I studied finance in college and even worked for American Express Financial Services. I loved some of the principles that drove half of our decision-making. I hated the greed that drove the other half. So ultimately, I ended up in marketing.
One of the principles that stuck with me was the idea of having a diversified portfolio. I've applied that principle beyond how I manage my investments to how I manage my life and career.
Here is how you can do the same.
- Build income streams beyond your day job. Eventually, that income might come from your investments but until you're wealthy, try to either build a side project or at least do just a bit of freelance on the side. It will allow you to create a second or third income stream, lessen your dependency on your day job, exponentially scale your skill acquisition and benefit your employer by having a more competent, better, and more independent employee. At this point, the majority of my income comes from income streams two and three.
- Network beyond your industry. I spent the first decade of my carer in Advertising. It would have been comfortable to just hang out with other people in Advertising. Yet instead, I built relationships with entrepreneurs, accountants, authors, lawyers, professors, coders, and engineers. That did two things. First, It made me a more well-rounded marketer, as I could bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table. Second, it ultimately led to me spending the next decade of my career in academia and then technology. Now into my third decade, I get to pick opportunities from many industries, which is kind of mind-blowing.
- Do interesting shit outside your comfort zone. I used to be a pretty good soccer player. It's all I did, and if I wanted to maximize my confidence, I would have just kept playing soccer. But I ultimately decided to become a rookie and start trying hobbies outside my comfort zones. With that perspective, I would have never learned to fly fish, done an Ironman, an ultra marathon, rode the continental divide on my mountain bike, or walked the JMT with my wife and one of my best friends. All those experiences started in rookie mode but ultimately made me a much more well-rounded, less egotistical, and happier person.
Last but not least, please make sure also to take a diversified portfolio approach to your investments. Because that works too.
Ps. Full disclosure. I am not applying this principle to my marriage.
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