Ben Legg: Google Europe COO to Portfolio Career
Part-Time Profiles in Tech - 002
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He has what he calls, a portfolio career:
Portfolio Career: A working style that encourages you to make money several different ways (and focus on projects you’re passionate about)
Synonyms: Solopreneur, independent worker, squiggly careerist
Ben's early career included British Army Officer, McKinsey strategy consultant, executive at Coca-Cola, COO of Google Europe and various global technology CEO roles. He has lived in nine countries and is the author of the award-winning book: Marketing For CEOs - Death Or Glory In The Digital Age. He has five children and lives in London.
What’s your experience with part-time work?
I have built up a portfolio career over several different gigs. In the past, I’ve:
Mentored the Founder & CEO of a Series B autonomous manufacturing company
Helped a Silicon Valley VC get deal flow and do due diligence in Europe
Helped a venture builder launch new companies focused on defense and cyber security
Right now my portfolio consists of mentoring startup & scaleup founders, helping investors pick winners, and supporting Oxford University's entrepreneurial initiatives.
My main gig, which takes about 60% of my time, is leading The Portfolio Collective (TPC) which I founded. TPC is a global community of 8,000 independent professionals. TPC helps professionals launch and sustain successful portfolio careers through offering training, community, collaboration and work opportunities.
Why is working part-time important to you?
A portfolio career of various part-time roles offers more flexibility, higher earnings, more diverse intellectual stimulation, and removes the risks of having just one full time job.
How much have you been able to earn part-time?
My entire income is from my portfolio of part-time roles. My main gig of TPC provides 10% of my income at the moment.
What are the tradeoffs of working part-time vs one traditional full-time job for you?
It would probably be harder to get a mortgage, but I haven't tried yet!
What advice do you have for someone who wants to work part-time like you?
Be very thoughtful about who you are and what you will do. You can't wing this, or you will either fail or get commoditised. You need to have a clear offering, a strong personal brand and the ability to win and delight multiple clients simultaneously.
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