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If You Have One Income Stream, You’ll Always Be Struggling

by | Dec 27, 2023 | Income Streams, Money

Celine Dion ruled the 90s.

The Titanic movie blew up and her song became an anthem. Karaoke bars still play it today and idiots like me try to sing it.

All the success helped Celine make $480m. Not a bad effort. In 2016 she lost her husband, so she had to raise her three boys alone. And more recently, she was diagnosed with “stiff person syndrome.”

There’s no cure.

Your whole body gets stiff and eventually you can’t move. Not much different to being dead. This illness ended Celine’s concert career in places like Vegas. Now she gets around in a wheelchair.

Her multiple income streams didn’t save her from losing her husband. It hasn’t stopped the debilitating disease that’ll kill her, either.

Money can’t stop tragedies from occurring.

But money can help you create more opportunities and limit many risks in your life. Multiple income streams can also give you more personal freedom through F U money.

One income stream feels normal and safe

The standard approach to work is to earn one income.

It’s what most people have always known. There’s some stability during normal times, but when layoffs and recessions hit, then things change.

We don’t always see the problem of one income stream because recessions aren’t a monthly occurrence and layoffs only hit occasionally. So we live with a false sense of security.

Money guy Michael Lim taught me that when you add a second income stream it changes your psychology. The third income stream is the one that transforms your life.

The goal in life should be to progress through these three stages.

Income stream ideas to get you thinking

I’ve worked for a single income stream most of my life while working in banking. Changing to a multiple income stream mindset didn’t happen overnight.

What helped me was seeing other people’s additional income streams. So here are the income streams I’ve had which will help you decide on the ones you want to experiment with.

  • Royalties — platforms like Youtube pay you for your content.
  • 1–1 coaching — choose a skill you’re 10 steps ahead of someone else with and do private Zoom calls. Resell your 9–5 skills if you must.
  • Group coaching — typically groups between 10–20 people. This option has higher leverage because you show up once and get paid at least ten times more.
  • Affiliate commissions — if you’re seen as a thought leader in any type of field, then the products and services you ethically recommend can pay you to refer them customers.
  • Premium communities — the internet is noisy and people are willing to pay a small subscription to join specific interest groups. The must-do with this one is it has to be heavily curated and have strict rules for it to be high value.
  • eCommerce and merchandise — one of the biggest income streams for musicians is merchandise. This goldmine applies outside of music. Merchandise makes people feel like they belong to something bigger.
  • Ads and brand sponsorships — placing ads on your digital assets is an income stream that’ll never die.
  • Newsletter subscriptions — Substack created the opportunity to charge readers for writing and escape the hell of mainstream media. Anyone can write about anything and get paid. The more average the writer, the more readers will gravitate to them.
  • Information products — we want to save time and not spend years searching google for answers. Courses and books are both income streams anyone can start with no experience.
  • Digital products — templates, checklists, Excel spreadsheets, recorded webinars, etc.

These ideas only scratch the surface. You can sell anything online that your mind can imagine.

Turning income streams into f*ck you money

Many people create multiple income streams, but it doesn’t stop them from struggling.

What they miss is you have to put in a lot of active work to make an income stream viable. But if you never convert active work into passive income, then you’ll always be trading time for money.

The temptation is to keep working on bad income streams, too, in the belief that one day they’ll become something. I’ve found there are times when you have to cut off losing opportunities.

A few years back every content platform started offering royalties. I wrote on sites like Vocal and Newsbreak. I tried everything, but I never made much cash on either website.

So unlike everyone else, I cut them off.

I stopped wasting my time writing to earn $20 and focused on better opportunities. There has to be a line in the sand. A point where you go “Man, $20 a month for all this work just ain’t worth it anymore.”

F U money is when you make enough that you don’t need a boss or job anymore to live.

It’s the point where freedom begins, and most people never get there. The way to earn F U money is to convert a percentage of your income streams into hard financial assets.

Otherwise, if all you do is spend all the extra cash, or worse, save it in a bank account and let it rot thanks to inflation, then you’ll never build any form of wealth.

You’ll always be struggling. You’ll always be stuck on someone else’s hamster wheel who can make you run faster and faster if they choose.

The point of multiple income streams that most people miss

Multiple income streams sound cool and sexy.

Passive income streams sound like money p*rn. And F U money can feel like the ultimate holy grail. The point isn’t to make decent money, get wealthy, and just have more freedom.

The point is to use multiple income streams to fund the work you’d most like to be doing in the time you have. My dream is to write as much as possible. My income streams help keep that dream alive.

Never forget the point of wealth, which is to invest more time into your obsession.

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