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Managing your Life Portfolio

April 11, 2024
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We all know the "secret" to living happily is finding balance. Yet, most of us spend our lives searching for that balance. As an entrepreneur, investor, and executive coach, I understand how challenging it can be to find balance when you have a job that demands all your attention and dedication.

In this article, I'll share a model that has helped me organize and prioritize my life more effectively.

First, a confession. As an entrepreneur, I find it hard to stop thinking about my business. Like many entrepreneurs in the ecosystem, I've fallen into the trap of believing that if you don't work at least 10, 12, or 14 hours a day, you're lazy or irresponsible. I've also spent most of my life confusing my self-worth with my work and achievements (I still do occasionally). This has led me to prioritize work at the expense of other aspects of my life. It was after many years of therapy, setbacks, and deep conversations that I began to be more disciplined about how I invested my time.

Life Portfolio

The principle of the life portfolio is simple. Imagine your life as an investment portfolio, where your efforts become assets, and time is the currency you invest. This involves dividing your life into different "asset classes" or categories, each with its own impact on your overall well-being. The diagram below summarizes the different categories.

Just like an investment portfolio should be diversified, your life portfolio should follow the same principle. If you invest all your time in developing one area, there's a possibility you might neglect the others. It's also important to note that it's not just about the quantity of time but also the quality. Sometimes it's much better to end a toxic relationship than to continue investing time in it.

I learned the importance of balance a few years ago when I returned to Colombia. I invested almost 100% of my time in my career and finances, neglecting other aspects of my life. At that time, if I were to rate each aspect of my life on a scale of 1-10, it would have looked like this:

During that period, my mental and physical health suffered. I got sick at least once a month, and high-stress points in my career were difficult to handle because I didn't have a supportive community to rely on. After a few years and many therapy sessions, I understood that I needed to prioritize other aspects of my life.

I started investing more time in developing friendships and stronger relationships. I achieved a better balance, which gave me more resilience as an entrepreneur and investor. This brought me to a point of greater equilibrium. It's not perfect, but it's a balance that serves me as an entrepreneur.

Throughout our lives, we experience various stages that contribute to the evolution of our priorities. The secret is to understand how your life portfolio currently stands, how you want it to be, and what you need to do to get it there. It's easier said than done, but fortunately, you have psychologists, therapists, coaches, family, mentors, and friends who can help you build the portfolio you want. How is your life portfolio right now? How do you want it to be? I hope this article helps you effectively answer these questions and create a portfolio that enables you to be more resilient.