I’ve been living life as a Trailing Spouse for about ten years. Following my wife on diplomatic assignments, I’ve had to find work in, or carry work to the country we are assigned to. The side effect of this transient working lifestyle is the ever present networking with local businesses, just in case your current work dries up – It pays to be always looking for new opportunities and options.
Whether it’s a weekend away, day to day life, or purposeful business networking, I’m continually inspired and motivated by people who have established either a portable career, or a business that supports their desired lifestyle, often brought about by some long standing dream. Further to this, I’ve noticed that many of these businesses and business people are located in unique regional collectives that foster a spirit of coopetition.
Sometimes, but less frequently than I consider ideal, these regional collectives have a Regional Economic Development strategy. Sometimes the strategy is driven by a government based Economic Development Organization (EDO), other times it relies on a somewhat informal gathering of businesses or the local chamber of commerce. In any case, the most successful businesses tend to be those that have mastered this cooperative business model and all exhibit a desire to build business not only for their own needs, but that of the greater community.
The Portable Career Network came about as a way to record some of the ideas I’ve had for maintaining a portable career and to establish a lifestyle business in retirement, this is what I’ve referred to elsewhere as my Business in Retirement Initiative (BIRI). It also identifies some of the interesting and unique businesses and people I’ve been exposed to around the world. My observation is that some people seeking a portable career are either faced with working for an employer that will allow them to work from anywhere, or as is often the case, the entrepreneurial, independent spirit that this entails inevitably leads them to establish their own small or micro-business that they can relocate anywhere; That is to say, they establish a Lifestyle Business.
All businesses need clients, and local clients are generally easier to identify and work with, hence businesses in a given region provide a pool of potential clients or opportunities for people running their portable business. This synergistic meshing of entrepreneurial, portable career advocates, with regional and lifestyle businesses has the potential to benefit all of the stakeholders, both presenting opportunities and solutions to each other.
The Portable Career Network (PCN) seeks to communicate with and connect people on a regional and business sector basis through a range of podcast channels and associated articles and information. The network in itself is an opportunity for people interested in producing articles for the blog or podcast programs by conducting and participating in interviews and other content – We refer to these people as Regional Editors and Hosts.
Editors and Hosts run their own independent businesses under license from PCN and capitalize on the advertising and sponsorship revenue that the network generates collectively.
Regionally, we like to establish channels for small, clearly defined economic development regions in USA, Australia, and New Zealand. For Lifestyle Business Sectors, we develop channels around any business sector or service that has a lifestyle component.