Like so many, for years, I thought that security lies in working for a credible company. I went to a Fortune 500 company with the idea that I would settle in there and put in a good twenty or thirty years, so I could retire with some level of financial security.
Well, that plan got a little sidetracked when, five years later, the company filed Chapter 11. I, along with nearly 16,000 other employees, discovered the insecurity of such security. To make matters worse, not only did I work there, but my husband did, also. We had all our eggs in one basket – and suddenly, someone took our basket! Dave Ramsey would call this something like “stupid tax”.
A little over a year ago, while reading Dan Miller’s books, 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Mondays, I was introduced to the concept of “multiple streams of income”. It really made me stop and think. We’ve been told security comes in having a good job, but what if that job goes away? Unfortunately, this is becoming a common occurrence. And, what’s more, if we go to work each day knowing that this is our only option, what will be our attitude toward our work – fear, dread, stress, apprehension? This is what I began to see on the faces driving to work, including the one in my own rearview mirror. Have you ever noticed how people enter their places of employment – heads down, faces sad, a shuffle in their step? This is what happens when you put your security in that one basket you call a job. You resign yourself to just one option. And you begin to sell your soul for a paycheck.
These days, that is not only sad – it is also risky.
Like many, I used to view self-employment as high risk. Seriously, you have no guaranteed income, no health care benefits…why would someone do that? Well, let me ask you, if you lost your job today, what would happen to that guaranteed income and those health care benefits? I know the answer because I’ve been there.
Don’t get me wrong. Self-employment, on its own, is not for everyone. But the concept of having more than one source of income, especially in this day and age, is almost essential. If you have one job – one basket – and you lose it, you are left empty-handed. If you have several baskets, and one gets taken away, you simply pick up another and move on. Your life will be impacted but not devastated.
Does this “multiple streams of income” idea mean you have to work 80 hours a week? No, it doesn’t. In fact, the law of diminishing returns kicks in at some point, and you will actually create more insecurity and imbalance by doing that. It means you figure out what your gift is, and you find multiple ways to generate income using that gift. These ways would need to be both active and passive in nature.
For example, if you are a designer, you can spend 20 hours a week going into homes and doing one-on-one design work. You, in essence, trade hours for dollars. Say you make $50 an hour. That’s great – you would gross $1,000 a week. Need more income? Work more hours. At some point, however, there’s a ceiling on how much you can reasonably do and, therefore, make. But what if, while there, you did a video documentary on the process and put together a do-it-yourself kit to sell on your website? You could easily turn this $1,000 a week into $1,000 an hour, with little added effort. Dan Miller calls this SWISS (Sales While I Sleep Soundly) dollars. I also call it time stacking, because, in essence, you’re stacking passive pay hours on top of active pay hours.
If you work in an office for $20 an hour, did you know you could be making $50 or $100 an hour on top of that, right under your bosses’ noses – and without taking any time away from your job? How? Well, what if you wrote an ebook or put together an electronic package? That could be selling on your website while you sit quietly at your desk, working away on the tasks at hand. All these things can be automated in such a way that very little extra time is required to generate income…while you sleep soundly, sit at your desk in an office, or spend some time with a loved one.
So to the single ladies who are concerned about losing their sole source of an already-limited income, to the family men who lay awake at night worrying about what will happen if this is the week the layoffs come, to the couples who need a little extra income just to make ends meet – this one’s for you. I am not a sales person. I would probably starve if selling cars were my only option for income. But when I find something that helps or inspires me, I WILL share it…because I know there are needs beyond my own. So here are some of my favorite resources on this subject. I trust that you will find them as inspiring (and, indeed life changing) as I have.
And I would love to hear from you the ideas they spark for multiple streams of income. By all means, share your thoughts – because in doing so, you may be helping someone else who really needs it right now.
- For ideas of where to start: 48 Days to the Work You Love and No More Mondays (Buy them here, check them out from the library, I don’t care – but READ the books!)
- For help in finding your gift and actually implementing a business idea: Free Agent Academy
- To hear more and be inspired: Click Here to listen to my good friends Kevin Miller and Justin Lukasavige, a couple of guys with a whole lot of baskets.
- To learn how to write an ebook, start a blog, set up a website, etc.: Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can either help you do it, or refer you to the perfect resource to get you moving quickly in the right direction.