What Your Guidance Counselor,
Career Counselor, and Own Mother
Probably Never Told You...
You Don't Need A Job to Make a Living
© Valerie Young
The alarm clock jars you awake at some insanely early hour. As you hit the snooze button you think, "there's gotta be a better way to make a living." As someone who rolled out of bed this morning at 8:30, I'm here to deliver the good news: there is.
A lot of people dream of escaping "Dilbert's world" and being their own boss. Perhaps the biggest reason these dreams get derailed is money. Or, more accurately, faulty thinking about what it means to "make a living." I'm no exception. For a long time I thought before I could take the leap to self-employment, I had to first figure out a venture that would generate the same amount of income as I was then earning.
Develop Multiple Profit Centers
Not so, says Barbara Winter, self-bosser and author of Making a Living Without a Job Winter is an enthusiastic advocate of what she calls "multiple profit centers." Instead of thinking in terms of a single income, i.e. a "job," Winter recommends aspiring entrepreneurs develop several income sources.
Outdoor enthusiast and neighbor Bob Sadowski is living proof that you can have your cake and eat it too. Bob lives on 80 acres in rural Plainfield, MA where he's parlayed his life passions into his livelihood. When not running New England Bob's Snowmobile Tours of Quebec snowmobiling tours throughout Quebec (one covers nearly 1,100 miles) this vintage car enthusiast specializes in buying and selling antique car and truck parts out of his barn.
income comes from seven sources:
1) I create and sell books, CDs, and other products for other people
looking to take the leap from having a job to having a life. For example, a
few years back I put on a big seminar in the Rocky Mountains with Barbara
I Could Do Anything If
I Only Knew What It Was,
Refuse to Choose),
and Barbara Winter (Making
a Living Without a Job). I had the entire four-day event recorded and
have been selling the 24-CD
Happen audio program ever since.
2) I do telephone consultations with people from literally all over
world on how to turn what you love to do into income.
3) Over time I realized I am not the only person who found their
calling by helping other people find theirs. So I started an
Outside the Job
Box Career Consulting Certification Program to train other people who
get paid to give career advice from the comfort of their own home.
4) Drawing upon research I did in graduate school, I've established
myself as an expert on the topic of women’s self-limiting patterns and
philosophies. Now I'm asked to deliver my
How to Feel As Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are
for such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Intel,
American Women in Radio and Television, Harvard, and MIT.
4) A few years ago, I was approached by the career development
office of a federal agency to deliver my “Outside the Box Career Planning”
seminar for people getting ready to retire. It was so successful that they
offered me a contract to run 10 sessions a year in D.C.
5) Speaking of workshops, every year I team up with Barbara Winter
to co-lead an entrepreneurial boot camp called
Work at What You Love
for people who want to quit their job and get a life. To date well over 600
people have attended this annual event and the success stories continue to
6) I earn a fair amount of money as an affiliate of organizations
that offer products and services I believe would benefit my readers. In case
you are not familiar with affiliate programs work… basically every time
someone clicks on a link from my site to one of these products or services
and makes a purchase, I receive a referral fee of anywhere from $20 to $500.
To learn more how you can earn passive income from affiliate programs, check
out my interview with one of the top affiliate program experts at
7) Not long ago I started a member program called the
Your Dreams Community. Since the point is to jumpstart the change
process, members start with a huge bag full of life-shifting books and CDs.
From there they pay a low monthly member fee to continue to enjoy password
protected access to monthly Teleclasses, a private member forum, and more.
Membership sites are a great way to create a steady income stream –
something I know is important to anyone transitioning from a regular
paycheck to self-employment. What fascinates me is how much money people are
making in such unique niches as embroidery, wrestling, and guitar playing.
To learn more about how you can generate a regular cash flow with membership
programs read my 2-part article series
A Little Knowledge Can Go a
Long Way: How to Generate a Steady Cash Flow Using What You Already Know.
Keep Your Day Job
Maybe you aren't interested in quitting your job but you like the idea of not having all your eggs in one basket. When traveling to San Francisco, I stay in an apartment in a lovely hilltop home in the Ashbury Heights section of the city. The owner is a Bay area native who, in addition to teaching reading to grade schoolers (which she absolutely loves), has set up several additional sources of income.
For one, she rents the in-law apartment to tourists through the local B&B association on per night basis earning considerably more than she would with a year-round tenant. For weekend and summer time income, she parlayed her knowledge and love of the city into a personal tour guide business with a steady stream of customers right in her own home. She even takes in a few extra bucks renting videos to her overnight guests.
Maybe you don't really like your job but can't afford to just up and quit. Say your long-range goal is to make $50,000. You don't need to be a math whiz to know there are different ways you can slice and dice this. For simplicity sake, though, let's say you decide to set up five income streams, each generating $10,000. Since you'll be building your multiple income streams while you're still gainfully employed, starting two side businesses simultaneously is probably about your max time-wise.
What you now have is a monthly goal for each business of just over $800. That's $200 a week. If making $20,000 a year seemed daunting, Winter says, psychologically earning $200 is more feasible: "Knowing what your financial goal is makes it easier to determine what action you'll need to take to accomplish it."
So what are you waiting for? It's your life!
Learn how you can Fast Track Your Dream of working at
what you love on your own terms.
About the Author
"Profiting From Your Passions®" expert Valerie Young abandoned her corporate cubicle to become the Dreamer in Residence at ChangingCourse.com offering resources to help you discover your life mission and live it. Her career change tips have been cited in Kiplinger's, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today Weekend, Woman's Day, and elsewhere and on-line at MSN, CareerBuilder, and iVillage.com. An expert on the Impostor Syndrome, Valerie has spoken on the topic of How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are to such diverse organizations as Daimler Chrysler, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Harvard, and American Women in Radio and Television.
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