When it comes to achieving financial success, having a reliable and diverse income stream is key. Many people rely solely on their active income, which can be risky if something happens to their job or industry. On the other hand, passive income streams can provide a stable source of income even if you're not actively working. In this article, we'll explore some strategies for building multiple income streams, both active and passive, to help you achieve financial success and security.
The Foundation of Financial Success. Active income requires you to take action to make money. Working a 9-to-5 job, earning tips as a cosmetologist, and driving for a rideshare app are examples of this principle in action. All require active participation to earn money and are thus considered active income.
Most people who don’t inherit money or come into a large sum of money without effort will need to earn active income to pay bills and build their savings. Active income is often dependable in quantity and schedule (e.g., a regular paycheck for a salaried position). With enough active income, you may be able to invest in something that generates passive income down the road (you’ll learn more about that kind of money in a moment). There are several strategies for increasing your active income, such as:
Negotiating a raise or promotion:
Does the thought of asking for a raise or promotion make you nervous? Most people say it does. A recent survey of 3,000 employees in the UK revealed that 55% of people are unwilling to ask for a raise. Among the reasons were not knowing what to say (16%), worries about appearing greedy (15%), or simply being afraid (12%). Whether your nerves stem from fear, low self-confidence, or a lack of knowledge surrounding your market value, asking for more from your employer is uncomfortable — even when the odds are in your favor.
As an executive coach, I’ve found that taking a step back and approaching these interactions strategically can help calm nerves and increase confidence. One approach that I encourage my clients to practice involves an important principle of negotiation: creating a win-win situation, or what I call a “two-way commitment.”
The idea is to first communicate the value you are going to bring to your boss and to your organization, and then discuss what you hope your employer will do for you in exchange. It requires some preparation and a clear understanding of their expectations so that you can make a strong case for yourself and demonstrate your commitment to their success.
Whether you are looking to secure a salary increase, a promotion, a lateral move, more flexibility, or something else that makes you feel valued, respected, and optimistic at work — follow these four steps to put this approach into practice.
- Understand the other party in the negotiation.
- Set your manager’s expectations early and often.
- Prepare what you want and what you will offer.
- Manage the negotiation.
Starting a side hustle:
A side hustle is something you do to earn extra money while you’re working. You do it in addition to whatever your regular gig is, hence the term “side.” But it doesn’t automatically become your main source of income (nor does it ever have to).
The term “side hustle” has been hijacked by people who took the idea of having a side gig and replaced it with building a business so you can quickly quit your regular 9-to-5 job. But not everyone wants to or can risk ditching the day job. Especially not in today’s economy with the current cost of living.
How to find a side hustle that works for you
Decide what time you can dedicate to it
If you work a 40-hour workweek and want to dedicate 20 hours to your side hustle, you’re suddenly working 60 hours a week.
There are 168 hours in a week, including weekends, assuming you have an eight-hour sleep schedule that leaves you 112 hours to play with. Minus your 60 hours of working time, you have 52 hours left to commute, eat, run errands, and binge your latest Netflix show. That’s not a lot of time.
Some people thrive on 60+ hour work weeks, while others need extra downtime to simply recharge. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to figuring out how much time you want to spend on a side hustle, but time management is key.
Figure out how much side income you’d like to make:
You might be an entrepreneur at heart, but most people start a side hustle because they want to make a little more money. Before you get started, you need to decide how much a little more is to you.
Setting goals is an important part of running a business. You might not achieve your income goal in month one, but it gives you an idea of the pricing scheme you should set up and how many clients you need to get.
Choose something you’re passionate about
With a realistic view of how much time you can dedicate to your side hustle and an idea of how much money you want to bring in, you can narrow down what you want to do.
In an ideal world, you want to pick something that you’re passionate about, good at, works within the time frame that you’ve set yourself, and will bring in the money you want.
Ready to start your side hustle?
With the important decisions made, it’s time to start hustling.
One thing that tends to get lost in the conversation topic when it comes to side hustles is that even something done on a part-time basis is still a business. Th
at means you need to take into consideration whether you want to start a sole proprietorship or incorporate a business.
Here are some ideas to kick-start your side hustle:
- Start a blog.
- Take paid surveys.
- Become a virtual assistant.
- Market your online skills on Fiverr.
- Become a freelance writer.
- Take gigs on Upwork.
- Start dropshipping.
- Affiliate marketing.
- Drive for Uber.
- Build websites for clients.
- Make food or grocery deliveries.
- Create digital products.
Investing in your education:
Investing in your education is a great way to increase your earning potential. This could be anything from taking courses to obtaining a certification in your field. Make sure to choose courses and certifications that will help you advance your career and increase your earning potential.
