Forget the idea of ‘Work/Life Balance’. For us here at ArtSHINE the ideas underpinning work/life balance can lead you to the conclusion that our lives are something to be divided in half. Split into two unrelated, disconnected, and ultimately conflicting pieces.
“My ‘work’ is something I have to do” people say. “Some thing that just brings me money.”
“My ‘life’ is where I’m happiest, and where I want to be. But I don’t really have a life” people say, “because I’m too busy with work!”
And in this zero sum game that is work/life balance you’re always left feeling that the balance is wrong. That your priorities are in the wrong place. That somehow you can perfectly balance that teeter-totter and create that perfect balance in your life.
It’s a dangerous, dangerous time in the post-GFC world right now.
In an era of downsizing, cost-cutting, and ‘operational efficiencies’ a large group of people feel insecure in their corporate roles.
The company you work for is seeking to cut costs. Are you a target?
If you’ve decided that you’ve had had enough of being a corporate animal and that you’re ready to trade in your career for self employment in your own small business, then let us show you how to create a Business LifeStyle using the concept of a “Portfolio life”.
In the book The Age of Unreason, first published in 1989, business guru Charles Handy coined the phrase Portfolio Life. Handy explains the concept thus: “a portfolio of activities – some we do for money, some for interest, some for pleasure, some for a cause… the different bits fit together to form a balanced whole greater than the parts”.
Let’s look at Vinh and I to illustrate the point.
We’ve owned an operated a range of businesses over the last decade or so. And moved in and out of more corporate roles as start-up cycles and cash flows demanded.
As various new ventures have commenced we’ve worked “5 to 9″ (rather than “9 to 5″) as the new business gains it’s footing.
Vinh Van Lam, for instance, Spends a percentage of every month working with Quantum Compass, a boutique Business LifeStyle coaching practice based in Sydney Australia. Vinh also heads up the ArtShine project team at Quantum Compass which specialises in working with creative professionals, and the ArtSHINE Creative Circle monthly event, and joint venture with Art & Design organisation.
This directly links to his volunteer work mentoring artisans and creative crafts-people. This connects with some consulting work (Business Development, advisory and art and design consultanting) that Vinh does with established designers. As well as sourcing, importing & wholesaling for further cash-flow.
And of course you’ll see him around Australia presenting at various Art exhibitions and craft shows.
It sounds ‘busy’ – but the difference is that this Business LifeStyle is ultimately sustainable, and eminently enjoyable, simply because all the activities (both income generating and not) derive directly from his DPP – Desire, Passions, and Purpose.
There’s no false dichotomy, no split between what’s ‘enjoyable’, and what’s ‘work’.
See the difference?
I’d argue that a portfolio life offers you the very real opportunity create a sustainable business lifestyle and the chance to ultimately lead a more fulfilling and prosperous life.
It’s certainly your opportunity to pursue interests and passions that would otherwise be shut out by a more conventional career.
ArtSHINE is here to offer you plenty of information and advice about how to create your portfolio life.
We suggest that the ideal Business LifeStyle needs to spread the cash-flow risk with a series of customers or sources of cash-flow, but at least one regular, reliable source of ongoing income.
For our coaching clients we work towards residual incomes as this source of regular, reliable cash flow.
“Business LifeStyle is about finding your passions and purpose”, Vinh says. “Follow your desires to concentrate on what you enjoy most. Avoid working just because there’s a pay cheque, and make sure the jobs fit into your own picture of your life.” he says.
Now we’re here to let you know that these strategies aren’t just for executives and high flyers… the people who can dictate terms and control their own time.
There’s some very real strategies for every-day employees and average wage earners too.
With ArSHINE programmes there’s plenty of scope for people to achieve a smooth transition from full-time work to self employment and small business ownership.
We acknowledge that this idea of Business LifeStyle isn’t for everyone. And moving through the transition phase is hard work and challenging. It’s quite likely that incomes may change when you first leave your set career. That’s why it’s best to plan the transition to occur over time as your Business LifeStyle takes off. But the initial income trade off is more than compensated by your increased independence and the new control you gain over your own life.
And there is a very real difference between the cash flow a person needs to live comfortably versus the income a person may want to indulge in an unsustainable consumerist lifestyle.
So; with desire, passion, and purpose. Together with planning and determination, the portfolio life, offers a Business LifeStyle of independence and fulfilment.
Stuart Horrex in ArtSHINE
19 April 2014