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11 Steps To Create More Income Sources

11 Steps To Create More Income Sources

My grandfather once said that people had three chances in their lifetimes to strike out on their own and “make it” – the first time, they were too young to realize it; the second time, they were burdened with family responsibilities and were afraid; and the third time, they were too old. He was a smart man and made a million dollars as an entrepreneur. If he were alive today in the current economic landscape, I can imagine him telling me to generate multiple income streams, in order to prepare for the eventuality of job loss and outdated career skills.

The individual who has planned ahead for job loss and has developed other income sources, may take loss of a job as an opportunity to focus on other streams and develop new ones. Here are 11 clever tips that will help you be that person.

1. Don’t quit your day job (yet)

You may dream of striking out on your own, but you do have to eat and keep a roof over your head. Begin your other income streams gradually, one at a time, until you have enough income to at least replace what you are earning now.

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2. Identify what you have passions for

Find out what specific skills and talents you have and then do some research about what income streams are available for you. Here’s a case in point: A friend of mine was quite a successful mortgage underwriter, but began to have concerns about the industry quite a while before it collapsed in 2008. She was also a skilled pianist, and decided to use that skill to generate another income source. She began to work for a music school evenings and weekends – teaching keyboard classes to young children and taking on private students as well. She saved all of her second income and, over time, was able to rent a small space for her own studio. Ultimately, she lost her underwriting position, and took her show “on the road,” marketing her teaching skills to day care centers who were thrilled to have someone come in during the day and teach music classes. Today, she has a huge day care business, with two other teachers working for her, and maintains her studio as well, not to mention that she has also taken a position as a church music director. One talent – 3 income streams! Now that the housing market has begun to pick up, she also freelances as an underwriter for two small mortgage companies. A busy lady, but one who loves the variety.

3. Acquire new skills

E-business is a wonderful thing, and there are so many ways to make money online. Take some online or evening courses in web and graphic design, or read some SEO tips to get started with your own online business and website. World Web is opened for you – find some peculiar skills you would like to develop. Check online for matches between your skills and talents and income opportunities, to determine viability and demand for your current skills or those you intend to acquire.

4. Determine your market

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    Who wants or needs what you have to sell? This may take a bit of research, but you can visit freelance sites and quickly discover what services are in demand for freelancers. If you have product(s), who will want to buy them? Part of making money quickly is to locate potential customers as quickly and cheaply as possible, insert yourself (and your product) into that market.

    5. Start marketing your service or product

    This may be the most difficult endeavor. If your skill or product will be sold locally, you go to potential consumers and sell yourself or that product. If, however, you are looking for consumers online, your activities will be very different. If you are not an online marketing specialist/expert, getting help from a professional will be money well invested. If you have some expertise and the time, look at the marketing strategies that successful online businesses use and emulate them.

    6. Set up a blog, a website, and social media accounts

    Whether your business is local or more widespread, you need these things. At a local level, you can spend lots of money placing ads in mailers or getting a few radio slots; you can distribute flyers and place an ad on Craigslist. But people are tech savvy and mobile – they tend to throw mailings and flyers away. You have to “meet” them where they are, and that is online. If you are uncertain about how to start a blog, check out the numerous free help guides on the web. You can do so many things with a blog. Of course, you will provide great information and education about services and products related to your business. You can link your blog to all of your social media accounts (you must have these) and to your website (you must have one).

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    Once you have your blog, website, and social media accounts, drive people to your website by offering freebies – a sample, an e-book, etc. You will get their email addresses and this grows your email list, steadily and efficiently. Offer to give webinars or face-to-face seminars related to your services. This may serve two purposes – either obtaining new clients or, as your business grows, bringing in others to work for and with you. On your website or on your blog, run a survey, and find out what your potential/actual customers still want or need. Use the results to expand what you offer.

    7. Embrace the power of networking

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      Join a local business networking organization of your Chamber of Commerce. You can develop contacts with other business owners and set up mutual referral activities. Members in these groups come from all types of businesses, organizations, and enterprises, and when their customers are looking for what you offer, they will refer you. Of course, you will do the same thing for them.

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      8. Set up both active and passive income streams.

      There are only so many hours in a day. If you are still working a “day job,” you may only be able to develop one or two other streams in which you must play an active role. But part of security in income is developing passive income sources as well. If you have some additional cash to invest, look for safe and reliable places to invest for a return. Several years ago, I placed money with a real estate investor who purchased foreclosures for rental property. I do nothing but receive a monthly check based upon rental incomes from the properties he and I partner on. He takes care of leasing, maintenance and repair, takes a percentage of the income for that, and I get the rest.

