A few days ago I blogged about having multiple streams of income, and said I’d share mine with you. As I mentioned, I didn’t like the feeling of losing 100% of my income because one person could successfully politic his way into my job, or because one boss was crummy, or because a company didn’t handle management or finances well.
Not that any of those are reasons I got laid off, but over the last almost-three-years I’ve heard all kinds of reasons why people get let go. Rockstars and rainmakers alike, there is just no such thing as job security. That’s why I like the idea of creating income security.
Let me introduce to you my fifth income stream: “professional speaking.”
(I refer to my multiple streams of income as revenue stream, since I run my personal income like a business, since I’m the CEO of Me, Inc.)
When I was writing my first book on LinkedIn I asked my publisher how much money I would get from each book sale. How much would I get if someone bought it on Amazon vs. through an affiliate vs. through my website vs. if I were to buy it directly from him and sell it to people I met?? How would any of those change if I sold an ebook instead of a paperback copy?
I asked and asked and asked, with different scenarios. At one point he said “Jason, you won’t make any money from selling books. No one does. If you want to make money, you do that as a speaker or consultant.” He shared an example of someone who hadn’t made any money from book sales, but had made a significant amount of money from speaking and consulting.
However, I wasn’t interested in that. I was running JibberJobber, which is an awesome replacement for the job search spreadsheet (and much more), and working towards something really big. As the CEO I wore many hats and just couldn’t imagine fitting any hourly billing into my day. Even though the money seemed good, I figured it would be a major distraction, and at a certain point I would have to make a decision about growing JibberJobber.
Then, one day, I got a phone call about speaking at a conference. Long story short, the money was right, and the opportunity would allow me to strengthen JibberJobber’s brand while on the road. Shortly thereafter, I got another call. And another call. And another call. I realized I was able to generate revenue quickly and brand JibberJobber face-to-face at the same time. Last year I spoke over 60 times, and even changed my JasonAlba.com site from a blog where I whined about things to my speaker site.
It became a real win-win.
I don’t see myself speaking forever. I doubled my rate this year, so I’ll do less speaking than I did last year. And, speaking is only ONE of TEN revenue streams for 2009. I enjoy it, and some people say I’m good at it, and it helps me get to my big goals. But if something happens to my speaking career, I’ll be fine.
As I write this I hope it doesn’t come across as bragging (I still pinch myself as I love where my career has evolved, since I got laid off almost three years ago). I hope that some of you are thinking of how you can diversify your income, and make your employer’s paycheck less important. How? As you have other sources of income, you rely less on your employer’s paycheck (and their quirks, and the market volatility, and the stock market ups and (mostly) downs).
It’s a beautiful feeling. I’ll share the other revenue streams in later blog posts.