Multiple income streams and how they can help you as a business owner
Last week I went back to being a tour guide on a bicycle in Valencia, after a break of two years. Tourists are back! I am planning to do one or two tours a week alongside being a business coach. Why? I strongly believe having multiple income streams is not a sign of business failure, but a conscious decision to create balance and joy in your life, and staying curious. Unless you are stacking shelves at the supermarket out of pure necessity and you hate it with a vengeance, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a portfolio of jobs and businesses. In fact, having multiple income streams can really help you in a number of ways. Here’s why.
I like variety, and being involved in different activities that generate income, for me, is a no-brainer. The tour guiding gets me away from my desk, keeps me fit, and also energises me. Making people happy by showing them around my beautiful city, is so much fun! (and the tips at the end give you that nice happy glow).
I am fully dedicated to growing my creative coaching business, absolutely. But I believe I am able to help more people in a better way, when I am involved in different things, not just sit at my laptop 8 hours a day. After a few days of just staring at a screen, I always start to feel irritated, stressed and less focused. My body craves that break.
A job on the side is more than just income
Some people have the discipline to do yoga first thing when they get up, or go for a 5 mile walk at lunchtime each day. I am someone who needs a little kick up the back side to get into action, and being needed at a certain time to cycle tourists around for three hours, works for me. And I earn some money, while I am at it. The income from the tour guiding job is not as much as I earn with my own business, but I look at it this way: it pays for my monthly business fees, plus it gives me much needed exercise and happy hormones for my brain. That is time well spent, in my opinion.
A job on the side can also help you to feel less lonely as an entrepreneur. Many freelancers and sole traders know how hard it is to always do everything on your own, not having colleagues, and spending all day at home. Having a small job or other source of income that gets you out of your office space, and lets you see other people, be in the community, and make yourself useful in a different capacity, can be so helpful.
For me, it means having a laugh with colleagues, finding the camaraderie I yearn for as a freelancer, and generally feeling happy to be outdoors, moving my body and talking to actual people. When I return to my laptop the next day, or sometimes that same afternoon, I feel more alive and ready to work on my business again.
A ‘job on the side’ could be anything, really. Whatever you feel drawn to. It could be working in the local craft bakery on Saturdays. It could mean teaching something to kids or adults (languages, art, photography, dance, whatever else you can teach with your box of talents!) once a week. If you don’t care about being financially rewarded, you could also choose to help out as a volunteer. It can be so satisfying to help out in the community, such as spending time with the elderly to combat loneliness, walking dogs at the local shelter, or perhaps reading stories to children at the library. There are so many options.
Getting yourself involved in the community or taking on a small job will open your mind and often lead you to new opportunities and insights. You never know who you will meet tomorrow, teaching you valuable knowledge, sharing their contacts or even giving you business. Growing your network does not happen behind closed doors.
Passive income as another ingredient
Creating a portfolio of income sources can be fun and creative, and can help you to feel both happier and secure. Not everything has to be ‘active’ though; creating passive income is another way of adding to the mix. Because having multiple income streams also creates financial security. And that is helpful, when business is slow – which happens to most of us at some points in the year. It prevents you from panicking when the feasting is over, and the famine appears.
I have money coming in each month from a number of directions: I have passive income (my e-books and affiliate links), income through copywriting jobs, income as a tour guide – and of course, I have my coaching clients. (I even get paid for singing sometimes, when I play live with my band).
Does it not get too busy with all of these commitments? Yes, sometimes. And that is the only thing I would say: protect your schedule. Don’t say yes to everything.
Check in with yourself regularly whether you are still in balance, or whether you need to let go of something to create more time in your diary and space in your head. The ‘job on the side’ should be just that: a little extra. To help you stay mentally or physically healthy, and to add to your financial security. But set clear boundaries. Your business has priority. If you feel at any point, that you want to spend more time working on your business, than do that. If the extra job is making you more tired than energised, then it is time to let it go.
But please don’t feel you are failing at business because you (still) do something else on the side to help you pay the bills. It is all good. It is your life. It is your choice. You design your working week the way you want it to be. You are amazing! Multiple income streams are also not a sign of ‘being all over the place’ or having to make ends meet.
For me, it is a sign of freedom to do what I love, and the ultimate way of being creative in life, and being rewarded for it.
What about you? Do you have multiple income streams? A job on the side which you like and combines well with your business?
Book a free 30-minute call with me if you are looking to work with a creative business coach to help you grow your business, create multiple income streams, plan out your marketing strategy and more.