The Need for Multiple Streams of Income

I often ask folks when visiting with them about their financial situation, “How many streams of income do you have currently”. Nine out of ten people will look at me like I have a horn growing out of my head. Like they’ve never even heard of that as an option. I learned many years ago that jobs can end unexpectantly. I was in the 5th grade when my father was laid off. So, he did what most committed people do, he started his own company representing farm equipment manufacturers. Over the years I became puzzled as to why he would represent so many manufacturers. He would tell me to have many “irons in the fire”. In other words, more than one source of income to depend on.

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In my sphere of friends, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t dream or have big goals in life. No, it’s not “all about money” but you must have it to do things. The key is to diversify. Whether that’s an investment portfolio or spreading your money out across a variety of industries. Look at Richard Branson. He owns Virgin Airlines, Virgin Records, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Money, Virgin Media and Virgin Trains to name a few. Talk about multiple streams of income!! The key is to have money constantly flowing into you. One area may run dry, but you have others to fall back upon. In typical America, people live paycheck to paycheck. When the money is gone, that’s it. Too many people complain about having the proverbial “too much month at the end of their money”. This holds true in most American households, but the good news is that it can be avoided. It just takes some enthusiasm, commitment and conviction. Here’s an interesting bit of data about millionaires.

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“How many streams of income do millionaires have? Tom Corley, author of “Rich Habits”, studied the habits of millionaires during a five-year study of the rich and poor. Here’s what he found as it pertains to most self-made millionaires and their income streams:

Having multiple streams of income is the same idea as diversifying your investment portfolio. When one income stream suffers, the others make up for it. And if none of them are suffering? Well, then you’re making a ton of money.” 

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Here’s my favorite analogy. Picture 5 garden hoses. A couple hoses are larger than others and they are all hooked up to separate spigots. The first one is your 9-5 job. When you clock in the water turns on and flows. You clock out for lunch, it turns off. You come back from lunch and it turns on again. At the end of the day when you clock out to go home, it shuts off until the next morning at 9am. That’s called Bureaucratic Time. Now, the other 4 hoses are the magic hoses. Let’s say one is your Amazon store hose, one is your Direct Sales/Network Marketing hose, one hose is from YouTube videos you make and the last one is from the handyman work you do on the weekends. Now, the handyman job is like your 9-5 in that you don’t make money unless you’re actively working. So, those two hoses are the same size and turn on/off periodically. The magic hoses are your YouTube channel, Network Marketing and Amazon store hoses. You’ve set those three in motion over time and they are now at a point where they just run themselves. Those spigots never get shut off. The YouTube may trickle constantly but the Amazon and the Direct Sales hoses not only have a nice little flow to them but you’re getting to the point where you need a larger hose for all the volume being flowed through them. Make sense? That’s called Entrepreneurial Time. We also like to call that “Passive Residual Income”. That’s the best kind because that’s the type of income that will allow time freedom.

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The point is, no, it’s not EASY to set all this up and it takes time. However, diversification is key and pays off BIG time down the road. Especially if your 9-5 job lays you off for some reason or you get hurt and cannot perform the handyman or 9-5 job any longer. Opportunity flies by us every day. It’s up to us to recognize those opportunities then say “Yes”.

Other ideas for additional streams of income include:

  • Uber/Lyft Driver
  • Amazon Flex Delivery
  • Wrap your car in advertising for a business
  • Haul Stuff
  • Start a vending machine business
  • Buy a car wash/laundry mat
  • Flip domain names
  • Become a private or peer-to-peer lender
  • Rent out space in your house
  • Rent out your vehicle
  • Invest in rental property
  • Network Marketing/Direct Sale/Multi-level Marketing
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