Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

100: Celebrating a Milestone and Relaunching The Portfolio Life [Podcast]

Living your “dream” doesn’t look the way people think it does. Many people talk about creativity as this mystical thing, but reality is a little less magical and a lot more work.

Celebrating a Milestone and Relaunching The Portfolio Life

As someone who makes a living through creative work, people are often surprised to learn that I don’t write all day. In fact, despite publishing three books and over 900 posts on this blog alone, writing is probably the thing I do least each day.

Most professional creatives do more than one thing. They are not a jack of all trades, but rather masters of some. And, as I learned the hard way, there’s plenty of non-creative work that goes into supporting a creative career.

That is the impetus for The Portfolio Life. Everyone I know, regardless of whether their full-time occupation finds them in a cubicle or a coffee shop, does more than one thing.

This week on The Portfolio Life, Andy and I talk about what we like/dislike about the podcast, what we hope to achieve, and honoring the attention of the audience.

Listen in as we discuss candid feedback from listeners like you, the clarified promise of our show, and how we want to get better by going deeper.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you are reading this via email or RSS, please click here).


Show highlights

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Getting vulnerable and opening up communication channels
  • How far we’ve come over two years and 100 episodes
  • Whether or not the podcast should continue
  • Why you must serve your audience
  • Navigating the tension between selling out and starvation
  • How to have conversations people connect with
  • Answering the question: What do you do?

Quotes and takeaways

  • It’s very freeing to discover full-time creatives live more of a portfolio life than we imagine.
  • Don’t lose your life trying to make a living.
  • When all you do is talk about what you do instead of actually doing it, you’re no longer an artist.
  • To pique the interest of others, create something you’d be interested in.
  • Serve your audience by not delivering any fluffy content.


What is your favorite part of The Portfolio Life? How can we make it better? Share in the comments. Remember, you can’t be too specific.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • David Mike

    I’ve enjoyed all of your podcasts to date and the guests you’ve had on the show have been inspiring. Excited to see you continue this adventure.

  • I’m the one who didn’t know that you have podcast Jeff..

  • Jeff, I’ve been one that has listened to every podcast. Some of them I’ve listed to multiple times.

    The podcasts I like the most are between you and Andy. Specifically the ones that deal directly with building a Portfolio life. When you have discussions about those in the process of “getting there” vs. big names.

    • Thanks for listening and for the feedback, Eric!

  • I discovered your podcast several months ago and have listened to every episode since then. I enjoy the convivial and laid back atmosphere. My favorite episode is #98 Behind the Man Behind the Muppets. I liked the dialogue and hope you have more episodes like that where the two of you talk about a book or movie or something. It’s much more interesting than a straight book review or an interview with an author. I also hope you will have portfolio episodes with people who perhaps have a brick and mortar business or work a corporate job and also have a parallel career in a creative field.

    • Those are all great ideas, Anita! Thank you.

  • Ginny

    I love the podcast! You even mentioned me (@gpw36 from previous instagram account), that was exciting. I hope that you continue to talk about the tension that creatives feel between the work and craft of what they do. I wear so many hats (mom, wife, creative, new blogger, artist) and I don’t necessarily get rid of any of them I like the conversation that happens when it is discussed. Also, after spending 10 years being a stay at home mom and now trying a new to me online presence, I’m still learning to figure out how to do this and I feel that I have learned so much from the content you share, and that it is very honest and authentic. But I also love the interviews even if they are not exactly “portfolio” focused. I’ve listened to your podcast the longest and is the reason why I’m obsessed with them. I have missed them being consistent. When weeks pass and there is no new episode then I miss it. I like the ones that are about 30minutes-1 hour.

  • Sarah M

    It’s one of the podcasts I listen to every week, though I don’t think I’ve listened to all of them, but at least 75%, yes. I *love* the interview ones. I’ve found a lot of great advice and books from those!

  • Congratulations Jeff on your 100th podcast. I have listened to a few but
    for the past year I have had to prioritise my time with family, study,
    writing, coping with health issues. (Hope that helps with your feedback
    survey). I enjoyed this podcast. It gave insights into ‘why’. People
    will often say – that’s great, it’s about time this [book, podcast, blog
    etc etc] happened, then fullstop no more commitment than those words.
    But what of those who do go that step further? Your free-fall discussion with Andy was a great way of exploring this frustrating subject.

