The Portfolio Life

How to Future-Proof Your Career, Avoid Burnout, and Build a Life Bigger than Your Business Card


By Christina Wallace

Formats and Prices




$28.99 CAD

You are more than your job. Optimize your happiness, bank account, personal growth, with this practical playbook to achieve sustainable work-life balance—perfect for readers of The Good Enough Job and What Color Is Your Parachute?

"An actionable guide to leading a balanced life." — Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Hidden Potential and Think Again

Pouring yourself into a single full-time job is the riskiest move you can make. Your parents’ advice to focus on one career path? It doesn’t work anymore, for reasons ranging from recessions to student loan debt, the gig economy, climate disasters, and a global pandemic (to name a few). We need a dramatically different relationship with work, one that allows us to define ourselves beyond our paid labor.
The answer? A Portfolio Life. An anti-hustle, pro-rest approach to work-life balance, a Portfolio Life is built on three tenets:
  1. You are more than any one role or opportunity.
  2. Diversification will help you navigate change and mitigate uncertainty.
  3. When (not if) your needs change, you can and should rebalance.
In The Portfolio Life, Harvard professor, serial entrepreneur, and self-described "human Venn diagram" Christina Wallace adapts tried-and-true practices from the business sector to help you eschew the cult of ambition and experience the freedom of building the flexible, fulfilling, and sustainable life you want. Drawing on research, case studies, and her own experience, she walks you step-by-step through the process of designing a strategy for the long haul. Because you deserve rest, relationships, and a rewarding career—not someday, but today. After all, you only live once.

  • "The Portfolio Life is the rare book that gives you both theory and practice. I hope you have the courage to read and apply Christina's timely advice!"
    Chris Guillebeau, author of The $100 Startup and The Money Tree
  • "In a turbulent world, this is a guide to leading a balanced life. Drawing on her background as a serial entrepreneur, Christina offers actionable advice to help you anticipate—and navigate—disruption."
    Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Think Again and host of the TED podcast Re:Thinking
  • "Masterful. The Portfolio Life  challenges the traditional notion that work and life must be kept separate and provides a new model for leading a fulfilling life."
    Greg McKeown, CEO of McKeown Inc. and New York Times bestselling author of Essentialism and Effortless
  • "The Portfolio Life is a manual for pursuing a prismatic, polyvalent life. Christina Wallace masterfully illustrates that you don't have to abandon your creative pursuits to advance professionally, and planning for one’s financial future shouldn't be reduced to just drinking fewer lattes or whatever. The Portfolio Life is an urgent, insurgent guide that empowers readers to live their lives—and manifest their careers- on their own extraordinary terms."
    Sydney Skybetter, Dean at Brown University
  • Christina Wallace—and this book—are gifts to GenZ.  In a world that's never changed faster, but will never change this slowly again, Christina has written an essential playbook for how emerging adults can build big, brave, and beautiful lives.  She's the human Venn diagram she writes about, living and working at the intersection of head, heart and humor.  And while her own story is outrageously inspiring, she writes with humanity and humility that make her delightfully relatable. This book is the antidote to hustle culture, and a compelling case that durable success comes not from working harder and faster, but better and smarter.  If you are ready to get in the drivers' seat of your career—and life—but not sure how to start, this book is your roadmap!
    Abby Falik, Founder & CEO of Global Citizen Year
  • "Your life is your enterprise. In The Portfolio Life, Christina Wallace masterfully shows you how to treat it as such, pursuing your personal and professional dreams to find happiness and success."
    Arthur C. Brooks, Professor, Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School, and #1 New York Times bestselling author
  • "The Portfolio Life is the book I wish I had twenty years ago, when I was just starting out and thought I had to hide the creative parts of myself to be taken seriously in tech and business. Christina Wallace makes the brilliant case in this book that embracing your various skills, interests, and communities will actually de-risk your career, make you stand out from the pack, and offer you a life as unique as you are."
    Randi Zuckerberg, Tech Entrepreneur, Author, and Tony Award-winning Broadway Producer
  • "Whether you are just starting out in your career or you are considering a new chapter, put aside a day and read The Portfolio Life. Christina Wallace wrote a playbook that is equal parts inspirational and tactical, offering the mindsets and tools to craft a life that is gratifying, flexible, and sustainable."
    Kathryn Minshew, Founder & CEO of The Muse, author of The New Rules of Work
  • "An indispensable companion for anyone eager to shape their life based on who they are rather than some predefined linear path."
    Hubert Joly, author The Heart of Business, former Best Buy CEO
  • “Christina Wallace writes with a pitch perfect blend of analysis, story, and humor, examining the economic equation that has left a generation of young adults feeling stymied in their efforts to build a sustainable and fulfilling life. The Portfolio Life offers a new model for work and life that upends the notion they should have ever been at odds.”
    Morra Aarons-Mele, Author of The Anxious Achiever, LinkedIn Presents podcast host, entrepreneur, wife, mother, tennis player, and Sondheim fan
  • "Few of us have one job for life anymore, or even one job at a time. In this wise and engaging guide, Christina shares strategies for creating sustainable, joyful careers that let us leverage all our talents."
    Laura Vanderkam, Author of Tranquility by Tuesday
  • “This is the rare career guide that balances professional considerations against personal ones, encouraging readers to make time for activities even if they don’t directly relate to one’s vocation.” 
    Publishers Weekly
  • "A must read! If you feels work-life balance is important, The Portfolio Life defines it in a far more effective and actionable way!"
    Drew Scott, co-host of The Property Brothers

On Sale
Apr 16, 2024
Page Count
256 pages

Christina Wallace

About the Author

Christina Wallace is a self-described "human Venn diagram" who has crafted a career at the intersection of business, the arts, and technology. She is currently a Senior Lecturer of Entrepreneurial Management at Harvard Business School and an active startup mentor and angel investor. She was previously cohost of The Limit Does Not Exist and co-authored New To Big (April 2019, Currency). A serial entrepreneur, Christina spent a decade building businesses in fashion, media, and edtech, including a venture inside the American Museum of Natural History focused on getting girls into STEM. She was a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group and began her career at the Metropolitan Opera. Christina holds undergraduate degrees in mathematics and theater studies from Emory University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, Chas Carey, and their two children, Arden and Sebastian.

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