Creating Multiple Streams of Income: Finding what works for you

“Prepare for war in the time of peace,” was one of my late grandfather’s favorite sayings.  In fact, he introduced our family to entrepreneurship and the concept of multiple streams of income.  From the time I was in junior high school up until the day he passed in my mid 20’s; he poured a lot of time and knowledge into me about investing, saving, passive income and entrepreneurship.  He was planting seeds, but I was not quite ready to apply this invaluable information.   At the time, I did not realize he was providing me with “free training” that some of my colleagues pay thousands of dollars to attend.   A few years after my grandfather’s passing, I was introduced to various home-based businesses that discussed similar wealth building principles that my grandfather often preached (multiple streams of income, passive income, investing, leveraging your time).  Some people viewed the multi-level marketing home based businesses as pyramid schemes, but I viewed it as a way to continue the legacy in my family that my grandfather created.  At the time, I was  more focused on the short term gains, the money I did not make “yesterday,” what friends and family would think if I struggled or even worse-failed!  I was so focused on these variables that I did not allot enough time for the fruits of my labor to unfold.  My “why” wasn’t big enough and I gave up too soon.  The only regret I have is quitting because I know that quitting guarantees failure.

What I learned:

Creating multiple streams of income takes time, commitment, discipline, work ethic and investing (not spending) money.  When creating streams of income, think of this process as if it were your retirement plan that you invest in with your employer (401K or 403B); you get out of it what you put into it.  Imagine creating a passive income-income earned on a regular basis with little effort required to maintain it.  Some examples include, but are not limited to royalties from writing a book, property income, income from traditional and home based businesses.  No matter which avenue you choose you have to put in the work.  Remember, the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.  Short term sacrifices for long term success.

Why is creating multiple streams of income important?

It may not be your goal to accumulate wealth or to pursue early retirement from your career.  However, I am sure we can all agree that time can be our biggest liability or our most valuable asset.  It is the one thing we cannot get back.  Most people struggle with time management.  I often hear people say (myself included) “There are not enough hours in the day.” “If only I had more time.”  Creating multiple streams of income will allow you to leverage your time.  Most of us spend at least 8 hours per day and 5 days per week working.  Some of us may spend even more time working and less time with our families.  How many of us see our colleagues more than we see our families?  If you’re like me, you love what you do and you would like to have more time to spend with your family without having to worry about loss of income.  Other than spending time with our families, do you have a plan if life happens on life’s terms?  What happens if you get sick and cannot be physically present to make money? If you’re a business owner, can your business run without you being physically present?  What is your plan if you lost your job tomorrow?  Have you thought about your retirement plan?  The answers to these questions are intended to shed light on the importance of having Plan A-Z in order to prepare for the uncertainties of life.

Ideas for Streams of Income:

At the moment, I work full time and have found ways to create other streams of income to prepare for the future.  Here are some ideas that may assist you in planning for your family’s future:

Traditional Business: My business partner and I started HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC; a private counseling practice close to 2 years ago.  In a traditional business you wear many hats, especially in the beginning as you are attempting to keep a manageable overhead.  The benefits of running a traditional business are the limitless possibilities.  You get to decide if you want to wear every hat or outsource jobs and hire staff.  You get to decide when your day begins and ends, you make the policies.  The success of your business depends on you.

Home based business:  Most home based businesses involve multi-level marketing (mlm).  Most people run in the other direction when they get approached about multi-level marketing opportunities.   A lot of mlm’s get negative press due to people having bad experiences.  There are mlm’s that work, but again, you have to work it.  Find a home based business that makes sense for you and get a mentor/accountability partner.

Real Estate: I have read that real estate is one of the best ways to produce passive income.  Again, you will have to put in a lot of work up front which may include buying, repairing and renting properties.  The short term sacrifice is the amount of work and money you will need to invest.  The long term success is the cash flow rental properties can produce every month and freeing up time to spend with loved ones-leveraging time.

Podcasting:  I recently started my podcasting show, “The Vitamin C Show” which was a spinoff from my book; Vitamin C: Healing for the Mind Body and Soul, with the purpose of creating a platform for professionals and entrepreneurs to discuss their contributions to the community.  Health and wellness, relationships, education, mental health, entrepreneurship and financial planning are amongst the topics discussed on the show.  Starting your own podcast show is a great way to build your brand, market your business and collaborate with other professionals and entrepreneurs which can lead to passive income.

Write a Book: The feeling you experience after completing your first book and seeing the finished product is surreal.  Writing a good book is another way to produce a stream of income.  If you are considering writing a book, write a good book and prepare a good marketing plan.  Books do not sell themselves and writing the book is a fraction of the work needed to become an award winning and/or best-selling author.  One of the most important things to consider when writing your book includes your target audience.  What are the needs of your target audience?

All of these categories involve some form of sales.  I often hear people say, ‘I cannot sell’ or ‘selling isn’t for me.’  We sell ourselves every day!  If you are employed, guess what, you sold yourself at your interview.  Just remember people don’t want to feel sold, they want to do business with people they trust.  Be you, remember the reason “Why” you are doing this and have fun.  No one wants to work with someone who is too uptight.

Although there are many other avenues for creating multiple streams of income, these were the few that stood out to me.  I have learned the importance of creating multiple streams of income and my current streams of income include HandinHand Counseling Services, LLC, Vitamin C Healing for the Mind, Body and Soul, and health and wellness coaching with Herbalife. No matter which stream you choose to invest in, the common denominator in each area will be you.  Nothing will work unless you work. What will YOU do to make it work?