Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Show me the money!

Multiple streams of income.

That's a phrase that has resonated in my head for a number of years. It's absolutely a solid idea. You have a number of sources of income coming in, and that means that if you happen to unexpectedly lose one, you have other places to turn for income.

Sounds simple in theory. Putting it to practical application in your life may well be another. Time constraints are a factor, the amount of work you have to do to generate that additional revenue may be another. The ideal is something that you set up, have very little maintenance to perform, and just sit back and collect the money. Realistic? I haven't found one yet.

I currently have two sources of income. My day job, and another website that I operate. On that site, which I prefer to keep separate from this, I don't sell anything. Revenue is generating from Google Adsense, occasional advertising from people who approach me, affiliate sales, and a couple PBS-style "fundraisers" that I do during the year to raise funds and reward the work I put into the site. However, this isn't close to a full-time venture, though I'd like it to be. I spend a couple hours on that site each morning, and in total bring in anywhere between $100 and $300 a month on a regular basis, but my last fundraiser brought me a significantly larger sum in one month. I didn't start out with the intention of making money from that site, it's more of a passion, a little money is a nice side benefit.

I'd like to do more. Obviously, if I lose my day job, I'm not going to be able to support myself and pay my bills based on the website. The amounts are unbalanced. I need a couple more sources of income. More websites come to mind, but you've seen my track record in updating this one, so time is a factor.

What are some ways of creating multiple income streams:

Get a second job

Create a side business that generates regular income

If you have some money, you can have income from interest, dividends and investments...

I'm stumped after that. The second one would be the most realistic for someone in my position, but I wouldn't be able to spend a whole lot time on it. Then I have to come up with the idea. If it's something I enjoy doing already, then all the better, because I'm going to keep up with it.

I'll need to think about this more.


Neville said...

I recently had a post on my blog about a family friend who bought a Lamborghini.

This guy has only "side" incomes. He is all over the place in business, starting up a small gym here, a storage facility there etc.

So far he's had side incomes from:
-Storage facilities
-Rental Properties
-Car Washes
-Angel investing
-Day care centers
-Various franchises

He generally starts the business up, gets someone to run it so he doesn't have to deal with it, then sells if he gets a good offer. Many of his businesses just linger around while he collects the income!

Melanie said...

This is one of those "time to read Rich Dad Porr Dad" moments but I won't evanglicize...

One great way to produce a side income is through rental properties - houses, plexes, small complexes - whatever you can afford.

Another is small automated businesses - landromats are a great starter, because you can get in for cheap. Read your newspaper's biz opps ads, or go to businessbroker.ner,, or any other similar sites. Contacting a business broker in your area is also a good idea - give him/her your budget and your needs and they can find something for you.

Another, lesser-used idea is intellectual property. If you're creative, get something (music, articles, a book) out there and either sell it or license it. If you're technical, and you've always been saying "wouldn't it be cool if..." design that product, and license it to someone who can produce it.

Other options in terms of paper assets include more aggressive forms of investing, like calls, puts, and short sales that can reap big rewards if you're willing to be much riskier.

There's no shortage of ways to generate passive income, and many don't take any money at all! I've been reading your blog for a while and I think it would be totally awesome to see you be able to 'retire' on passive income.

Good luck!

B said...

Thanks Neville and Melanie.

Another old adage in a lot of cases is that "you have to spend money to make money".

The money I have save is my "emergency fund" right now.

The intellectual idea is something I'm working on with my other website, and I do make a little off of that. I'd like to repeat what I have and make there four more times...