time portfolio

Right now, my brain feels a bit jumbled. I have been without a dedicated bed for the past few weeks (cannot believe it has been a few weeks) and I have been going through a above average period of stress with my primary work (at the same time, this “primary work” is changing as I am stepping away from my job and going to take some time to “explore.”). I have not ever “explored” before, at least not as my full time job, and I have found myself in a position, acting a bit like a DJ phasing in and out of projects and people. This feels ~weird and the result has been positive in many ways (I am getting energy from new sources).

One of the negative implications though, of this context switching pursuit, is that it feels like I am not giving things my all. I mean, inherent in having multiple projects is the notion that my focus is being stratified. This is a stark contrast from my previous mode of working—where I had one job and one focus for roughly the past 4 years.

Is there a ~better approach? I would not answer this in the general sense. I think there are pros and cons, and pending your objectives and what you are *really trying to achieve*, you may lean in one direction or another.

This is not my first time trying out a *new approach* to work.

In the past, I am talking about 6-8 years ago, I also had a diversified portfolio approach to time and energy management. I had a bunch of buckets going at once. A bunch of projects and essays and people I was meeting. All going in roughly different directions. And not one project that I would say I was particularly proud of—but as a pie, as a portfolio, I felt good about the relative progress I was making.

I felt good about it until I didn’t. And I started not feeling good when I zoomed out and realized that I was not doing SERIOUS ENOUGH WORK. There was too much motion. Too much mess and not enough forward progress.

So I hypothesized—what would it be like to direct all of my energy in one direction? What would be the outcome of this?

So I did that. I quit literally everything and did precisely one thing—build a company. I did this for several years, until I blew up. I blew up because my feedback loops broke—so I started craving that feedback loop of short term progress again.

And that’s how I found myself here. In the phase I am in now. I have not fully committed to anything. I have not NOT fully committed to anything either.

But I know…and I can already feel it…that doing the short term stuff is not my long term plan. I know this because I can already see myself saying: “ugh, I wish I was producing higher quality work.”

And I do not know about YOU but I tend to feel quite terrible when I do a half job on something.

Do you feel what I mean when I say that?

A half job, at least the way I am using the ~made up term is giving something 50% (or generally less) of your effort. I tend to feel really bad when I do that, because I start to drop balls. I start to make compromises that I would not typically want to make.

Half working is not serious work. And it’s not work I am proud of, especially when other people are involved in said work. I pride myself in outperforming. In not dropping balls. In being a clear communicator. In being the best teammate possible. In being the person I would want to work with.

So when I start juggling balls—and I am not particularly bad at juggling but when I start doing it at the scale I have the opportunity to do it at—things may start to break.

Breaking is not bad. Not inherently. Challenging yourself can be a good thing. But I know, and I know this only through personal experience, that without a foundation. None of this matters.

And the foundation is not something to outsource. The foundation is my headspace. The foundation speaks out loud in the form of my thoughts in the shower or right before bed.

What vibe am I occupying?

Is it the one where I am racing? My brain likes do that. Or at least likes to think its doing that. In reality, sometimes the race is all show.

Or is the vibe of zen? Of peace? Of acceptance? This vibe generally stems from having clarity in the long term plan being one that I believe in.

When I do not have that in place, to the degree that I feel safe, well, then the race feels on. The race is on to create sufficient motion to take place of that clarity.

Reality though, again only through my experience, is that motion does not actually provide that clarity. I mean not directly. It does give you more data points which are helpful in decision making.

So the question for you—and really for me—is what approach are you taking to investments right now?

Does the portfolio approach make sense? Do you want to do something more concentrated?

I am in the midst of figuring some of this stuff out.


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