June is shaping up to be quite interesting for me. I’ve taken the month off from my “day job” as a freelance SEO writer in order to help my partner start up TRIP, his new timber recycling business. While I’m helping him I’ll be able to focus more energy on my two home based businesses. Ethical health and beauty with NYR Organic and the beautiful Barefoot Books which has its Ambassadors Conference this month – so exciting! Most importantly, however, I’m going to be spending much more quality time with my two beautiful girls, both of whom have their birthdays in June
I guess that’s the nice thing about having a portfolio career. You can spend your time where it’s needed most without having to worry about scheduling holiday time from your boss or fighting with a project that you have lost interest in, purely because it’s the only stream of income you have coming in. I have heard that for a portfolio career to be effective you need to have at least 7 streams of income, but to be honest I think that idea is a bit too regimented.
Certainly while I am homeschooling two children, I find that my 3 main income streams are enough at this point in time, although I occasionally do the odd extras such as a bit of market research or some website reviews. I usually work around 25 hours a week, entirely flexibly, which is enough for me to qualify for tax credits. The rest of my time can be spent with my family. Bliss.
Portfolio careers are great for people like me, who get bored with the same old nose to the grindstone stuff day in and day out. Until I’d discovered the freedom and flexibility that being self-employed can give you I’d had trouble sticking at a job for more than 9 months. Now I’ve been happily working for myself for years and have tried my hand at everything from virtual call centres to couriering before I settled on my current projects. The advent of the internet, alongside the instability of the economy and jobs market means that more and more people are able to make decent money from their home based businesses, and this trend is only likely to increase in the future.
So what are the downsides of a portfolio career? Well for a start you have to work hard at what you do. Let’s face it, the only place where work comes before success is in the dictionary. However the benefits of investing your time into a career which will give you long term residual income are immeasurable, especially when pension plans and savings schemes are giving much less back to their investors than in times gone by. I also find that having a nearly 3 and nearly 9 year old at home full time alongside my stock boxes and marketing materials means that my house is quite often a mess – especially when I’m sorting out my customer orders, although I admit that if I was a little less lazy it wouldn’t be an issue.
As for the money I make. Well it’s all a question of how you perceive it. My earnings aren’t massive, that much is true. However when you factor in the fact that I have no childcare costs and no travelling expenses unless I am running a stall or hosting a party, I don’t have to eat from the local sandwich shop or make packed lunches every day and I don’t have to have a massive wardrobe of “clothes for work”, the savings I make by working from home are immense. The environmental implications of not having to travel to work are also massive, unlike my carbon footprint.
Most importantly for me, the girls have learnt so much about entrepreneurial spirit. I feel this is an essential part of their education as no-one can guess what the jobs market will be like when they are older. Of course, the fact that I can step away from whatever I’m doing whenever they need me can only be considered a good thing too.
Portfolio careers are definitely worth looking into, whether you are a busy parent, a carer or even if you just want to get out of the rat race and start working for yourself, doing the things that you love to do. For more information please take a look at the NYR Organic “become a consultant” page or check out becoming an Ambassador with Barefoot Books. Alternatively, you can contact me for more information about joining my team. Happy Homeworking for all!