Having multiple streams of income can dramatically change your life. Even just an $500 a month can help you pay off your credit cards, student loans, or get you one day closer to your dream vacation.
Regardless of the reason, additional income can also help relieve your stress and ultimately achieve financial freedom. It’s not as difficult to accomplished this goal either, if you follow these steps.
Start with a single income.
Before you get too far ahead of yourself, make sure that you first have a consistent and reliable single stream of income. Whether it's owning your business or working 9-to-5 you want to make sure that this income is secure enough to pay your current monthly expenses and start setting aside some of the extra money.
Remember, there will be an initial investment when adding multiple streams of income and you’ll need to rely on your primary income to help get you started.
Commit to spending less that you earn.
If you’re going to just keep spending more than you earn, then how do you ever expect to pay down your debt or build an emergency savings fund? The whole idea of multiple streams of income is the gain financial freedom. And you can’t achieve that freedom if you keep spending carelessly. There is always something you can cut out or cut down on.
To make good on this commitment, start by creating a budget so that you know exactly where your money is being spent so that you can have a better understanding of your finances.
Figure out what makes you valuable.
Despite what you may think, we all have our own gifts, skills, and experiences to offer someone else. Sit down and think about what makes you unique and how that can skill and experience can be of value to others. No matter how trivial your ideas may appear to you, write it down. Ask yourself if you have talent or knowledge that others don’t possess.
Remember, not all of us are organizers, bakers, cleaners, carpenters, photographers, or programmers. People will pay for the things (and should) that they’re not experienced or knowledgeable about.
After you figured out what makes you valuable, start brainstorming potential streams of income that are related to that area. After coming up with some ideas, there are five important questions that you should ask next;
- Is this something that you can do in your spare time?
- Does it have the ability to generate to substantial amounts of income?
- Can this sustain an income without you?
- Is this something that you enjoy doing?
- Is this idea which will only need an inexpensive investment to get started?
Identify your market.
Let’s say that you have knack for baking. What makes you stand out from all of the other bakers in your area? Is it because you’ve perfected the art of wedding cakes? If so, then you just found out who your market is going to be. Cupcakes, anyone? Anyone?
If you’re uncertain about your market, think about how your talent or knowledge can solve a problem for people. After some thought you’ll realize that your value applies to a specific group of people.
If you’re still stuck, then start sharing your passion with others by blogging or creating videos. Include a space where the new potential customer can leave their email and comments. After growing your email list, you can ask your community for their feedback or advice on their own personal wants or needs.
Devote the time.
If you have a full-time job and a family, there isn’t always a lot of time for you to do much else. That’s when you have to get creative or make sacrifices to find more time. For example, if you watch TV every night for two hours, then cut back to only watching to one hour. You can also try waking up earlier or utilizing free periods that you have throughout the day, such as your commute to and from work, or your lunch hour.
It may be exhausting at first, but once all the kinks are worked out, your multiple streams of income will run more automatically. And, if this idea or product is something you love and have a passion for it will give you the energy you need to push through any perceived tiredness.
Don’t spread yourself too thin.
“Starting many streams at the same time is like trying to push too many balls up a hill at the same time: You may get started, but you end up losing your focus and your time. Success comes from growing teams, not streams: multiple teams of income,” says Roger James Hamilton, founder of the Entrepreneurs Institute and author of "The Millionaire Master Plan."
Focus only on the stream that you can manage and build teams to support you and the various ways that you’re earning money. It is usually the best advice to build one stream/team at the same time. When you can work those two jobs fairly quickly, and the learning curve has kicked in, start the next, then the next, and so forth.
Examples of Multiple Income Streams
Even though you know the process of creating multiple income streams, getting started is always to toughest part. If you’re stuck, think about the things that click with your interests, personality, skills, education, and experience.
Or, you can try one of these ideas;
- Affiliate marketing is simply where you sign up with a company and sell or plug their products on your website. Pat Flynn can teach you a lot about this type of passive income.
- Participating in paid surveys or focus groups may not pay the best pay, but they don’t eat up a lot of time and can take place during activities that you already do, such as online shopping.
- Freelancing or consulting is perfect if you have a specific skillset. You could become a writer, virtual assistant, photographer, coder, accountant, or graphic designer. The possibilities are endless, and people really need you.
- Sell products at flea markets, Craigslist, eBay, or Amazon. Don’t have anything to sell? Consider becoming a direct marketer or look into drop shipping? If you’re creative, then sell your handmade goods on sites like Etsy.
- Invest in stocks, bonds, 401 (k)s, or annuities.
- Starting a home-based business. Like freelancing or consulting, the possibilities are endless. Whether it’s dog sitting and walking, customer service, or catering, you can make extra money by doing something that you’re good at on the side.
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