Today I have an awesome post written by my friend Alexa. She talks a lot about side hustles, so don’t forget to click on over to her blog. Enjoy!
Imagine that you walk into work tomorrow only to be told that due to company downsizing your position has been eliminated.
Your last day will be two weeks from now and unfortunately the company isn’t offering any severance packages. This comes to you as complete and utter shock. You have no backup plan.
What are you going to do?
If you are a regular reader of Making Sense of Cents then you are already aware of the advantages of diversifying your income. Just look at Michelle, she is making an insane amount of income, all on top of her regular day job. If she loses one of these income streams she’ll be fine living on the other.
The other great thing is that even her side income is diversified. So, if she loses one revenue stream of side income she can work on increasing all the others to make up for the difference.
When your income is diversified you are building a safety net. If for some reason you lose your day job or get your hours cut back, you can rely on other income sources that you have built up. It’s a beautiful thing!
Here are a few basic steps to help you diversify your income:
#1 Start Small
A lot of us are in awe of the success Michelle has built for herself. Who wouldn’t want $10,000 + in extra income? I know I sure would. But, Michelle did not build her business over night. It has taken her a few years to get where she is. She has put in a massive amount of time and hard work. You have to do that, too.
I have been working on increasing my side income since November of 2012. I have experimented with different ideas and finally found two that I now actively pursue. The last couple of months I have only brought in $300 – $500 in extra income.
But that’s an extra $300 – $500 that I didn’t have six months ago! I know with time and hard work I will continue to see my side income grow.
#2 Focus on One Thing at a Time
One of my biggest problems is keeping focused on one endeavor long enough to make it profitable. I have so many ideas that I want to try and sometimes it’s hard to keep my mind from wandering. If you spread yourself too thin you won’t get the results you want.
I have finally come to terms with the fact that I need to focus. I have set income goals for myself for freelance writing and blogging. Once I meet my freelance writing goal I will work more on blogging. Once I reach my blogging goal I will then and only then think off adding another income source.
Related: How To Increase Your Income – 30+ Ways To Make Extra Money
#3 Don’t Give Up
There are no get rich quick tactics. Depending on what you do for side income it can take a long time to build it up to where you want it. Always keep the end goal in mind. There will be days when you feel like you are treading on water and will never make any progress. But, if you stick with it you will make progress.
Study different people who are currently successful at what you want to do. Learn as much as you can and put what you learn into action. You may have to fail quite a few times before you finally succeed. There’s nothing wrong with that though. If you aren’t rejected at least a couple of times then you really aren’t trying hard enough!
In the end all of the time and hard work you put into your side hustles will really pay off. You’ll be able to build up a safety net for when the unexpected comes up and you’ll have started a business that you can be proud of!
Alexa is a newly single mother learning the ropes of making it on her own. She is currently on a mission to increase her side income by freelance writing. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at Single Moms Income.
Are you diversified with your income? Why or why not?
Miss Entrepreneurette says
Great tips! I have trouble focusing on one thing at a time too. Maybe that’s why I’m working on growing an online store AND building up my freelance design work at the same time. But I’m taking #3 to heart and not giving up! It definitely takes time to see success and in a world of instant gratification, it can be tough!
Marissa @ Thirty Six Months says
You are not alone! I easily get bored if I only focus on one thing at a time, thus, I do different stuff for different clients.
Thomas | Your Daily Finance says
I am amazed how many people want to go from 0 to 10k in a month. I like the part about focus and hardwork. Some think there are short cuts and are always looking for the secret. There’s no secret you have to just focus and pound away. Some will get there faster than others but don’t quit. I have to agree that you need to make one thing work first and after that you move to the next. Trying 18 things at once wont get you far.
I think I am pretty diversified. I am working on adding online income, real estate to what we currently already have. Even with online income it will come from different sources so if one gets blown up I still have others. Its the best way to roll.
This is something I want to focus on! I’d love to have a small amount of side hustle income each month. Thanks for the tips Alexa!
DC @ Young Adult Money says
I think diversifying your income HAS to have a long-term approach. Especially if you are building side income, you definitely need to just stick with it. I have started to make money on my blog but didn’t make a dime the first 6 months. Sticking with it was definitely the right choice.
I’ll admit it. I’ve definitely had a few pity parties over the fact that I’m not bring in any “extra” money, and Michelle’s over here killing it. And then I remember that I’m not doing *anything* to earn extra money. (I have a FT job and a season PT with the same awful company; so if I were to lose my job, I’d likely lose both at the same time.)
And then I try to do a million things at once to earn “extra” money, or diversify my income, and fail at them all. I need to read and re-read Tip #2 daily (and maybe tips #1 and #3, too!) so that I can back to this post in a year and boast about my 4-figure “extra” income 🙂
Andy | Income by Example says
I agree with what Thomas said and this entire post. They are three really big, important points to remember. I started small with a micro ebook business that brings in a little residual income per month and I can choose to scale it or move on to another project. I have so many in mind but if you try to go in many directions at once, you end up going nowhere 🙂
Great tips, Alexa! I’m currently not working too hard on diversifying my income yet, but will keep in mind the words you just shared whenever I do decide that I’m ready to go down that road.
kelly @stayingonbudget says
Great article and tips as I am getting into my own side hustle. I would love to have $10k in side hustle income but I know it’s not going to be for a little while.
Great job and keep up the great work!
Jason B says
Very good article. Those are some great tips.
Laurie @thefrugalfarmer says
Great tips, Alexa! We are in the process of forming multiple streams of income too, so that our family always has some type of income coming in throughout several forms. It’s a great way to make money.
Adam @ Debts & Dollars says
Oh I’m definitely guilty of spreading myself thin with ideas. I can sniff out a profitable keyword for niche websites pretty easily but then the thrill of the initial hunt takes over and then I have another idea for another website and so on. Eventually I have like 20 domain names for potential products that never get published because I managed to overwhelm myself.
I’ve pulled back quite a bit this year from spreading myself so thin that nothing gets accomplished but I could certainly use more work in that department because I have my moments of relapse.
Great post, Alexa! Diversifying our income makes sense on saving up money before losing a job. And adding other sources of income while you’re employed in a company that will help you to save money for the future of your family.
Pauline @ Make Money Your Way says
Great tips, I like the idea of building a new stream at a time, get confident, automate and move on with the next. If one dries up you have many backup plans.
I am really diversified with my income, however, I have so much going on that it can be hard to focus. I really need to improve on #2 in August 🙂
Travis @debtchronicles says
Between my wife and I, we hold 4 jobs. She has two, and I have two (blogging is one of them). This has proven to be very useful just TODAY as I was informed that everyone in my area is being forced to take a week off at 1/3 the pay to help cut labor costs. While it still hurts, having all those other income sources will soften the blow!
My blog just manages to pay for my internet connection at this point, and I am fine with that. I am not really trying to create a large income stream. I am more about trying to share my knowledge with other people.
Good post about the work it takes to create and maintain a successful blog. I think the word perseverance best describes the work involved.
Gices Abraham says
If you read the horror stories of people who have been relying on Adsense and then have their account banned, you will then know the importance of diversifying your income.
This is why it pays to look to the future as a “side hustle millionaire” in training in going from “employee to entrepreneur,” and “employee to side hustle millionaire.” 🙂