Multipe Streams of Income, Income Security, and Reality

I just got a comment from Angelika asking about multiple streams of income… it is actually a great question:

“Sounds great for freelancers and gifted speakers. But what could possibly be my other revenue streams if I am employed full-time, do not own a house I could rent out and nobody wants to pay me for speaking in front of them…?”

Wow.  Excellent thoughts.  I can do all of this stuff because, well, I have the time.  I don’t have an employer breathing down my neck, having me work so much I’m too exhausted to do anything else.  Here’s my response in the original blog post:

Great question. When I was working at my last job I read Multiple Streams of Income and thought “that’s nice… for other people. I can’t do that, I don’t have the time or energy or knowledge….”

I got into this because I was forced into it…. and over the last three years I’ve been able to discover the other revenue streams. I kind of happened upon them.

I don’t know what is right or best for YOU. I don’t know what your skills are. But I’m a huge advocate of doing *something* … like I mentioned, it could be something that simply produces $100 a month. Like babysitting, being paid to get groceries, walking dogs, washing cars in a neighborhood, teaching art or piano, etc.

The point is, figure out something that is beyond the employer’s paycheck… something that frees you of that complete dependence.

To take it a step further, here are some things that I know people do, or have done:

  • A buddy of mine went on a juice diet.  All juices, nothing else.  He paid someone $1,000 a month to get him his food.  This meant the service provider planned his meals, shopped for the ingredients, prepared the juice meals, and delivered them to his house.
  • I was talking to a friend who has a neighbor who mows lawns in the summer.  He makes about $5k/summer.
  • When I lived in Northern Virginia I washed cars at townhouses on Saturdays with some friends.  We had a bucket, a hose, soap, rags… and it was a breeze.  It was like washing cars in a parking lot – we didn’t have to walk much, since everything was so close.
  • Many of my partners have created reports, white papers, ebooks, teleseminars, webinars, and other knowledge-based materials that they sell.  I contend that EVERYONE reading this blog has some expertise that they can turn into a product, whether it has to do with arts, business, processes, etc.  Creating an ebook is as easy as opening a word document (well, maybe not *that* easy :p).
  • I know two ladies who have created an arts-and-crafts website, translated it to Portuguese (their native language), and made it available in Brazil.  I hear the google ads from that site pay for their house payment (in the U.S.).

I’ll feature some stories on the blog this year.  There are some really inspiring stories I’ve heard.

That’s what this talk is all about… just giving ideas and hopefully inspiring. It’s why I’m sharing my revenue streams each Friday (first was here, next was here).

I hope this isn’t too intimidating. Some of you will act on it now, others will let it sink in.  Either way, I think it’s a great dialogue.

(and, it’s less intimidating than a long, scary job search – trust me!)

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9 thoughts on “Multipe Streams of Income, Income Security, and Reality”

  1. When I was back in school to do my M.S. and very determined not to get student loans again (I had just finished paying off the loans for my undergrad degree), I juggled a bunch of jobs. In addition to the traditional lecturing, grading, and laboratory supervision at the university, I took on freelance jobs in translation, technical writing, data compilation (tallying up survey results), document layout and editing, literature searches, research assistance, etc. Some of these jobs were paid by exchanging services, such as some technical writing done for a start-up entrepreneur who fixed my car in exchange.

    At one point, I needed income enough that I even created a program that could instantly generate horoscopes, tarot readings, and biorhythms with the intention of selling readings online. I could never bring myself to actually post the Website because it would have been dishonest; I don’t believe in these things, it would have been merely exploitation of other people’s credulity. (Somehow, I think if I had believed in horoscopes and such things, it would have been an acceptable thing to sell.)

  2. Hi Jason

    My ‘day-job’ is being a retailer in wooden flooring. I manage uor own webistes and webmarketing.
    Second career: designing websites for others, giving blog-workshops, giving AWeber training to local businesses. am also planning two digital knowledge products this year

    Hold on, forget my first ‘second’ career: as qualified bookkeeper I’m frequently asked to help out other local businesses who are struggling with their accounts.

    Turn hobby into a second and/or third career, can happen to anyone 😉

    Karin H. (Keep It Simple Sweetheart, specially in business)

  3. I recently read an article about folks doing just this … multiple streams of revenue (or as I like to call them “side gigs”). Each person profiled works fulltime, but have a side gig based on a passion. One does voice overs; one loves to cook, so she caters; another loves to shop — she’s a personal shopper.

    I’m seeking fulltime employment, but I’m starting my side gig as a Color Consultant (residential spaces).

    What do you enjoy doing (that you are probably doing for free right now), and turn it into a side gig!


  4. Just discovered your site and was fascinated to discover just how much thinking and action is happening in the US in promoting what we in the UK call portfolio careers. I am writing a book with Katie Ledger on this which will be published in October in the UK. Title: There Has To Be Another Way: 10 Steps to Create a Portfolio Career. We are finding that this career pattern, whilst clearly not being appropriate to everyone is becoming increasingly popular with everyone from the Gen Y’s to the boomers. It is difficult to get full statistics but we reckon that almost 2 million people here have portfolio careers and we firmly believe that the present recession will make this more attractive.
    We will not continually follow your site to keep up to date with developments on your side of the pond.

    Great work!

  5. Good post and thank you for sharing your revenue streams once a week, I think it can definitely be helpful to folks trying to branch out a bit.

    When I saw the lead-in quote asking how to get more revenue streams with a full-time job, I immediately thought of Timothy Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week.

    Ferriss began “moonlighting” as a nutritional supplement seller at his work. He was able to do this because of several things but the big one was delegating. He outsourced a lot of his work at his job to admin assistants overseas and was about to extremely decrease his workload. This allowed him to essentially have one full-time job packed within another full-time job.

    I believe the man is now ridiculously rich. The book is definitely worth a read.


  6. I just ordered Timothy Ferriss’s book (due to arrive tomorrow). One side note though on delegating:

    “Delegating never means abdicating” as my mentor always says: make sure you don’t also delegate the end-responsibility 😉

    Karin H

  7. Other thought – because we as wooden floor retailer just sold another ‘digital product’ – how about creating multiple streams of income with your main business?
    Domestic clients, trade clients, supply only, supply & install service, maintenance service and digital products (how to’s etc)

    Just a thought

    Karin H.

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