extra-income-streamEvery entrepreneur who has started a small business goes through periods in their business known as “ebbs and flows”.   This is really when they need that extra income stream, especially when they are starting out. Often when an employee decided to hang out their own shingle, or go independent, their first customer is pre-arranged or what caused them to dangle their toes over the edge in the first place. One gets tired of someone else owning their life, and they finally decide to start out on their own. My personal story needs to be saved for a discussion over coffee, rather than a blog posting – everyone’s got one.

Additional customers after the first one or two are secured, and working through our connections may become a tougher road. We yearn for that extra income stream, although we may not know it yet. We might explore the world of marketing; that is of course unless that was our field in the first place. I remember vividly trying to figure out how I would sell or advertise the Architect Boot Camp.   I did a web search and the next thing you know, I was buying an online course and was thrown into the field of internet marketing.

Over the years, I’ve met many entrepreneurs who had a dream of opening their own little bakery, their designer clothes boutique, their social media management company – you name it. They wanted an extra income stream, but really just own their own job. Some may have created really good business plans, and others might have been optimistic. The section that we complete that outlines where we’ll reach our customers is often somewhat of an educated guess as well as some detailed research that we can’t be sure of. Sometimes the rent on our storefront goes up, or our business service landscape changes.

If you were designing graphical ads for the newspaper between 2005 and 2008, I’d bet that your market has changed and you either found new customers, or you have changed your service offerings. You may have researched passive income streams at this point while you searched for your new job.

So what do you do to protect yourself and maintain your entrepreneurial dream? Enter the magic words “income stream”. Multiple income streams, passive income – whatever you call it – you need to have a safety net. Entrepreneurs like to hear about different business growth strategies, and are often tempted but keep their eyes focused on their original path. Sometimes, this is to their own demise.

If we want to keep ourselves in business, and owning our own life, there will be a point where the need for some type of passive income, or leveraged income is necessary. Passive income comes when we have investments, or perhaps we’ve dipped our toes in the real estate market, and we have a monthly cheque coming in because we took a risk and created a business system or model where someone rents property for us, and we have services or employees to maintain it.

Charities, associations and small groups are often looking for fundraising opportunities, and they typically go to the same well, over and over again to have their members and their friends buy goods or possibly services and a company will give them a kick back for their sale. Take the grocery gift card example, or perhaps the voucher or coupon book. This is money we “may” have spent anyways, so it is a win-win. I’ve dabbled in multiple types of passive income, including the start with my books and information products. Recently I was interviewed on the subject of another type of income stream I’ve added to my business, check out my contact page, fill it in and I’ll tell you all about it