  • Caroline DePalatis

    Jeff – I just tried to leave this review on iTunes for #PortfolioLife, not sure it worked….(5 stars, btw) Want to say THANK YOU! I get so much value from your podcast. Yes, maybe a rework at this time FOR YOU might be good. But what you and your guests have to share always contributes to my life, writing, leadership & creativity. So, for the listener, it is A GIFT. Thank you! Why haven’t I rated before? Well, I listen to you most when I’m out exercising (or driving). Breaking my flow (or pulling over to the side) to rate – and iTunes doesn’t always make it simple – doesn’t work well. And then I get into other things afterwards. I think that’s a barrier. At least you’re on a level playing field with all the other podcasts. If there were a VERY SIMPLE instant way to do it, you would have gotten multiple reviews from me by now. Be encouraged! We’re out here and we’re listening. And you ARE making a difference through this medium! Thanks again!

  • Katherine Allsopp

    Do you provide transcripts of your podcast?

  • Hi Jeff,

    Simply put. Yay!!!

    I love your work and am so glad you are sharing it via pod-cast. Ashamed to say I am one of those who did not already know about it.

    I couldn’t work out how to leave a review on the iTunes pod-cast, possibly domestic blindness, or just plain ineptitude on my part? 😀 Either way, it is a big 5 start thumbs up from me. I would dearly love to leave a review on iTunes as I think you are one of the very few people out there ‘telling it as it is’ and inspiring people through your realistic approach to writing or other creative pursuits. I am sure I am not the only one unable to leave a review and I am also sure if we all could do so you would be topping the charts.

    As with the rest of your work, your pod-cast is informative, realistic and a breath of fresh air. It is yet another way for people to access your wonderful outlook on life and that is a wonderful gift. I follow many people to gather as much information from as many sources as possible, to obtain a balanced view on all things writing. I always come back to your work. You paint a clear picture that is undeniably the most realistic and inspirational. I thank you for that.

    Your gift to the writing community is precious and I truly appreciate your efforts.

    As you mention, some people are out there making statements about creating and publishing e-books in as little as 7 days, and some are even publishing an e-book on a daily basis. Which I am sure is fine for them to do so, but at what cost? I have read some of the work, and to me they seem nothing more that a long winded blog post, full of grammatical and typographical errors, and although I am sure they are passionate about their message, I think the message gets lost in all the white noise they create through their haste. For me it is about the work, the content and the message more than it is about the speed in which you produce something, and for me, there is no way you can produce a quality book, in one day.

    Now, having explored all these alternative sources of ‘inspiration’ and ‘expertise’ I know that the offer you share is heart felt and about more than self promotion. You care. You care about the writing and the people, and it shows.

    So, thank you Jeff.

  • Paul Kuznetsov

    Hi Jeff!

    It would be really great to have The Portfolio Life podcast live. Please, keep going.
    The only question to ask – is there any chance to have it available on SoundCloud.Com?

    Best wishes!

  • Katharine

    Very seldom I have time for listening to or watching people talk. I do read, though, so can pick up whatever is transcribed.;-)

  • Jeff and Andy… Just finished mowing and listening… Congrats on the 100th episode! I subscribe to many podcasts, but yours is one of the few I listen to every week, so I hope that you will keep podcasting. “Portfolio life” is a moniker that I have adopted in my personal website redux, because I do have many interests.

  • Kathy Ericksen

    Just wanted to say I’ve listened to every podcast you’ve done. I understand wanting to tweak it and focus in on what is your bullseye point to make. However I’ve always felt you were very international, always read and discussed book with great knowledge, asked great questions and gave wonderful information. Looking forward to the next 100.

  • Jeff and Andy,

    I’ve been listening for probably the whole past year. I am a performing musician, singer-songwriter, music producer and composer. I thoroughly enjoy your podcasts as they delve into the art of creating. I’m dabbling in writing as well and hope to take the Tribe Writers course someday. I enjoy your podcasts because they are engaging the subject of creativity. Whether writing words or music, or performing or speaking. It’s all on the same creative field. I just listened to this episode on the way home from a gig. I appreciate you wanting to stretch and lift your cast to higher levels. What I like most about your podcast is that you are both honest. You aren’t trying to be something you’re not, or like something else. You are vulnerable in sharing your experiences and thoughts. I do like to hear about your struggles as they help me feel human and understand we are all the same, striving to be better in our crafts. This episode brought an idea to mind, perhaps once a month publish an episode answering your listeners questions. These are always engaging and can tend to help your reach. I subscribe to your feed and never miss a show. I look forward to future shows and wish you both the best in your adventures.