For those of us who have zig-zagged our careers, we often feel misplaced, misunderstood, and feel like we come across as scattered. But the truth is there’s magic in our intersections, and the key is excavating the unique value that comes from your intersection.
This has worked wonders for me as I now describe my own intersection as a coach who uses principles from human-centered design, investing, and entrepreneurship to help people unlock creative career paths that make them come alive.
My next guest says instead of shunning your disparate interests, embrace them and learn to live a Portfolio Life. HMMM, that portfolio phrase is something I very much ascribe to!
A self-described “human Venn diagram”, Christina Wallace has crafted a career at the intersection of business, technology, and the arts. She is currently a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, where she teaches entrepreneurship and marketing. Her most recent book is The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger Than Your Business Card (Hachette, 2023).
A serial entrepreneur, Christina has built businesses in ecommerce, edtech, and media. She also co-authored New To Big: How Companies Can Create Like Entrepreneurs, Invest Like VCs, and Install a Permanent Operating System for Growth (Penguin Random House, 2019) and was the co-host of The Limit Does Not Exist, an iHeart podcast with millions of downloads over 3 seasons and 125 episodes.
In her free time, she sings with various chamber choirs, embarks on adventure travel, and is a mediocre endurance athlete. She lives in Cambridge with her husband and their two children.
IN THIS EPISODE, YOU’LL LEARN:
- What it means and why Christina calls herself a “human Venn diagram”
- Why working one job and in one specialized niche is risky
- What is a portfolio life and how you can use it to future-proof your life
- How Christina helps people think more horizontally
- Questions that Christina has people ask when they are looking for intersections in their lives:
- When have you seen me happiest?
- What do you come to me for?
- Where do I stand out against my peers?
- Benefits of a portfolio life
- How to operationalize your portfolio
- The biggest lesson Christina has learned along her journey
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BOOKS AND RESOURCES:
- “Separating identity from income is so important.” - quote from Christina
- “You are bigger than any one job or opportunity.” - quote from Christina
- “Learning to fail small prevents you from failing big.” - quote from Christina
- The Anxious Achiever - a book that Christina recommends
- How Will You Measure Your Life - another book Christina highly recommends
- “You understand your generation. You have connections to your classmates and students. In any room, one of your advantages is that you are connected to someone that no one else is connected to.” - Christina’s advice for someone just getting started in their career
- Purchase Christina’s book The Portfolio Life: How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger Than Your Business Card
- Connect with Christina on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.