We have just passed the one third marker in the year 2021 and at first glance, it seems like we are in a better place than we were just a few months ago. When it comes to things like the economy for example, markets are at all-time highs, employment numbers seem to be getting back on track, and we finally have some light at the end of the tunnel on vaccinations of our citizens. All of that is good news for sure. But the questions about these things really never cease and are still on your mind, aren’t they? The questions that keep you up at night and worrying, the ones that seem ever present. So what is your big financial worry in 2021 and what can you do about it?
Does It Help Knowing You Are Not Alone?
Since we’re all a little (or a lot) more isolated these days, it can feel good to know that you’re not going through financial stress and worries alone. You are not the only one with financial questions and challenges. Just take a look around and you will see that pretty clearly.
And one thing that may actually make you feel a little better is this: There are solutions out there to help solve them now and in your future, too.
If you have problems with finances, lack of cash or cash flow, or trying to find any kind of financial security right now, this time it most likely isn’t because you did wrong. You may have in your past, but now it’s more likely that the worldwide pandemic was the guilty party and what if anything you did wrong was simply not being prepared for any “what if” scenario that could occur. I’d have to classify this one as a “what if”, wouldn’t you?
If Lack of Cash Is the Problem, What Is the Solution?
When you lose your job or have your hours cut back, you’re going to suffer from lack of cash and a shortened income stream. That’s just a fact. Yes, in some cases the government has stepped in to try to help with money and new rules that have slowed down the process of forcing you to make payments of rent and mortgages. It has also helped provide food and food resources so you can at least have a roof over your head and food to eat.
If you fell into that worst case situation among our population, you can thank Uncle Sam for the help. Many people would have suffered even more if it wasn’t for those things. But those actions were really just band aids. Long term solutions are up to you, not the government.
Number one on your list is simple: Build up emergency funds so that you aren’t cashless as soon as trouble starts. Those who had that had a way to buy some time before the worst days struck.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, there are several ways to mitigate job and income loss from your regular employment. An obvious one is this:
Don’t rely on just one single source of income. Create more financial stability by producing more sources of income. Establish alternate source income streams to relieve your financial worry. But in order to do it you have to answer some important questions:
“How do you add more income sources or start a side business, and what are the best niches that will survive any kind of catastrophe?”
How to Build Alternate Streams of Income
Simply put, more income streams mean more security. It’s hard to rely on a 9-to-5 job for your entire livelihood with layoffs and pay cuts always right around the corner. With multiple streams of income, on the other hand, you can avoid putting all your eggs in one basket and use several streams of cash to grow rich(er).
There are probably more ways to earn more and different streams of income than there are colors in a prism. The problem is more like how to get up off the sofa and actually do it!
The obvious way to get more income is to offer a service or product(s) for money… in other words sell something.
My Own History
I’ve always been a proponent of people starting a home-based business. In fact, I can go all the way back to my own childhood when I sold my old comic books by loading up my little red wagon and going around the neighborhood selling my well- read Superman comics. They sold for twelve cents each if I recall correctly (when new), but now for just a nickel, used. It was recycling and entrepreneurship all rolled up in a big ball and it gave me extra cash for all of the things a nine year old could want. Economy be dammed, I was cash rich.
As a young adult, I sold light bulbs door to door in my neighborhood and I was also a paperboy. After I started my actual career in retail, I started a stationery and wedding invitation business at home with my wife when I was in my twenties (before the internet of course).
Eventually I started my baseball enterprise “Visitors”, fulfilling my lifelong dream of meeting my idols and making some extra cash in the late 1980s. I was never short of ideas or actions, never. I actually have always been doing this sort of thing as a teen, young adult, and even into my 30s and 40s.
As an adult, if you sell products or something to add or diversify your income, you may be able to build real passive income streams that will build slowly over the years. Unfortunately, many people find themselves involved in a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme where you usually have to recruit people to sell under you, and that may be difficult and a deal-breaker.
But when you offer a service or are selling something, you can create a small side business that you get to control the who, the what, and the why of all the money it generates!
And, let’s face it, not everyone is comfortable with selling things to their family and friends. That’s why offering a service is often one of the best, and least uncomfortable, ways to earn side income doing something you love. Maybe you want to clean houses or rake leaves or help people file their taxes. It’s totally up to you, and that’s the beauty of this option.
The Shark Tank Mentality
For over a decade now, you couldn’t have avoided Shark Tank. Create a product or service and make millions with the help of an entrepreneur, and that’s the name of that tune and it seems like it works pretty well. Who knew that everyone had some kind of an idea and that some actually would work?
How about creating your product? If you’re creative and savvy, you can dream up some new product and promote it Shark Tank style. Can you think of a product you wish you had, but can’t buy? Think outside the box until you come up with a new idea that fills a need. And that’s all you need to create something that will actually work. The idea is the key and if it’s a good idea, you will find some kind of financial backing or make the sacrifices necessary and finance it yourself.
There are many platforms on the internet where you can sell your goods. Think Etsy, Amazon, eBay and more. But if you have a specific skill you want to teach other people, setting up a web based course at your own website is a good way to get started or there are websites already established that you can use like Teachable.com where you can sell what you create online (courses and coaching services).
But that is really just a starting point. You can write a book (even self-publish it if necessary) or start a blog like this one and actually earn some extra cash. In fact, I had my very best year of earnings on my blog last year, at the height of the pandemic! Who would have thought so, but in reality the pandemic had no effect on what I was doing except as a topic itself.
They say the best defense is a good offense and when it comes to money and finances that truly applies. Building up your cash streams and having them as your backup plan are great ways to take the pain out of the “what ifs” of life and relieve that financial worry.
What ifs are always lurking and you never get a heads-up when they strike. Take the offense and you can lighten the load on the financial worries when you do.
What ideas have you had that you haven’t acted on that may create an alternate income stream in 2021? Why haven’t you done it? Have you learned any lessons about your finances over the past year and if so, what are they? What can you teach someone else now that you learned the hard way last year?