You may have heard a few times never to place all of your eggs in one basket. While this can apply to many aspects of life, today I’m going to apply it from the sense of finances. Specifically income.
I can tell you from personal experience, not having all of those eggs in that seemingly solid, but holy basket, is smart! After almost 10 years in my corporate position I was faced with being laid off. Now I can tell you, the writing was on the wall, and I knew my time was coming. It didn’t make that final day any easier though.
I remember on the drive home, after I dried my tears, wondering how my husband and I would make things work. With a host of bills, and three mouths to feed, the panic set in a little bit. Thankfully I was provided a decent severance package, and because we were anticipating it happening sooner or later (though we hoped for later) we’d saved a bit too. I wish I could say that we were REALLY savvy savers, and had the recommended 3-6 months of income saved, but we didn’t.
I knew from that day moving forward that we couldn’t rely on one income source to ensure our family’s financial security. Instead, I began looking at ways that we could create addition income streams so that if that seemingly solid basket failed us again, we’d be ok.
After some extensive research I want to share my top 10 ideas on adding additional income streams. I’m REALLY picky about the types of activities I choose to become involved in, so you can feel confident with these!
1. Become an Independent Consultant – This applies to both in-home party driven businesses, as well as those which rely more heavily on catalog and online ordering.
- Pure Romance
- Thirty One
- It Works
- The list goes on!
One of my awesome girlfriends sells for Pure Romance. One of the things that has led to her success, she’s not selling. By that I mean she doesn’t host her parties with the feel that she’s trying to make a sale. Is making a sale the point? Of course! Nobody is doing it for free giggles. What she IS doing, is engaging her party goers. She’s having fun conversation, demonstrating products, and educating her potential clients. This has in turn, led to some pretty incredible sales!
2. Start a Blog – like most of these options this can be as simple, or involved as you make it. How do you make money blogging? There are a few different ways you can make money. You can make money through selling ads (these usually are placed in the right sidebar). Additionally you can do sponsored posts. This is, reviewing someone’s product or service for a fee, and providing an honest opinion for doing so. Another, and maybe one of the most popular ways to make money blogging, is affiliate links. This is basically earning a referral fee (probably overly simplified it, but you get the point). You sign up with companies you know and trust and direct people to their products or services. Be sure to check the rules and regulations for the blogging platform you’re using to ensure you are in compliance with how you use affiliate links.
As an example of how to use affiliate links, recently I started using Ibotta. This is a grocery savings service, where the list products each week/month for discounts. You simply go grocery shopping like you would normally, you purchase the selected items (identified using the app prior to the shopping trip), and scan your receipt when you’re all done. The app calculates your savings, and holds the amount in an account to be deposited once you’ve reached a certain threshold. If I was using this business as an affiliate, I could get my referral link and hyperlink it to the business name above, directing you to the site to sign up, gaining me $5 for each user that signs up and uses the service.
3. Become a Travel Agent – This is one that has intrigued me quite a bit lately. I LOVE to travel, like I would do it full time if I could. I also know that travel is one of the largest industries in the world. There are many options in the area, you can be specialized in one travel type, such as destination weddings, Disney travel, cruise travel, company travel the list goes on. Be sure to do your homework in this area, many companies make it sound like you’ll be getting into travel, but really they just want you to sell their product (the travel idea) to others, and you won’t actually be working with anything travel related. (Probably confusing, but you’ll know it the first time you come across it.)
4. Become a Consultant – Do you have some really awesome knowledge that others could use? Now is your time to shine. A few of the things I can think of (because they pertain to me) are; Small business branding, small business marketing, recruiting practices, higher education – financial aid, higher education – minimizing debt. You could do one on one coaching, or provide short seminars. Can you work with a local church, place ads on Craigslist or use Freelancer.com to find business.
5. Tutor – Are you really good in math or science, English or a language? If you said yes, your services are likely in high demand. In my area of town there are several tutoring centers where I could go to work (I still might). There are also online options for you to check out.
These next few can have a pretty similar feel, but all really serve a different purpose (if you want them to)
6. Ebay – There are a few ways to make money selling on Ebay. The first, and probably the easiest is getting rid of stuff you have on hand. I’ve done this a few times. When I was in the wedding planning business I acquired quite a bit of inventory. Stuff for invitations, stuff for centerpieces and supplies for favors. You name it, and it was probably cluttering up my basement storage and work room. So that’s one way. Take a few good pictures, different angles. Use a non cluttered backdrop (a white, or solid color sheet is perfect).
The next way is to sell items you’ve purchased somewhere else. This could be a garage sale, thrift shop, or somewhere similar. You could also buy items in bulk maybe in another Ebay auction, or similar online site. This is a pretty popular method and can be quite lucrative if you’re good at spotting a solid deal.
7. Amazon – this outlet this can be very lucrative. I’ve looked into it a few times already. I’m now in the phase of deciding what I want to sell. They have a newer handmade market, similar to Etsy (see below), the opportunity to sell your used items, similar to Ebay (see above), and the opportunity to sell new items you’ve sourced from various locations, also similar to Ebay.
8. Etsy – There’s something for mostly everyone over at Etsy. Whether you are business to consumer focused, or business to business focused, if you are creative at all, the audience is there! Handmade, or vintage. These days, it seems like even commercially produced items are acceptable over there, so you should definitely check it out.
9. Drive for Uber – I’ve not personally driven for Uber before, but my husband has a few employees who do it on the weekend, and they’ve reported significant success.
10. Start a business of your own! For the full 10 years I ran the wedding business, I worked full time. I had a dedicated website, paid for client leads, and worked my tail off!! So owning your own business can be similar to being a consultant, or owning a shop on one of the venues noted above, but it can be a diverse as baking on the side, doing airbrush, or putting your Silhouette to work. Maybe you’re a fantastic designer, or a painter. Do you love interior design, or don’t mind walking pets? How about mowing lawns, or babysitting. That’s right, I put those oldies but goodies on the list!
Now know that in many cases, the effort you put in, is the reward you get out. Keep this in mind when thinking about getting into any of these options. There are only 24 hours in any day, though many days I could use a few more. You’ll need sleep, and likely you’re still working you’re full-time job, so consider your available time each day/week. Also take into consideration your other obligations, church, kids’ activities, social organizations, etc. Don’t over commit, that is the fastest way to burn out, and a sure fire way to fail. Take your time, consider all of your options, and get to work diversifying your income.
I’d love to hear some other ways you’ve thought of to help you diversify your income stream.