One thing has become crystal clear from the Covid-19 shutdown. As wealth gets destroyed, people lose their jobs, and governments make things worse – creating your own independent income is critical to your future.
Critical because when you’re in control of your source of income, you own yourself,. You can make decisions that are right for you. You can move quickly to change as conditions and markets change. You can act to protect yourself and have true independence.
The idea of working at a job for life is gone. It was losing favor even before the pandemic. A steady income, employment security, guaranteed benefits are a thing of the past.
That’s why more people are freelancing, and creating their own business, or side-hustles.
Millions of workers are happily leaving corporations and becoming self-employed. This revolution in how American work will only grow over the next few years.
~Fresh Books second annual Self-Employment Report
The report went on to state that 42 million Americans will be self-employed by 2020, and that was written before the current crisis.
Self-employment is great, but a portfolio career is better.
One of the best things about being a small business entrepreneur is that he can step in to fill the needs of the market, pivot quickly, and do what big companies are too slow and incompetent to do, if they can do it at all.
For instance, one problem surfacing is that the mega meatpacking plants are closing down. Whatever the reason is, the farmers were left with no place to take their animals and were told to destroy them. The world was in danger of a serious food shortage.
Fortunately. new small meat processing plants are stepping up to provide the service. Farmers have become creative too, the ones who used to sell their products, such as vegetables, ducks, or chickens to restaurants have now opened up new channels and are selling directly to consumers.
What is a portfolio career?
A portfolio career is having several sources of income from small ventures that can be in one related field or can be created from different interests and skills. For example, you can consult in a field where you have a lot of experience, such as IT, PR, finance, sales, etc. and also pursue a hobby and build a business around it. Or you can add a new service or product to an existing business.
Let’s say that in addition to marketing consulting you spend your spare time as a motivational speaker. You teach a public speaking course at a local college, you start a blog teaching people how to put together an inspiring talk, and offer online training for a fee. If the consulting job gets reduced or eliminated, you have the income from the speaker training and can look to turn it into a bigger part of your income. Maybe you add a course. a podcast, or a membership site for people who want to learn more.
Since the shutdown, my local exercise studio has developed a library of downloadable videos, each with a different 30-minute routine. Not only do the sales help pay her rent, but she plans on growing her choices and marketing them beyond the local area, well into the future.
A portfolio career is like a portfolio of investments when one is tanking, another may be soaring and overall you don’t suffer much damage.
Advantages of a portfolio career.
Currently, the US has an unemployment rate of almost 15% (the highest since the great depression), 33 million people have lost their jobs so far, and more companies filing for bankruptcy. The advantage for the self-employed portfolio careerist will come when the recovery starts and companies need to rehire. They can fill these jobs as freelance contract workers while engaging in running their own ventures.
While many professionals may unwillingly find themselves ousted from stable full-time employment, emerging opportunities in the marketplace may also prove the portfolio career to be a boon for professionals of any age—especially those looking for higher income prospects, personal fulfillment, lifestyle changes, independence, flexibility, or excitement.
New ventures to add to your portfolio career stack
Let’s look at additional income sources you can add to your current business or create a second income from a hobby or passion. If the added source of income can be online or location independent, then you’ll have an additional level of self-reliance.
1-Add e-commerce products.
Maybe your main business has a physical location, by adding an e-commerce product you can have customers from a wider area buying your products than you do now, while local customers can enjoy shopping online. There are many ways to add physical products, either on your own site or through a marketplace like Etsy.
2-Develop digital products as an addition to your current offerings.
They can be e-books, worksheets, an educational video series, or an interactive course. They work great as a passive income source. However, it can be a physical product too, such as a calendar, notebook, tee-shirt, or planner.
3-Start consulting, coaching, or group teaching.
If you specialize in a topic, maybe other people want to learn how to do it, too. For instance, your hobby is woodworking. You can offer a group class where you do a demonstration and troubleshoot the problems your audience has. Here”s a list of 17 consulting niches you can make into a side-hustle.
4-Recurring income can be earned through affiliate marketing, ads, or membership.
If you can identify products or services that you believe in and resonate with your audience, you can show them the best ones while earning an income. A membership site offers subscribers valuable exclusive information that they will pay a small monthly fee to have access.
5-Tutor or teach.
One example would be to teach English to foreign students, or a foreign language to English speakers. There is a need for any more specialized subjects like math, science, writing, and many more..
6-Develop software or an app.
If there is a gap in the market that you realize is missing and would be useful, look to create a new piece of technology. If you have the ability to create it yourself that’s great. If not you can work with a developer to create a sample and test it in the marketplace.
7-Think outside the box.
What is your business now? How can you diversify what you offer? What are your interest, passions, and skills – or what new skills would you like to develop? Try something different and see if you can turn it into a profitable new venture.
Diversify your income with multiple part-time businesses.
While creating a portfolio career takes some time to get started, remember these additional ventures should come from skills and passions that already interest you and you’re excited about.
The biggest benefit comes from the security of having diverse incomes that will carry you through any unexpected events. And the opportunity to follow your passions, achieve personal growth and realize there are no limits on the income and wealth you can attain.
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Three ways to get more help
The Solo Entrepreneur’s Guide – Every month I share original posts and the top business advice, articles, resources, tips, and tools in my TSEG publication. Sign up here, it’s Free
Idea Finder Course – If you’re ready to move forward on starting your business and need further help to find the right business idea. Get my Idea Finder Course.
The Business Start-up Mastermind Group – A small group of ambitious and like-minded entrepreneurs who met regularly to share their wisdom, and experience to brainstorm, support, and advise each other to help each other succeed. Check it out here.