How Dorie Clark Thrives with Many Careers (Author, Professor, Coach)

by | Sep 20, 2021

Meet Dorie Clark. She’s a tremendous multi-careerist who is able to handle many professions. I’ve known her for years, and she’s indeed a friend. I always enjoy attending her “author dinners” where I meet interesting writers and thought leaders. Dorie is an impressive writer, too. I’m excited about her new book The Long Game: How to be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World. I know you’ll enjoy the clarity of her thinking in her comments below.

Dorie’s Careers

  • Author
  • Professor (Duke University Fuqua School of Business)
  • Musical Theater Writer
  • Broadway Investor
  • Keynote Speaker
  • Online learning instructor (LinkedIn Learning, Skillsoft, Udemy, ExecOnline, CreativeLive, etc.)
  • Consultant (for organizations)
  • Executive coach (for individuals)

On her motivations for having multiple careers

In 2001 – on September 10, 2001, in fact – I was laid off from my first job. That showed me how precarious a ‘safe job’ can be. Since then, I’ve been keenly aware of the importance of hedging my bets via a portfolio career to limit risk (and also to open up new opportunities). I believe multiple income streams are the real path to career security.

Advice to aspiring multi-careerists

It can feel overwhelming to build multiple income streams at the same time, so I suggest focusing on only one new income stream per year. That enables you to devote the necessary time and attention to mastering it and getting it off the ground – and within a few years, you’ll still be able to build out several.

Overcoming obstacles

As one example, several years ago, I was interested in creating a year-long paid mastermind group. But masterminds are tricky to organize – a “chicken or the egg” situation where everyone wants to know who else is in the group before committing! I couldn’t get enough interest to officially launch one the first year, so I had to regroup and create a modified, two-person mastermind that was more like “mini” group coaching. That was frustrating, but the extra time enabled me to build my following further and identify new prospects, and the following year I was finally able to organize the mastermind group.

On how multiple careers are mutually beneficial

I think of it as a flywheel, where one activity helps draw in participants for your other aligned offerings. For instance, someone might read my book, and then decide to join one of my online programs, or sign up for private coaching. Or they might hear me speak at a conference, and then buy my book – or any combination! The secret is to have multiple offerings at multiple price points, so you can ‘meet people where they’re at.’

On balancing personal time

A concept I talk about in my new book The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World is ‘thinking in waves.’ There will be seasons where you’re focused on something – like a work project – very intensely. And that’s perfectly OK – as long as you eventually toggle back and shift your focus back to other areas, such as family or health, that you may have not have been focusing on during that time. It’s all about balance over the long-term, not in a particular week or month.

Something she wished she learned earlier

It took me a number of years to fully realize that it’s far more secure to have a career with many different clients and many different types of work, as compared to one ‘safe day job.’ (Which, in actuality, can be taken away at any time.)

Recommended Readings

I wrote a book a couple of years back called Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive. It was a deep dive into how to create new revenue streams through various activities like coaching, consulting, blogging, podcasting, creating online courses, and more, and I hope it might be helpful to folks considering their own portfolio careers.

Overcoming the stigma of multiple careers

Sometimes unenlightened people might think you’re a dilettante – but I’ve found that as long as you carry yourself with confidence, other people will generally accept how you want to be treated and act accordingly. 😉

On how you sublimate ego at a day job

Actors have been living this forever: just because your paycheck is from waitressing doesn’t mean it’s all you are. Our mantra needs to be that our self respect doesn’t come from a particular job, but from who we are as people.

A Day in the Life

  • 8am – wake up and read the paper in bed
  • 830am – coffee and more newspaper
  • 9am – 1230pm – coaching calls, podcast interviews
  • 1230-1pm – lunch
  • 1pm-6pm – coaching calls, podcast interviews
  • 6-7pm – gym
  • 7pm – dinner
  • 8pm – take a walk and call my mom
  • 9pm – household chores
  • 10pm – reading
  • 1130pm – bed

***This is my recent ‘monastic’ schedule due to my book launch. It’s not actually preferred at all! I like a lot more white space in my days and will revert to that soon…but for now, I’m in launch mode to hopefully ensure the book will be successful.

Where to find Dorie


Kabir Sehgal is a Multi Grammy & Latin Grammy Award winner, as well as New York Times bestselling author.

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