One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received is to focus on your gifts. Some people, maybe even yourself only follow this advice on their number one trait. This is a mistake, but a very common one. After all, it is easy to overlook the fact that gifts is a plural noun. Instead of focusing on your best trait you must try to instead invest in yourself beyond your first gift. Try to know enough in many arenas instead of everything in a single arena (the latter is impossible anyways). The first thing to do to be rich is to build multiple income streams.
Do You Need Multiple Income Streams?
One of the greatest misconceptions about becoming wealthy is that you should focus only on what you are good at. If you ask the wealthiest what they are good at, I highly doubt they would tell you they are good at just making money. Truth is, most, if not every millionaire, find multiple sources of income to forge their wealth. They do not just focus on a single one of their gifts, but invest in many if not even all of their gifts.
A great book I have read recently that addresses this is Automatic Wealth For Grads by Michael Masterton. He not only says that you need multiple income streams, but he also gives great advice on how to start these income streams to be rich.
How To Build Multiple Streams Of Income
Many of you may be questioning if a biochemistry PhD has the right to tell people they should not specialize too much. After all, I have spent years trying to build skills in one very specific subject. That is very true. But that is not the only area I have invested in myself. I have also been investing in the stock market, and establishing a name in writing. Both of which have provided me with income (not as much as my current job though).
I have been investing in the stock and bonds market since I was a teenager. The fruits of those investments have already paid off. But it took about a decade for them to really pay off. It takes time to develop those streams to be rich, but it is worth it. I have made some money from freelance writing and made some deals with some businesses, but that took about a year to establish.
It is like an ancient irrigation system. The idea of an ancient irrigation system is to design the landscape to control the water flow so your crops will benefit. However, most of the landscaping must be complete well before you can see any water flow and building that irrigation system will take time. Much like your income streams, you must complete strenuous work before you can see any income flow to be rich, sometimes even years before you see any income.
What Streams Can You Build?
In a previous post, I have mentioned some assets you can invest in, however that was a very broad picture. In this post I will try to give some more specific ideas. As previously stated, the idea is to focus on your gifts, not your number one skill, the one you feel invincible at.
For instance, I am great at science. However, I do find that I have a gift when it comes to writing, and particularly when it comes to the creative (or at least uninhibited) writing. Therefore, I have decided to write some novels. My current one, which is a vampire apocalypse/military novel, is the third one I wrote, and it is not yet complete.
What about the other two? Truth is, I all but forgot. But I do remember they were very stupid, and I am pretty sure one of them was a rip off of Lord Of The Rings. Yup I was that big of a nerd back then. It is a good thing I studied biochemistry for many years, I could not imagine what my life would be like if I was such a nerd now (extreme sarcasm notice). You will try multiple projects before you see what finally sticks.
For instance, if you have a particular culinary skill, you could try teaching cooking lessons, enter the food industry, maybe even design new culinary equipment. If you have other skills you should consider teaching them first and trying to build up on that. Some excellent platforms to start in teaching your skills include SkillShare and other online platforms, and even some other local sources such as a library or community center could help you start.
Once you start off, you could start looking into forming a business around what you teach. That or you could even branch out somewhere else. Chances are you have at least a few income ideas in your head already, just try them out.
When Should You Start?
Hopefully, when you have some other stable form of income like a job. I know many people who have sought a business and income opportunity while working. For instance, I know someone who is a business accountant while setting up a comic book store. Some even worked jobs while following a music career.
As much as some people hate to hear this, if you need income, you need a job as your primary stream of income. Once your other streams of income build, you can quit you job (but do not have to if you like it). Remember from Rich Dad, Poor Dad “work your day job, but mind your business.” There is never any shame in earning a paycheck and working for someone else. In fact, people are mostly proud of having a job, especially during tough times.
As soon as you have stable income flow, you can effectively try to build new streams of income.
Should More Passive Assets Be Considered Streams Of Income?
I tread very lightly when asked this question. In all honesty, if you set up your streams of income well, you should have passive income. For instance, your business should still be running when you are not present, you should still be making money off your product. That counts as passive income. However, you frequently need to put in effort to keep that income so it is not entirely passive. It is a well maintained stream of income you have much control over.
Investments such as stocks and bonds are entirely passive investments, but sometimes the stream can dry up in these areas for the short term and sometimes even a longer term. This could be troublesome for people who use these passive investments as their primary source of income such as retirement.
Most people try to find streams of income like jobs or established investments. These make excellent income streams since they are historically proven. But there is only so much you can pull from these streams.
Instead of just relying on only one stream, you should try making some streams of your own including business or some freelance. If our ancestors only settled on established streams to develop civilization I promise you, we would not have human civilization like we do today. If you want to develop progressive wealth, you should not be trying to tap into established streams alone, but you must try to form your own streams. It is arduous work, but it will be a great step to forge your wealth.