You’ll notice that when you look at the social and economic trends that are driving the growth of “portfolio lifestyles,” they are largely beyond the individual worker’s control. Many Americans are living this kind of life (sometimes pejoratively referred to as the gig economy or the Task Rabbit economy), not because it’s what they chose, but because it’s the best they can do given the state of the American labor market and today’s social support systems.
While I have embraced the portfolio of my life and cannot imagine living any other way now that I am deep in it, I have had moments when I have questioned my decision. I made more money with a greater degree of predictability when I worked a regular job. I had a community of colleagues and a clear sense of direction and goals. I had a (somewhat misguided) sense of security.
Portfolio living is a whole other paradigm and everyone who is living and working this way needs to find a way to not only make peace with it, but to embrace it wholeheartedly. No matter how you got here, I think it’s important to own the fact that this is how you live now.
To that end, I’ve taken a stab at a “Portfolio Life Manifesto.” If you have suggestions to make this Manifesto more powerful, please include them in the comments, below.
- There is no such thing as work vs. life, there is only life.
- Understand your objectives and keep them in sight at all times.
- Cash is not king
- Time is the most valuable commodity.
- Priorities are personal. If an activity matters to you, it doesn’t matter if others don’t consider high status or high value.
- Invest in yourself, your relationships and your values today in order to reap the rewards tomorrow.