We’ve never been shy about how much our community means to us. In fact, it was the first thing we knew we wanted to build as a business. The quality, diversity and behaviour of that community was the foundation of everything that came after.
Back in 2020, we saw a future where portfolio careers outnumbered traditional work, and we were eager to accelerate that reality. But more than anything, we wanted to create a space where professionals from all backgrounds, industries and experience levels could connect, learn and support each other as they navigated a rapidly changing world of work.
So we made it our mission to help professionals understand, launch, manage and grow successful portfolio careers. Then we asked ourselves: What do we want to represent? And from that, our values were born.
Collaborate through community
Celebrate the wins
It’s been over three years since these values were first written and they’ve done more than just withstand the test of time – they’ve inspired an authentic and impassioned community that thousands are proud to be a part of. That’s because these values resonate across everything we do; they’re the fibre of our identity and they represent the amazing humans who work behind the scenes and make up the wider Portfolio Collective community.
"We are more than a company - we are a community, and we wanted the values of both to be the same. How should we behave with each other, whether internal TPC team or community member? The values and behaviours of the community will define our destiny."
CEO & Co-founder of The Portfolio Collective
Why was it so important to define these values early on?
Lots of businesses define their values, but not everyone gets it right. Organisational values should be more than just inspiring words stuck on a wall; they’re a code to live by and a compass guiding every decision you make.
For us, it was important to have values that spoke to our members as much as to our team; they needed to be the best qualities of our community distilled into a lasting heritage. And in the years since we launched The Portfolio Collective (TPC), they’ve become deeply entrenched in everything we do.
“I’ve loved being a member of TPC since I joined because of these values (plus the smashing team) – members are at the core of everything they do; they celebrate our wins, pull on our expertise and create opportunity for us all. It’s an amazing community to be a part of.”
Nicola Twiston Davies
Community events facilitator, coach, gamemaster
When we first launched our community, we hand-picked 100 Founding Members who we believed to be ‘good humans’ that represented everything TPC stood for. They were (and are) thoughtful portfolio professionals with like-minded networks who helped us shape this community culture and invite others who would would reinforce the same behaviours. What’s grown has been primarily word-of-mouth every since.
Each new member who joins continues to champion these values in their own way. Let’s take a closer look at each value and how they’re realised through the TPC community.
1. Champion integrity
We strive to show a deep respect for our community members and do the right thing. Our team acts with integrity and honesty. We focus on putting ourselves in the shoes of others.
One of the things that makes our community so unique is how passionate and involved our team are when it comes to our members. There are no hard lines between us and the community. We’re all one and the same, which is why we treat everyone with the same respect and consideration.
It’s all about fostering a space that is welcoming, kind and genuine; a place where members check their egos at the door and focus more on building each other up than tearing one another down. That takes a great deal of empathy and emotional intelligence to achieve – but it also means that the connections made here are profound and collaborative.
“We consider our community in everything we do and go out of our way to give everyone our time and respect. I love being part of a team that genuinely cares about the people that it supports.”
Marketing manager at TPC
2. Embrace adaptability
The people that work here are smart, and smart people always know that you can get better. Mistakes are also OK as long as you can learn from them.
We’re a startup and a motley crew of many talents. If someone in our team wants to build a skill or take on a new responsibility within the company, we encourage it. And if someone from the community wants to grow their experience or share their expertise, we give them the platform to do so.
The world of work is changing fast and we all need to be open to trying new things. That will mean we make mistakes, and we can’t be too perfectionist. So we make a point of showcasing our vulnerability. Although we’ve all learnt a lot about portfolio careers, we’ve also made plenty of mistakes along the way. That’s why we built TPC to be a space where it’s OK to admit ignorance, ask for help and share emotions through all of life’s (and entrepreneurship’s) ups and downs.
“Not only is everyone eager to help one another just out of pure kindness, but we also allow space for ourselves and others to ‘trip and fall’ - and we all end up learning loads from it along the way! That, to me, is the ultimate win.”
Graphic designer at TPC
3. Collaborate through community
We strive to do the right thing for our community. We see ourselves as part of the community and we’re highly motivated to ensure we all succeed. We work towards a vision for a better world.
What is a community if not a collaborative ecosystem of support, connectivity and growth? Having a portfolio career can be lonely; we know that from personal experience. So by bringing our members together and inspiring lasting relationships, we’re setting the foundations for personal and professional evolution.
We have experts of all shapes and sizes, and there’s always someone who can help you deliver a project, no matter how complex.
In fact, we turn to our community for support as much as they turn to each other. They help us brainstorm ideas, design courses and improve our platform. And if we need an expert to deliver a project, we go to our community. For example, our COO Fiona recently went on maternity leave, and we found a mentor (from the TPC community) for each member of the team to help them continue to develop in her absence. It’s all about learning together, growing together and succeeding together.
“TPC offers a practical and huge knowledge-base of real people giving practical advice. If they don’t have the exact thing you need, they will find that person for you within the community and make the introduction as human beings rather than an algorithm matching you up.”
Shoe designer, consultant, lecturer and mentor
4. Celebrate the wins
We will enjoy the journey. We take the time to stop and acknowledge where we came from so that we don’t miss how impressive the climb is.
This one actually came about a few weeks after the others when we realised how quickly we moved past the revolving door of projects and accomplishments to the next task at hand (founders can be a bit intense). So we decided to slow down and take a moment each week to celebrate the big – and little – wins.
Now, we make a point to do the same with our community. Whenever someone lands a job or completes a project, we encourage them to shout about it on the activity feed. And, in turn, we celebrate their accomplishments on our social channels to ensure they get the acclaim and recognition that they deserve – portfolio work is hard, and we all need to remember how much we’ve achieved!
“We see the community as an extension of our team and vice versa, working together with members on both internal and personal projects - and we make sure to celebrate the wins, always remembering that everything we do is to help our community thrive.”
Founders associate at TPC
It’s true what they say, it takes a community…
Living by a set of values can be challenging at times, but not when they’re authentic to what you believe in. We’re all working towards the same goal: to empower the global workforce to have thriving portfolio careers.
We’re so proud of the community we’ve created and the values we live by, and the true testament is how much our members love being part of TPC.
Not a member yet? There are a hundred reasons why you should join – these values are just part of the bigger picture, but we hope they’ve given you a more intimate insight into who we are and what inspires us each and every day.
Think this sounds like the right path for you? Come along to our monthly Get started event for new members to find out what a portfolio career could look like and how The Portfolio Collective can help you take those first steps towards professional success – and don’t forget to connect with our community!