I learned the hard way.
Earlier in my career I worked in finance. I dreamt of getting closer to the world of online writing. So I convinced a former colleague to hire me at a social media agency.
My role was to manage a team of digital marketing account managers. I thought I was king d*ck.
Six months later I got thrown to the gutter by a boss worse than Hitler.
My main income source was up in smoke.
That sh*tty boss was smoking my salary as his victory cigar. Then 2020 punched us all in the face.
My IT employer’s office became a morgue. People got fired with zero notice. They went from smiles to lifeless in a matter of weeks.
The throat of their main income source got cut with an ax.
They had to explain to their kids how years of hard work meant nothing because a virus had come to play and their billion-dollar employer was a big baby crying poor.
One income source is a nightmare waiting to happen.
The double jab to the face
One income is stressful.
It’s why we have workplaces full of Hollywood actors.
They act all nice and helpful at work because they have to. Yet deep down they think their employer is stupid or that there’s more to life than revenue, revenue, revenue.
I was a salaryman for a long time.
When a new leadership team formed, it caused enormous stress. All it took was one new boss or one crappy client to get you fired.
Then you had to play the Hunger Games process that is modern-day hiring. Survival of the fittest. The best Powerpoint performance with the most interesting 90-day plan gets you the gold medal.
You hope the culture is good.
You hope your free time won’t be squeezed like a pimple.
The second jab is the risk.
You get a loan for a home. You may get a loan for a car. The loans get taken out with optimism. You base the affordability of the repayments on your one income source. You try not to think of it going away.
But sh*t happens.
Random events occur. A job isn’t a guarantee. Few people remember this. You’re only warming the seat while it’s profitable for you to do so.
The risk is you need your employer more than they need you.
Too much stress and risk reduces happiness.
The life-changing magic of smaller income sources
No one is saying to quit your job.
The point of this article is to get you inspired to add small income sources. I say small because big income sources are harder. Plus every big income source starts as tiny.
Justin Welsh is obsessed with one-person online businesses. His one makes $1.7M per year. Not bad.
His advice is to make an income ladder. You can steal parts of his formula.
– Newsletter (Free)
– Low cost info product ($)
– Middle-cost paid community ($$)
– High-cost 1:1 or group coaching sessions ($$$)
The whole mantra Justin swears by is don’t make one big bet. Make lots of tiny bets with small income streams.
The base of his formula is always $0. Free services/content/products are how you get through the front door of hearts and minds online.
People feel more comfortable buying from you when they feel like they know you. $0 does that.
$0 equals mates rates.
Become obsessed with drawing business models
A business model is how someone makes money online.
JK from Twitter drew his below.
The point isn’t to copy JK. The point is to start paying attention to how people make small income streams online. Find interesting people. Do the research. Find out how they make money and map it out.
Steal ideas from their business model and make your own.
There’s this idea you need to go big. Bullsh*t.
I speak to people all the time on Twitter who make small amounts of money online. $10 here. Five ebooks sales there.
And they’re depressed AF.
They think their little eBook should be doing 6-figures. It’s unrealistic. Making small income streams online shows your brain what’s possible.
When I sold my first eBook for $20 it altered my brain chemistry.
It’s like a gladiator whacked me over the head with a rock, trying to kill me. Suddenly, I woke up from the nightmare of one stressful income stream and the unnecessary risks it brings with it.
If anything, we should pay money to have this epiphany. Once you see the power of small income streams, you can’t unsee it.
Forget all the salacious big income streams and fake millionaires.
Study people who have smaller income streams. Write down their business model on a notepad. Take a photo. Share them if you wish.
We need to normalize small income streams. They can de-risk your future, reduce stress, and unlock your hidden potential.