Thoughts on a 'portfolio business'

So what is it you do?

Inevitably as a small business owner, this is a question that pops up a lot. It's also a question I have struggled on more than one occasion to answer. 

A portfolio business

You might have heard of the term 'portfolio career', but I think of myself as being the owner of a portfolio business. 

Design, branding, strategy, marketing, coaching, teaching, writing, blogging, photography. All of these things make up my business. When I first started out I was very focused on the design side of my business, I had lots of other ideas and interests but I was afraid to pursue them for fear of being judged as flaky or 'a jack of all trades'. Over time I have incorporated different aspects into my business and I love that I am creating something that has multiple ways to serve the people I want to work with.  

Of course, this can be hard to explain to others. Sometimes I tailor my 'pitch' dependent on the audience - "I own a design and marketing agency" or "I design websites" are common variations.  Other times I explain what I do with a simple statement such as "I help small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow" (this invariably always opens the door to a lengthier discussion about how I do that). 

Accept some people will never understand

When I first started out on the path of self-employment and was only just starting my business, more often than not conversations would go something like this.... 

"So what is it you do these days?"

"I help small businesses and entrepreneurs to grow their business"

"Wow, how do you do that?"

"Well, I write a blog about how to market your business, reach the right audience and transition from a corporate job to being your own boss"

"Oh. That's nice."

The truth is there will always be people who don't understand what I do.  I used to worry so much about what people would think - that they would think I was crazy for giving up a perfectly good career with big name brands, to write a blog. I have come to accept that some people will always think that and that's ok. 

I have learnt to embrace "young industries"

A lot of the aspects of my business are rooted in 'young industries'. Whilst blogging, coaching, inbound marketing and digital advertising are more well-known than they used to be, they are still in their infancy. I love that because it means there are no rules, there is no set roadmap to follow. New opportunities and ways to grow my business and make money are evolving all the time. It's exciting and fresh and I love being a part of that. 

So, what is it that I do? 

I help small businesses and creative entrepreneurs show the world how awesome they are - through a mix of design, brand services, coaching and blogging. Think of me as a creative partner to help get you to where you need to be. 

Over to you - how do you explain what you do?