      9. Get help from others

      Use the experience of those who have successful streams of income. Learn how they began and how they grew their streams over time. To get started I would advise browsing Pat Flying’s Smart Passive Income blog and podcasts and Tim Ferris’ iconic book and blog – the Four Hour Workweek. Need more guidance? There are plenty of mentors and business coaches available online these days. Just make sure you have read reviews about them or talked to someone using their services.

      10. Do not be afraid to ask

      Ask current customers for referrals, testimonials, and to act as references to potential customers/clients. Satisfied customers with whom you have developed a good relationship will usually be happy to do these things. Pay for them to join Angie’s list and write good reviews about your services/products.

      11. Sell Ads

      As you gain popularity on social media and through your blog and website, sell advertising on your blog and/or site for related businesses. There are some hugely popular bloggers who have a lucrative income from their advertising. Contact related businesses and enterprises and offer paid ads on your website, blog and social media accounts. The more popular your online presences become, the more people will want to advertise with you and establish long-term partnership.

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      Elena Prokopets

      Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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      Last Updated on August 20, 2019

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      Finances can push anyone to the point of extreme anxiety and worry. Easier said than done, planning finances is not an egg meant for everyone’s basket. And that’s why most of us are often living pay check to pay check. But did anyone tell you that it is actually not a tough task to meet your financial goals?

      In this article, we will explore ways on how to set financial goals and then actually meet them with ease.

      5 Steps to Set Financial Goals

      Though setting financial goals might seem to be a daunting task but if one has the will and clarity of thought, it is rather easy. Try using these steps:

      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

      Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream. And this couldn’t be more true for financial matters.

      It is often said that savings is nothing but deferred consumption. Therefore if you are saving today, then you should be crystal clear about what it is for. It could be anything like kid’s education, retirement, marriage, that dream vacation, fancy car etc.

      Once the objective is clear, put a monetary value to that objective and the time frame. The important point at this step of goal setting is to list all the objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to it.

      2. Keep Them Realistic

      It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, going out of the line will definitely hurt your chances of achieving them.

      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic in nature for it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout the journey.

      3. Account for Inflation

      Ronald Reagan once said – “Inflation is as violent as a mugger, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hitman”. And this quote sums up the best what inflation could do your financial goals.

      Therefore account for inflation whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far away in the future.

      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years hence, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is mere 3%. So always account for inflation.

      4. Short Term vs Long Term

      Just like every calorie is not the same, the approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same. It is important to bifurcate goals in short term and long term.

      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal, which is due in next 3 years should be termed as short term goal. Any longer duration goals are to be classified as long term goals. This bifurcation of goals into short term vs long term will help in choosing the right investment instrument to achieve them.

      More on this later when we talk about how to achieve financial goals.

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      5. To Each to His Own

      The journey of setting financial goals is an individualistic affair i.e. your goals are your own goals and are determined by your want to achieve them. A lot of times we get on the bandwagon of goal setting only to realize later on that it was not meant for us.

      It is important that your goals are actually your goals and not inspired by someone else. Take a hard look at this step at all the goals you’ve set for after this step, you will be on the way to achieve them.

      By now, you would be ready with your financial goals, now it’s time to go all out and achieve them.

      11 Ways to Achieve Your Financial Goals

      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a 2 step process –

      • Ensuring healthy savings
      • Making smart investments

      You will need to save enough; and invest those savings wisely so that they grow over a period of time to help you achieve goals. So let’s get down to ensuring healthy savings.

      Ensuring Healthy Savings

      Self realization is the best form of realisation and unless you decide what your current financial position is, you aren’t heading anywhere.

      This is the focal point from where you start your journey of achieving financial goals.

      1. Track Expenses

      The first and the foremost thing to be done is to track your monthly expenses. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you would be surprised to see how small expenses add up to a sizeable amount.

      Also categorize those expenses into different bucket so that you know which bucket is eating the most of your pay check. This record keeping will pave the way for cutting down on un-wanted expenses and pump up your savings rate.

      2. Pay Yourself First

      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classical mistake which almost everyone of us do. We pay ourselves last!

      Ideally, this should be planned upside down. We should be paying ourselves first and then to the world i.e. we should be taking out the planned saving amount first and then manage all the expenses from the rest.

      The best way to actually implement is to put the savings on automatic mode i.e. money flowing automatically into different financial instruments (for example – mutual funds, retirement corpus etc) every month.

      Taking the automatic route will make us lose control of our money and hence will compel us to manage in what’s left with us thereby increasing the savings rate.

      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick with It

      Budgeting is the best to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be made.

