You know, when you’re at a party and you meet someone and right away they ask: “So, what do you?”
My answer for most of my life has been “I do this and that.” Now, being from Las Vegas, people automatically think to themselves: “Pimp”.
Truth is, I really have been doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that for most of my life. And I’m going to show you how doing this and that is actually the smartest strategy to always be employed and actually enjoy what you do
I have news for you. We have been replaced.
Going forward, a lot of our jobs will either be done by machines, will be outsourced overseas for cheaper labor or will be done by temp staffing. Corporate loyalty is dead.
The government is not going to rescue us.
This is your reality!
And this isn’t a privilege of low-paid workers, but also middle managers, computer programmers, accountants, lawyers, and even doctors.
Companies just don’t need the same amount of people anymore to be as productive as they’ve always been.
So you’re thinking: “Well, if I just become the best at what I do, then my job will be safe.”
I don’t care how good we are. If your job can be replaced by a machine or someone cheaper, it will be.
But – there’s hope. If you want to never be unemployed, you need to become a slasher.
Slashers work several jobs at once, most of them part-time, freelancing, projects, etc.
Why “slasher”? Teacher/photographer/yoga instructor.
Store manager/multilevel marketer/food critic.
If you are a slasher, you are said to have a portfolio career.
And I truly believe that the only way to achieve job security today is by spreading the risk creating a portfolio career, doing several jobs at once.
And no, you don’t have to resign on Monday. You just branch out on the side of your existing job.
Try something at night or on the weekends. Try to see if you like it.
Low investment. Low risk.
So, I know you’re thinking: “People like you are just all over the place. They can’t commit to anything. They just want to have fun.” And that’s ok. And actually true!
So here’s what I’m gonna do: I’m gonna quickly tell you about my life having portfolio careers, how it has given me freedom, has kept me employed – and excited about work – for almost 20 years now and then show you how you can become a slasher, develop a portfolio career, enjoy what you do and never again have to worry about being unemployed.
Albert Einstein once said: “I have no special talents. I’m just passionately curious”.
That’s me in a nutshell. I’m just a dummy who wants to know how everything works and to experience everything out there. I’m like a curious octopus. I love to learn! And that includes different jobs.
I was a terrible high school student. Not because I didn’t like learning. I just didn’t like learning what they were teaching.
Then I went to college at the University of Hawaii – because school is important but surfing is importanter.
After college, I got serious and here are some of the careers I’ve had since.
I’ve been a tour guide in Hawaii, a tennis pro, a professional boxing promoter, DJ, sports agent, Wall Street stockbroker, managed singers, managed kid actors, nightclub promoter, PR executive, and on and on and on.
And true to slasher form, a lot of these careers I did at the same time.
I was a real estate agent/DJ/talent scout. At another time I was a talent agent/personal matchmaker.
Now I’m killing it as talent agency founder/public relations exec/financial blogger.
And contrary to what most of you in this room are thinking, I was actually pretty good at these things.
When I managed actors I was the subject of a documentary that premiered at the London Film Festival. At the same time, I went on a 10-concert tour of Japan with a singer I managed.
My childhood hero, boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard, became my nemesis when I was a boxing promoter.
How cool is that!!
But the absolute coolest job I’ve had in my life was P.R. Director for an Indy car racing team.
By that time, I had already done some very cool things and was sold on the idea of having a portfolio career and being a slasher. It was fun, it spread the risk among several jobs and I pretty much didn’t have a boss.
But this P.R. Director position was absolutely the best job I’ve ever had!
I traveled all over the place, stayed in the best hotels, met the coolest people, went to the best parties, and my job was basically writing press releases and chaperoning the drivers off-track and at the various VIP parties we had to attend.
This is all I wanted to do – nothing else!
So I neglected my own advice and focused solely on that.
After the last race of the season, in Mexico City in October, I went to see the team owner.
He said: “Great job this year. You’re fired!”
I couldn’t understand how he could possibly fire me. The drivers loved me, I did a great job, what happened?”
He says: “Well, the season is over and I won’t need you until we start again in April, so everyone in the team gets let go until then.”
So I go home, right? Now I gotta break the news to my family that I’m unemployed until April. That’s 6 months!
