After years of struggling with the Single Lifetime Occupation career path that everyone else seemed to accept with more ease than I could muster, I gradually came to realize that if I stopped looking for a job and, instead, created my own, I could include many different activities. That revelation was my personal tipping point
What started out as a quest to relieve my boredom, became much more than an amusement. Building a portfolio of profit centers was not only interesting, it also gave me flexibility, numerous options and was as good for my imagination as it was for my pocketbook.
The real reward of this portfolio approach became clearer when I came across a quote from James Dickey. He said, “There are so many selves in everybody and to explore and exploit just one is wrong, dead wrong, for the creative process.”
How did we miss that one? It wasn’t always so. During the glorious time known as the Renaissance, there was a cultural expectation that the well-lived life was about exploring and exploiting these many selves. Places like Venice hummed with creative activity that found expression in business, music, fashion, linguistics and romance as individuals moved between projects in numerous areas.
Apparently, such thinking lingers in Venice. At any rate, it lingers in the life of Carlo Pescatori whom I met in 2006 when my siblings and I rented one of his apartments for a week.
Carlo was originally a pharmacist, but when a 500-year-old building came into his family rather unexpectedly, he left his pharmacy to devote himself to turning the property into a business. The building now has diverse uses, too. Carlo’s parents occupy an apartment on the ground floor while another space is rented to a group of architects. Carlo lives on the top floor while the other four apartments are vacation rentals.
Carlo’s joyfully jobless life has continued to evolve since we first met three years ago. A recent e-mail from him gave me this update of what’s in his portfolio at the moment.
Venice apartments for rent keep being my primary activity. Beautiful job but now and then, after 8 years of that, I admit I sometimes feel this as a job I’ll eventually leave. I don’t know when or how. Or why, just a feeling which keeps coming out once in a while.
Last year I began offering Italian lessons via Skype at Parlo Con Carlo. I’ll probably look for new students this year: I didn’t push that too much, just wanted to be sure I liked it, so I let it go by itself for a while.
On a more creative side, I was asked by a musician friend to write lyrics to songs of his. It worked out fine and we finished/published online a couple of them. Tough step for me to take, like declaring that I am good enough at it. All tools are available in order to put a demo together, so there’s some Resistance that needs to be seen there.
New project being born soon, meanwhile: talking to the photographer I have my rolls (yes, still sticking to film!) developed by, he turned out to own a huge archive of negatives of celebrities visiting Venice from late forties to late eighties. No website to sell them online, so I’ve been studying hard how to build one and I’m finally going online with it this month. Its name is StarsinVenice.com. This is the kind of thing involving passion, art, some kind of expertise, luck and good feelings; so I don’t think it’ll fail. And it can eventually run by itself: even better!
Yes, multiple profit centers are an essential power tool for joyfully jobless success. Bella intelligenza!
If you’d like more ideas about Creating & Managing MPCs, order the audio of my recent teleclass on the same subject.