Thursday, June 07, 2007

How many hats can you network with?

Yesterday I attended a very useful networking session for women, organised by our local enterprise agency, Menta. Throughout my career, whenever I've attended networking sessions it's always been straight-forward. Shake some hands, meet some interesting people, listen to what they do and promote what you do. Simple eh, when your career/self-employment is focused in one area!

However, regular readers will be aware of my developing "Portfolio lifestyle", aka my dibble-dabbling. So far, this has been going beautifully and it's been easy to keep everything compartmentalised in their little boxes, opening one box at a time for the appropriate situation, whether it's related to scribbles, bling or blogging (my three main income streams).

It's never been a problem until yesterday, when people were asking what I do in what was a general forum. Suddenly, I felt like I was changing hats, (not to mention costumes), faster than Mr Ben (apologies to readers under the age of 30 for the 1970s cultural reference). I came away utterly exhausted.

Then it occurred to me, even though I've got each of these individual boxes under control, what is missing is a "corporate" identity for Me Ltd. However, how to create a corporate identity for a dibble-dabbler, does not seem an easy task. I wouldn't like to say that I was a Jack (or Jill) of all trades because it implies that I'm master (or mistress) of none, which is untrue. Likewise, I don't want to compromise my interests by ditching one or two of my income streams to focus on one path.

If Mr Sugar or Mr Branson happen to pass by, any advice would be appreciated. In the meantime, I'm off to see Charles Handy in a few weeks, the originator of the Portfolio Lifestyle. Maybe I'll ask him!

(Image courtesy of


I've just come across a great site called Down The Lane, which focuses on down-shifting, which is what I've subscribed to, having decided not to go back into formal work since having children. It's inspired me to realise my dibble-dabbling is okay and I don't need to get too serious about it. After all, get serious, get stressed and I might as well be back in the office that I am trying to stay away from.

1 Comment:

Ruby in Bury said...

Dibble-dabbling rules OK!