Long story short, that was my first and last year in racing. I went on to pursue other careers that kept me occupied 12 months a year, not just 6.
Sometimes you lose your job because of downsizing, sometimes you get fired, sometimes your business goes under due to bad economy and sometimes you run into situations like these when you can hardly blame anyone, but you’re still out of a job.
I was so in love with the job I had, I did solid work, the economy was solid and I still lost the job. My mistake was that I had all my “career eggs” in one basket.
I was just doing “this”. And I forgot to do “that”.
Who controls your destiny at this point?
How many people right now can make a major decision regarding your job that can ruin your life?
How does that make you feel?
Let’s look at some other people in history who also had portfolio careers long before the term even existed.
Leonardo Da Vinci would paint the Mona Lisa one day, design a mechanical device the next, write music, paint the Last Supper, then sculpted on the weekends.
Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t just a painter. He was an art dealer, elementary school teacher and a preacher in the Belgian coal mines while he drew and painted.
Benjamin Franklin was the ultimate slasher. He was an author, printer, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, activist, musician, statesman, and diplomat, among others. Today, sadly, he would probably be called a “Jack of all trades, master of none”.
I think you’ll agree that these men were fairly successful despite being “all over the place”.
What’s keeping you from making history doing several things at once?
Enough about me and famous people.
Let’s talk about you. How can you become a slasher?
As I said earlier, you don’t have to quit your job. In fact, I advise against it. Stay in your current job, but explore other things.
Wanna start small? Start by selling stuff you don’t want on eBay.
Wanna make a difference? Call a non-profit that interests you and ask if they take on volunteers. I have a very strong feeling they do.
Wanna write? Until recently, if you wanted to sell a novel, you’d have to go through a publishing house. Now you can self publish through Amazon.
Wanna sing? Take a free voice lessons online at Berklee College Of Music. Go to Justin Guitar and learn to play the guitar, for free. Then go record your songs on Garage Band and put it online. For free.
Wanna make a movie? A tv show? A video blog? Shoot it with your phone camera and upload it to YouTube.
Want to build the next big app? Tons of money in that right now! Learn computer code at codecademy.com Cost? You guessed it. Free!
iTunes has tons of free courses you can download. You could be learning everyday 1-2 hours while driving to and from work.
Wanna learn anything? Go to noexcuselist.com. Great name! And you can learn just about anything: cooking, art, how to make a robot. For real!
And yes, I do practice what I preach. While I was in real estate, I decided I wanted to DJ. I wanted to know what’s it like to be a musician.
So I went on YouTube, found a complete course taught by some guy out of England and learned enough to make myself dangerous and was playing at some of Las Vegas’ top nightclubs within 6 months. And getting paid $300-$400/night.
And playing in front of thousands of people.
How fun is that? And yes, I did have a DJ name. My name was AudioDoks.
What I’ve learned through my experiences is that you don’t have to – and shouldn’t – allow yourself and your livelihood to be at the mercy of one person, a bad economy, an off-season, a lawsuit, or whatever.
As I said earlier, corporate loyalty is gone.
The government isn’t going to save you. Jobs are being shipped overseas. Computers are becoming smarter and smarter.
Ideally, we have several occupations that utilize our skills and interests.
Work that we have passion for, work that fulfills us, work that keeps us interested and engaged.
And, at the same time, spread the risk over several different jobs.
This is your smartest move in this economy.
Instead of high achievers, we must become wide achievers.
Yes, slashing isn’t for everyone.
You need discipline, drive, risk tolerance, be a self-starter, welcome challenges, and a bunch of other things. But for those who have the necessary qualities, portfolio careers have tons to offer.
Portfolio careers offer freedom.
Freedom from 9-5, freedom from always being told what to do and how to do it, freedom to explore your interests, freedom to decide how you want to spend your time, freedom to make your own decisions at work, freedom to control your destiny.
And they offer job security in uncertain times. And in certain times.
Actually, all the time!
For the first time in history we have a chance to shape our work to suit the way we live instead of the other way around.
Think about that for a second.
We have a chance to shape our work to suit the way we live instead of the other way around.
We’d be crazy to pass on this opportunity!
You deserve better.
And now, more than ever, it’s within your reach.
Grab it and never let go!