Martha Stewart and Leonardo da Vinci? They have more in common than you know.

Leonardo da Vinci.
Andy Warhol.
Walt Disney.
Martha Stewart.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Two weeks ago, our Managing Partner and co-founder Mark Weber returned for a command performance to LOOM Coworking, Gallery and Event Space in Fort Mill, SC to share insights on the common thread that ties these five, highly accomplished professionals together.

The common thread?

Each of these famous people built a “portfolio career”, a style of working where a professional combines multiple streams of income to earn a robust living. Think of a portfolio career like an investment portfolio whereby you derive income from multiple streams that you professionally manage with a high degree of care, strategy and intentionality.

Portfolio careers are booming. In a recent article published by Ben Legg, the former COO of Google Europe, it was noted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (based in Paris) in its Future of Work study that an estimated 50% of developed country workforces would be gig workers by 2030. Similarly, Ladders published a story that featured a forecast from Statista, the market research firm, that freelancers will make up more than 50% of the USA’s workforce by 2027.

So why are portfolio careers growing?

For starters, more and more professionals are realizing that they have the right and power to veer from the traditional career script. Many of the most skilled and intelligent workers crave both variety and challenge in their careers, and they find it fulfilling to meet their needs outside the traditional career path.

For these professionals, there is often a greater sense of purpose, clarity, and flexibility that accompanies the building of a portfolio career.

Respected thought leaders including Harvard Business Review and Forbes are publishing a growing body of articles and videos that are providing legitimacy to those attracted to the concept of a portfolio career. Additionally, a growing number of employers, including Croixstone Consulting, are intentionally building and diversifying their workforces by designing and implementing talent strategies focused on portfolio professionals.

Visit Croixstone Consulting’s Linktree to find a variety of links to learn more about the benefits and rewards of building a portfolio career.


Croixstone Consulting Turns “6”

The Croixstone Consulting team is celebrating its sixth business anniversary this month! Patti Weber and Mark Weber launched Croixstone as a boutique management consultancy in 2016. Their vision was to offer the world a highly differentiated business model in management consulting that would transform careers and businesses. The two entrepreneurs powered their vision by using their superpowers in strategic networking and relationship-building to connect the brightest minds.

In honor of the firm’s sixth business anniversary, here are six fun facts about Croixstone Consulting.

#1) Our name. Rivers are a hugely important part of life that connect humans in so many ways. The inspiration for Croixstone’s name is the St. Croix River (French: Holy Cross), a tributary of the Mississippi River that forms a border between the states of Wisconsin (the home state of Patti and Mark) and Minnesota (where the firm’s founders each began their careers).

#2) One more thing about our name. The correct way to pronounce the company’s name is “kroy-stone.”

#3) Our garage was a loft. Many of the world’s best known start-up companies were launched in garages. Croixstone launched its business in 2016 in Loft 309 of the former Lance Crackers building on South Boulevard in Charlotte’s booming South End Neighborhood. Not a garage, but a very cool loft to build a very unusual company.

#4) We LOVE constructive nonconformists. Business mavericks. Rebel talent. Call them what you will. One of our core beliefs is that these are the people who drive innovation in companies.

#5) We also LOVE portfolio professionals. We believe portfolio careers are the future of work. And so do many other thought leaders and futurists.

#6) Curiosity. One of our core values. We practice intelligent exploration and intellectual humility. We apply the best of our professional life experience, but always stay focused on what’s left to learn. From space exploration companies to solar farm developers to fintech unicorns, our curiosity has fueled Croixstone’s ability to build a truly unique client portfolio over the past 6 years.


Portfolio Careers are Booming

Highly regarded business journals and magazines have been writing about the rise in portfolio careers for the past couple of years. Now others are picking up on this booming career trend. We were intrigued to read a newly published article in Harper’s Bazaar that makes a case for why professionals may want to consider a portfolio career.

A portfolio career comprises a variety of roles rather than one job at a single organization. It is a career strategy that is crafted with care and intentionality where professionals combine multiple streams of income to create a mix of either full or part-time employment. A large percentage of Croixstone’s consultants have successfully constructed portfolio careers that deliver variety, challenge, great income, and the professional satisfaction that so many highly experienced professionals are seeking.

The Harper’s Bazaar article spotlights recent research from the Department of Education in the UK that found that 63% of adults in England have multiple roles, or plan to, in the future. The study, conducted in November of 2021, also found that 37% more people have a portfolio career than before the global pandemic.

Read the Harper’s Bazaar article here.


The Rise of the PORTFOLIO Career

Much like COVID-19 has accelerated the pace of digital transformation, future of work experts are seeing a rise in the pervasiveness of professionals with “portfolio careers.”

Ben Legg is an engineer, serial CEO of global digital businesses, former COO of Google Europe, and former McKinsey consultant.  He believes the portfolio career is a continuation of the automation of work and is here to stay. 

Croixstone’s business model is built around our deep understanding of the portfolio professional.  So what is a portfolio career? 

  • A portfolio career isn’t reliant on a single source of income.
  • Income is derived from serving multiple clients that might include project work, consulting engagements, interim roles and/or board roles.
  • Unlike a “gig economy worker,” a portfolio career is thoughtfully put together and is focused on offering differentiated services in order to maximize earnings.

Learn more about portfolio career insights from Ben Legg.