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      Nowadays, several money management apps and wallets can help you do this automatically. It’s easy and who knows, you may just end up doing what people fail to do.

      At first, you may not be able to stick to your plans completely but don’t let that become a reason why you stop budgeting entirely.

      Make use of technology solutions you like. Explore options and alternatives that let you make use of the available wallet options and choose the one that suits you the most. In time, you will get accustomed to making use of these solutions.

      You will find that they make it simpler for you to follow your plan, which would have been difficult otherwise.

      4. Rise Again Even If You Fall

      Let’s be realistic. It’s not like the world will come to an end if you made one mistake. This isn’t called leniency but discipline.

      If you fail to meet your budget for a month, don’t give up the entire effort just like that. Instead, start again.

      Remember that flexible plans are the most realistic plans. So go forward and try to follow your financial goals as planned but if for some reason, the plan gets out of hand for you, do not give up on it just yet. This has a lot to do with your psychology rather than any material commitment.

      All you have to do is to stay on the road and vow to stay on it, no matter how much you fall down.

      5. Make Savings a Habit and Not a Goal

      In the book Nudge, authors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein advocate that in order to achieve any goal, it should be broken down into habits since habits are more intuitive for people to adapt to.

      Make Savings a habit rather than a goal. While it might seem to be counter intuitive to many but there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

      Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Usually weekends are expensive. Make it a habit and you would in turn be saving a great deal.

      If you are travelling buff, try to travel during off season. Your outlay will be much less.

      If you go out for shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

      So the key point is to imbibe the action that results in savings rather than on the savings itself, which is the outcome. Focusing on the outcome will bring out the feeling of sacrifice which will be harder to sustain over a period of time.

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      6. Talk About It

      Sticking to the saving schedule (to achieve financial goals) is not an easy journey. There will be many distractions from those who are not aligned with your mission. And it would be rather easy to lose the grip over your discipline.

      Therefore in order to stay the course, it is advisable that you keep yourself surrounded with people who are also on the same bandwagon. Daily discussions with them will keep you motivated to move forward.

      7. Maintain a Journal

      For some people, writing helps a great deal in making sure that they achieve what they plan.

      So if you are one of them, maintain a proper journal, where you write down your goals and also jot down the extent to which you managed to meet them. This will help you in reviewing how far you have come and which goals you have met.

      Use this journal to write down all essential points such as your short term, mid term and long term goals, your current sources of income, your regular expenses which you are aware of and any committed expenses which are of recurring nature.

      When you have a written commitment on paper, you are going to feel more energised to follow the plan and stick to it. Moreover, it is going to be a lot more easier for you to follow you and track your progress.

      At this point, you should be ready with your financial goals and would be doing brilliantly with savings; now it’s time to talk about the big daddy – Investments.

      Making Smart Investments

      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However savings when invested wisely can do wonders and we are at that stage where we will talk about making smart investments.

      8. Consult a Financial Advisor

      Investments doesn’t come naturally to most of us therefore rather than dabbling with it ourselves, it is wise to consult a financial advisor.

      Talk to him/her about your financial goals and savings and then seek advice for the best investment instruments to achieve your goals.

      9. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about them.

      Just like “no one is born a criminal”, no investment instrument is bad or good. It is the application of that instrument that makes all the difference.

      Do you remember we talked about bifurcating financial goals in short term and long term?

      It is here where that classification will help.

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      So as a general rule, for all your short term financial goals, choose an investment instrument that has debt nature for example fixed deposits, debt mutual funds etc. The reason for going for debt instruments is that chances of capital loss is less as compared to equity instruments.

      10. Compounding Is the Eighth Wonder

      Einstein once remarked about compounding,

      Compound Interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… He who doesn’t… Pays it.

      So make friends with this wonder kid. And sooner you become friends with it, quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

      Start investing early so that time is on your side to help you bear the fruits of compounding.

      11. Measure, Measure, Measure

      All of us do good when it comes to earning more per month but fail miserably when it comes to measuring the investments; taking stock of how our investments are doing.

      If there is one single step where everything (so far) can go wrong, it is at this step – Measuring the Progress.

      If we don’t measure the progress timely, then we would be shooting in the dark. We wouldn’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not; whether financial advisor is doing a decent job; whether we are moving closer to our target or not.

      Do measure everything. If you can’t measure it all yourself, ask your financial advisor to do it for you. But do it!

      The Bottom Line

      This completes the list of tips for you to set financial goals and actually achieve them with not so great difficulty.

      As you can see, all it requires is discipline. But guess that’s the most difficult part!

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      Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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