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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can imagine him telling me to generate multiple income streams, in order to prepare for the eventuality of job loss and outdated career skills.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 September 2, 2020

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      How to Set Financial Goals and Actually Meet Them

      Personal 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. 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 to set financial goals and actually meet them with ease.

      4 Steps to Setting Financial Goals

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

      1. Be Clear About the Objectives

      Any goal 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’s for. It could be anything, including your child’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 that you foresee in the future and put a value to each.

      2. Keep Goals 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 beyond what you can realistically achieve will definitely hurt your chances of making meaningful progress.

      It’s important that you keep your goals realistic, as 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.” This quote sums up what inflation could do your financial goals.

      Therefore, account for inflation[1] whenever you are putting a monetary value to a financial objective that is far into the future.

      For example, if one of your financial goal is your son’s college education, which is 15 years from now, then inflation would increase the monetary burden by more than 50% if inflation is a mere 3%. Always account for this to avoid falling short of your goals.

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      4. Short Term Vs Long Term

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

      As a rule of thumb, any financial goal that is due in next 3 years should be termed as a 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.

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

      How to Achieve Your Financial Goals

      Whenever we talk about chasing any financial goal, it is usually a two-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.

      Ensuring Healthy Savings

      Self-realization is the best form of realization, 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 spending. Use any of the expense tracking mobile apps to record your expenses. Once you start doing it diligently, you will be surprised by how small expenses add up to a sizable amount.

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

      If you’re not sure where to start when tracking expenses, this article may be able to help.

      2. Pay Yourself First

      Generally, savings come after all the expenses have been taken care of. This is a classic mistake when setting financial goals. We pay ourselves last!

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      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 manage all the expenses from the rest.

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

      Taking the automatic route will help release some control and compel us to manage what’s left, increasing the savings rate.

      3. Make a Plan and Vow to Stick With It

      Learning to create a budget is the best way to get around the uncertainty that financial plans always pose. Decide in advance how spending has to be organized

      Nowadays, several money management apps can help you do this automatically.

      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. 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 counterintuitive to many, there are some deft ways of doing it. For example:

      • Always eat out (if at all) during weekdays rather than weekends. Weekends are more expensive.
      • If you are a travel buff, try to travel during off-season. You’ll spend significantly less.
      • If you go shopping, always look out for coupons and see where can you get the best deal.

      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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      5. 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.

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

      6. Maintain a Journal

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

      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.

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

      Making Smart Investments

      Savings by themselves don’t take anyone too far. However, savings, when invested wisely, can do wonders.

      1. Consult a Financial Advisor

      Investment doesn’t come naturally to most of us, so it’s 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.

      2. Choose Your Investment Instrument Wisely

      Though your financial advisor will suggest the best investment instruments, it doesn’t hurt to know a bit about the common ones, like a savings account, Roth IRA, and others.

      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[2].

      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 compared to equity instruments.

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      3. 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.”

      Use compound interest when setting financial goals

        Make friends with this wonder kid. The sooner you become friends with it, the quicker you will reach closer to your financial goals.

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

        4. 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 and taking stock of how our investments are doing.

        If we don’t measure progress at the right times, we are shooting in the dark. We won’t know if our saving rate is appropriate or not, whether the financial advisor is doing a decent job, or whether we are moving closer to our target.

        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

        Managing your extra money to achieve your short and long-term financial goals

        and live a debt-free life is doable for anyone who is willing to put in the time and effort. Use the tips above to get you started on your path to setting financial goals.

        More Tips on Financial Goals

        Featured photo credit: Micheile Henderson via unsplash.com

        Reference

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