Investing in yourself and your education, while also creating multiple streams of income, can lead to a better financial future.
A strong and growing economy, combined with workforce development and training programs, can lead to lower unemployment rates and increased job opportunities for individuals.
Access to more jobs can be achieved through improving infrastructure, increasing investment in emerging industries, and providing training and education to develop the skills needed for those jobs
Passive income—or unearned income, as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) calls it—is income that requires minimal effort to obtain. It is the opposite of active income, which is income received from a job or business venture that requires active participation.1
Passive income includes earnings derived from a rental property, limited partnership, or other enterprises in which a person is not actively involved. While these money-generating ventures may have initially required some effort, they now generally pay out automatically without the recipient breaking out a sweat.
Unearned income comes in two main forms. Each one provides a different way to generate income, and they can be used individually or in tandem, depending on your financial goals:
Creating oney earned from doing the work upfront. Examples of passive income include selling digital products, writing books, creating music, or making another product that earns cash.
Investing Money earned from investing in assets. It usually requires an initial investment and can include dividend stocks, real estate investment trusts, renting out a spare room or leasing, interest, capital gains, peer lending, mutual funds, and royalties.
Owning a business could be a passive activity, depending on how you set it up. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you’re trading time for money, which isn’t a passive activity.
If you’re a creator, on the other hand, you can earn passive income off of digital products and affiliate partnerships. Artists and musicians can earn royalties by letting other companies use their work. You could also buy an existing business with monthly revenue and earn money with little effort.
The most common form of passive income comes from real estate. It often involves buying property and renting it out to a tenant. Some would argue that being a landlord isn’t passive, because you have to maintain and upgrade the property.
But, you could always hire a property manager to take care of the property. Or spend a few hours per month managing tenant requests and concerns. The biggest time investment with rental income is during turnover, or when one tenant moves out and another move in. This often takes between 30 and 40 hours.
Private equity refers to any money you directly invest into a company, contribute to venture capital or invest in real estate. These investments are often seen as risky and most require high capital requirements. Investors often hold private equity investments for up to 10 years. But, they can be a good source of passive income if you’re looking for a long-term investment.
The stock market is one of the simplest ways to create passive income. As companies generate profits, they re-distribute earnings back to investors in the form of dividends. You can invest in various dividend-producing assets such as:
- Dividend stocks
- Real estate investment trusts (REIT)
- Index funds
- Dividend exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Investing in assets that yield dividends is simple. Sign up for an advisory or brokerage service (like Charles Schwab or TD Ameritrade), add money to the account, and buy one of the assets above.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) lending connects individual lenders and borrowers without going through a bank. It allows borrowers to get quick loans at a low cost. Interest rates vary depending on the borrower’s credit score. If you fund a loan on a platform like Prosper, for example, you’ll receive monthly payments from the borrower until the principal and loan interest is paid off.
Tips for Building Multiple Income Streams
Don't try to start multiple income streams at once. Start with one or two and focus on building them up before moving on to others.
Successful innovators “start small” after thinking big. Rather than jumping on the bandwagon for one potentially big product, they break the idea down into smaller pieces for testing. They don’t allow themselves to make decisions solely on intuition or allow themselves to lock in on financial projections based on wishful thinking. They defer important decisions until they have real data.
Diversification is a risk management strategy that mixes a wide variety of investments within a portfolio. A diversified portfolio contains a mix of distinct asset types and investment vehicles in an attempt at limiting exposure to any single asset or risk.
The rationale behind this technique is that a portfolio constructed of different kinds of assets will, on average, yield higher long-term returns and lower the risk of any individual holding or security.
Identify Your Skills:
Knowing what you enjoy doing gives you a good basis to start when searching for your ideal career. To determine your career interests, start by identifying your general interests. Think of your hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your free time. For example, maybe you enjoy writing or watching the news. These interests may lead to a career as a journalist.
Building multiple income streams takes time, effort, and dedication. It may take months or even years to see a significant return on your investment. It's important to stay focused on your goals and be patient as you work towards them.
The job market and business landscape are constantly evolving, so it's important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies. By continuously learning, you can stay relevant and competitive in your industry.
Finally, being a "smokey creature" in the world of finance means taking control of your financial future by creating both active and passive income streams.
The real secret to success is Consistency + Speed in doing certain things every day that help move you forward in achieving your goals, which leads to the realization of your dreams. Self-made millionaires, according to my Rich Habits research, create consistency by adopting daily habits that are tied to their goals and dreams.
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