The ability to keep working and improving is a great privilege for someone building a portfolio career. Not every day is a success but you learn and improve as the game goes on. When you are in the game, things happen. You can still make your way and make change happen. Value your chances inside the game and reflect on those struggling to get in.
The last month has been a very busy month for me. I have been to speak as Microsoft Ignite in Orlando as a Microsoft MVP and reconnect with a global community of IT professionals who are changing the world of work. I have begun my work at Lantern Pay as an executive and advisor. Another startup I have advised has raised significant capital and created an exit event. Change Agents Worldwide is growing well, attracting new members and attracting client attention. My board roles see organisations that are performing well and realising exciting new opportunities for growth. At the same time, I have had some exciting new projects arrive as clients grapple with agile work, collaboration, working out loud, innovation and the future of HR.
I set out over 4 years ago to build a portfolio career. That portfolio is now coming in to place. All this looks like success but it doesn’t feel that way. As we all know you don’t judge success on the outcomes alone. Some times the outcomes are temporary, just luck or timing. Some of the things listed above are beginnings not endings. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have described my position as on the brink of failure. Experiments had failed. Projects had fallen through. Bank balances were low. My confidence was waning.
What’s the difference a year later? I stayed in the game. I kept my faith and worked to build my portfolio of work, business and opportunities. By keeping going, I learned from my experiments. By keeping going, I made new contacts. By keeping going, I let time help me in growing reputation, connections and decision-making. Most of all, in the last year I became a whole lot clearer on what success looks like for me and what I need to do. As I had forecast earlier on this blog, I became a lot more disciplined in my approach to the business, to my products, my relationships and to my opportunities.
Value Your Privilege
One of the other things that became clear to me over the last year was the privilege of the position I have. No matter how glum I felt a year ago, people were still envious of my position & future opportunities. Those conversations helped me to understand that my past advantages are helping my success today.
Understanding this made me value my privileged position more.
Whatever you do, many more people want to get in to the game, but can’t see the opportunity to start. Whether it is financial position, networks, experience or mindsets, there are many barriers for those who haven’t yet begun. Many people have helped you achieve your current position in the game, whether that is family, friends sponsors or mentors. Having cleared those barriers puts you in a privileged position. Value the opportunities that come from this position. Work hard & learn to make the most of them.
The most important part of being privileged is working to help others overcome those barriers. I know many others helped me get started on this portfolio career. Many of those friends and partners still do provide support, contacts, insights and opportunities. This recognition reiterates to me the importance of reaching out and helping others build their careers and their work opportunities. We can all be better collaborators, coaches, sponsors and mentors for those starting out or struggling on their journey. There is a lot we can do to help each other stay in the game.