The first decade of the 21st century saw the world economy turned on its head, and the knock-on effect has been dramatic, creating a feeling of fear and instability. Job security is no longer taken for granted, and people realize that the old model of depending on one stream of income may no longer be valid.
However, all the upheaval and instability has a positive side. It shakes people out of their comfort zone and forces them to look at alternatives, and companies look at different ways to reduce their costs, which can include outsourcing and offering telecommute opportunities to employees.
Which is where you come in.
If you are unhappy in your job, if you need to generate some extra money, if you want to start doing something you love, there has never been a better time than now. You can create an alternative income stream and improve the quality of your life financially, physically and emotionally.
The problem is that the most common options are either you work in a traditional ´job´, or you go all out and run your own business. The reality is that the jump from paid employee to freelancer, to business owner, to entrepreneur will most likely need to be made in several steps. With the responsibility of a family to take care of, a mortgage to pay etc. the desire for freedom, has to be balanced with the ability to feed yourself!
An alternative income will mean different things for different people:
- A part-time opportunity to supplement their main income
- An opportunity that starts off part-time, but eventually takes over as their primary source of income after they have built it up.
- A complete change of career
There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ways to make money, but only a handful that will make you money. Why? Because if your heart is not in it, if you don´t like what you are doing, you will, at best, be average. To be really good at something, you need to like what you are doing. To be really successful, you need to love what you are doing.
When you do something only because you need the money, there is a burden of must. When you love what you are doing, the hours fly by and you put your heart and soul into a project, which translates more easily into profit.
Passion for something is a great motivator. This passion may not be for the topic itself, but for the journey. For example, a salesperson could sell anything from paperclips to manure. It´s unlikely that either of these will in themselves instill a passion about the topic. However, the thrill of the chase, the challenge of getting someone to buy your product, to win new contracts, that could be a passion and an adrenaline rush.
The important thing is not to be limited by straight-line thinking. Don´t be put off because what you love to do does not seem to be profitable, or have much opportunity for growth. Once you start, that is when other opportunities for growth appear.
- You meet people in that industry
- You meet new clients
- You network with similar people
It´s like getting a whole new mastermind group, when you can discuss opportunities, get new ideas to build your business, create new products or offer new services.
For the purposes of this article, the term ´product´ is used to define anything you plan to offer your clients, whether that is an online product like an ebook, a physical product like chairs, or a service like consulting and freelancing. They all need the same ingredients:
- Planning – Find your niche
- Preparation – Research your product and target market
- Persistance – Consistent action to create momentum
Take stock of your situation and do as much as you can with the time and resources you have available. The path to success is different for each individual, but there is a common theme, you have to take action.