I’ve always been interested in diversifying my income and the pursuit of passive income. But while I had an interest in these things my ideas for achieving them used to be off-the-wall-crazy.
I can now look back and laugh at some of the things I tried and reflect on some of the things that worked.
When it comes to income diversification I’ve now pinpointed what’s worked the best for me and I think it can be a huge help to you, too.
It all comes down to one principle:
Make Your Income Sources Parallel to Each Other
Or, in other words build income sources off of each other.
Let me tell you how it’s worked for me so you can get a good idea. In 2012 I was an insurance agent. I was very good at getting people the best rates and understanding laws and limitations. What I was not good at was selling. My introverted personality didn’t quite lend itself to cold calling or anything of that nature. Due to this, earning commission on top of my hourly rate didn’t work out too well.
Instead of my beating myself up over it I started thinking about how I could use all of the insurance knowledge I had obtained to earn money elsewhere. I eventually came up with the idea that I could write articles for the blogs of various insurance companies for money.
I started pitching companies via email and had a ton of success. Before I knew it I had all the writing assignments from insurance companies that I wanted.
In the meantime I started my own blog and chronicled the process of getting these writing jobs. On the blog I also talked about personal finances. This led me to getting writing jobs in the personal finance field as well.
I kept on writing at my personal blog and it began to grow. Within a year I was earning at least $1,000 per month from my blog plus getting paid to write. This led me to quit my day job.
Fast forward a couple more years and I was making over double what I had from the insurance job and had several streams of income. Now, this year, I should at least triple that additional income and have five solid streams of income, a few of which are passive and require very little work from me.
When I look back it’s easy to see how one thing led to another and I was able to diversify. (Despite the fact I kept trying crazy ideas that I wasn’t that interested in and knew nothing about.)
Start with What You Know
If you’re looking to diversify your income start with what you know and figure out a unique way to apply that knowledge or skillset in a new area.
- If you work retail and are paid by the hour ask if you can get set up with some type of commission based goal on top of your regular pay.
- If you work for a flower shop consider offering landscaping services on the side. (Be sure to get the okay from your boss!)
- If you’re teacher consider selling some of your study material on TeacherspayTeachers.com.
- If you’re a cook consider making videos and putting them on YouTube.
Once you take that first step and find a way to break into an industry that is parallel to what you’re already doing you’ll find that a ton of different opportunities will present themselves over time.
Expand Over Time
One of my biggest mistakes was trying to do too much at once. It led to lackluster results in every area.
If I had instead focused my efforts on getting one idea off the ground and mastered before moving on to the next I’d be in a much better place right now.
While diversifying your income is very possible (and something you should definitely try if you’re interested in) it’s not something that happens overnight.
Once you’ve chosen a field to break into that’s parallel to what you already do or know about you need to take the time to put that idea into motion and get it working the way you want it to. Once you have that mastered then you can move on the next thing if you wish.