If you are relying on only one stream of income, you are putting yourself and your family at some serious risk, and in harms way. Personally, I don't like the idea of putting all my eggs in one basket and so I've always been big on having more than one income stream. When I was a school teacher, I spent several years selling shoes at Dillard's and more years working as a part time commission salesman at Circuit City. In this blog post I'm going to tell you all of our current streams of income. The incomes discussed here bring us either cash on a monthly basis, or they increase our net worth on a regular basis.
Before we get to the 8 streams, let me toss out 2 quick wealth principles.
1. Think long term. Short term thinkers stay broke in the world of money, and visionaries who can think 5 or 10 years out, always win when it comes to money. Wealthy people think about long term financial goals like retirement, and poor people think about Saturday night. Unfortunate statement, but so true.
2. Give. Stingy people stay broke! We believe very strongly in giving. If you give with the right heart, the right spirit, and with the right attitude, it will be returned to you in some form or fashion. I believe that our 8 different streams of income that I explain to you in this blog post are a direct result of a giving attitude that matured when we began to give and grow in our Christian faith. That's another blog post for another time. But the point is, if you aren't giving, then you won't be receiving! Period.
So here are the 8 streams of income my wife and I have today:
1. Our Jobs - My wife has been on her job for 20 years, and I have been in my industry for the past 11 years. I manage contracts on behalf of the federal government. I've managed construction contracts, architect-engineer contracts, construction management contracts, leasing services contracts, and a whole host of other types of contracts and procurements. I'm considered a senior expert in my field, have held several certifications, and received awards.
2. Our Retirement Plans - Since I was 24 years old, I've contributed towards a retirement fund at my job. This is crucial!! If your job matches any portion of your contribution, then that is FREE MONEY! Please don't pass that up. Having a retirement plan at your job that is invested into stocks and investment/retirement vehicles that grow your money, on auto-pilot, is probably the single most important thing you can do with your money to make it grow. Start contributing in your jobs retirement fund, and vow to NEVER touch it. In 20 years you will thank yourself. Compound interests is the 8th Wonder of the world!
3. Primary residence - When you buy a primary residence, the hopes are, that it will appreciate in value over time. As it goes up in value, that equity is yours. The point here is that, while this is not a liquid stream of income, its still your money and adds to your net worth on a constant continuing basis. For us, this has been an excellent stream of income that will be capitalized on in a big way, real soon! Stay tuned!
4. My Ebay store - Buy low and sell high. It's not rocket science, but it comes with a stigma, and I'm not sure why. Every business that sells a physical piece of merchandise is in the business of buying low and selling high, but for some odd reason when you say "Ebay", eyes swirl and people don't see it as viable. One of the richest families in the world built a $100 Billion business from buying low and selling high....Walmart! Today, I keep close to 200 pair of shoes on Ebay at any given time. It's a part time side hustle that is pretty much on auto-pilot and gets me a simple extra $700 to $800 per month with very little effort, at this point. With over 3,400 single transactions under my belt, and only 1 negative feedback (the person simply didn't like the shoes), I have become an expert at sourcing, shipping, managing the platform, customer service, and a host of other skills. And I can scale it whenever I want.
5. Landlord - I didn't own my first house until I was nearly 30 years old. I started back in the days and learned the hard way. No mentor, no teacher, no coach, and no YouTube! I just got out there and learned, took chances, faced fears, managed risks, did damage control on the fly, and made it happen. I owned 6 single family properties for 9 years. I still own 2 properties today. And just like my primary residence, my properties go up in value each year. I've mentored people, taught others, and even wrote a book about some tips to help others who are new in the business. This offers another great source of income on a monthly basis, not to mention the equity being built in the properties.
6. Audio Book Narrator - Check out this website! This one is new, but nevertheless, its fun. I always love a challenge, and this one is a fun one. I started doing a little narration for events and advertisements at my church, and decided to pursue it more heavily less than 6 months ago. I've always had a good voice, but it takes a lot more then a good voice to be successful doing this. I have narrated a number of books on www.acx.com for authors whose books appear on Amazon. It's a fun way to get your feet wet in the voice over industry. With all things, there is a learning curve. But this is one of a million ways to earn money online. The income from this one is low now, but steady rising. I plan to share more blog posts about this stream of income in the near future!
7. Blog/website and consulting services - You're on my website now! I am learning to monetize the website, developing search engine optimization (SEO), and how to earn money from blogging, as we speak. I monetize this website from simply consulting and helping people learn the stuff about money, that I know. So this one is evolving and picking up steam, as a stream of income, every single day! People contact me about every single one of these streams of income, and I earn money by talking, explaining, helping, encouraging, teaching, and coaching people through it. I put them altogether here in #7 because right now, they all sort of go together. My blog is my website, and that is where I offer consulting services to help others. I'm not making a ton of money with blogging or the consulting, yet, but it's another way of giving back, and has lots of growth potential.
8. Author - I self published my first book on Amazon. You can purchase your copy here: https://www.smartmoneybro.com/books And book two is coming in the next several weeks! Just another way of making money and an 8th stream of income!!
The first step to developing multiple streams of income is thinking long term, and the second step is finding a way to give back to others. As soon as you have those concepts down, jump in and start exploring how you can stretch yourself and explore new ways to increase your streams of income!! Good luck!