Build a Portfolio Career

Building a Portfolio Career

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Big Rocks

"The tutor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty glass jar and proceeded to fill it with big rocks. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.
So the tutor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the big rocks. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The tutor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He then asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous - - yes.
The tutor then produced a can of beer from under the table and proceeded to pour it into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the tutor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.
The big rocks are the important things - - your family, your partner, your health, your children, your friends, your favourite passions - - things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."
"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else - - the small stuff."
"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the big rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Fall in love. Spend time with your friends. Take your partner out for a meal. There will always be time to go to work, go to the gym, give a dinner party and clean the car.
Take care of the big rocks first - - the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."
One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented. The tutor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a drink!"

What are your 'Big Rocks'? Do you put them in your jar first or do you tip a lot of 'Sand' in at the same time?  Take a few moments to list your 'Big Rocks', 'Pebbles' and 'Sand' and prioritise them in your mind. Then it's time for a celebratory drink!

For help in getting your priorities in order, see:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Turning a Problem into an Opportunity

Many people find themselves suddenly having to make unexpected decisions in various aspects of their lives - maybe they've lost their job; their relationship has broken up or they suddenly realise that they aren't saving enough for their old age. Is this you?
Whether you realise it or not, whatever your current circumstance, your life is full of opportunities. I’ll repeat that - YOUR life is full of opportunities.
There is a common saying in the business world that there are no such things as problems, only opportunities. I once had a sceptical Chief Exec who said to one of his minions ‘I’m cutting your salary in half, make that into an opportunity!’
On the face of it, having your salary reduced by 50% hardly seems like an opportunity. However, in this situation the (diminished) employee would have several courses of action:
  •  He/she could accept the situation
  •  He could hand in his notice and look for another similar job that paid the sort of salary that he was used to earning
  • He could re-assess his priorities and see if he could improve his work – life balance
  •  He could consider changing direction in his career – doing something that he really enjoyed
  • He might start his own business
  • He might decide that he could afford to take early retirement
  • And so on
In reality, of course, having his salary cut in half is not, in itself, an opportunity. It is, though, a catalyst to encourage the individual to take stock of his situation and review the options – some of which would be genuine opportunities. These might never have been considered, had the ‘salary problem’ not arisen.

Wherever you find yourself now, there are always opportunities around the corner. Not always obvious, perhaps, but opportunities will appear. It is up to you to recognise them and run with them to turn wishes into reality.
If you are in any of the following situations, The Mid Life Opportunity ( can give you advice and guidance:
  • I have been made redundant
  • I don’t earn enough money
  •  My relationship needs help to survive
  • I am lonely
  • My pension isn’t enough to see me through my old age
  • I seem to have lost my way in life
  • Many of my old friends have died or drifted away from me
  • I lack the confidence to change direction in my career
  • I’ve put on a bit of weight over the years and can’t seem to lose it
  • I feel that I’m at a crossroads in my career
  • I’d like to start my own business
  • I’d like to emigrate
  • We need to downsize now that the kids have left
  • Actually, I feel pretty much on top of things, I come here to read the jokes!
If you can identify with any of these situations, The Mid Life Opportunity will be able to give you helpful advice and guidance - it's up to you to make it happen!