching
  • Non Executive director coaching
  • Business Report/White Paper writing
  • Graduate career coaching

Just a thought :

Five frogs are sitting on a log.
Four decide to jump off. How many are left? 

Answer: five. Why? Because there’s a difference between deciding and doing.

Mark Feldman

For a free exploratory discussion on 1 to 1 or GROUP learning/coaching sessions contact me on:



via  my Linked In Profile

View Peter Cobbe's profile on LinkedIn


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