Imagine you are holding a large umbrella. What colour or colours is your umbrella? Is the rain lashing down or is the sun beaming hot rays?
Under your metaphorical umbrella are all your varied interests, the ones that energize you and the ones that don’t, but they pay the bills. What would be the ideal balance for you?
My friend, Arlene, tries to practice the 20/80 rule in which 20% of her professional activities produce 80% of the revenues. “That leaves more time for me to engage in those passions that don’t pay the bills without worrying about the mortgage.”
I call it the perfect marriage between Mission and Mortgage – and sometimes the two overlap or coincide!
Here are some things to consider when deciding if an umbrella career is for you:
- What contribution do you want to make to the world?
- What is the minimum income you need to cover your outgoings?
- What do you do currently that earns you an income? What do you want to continue doing and to what extent? What would you stop doing?
- List all the things you could do that would supplement that income.
- If 80% of your income came from 20% of your work, what other interests would you pursue? Identify all the things you would love to do but don’t. What stops you? What if you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do next?
- If you have spent years getting a monthly pay cheque, reframe your mindset from receiving a single pot of money to one where you generate multiple smaller pots. Each on their own won’t pay the mortgage but added together they hit the mark (and more, with luck).
- The umbrella career is not for everyone. Uncertainty increases (and that can impact on your loved ones), you have to be good at juggling and organising your life can be more complex. You need an entrepreneurial mindset that is curious and not risk-averse, to be prepared to explore, test and learn, and move on quickly in the face of setbacks.
- Many of us are seeking more meaning in our lives, value autonomy, thrive when we have interesting work and want to learn. An umbrella career can give you that without the office politics. It can provide the means to integrate work and life without them constantly competing with each other.
Ready to learn to leap? Now empower yourself with MARIA – you need the Motivation (it’s your life), the authority (it’s your decision), the resources (it’s your talent), the information (it’s your interests), and the accountability (it’s down to you). Enjoy the sunshine!