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Entrepreneurs And Income Streams

August 21st, 2008

I have a bunch of neighbors and friends who own their own business.  Of course, yesterday, I made the case (again) that YOU own your own business, and are CEO of Me, Inc, but these are people who really don’t work for “The Man” and have a real, legal company.

I’ll focus on the ones who are in financial pain right now: those involved in house stuff… real estate, mortgage and construction.

Try and tell them we’re not in a recession.  Whether the country is in a recession or not, they are in a personal recession!

Yesterday I wrote I Have Good News And Bad News: You ARE An Entrepreneur, and asked the question:

Is your income diversified enough (to minimize risk)?

This totally applies to you, no matter where your main paycheck comes from.  Here’s an example of how that works with my real estate buddies.  Assume you are a realtor right now, and have had a bunch of strong years, with great income.

But now, the market dropped out from under you, and your income went away.  What else can you do?

When I was newly married I sold restaurant cards.  You’ve probably bought coupon books, about an inch thick, with all kinds of coupons on savings for all kinds of products and services… it was kind of like that.  Except these cards where only for one restaurant, and had 10 or 15 free meals and appetizers.  It was a screaming deal, and I sold a bunch of them for $20/each.  I got to keep $10, and the guy who ran the company got the other $10.

What if a realtor, who understands sales, and relationships, and business, and is not afraid to talk to a restaurant owner or manager, starts a side business.  He doesn’t need to sell the cards (he could hire high school kids or friends who want to make a buck to sell them, and get an override on each sale), although it’s good and easy money (any money is good when your income is $0).

Think about this – you set up a business, manage it in a hands-off way, get a thousand bucks (or more) each month… that is a new revenue stream.

You know what’s interesting?  The realtor is an entrepreneur, isn’t he?  If times are slow, and one income stream is slowing (or cut off), why now look at other revenue streams?

This applies to EVERYONE… whether you have a job or not, whether you own your own business or not… you need to think about multiple streams of income.

What are YOU doing to ensure your main income stream is not your ONLY income stream?

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4 Responses to “Entrepreneurs And Income Streams”

  1. I think diversifying income is a great way to stay afloat right now. Another way is to continually underpromise and overdeliver at work. If you make yourself indispensible, it’s a lot harder for your boss to let you go!

  2. Norman Reiss says:

    This is such an important point, whether we choose full time employment or owning our own business. I’ve been aware of this concept for a while (also see Robert Allen’s book, Multiple Streams of Income), but it’s been hard to implement.

  3. I call it having a “Portfolio Career”!

  4. [...] have repeatedly blogged/talked about multiple streams of income, and have told people that I have 5 main revenue streams.  So I decided to write [...]

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