Christina Wallace

Christina Wallace

Entrepreneur, speaker, author, senior lecturer Harvard Business School

Today we have a return guest: Christina Wallace who had joined me on EP55 of the podcast. Christina is an entrepreneur, musician, podcast host and professor at Harvard Business School. With all these interests she describes herself as a “human Venn diagram.”

Christina is here to discuss her book The Portfolio Life”, in which she talks about how cultivating a number of different interests and skills is key to living a more fulfilled life and build a successful career in a rapidly changing world.

In our conversation, Christina explains how she came up with the “portfolio life” concept, and then shares practical examples and steps that we can take to design our optimal portfolio life.


[00:57] – Dino introduces today’s guest, Christina Wallace, who is returning to discuss her new book, “The Portfolio Life,” to be released on April 18.

[04:06] – Christina shares the evolution of The Portfolio Life.

[05:13] – How Christina’s double major and learning about portfolio theory during her finance classes in business school inspired The Portfolio Life. Plus, a long ago and forgotten conversation foretells the future years later.

[09:21] – Christina describes the three tenets of a portfolio life and why life changes require a rebalancing of your portfolio.

[11:29] – Christina emphasizes that a portfolio life isn’t just about work and shares the other things it includes, plus how to think about life in chapters or seasons for a happy life.

[12:26] – You only have a certain amount of time you can balance—work is just a piece of it—why The Portfolio Life is about more than having a work–life balance.

[12:26] – How the portfolio life concept challenges traditional career paths and allows for a diversified approach to work, skill development, and life in general.

[14:11] – How Christina’s grandmother’s wisdom helped her create a mindset and a unique approach to her career that has fueled her success and has helped her counsel people as they’re thinking about the career piece of their portfolio.

[15:35] – Tell them a great story about the experience you bring: Christina talks about the power of associating and the ability to connect seemingly unconnected ideas or industries or networks in a world where so much of what we think of as specialization can and will be outsourced to computers very soon.

[18:34] – Christina talks about the concept of a human Venn diagram and shares how she’s built her own human Venn diagram at the intersection of multiple identities, multiple experiences, skill sets, and identities to help others understand what she brings to the room in terms of unique perspectives and experiences.

[21:12] – Embrace your uniqueness and look for opportunities where you are the perfect fit, rather than carving off parts of yourself to fit in with a puzzle that doesn’t quite fit so you can focus your energy on doing amazing work and contributing to the team.

[22:25] – Whether it’s in your relationships or your career, why it’s essential to find the rooms that want what you have to offer.

[23:10] – Christina shares the recipe for happiness in your current stage of life.

[26:25] – Art/Life Balance, Christina emphasizes the importance of building a business model that can provide the stability, income, and health insurance to support a sustainable art career.

[27:34] – Stop measuring the quality of your artby how much money you make. Dino shares how the success of ANY job is based on your ability to sell and why it’s advantageous for organizations to have employees with a passion outside of work and the mental capacity to pursue it.

[29:00] – How employers benefit from an employee’s creativity and connections to other industries, particularly during a period of contraction in the industry.

[32:50 ] – How having employees with diverse interests and passions outside of work can benefit organizations by expanding their pool of talented employees.

[33:22] – A tactical approach to creating a portfolio life. Christina walks us through how “The Portfolio Life” is laid out to help you discover what is in your Venn diagram and portfolio and what this chapter of your life needs so you can be your best self right now.

[34:56] – Mapping out a hundred wishes: recognizing the disconnect between what you want for your life and how you spend your time and designing your intentional portfolio.

[37:40] – Christina shares the story of how Diego, a corporate litigator, realized that his wishes in life had nothing to do with corporate litigation and how he designed a new mix that allowed him to have more time and eventually monetize his law skills to support the other things he cared more about.

[39:39] – Avoiding regrets, what if what you thought you wanted isn’t worth sacrificing other aspects of your life? Christine shares the story of a woman named Catherine who pursued her dream of becoming a doctor, despite being a middle school teacher.

[43:44] – Preorder Christina’s Book, The Portfolio Life, or look for it at your favorite retailers after April 18, 2023, and catch up with her on LinkedIn and Instagram to keep track of her work, interact, and find out about her upcoming events.

[44:21] – Christina expresses her love for the music of Steve Reich, particularly “Music for 18 Musicians,” and recommends the new cast album of “Parade” on Broadway for those who enjoy Jason Robert Brown and Broadway musicals.

Contact dino at:


Other Christina Wallace links:

Book: The Portfolio Life

Contact at:


Instagram: @cmwalla

Twitter: @cmwalla

Authentic Leadership For Everyday People / Dino Cattaneo

Dino on LinkedIn:

Podcast Instagram – @al4edp 

Podcast Twitter – @al4edp

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