Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career

Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career
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Following a career path is not unlike moving through a game board. It’s a journey of chance and challenges, where you use insight and cunning to move yourself forward and achieve a desired outcome. But what do you do when your path is a bit more independent?

When I decided to move away from the 9-to-5 lifestyle to launch my career coaching business, I quickly learned that there was a different set of rules that needed to be followed. However, I wasn’t quite sure what that strategy was meant to look like.

I knew I needed to create a rule book, and I needed to do it fast. Through the help of my community and the insights gained in The Portfolio Collective’s Catapult course, I was able to create a strategy and build a business that was true to who I was.

Creating a clear and effective plan

Let’s stick with the metaphor of the board game. Imagine your new portfolio career as a game—one that requires knowledge of the rules to be played properly. You wouldn’t just throw the pieces down on the board and start moving them without any instruction.

You would read the guide and set yourself a plan.

Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career
© Jane O'Sullivan / The Portfolio Collective 2020

When it comes to goal setting, my experience is that receiving coaching is very similar to having an established rule book for you to follow. The only difference in this scenario is that you can then adapt and change those roles however you see fit. What’s important is that you have a baseline to draw from.

People turn to coaching for many reasons, but the underlying desire tends to be the same: the catalyst for change and a realisation of how you’re going to make that happen. When you discuss your goals with a coach or a learning cohort, you can uncover unexpected thought processes and make clearer decisions.

Why we need established goals

As with games, we choose to engage in goals for a reason—whether that’s the satisfaction of ticking something off our to-do list or a slightly more rewarding outcome like personal development. Did you know that goal setting has actually been proven to positively affect your happiness and mental health? That’s because your brain instinctively wants to prioritise and choose routine, and every time you accomplish something, you get a nice little hit of dopamine as a reward.

Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career

A goal-oriented coaching structure allows you to manage your moods and focus on everything that can potentially help or hinder your success. It also provides better awareness of the motivations behind your goals. If you create a goal without structure, you’re likely to lose direction, make little-to-no progress, and even become distracted by the other players in this metaphorical game.

Put simply, without structure, you just don’t get things done effectively.

How I learned to set my own strategy

When I launched my business, Game Plan Life Coaching, I knew all of this to be true, yet I still fell into the same old traps. I didn’t act the part of “the rule reader”—a player that is fundamental to any sort of game play. Instead, I jumped straight into setting up a business with self-created players that were impatient to get started.  

Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career

Joining the Catapult Course was my equivalent of finding the rule book for my game. I was aware that social media, website development, branding, and lead finding were all on my game board, but these were big concepts that made my impatient players insecure. Ultimately, without my rule reader, everything felt complicated and impenetrable which meant I didn’t understand how to keep playing. 

But by joining a community of like minded people—and taking part in a course that allowed me to envision my path and identify my uniqueness—I was able to fulfil the role I needed to execute my own plan.

Having a clear business strategy in place meant that I could now focus on why I started Game Plan in the first place: to support others in becoming their own rule readers. It was so refreshing to get a taste of my own Game Plan medicine through The Portfolio Collective and the Catapult course.

Is career coaching right for you?

Why strategy and support are so fundamental in a portfolio career

“The art of play is something I live by—it’s proven time and time again by how it releases endorphins, alleviates stress, and establishes social bonds.”

I also see this mental shift in my group workshops around play. The art of play is something I live by—it’s proven time and time again by how it releases endorphins, alleviates stress, and establishes social bonds. As Albert Einstein said, “play is the highest form of research.” By returning to play we can get to know ourselves better, understand our core, and, as a result, learn the rules we need to follow to be successful.

How will you become your own rule reader?

Think you’re ready to discover the best strategy for your portfolio career? Then by all means build up your community and start learning from others’ experiences. I would definitely recommend getting involved in something a bit more structured and informed like career coaching or the Catapult Course

You’ll be amazed by how much you learn and all the things you didn’t know you already had within you.

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