When you have been on-line for a while you get used to the common phrases being bandied about and tend to forget that newcomers to the space might struggle with some of them.
“Multiple streams of income” is heralded as the goal for on-line marketers.
Most people know what having a regular job in the real world is like. You collect a paycheque every pay period, it is a pre-arranged amount usually and there is no guess work to it. That would be a single stream of income… your income comes from only one source.
This on-line space is somewhat different. If you are trading time for money, there is a finite amount of money you can make. Whether contracting or coaching, there are only so many hours in a day in which to offer your services.
So most on-line entrepreneurs market something. It could be a business opportunity, it might be a product. It could be something they created or something someone else created. The latter is called affiliate sales and many people start with that until they have some products of their own to sell.
On-line you have little to zero control over anything you sell unless it is your own. This means that a product or an opportunity could be quite lucrative one day and be gone the next. Some companies and their owners can be fickle, deciding to fold up shop on a whim or deciding to cut you from their herd because of some obscure clause in their Terms and Conditions that you overlooked.
Last year for example, I was involved in an opportunity. I reached the stage where I was earning 4-figures per week and several of my friends were actually earning 5 large figures per month. Pretty nice pocket change. A number of people in our organization actually quit their jobs as they felt they had a cash cow and the sky was the limit. They only had that one source of income but when you are earning 5-6 large figures every month, did they need anything else?
Well, for whatever reason, a government body moved in and closed the doors of this business overnight. And when you go from that large of income to nothing literally overnight, does it matter what the reasons are? Government bodies work in mysterious ways and have no obligation to explain their actions.
Can you imagine the outfall? A large number of people were devastated. They had put all their eggs into that one golden basket and when the bottom fell out, they had no safety net. Right, Wrong, Why all are moot points when your single source of income dries up in an hour.
No matter which company you are currently with or thinking of joining please don’t make the mistake of thinking “that could never happen to us”.
This is where I can segue into explaining multiple streams of income.
When this company folded, I was inconvenienced, and I was very frustrated but, financially, it did not devastate me. The reason being I still had my part-time job. I still market several other products; I still had residual income from professional coaches that I recommend. I have multiple streams of income. And I am constantly keeping my eye open for compatible products/services to market.
I would like you to really notice the word “compatible” in the previous sentence. If you market vitamins, children’s books and racing car tires, your potential clients are going to be totally confused about what you have to offer and what your area of expertise is and probably just leave. If you are marketing children’s books and expand into other children’s things including vitamins that is less of a leap but you have to expand carefully.
If you do, on the other hand, market arthritis treatments because you have arthritis and there is not much you haven’t learned about arthritis, then branch into orthotics for arthritis sufferers, then into hand braces and kitchen utensils for people with severe arthritis, and have an Amazon bookshelf that is filled with arthritis information, your clients are going to be excited about your expertise and the one-stop shopping available to them at your site. All your offerings are “compatible”.
If, one day, the company that creates the orthotics closes its doors, you have a number of other sources of income and they will carry you until you find another quality supplier of arthritis orthotics.
Do you get the picture?
Multiple streams of income are mandatory before you give up any predictable income source like a job.
I think it’s a respect-thing and you absolutely have to have that much respect for yourself and your dependents!
It might take time, but it’s worth it!
Yes very important to know how we are paying the bills before ditching the paycheck for variable income streams. Great point 🙂
Thanks for sharing,
Awesome article, Agnes. Multiple streams of income are so important for so many reasons. It is also the same reason I have to try really hard not to giggle when people say they are “set” for retirement because they have a 401K. To me, that is still one source of income, even if you have diversified investments. Even though I have always invested in a 401K, I never looked at it as the end-all be-all to retirement (a fact that was demonstrated when most people lost half their retirement in recent years).
Obviously, the same is true for your business. Multiple streams means a much bigger pool, as well as something to fall back on. The issue, though, is building those streams up. I find most people try to put 5 or 7 streams in place when they really need to focus on and build one at a time. 🙂
Agree with you Agnes, multiple income streams are a great idea although I would say for someone starting out just to concentrate on one thing to start with then get into the multiple income streams. I made that mistake and started with multiple income streams and got so overwhelmed that I had to ditch a lot of them until I got going. Great post and thanks for sharing.
I could not agree more. On my entrepreneurial journey, I learnt just how vital it is not to put all your eggs in one basket. Great post.
Great post Agnes. It is so important not to rely on just one form of income, you never know when it will dry up, whether it is a J.O.B or an online business!
I’ve always believed putting all your eggs in one basket was the worst idea. Right now I have a couple streams of income, and I’m going to branch out as my business grows. I like to keep my options open at all times. My boyfriend and I have talked about investing in real estate, and although we haven’t, I’m happy that it’s an option. If you want to be a millionaire, you have to think like a millionaire.
An excellent explanation of multiple income streams Agnes.
Even though my main business is dollars for hours I have multiple income streams because I don’t want to be working all hours on that.
Nothing sweeter than waking up to find you have earnt money in your sleep.
Haha, Lorraine, I will never forget the very first time I woke up to that email!! I did the happy dance and told probably everyone I knew that I earned money while I slept!
Great post Agnes! Funny thing, right now I’m working on a presentation where I talk about this topic, with emphasis on compatible products/services, though my wording is congruent. This and LinkedIn, our thoughts move somewhat along the same trails right now. 🙂