In 2015, when I learned that I was getting laid off from my full-time job, I felt a sense of regret and panic that I had never experienced before. I had been using the salary I had been earning since I graduated from college in 2010 to cover my bills and help with my financial goals.
Suddenly, that income disappeared. After the severance payments ended, I wouldn’t have any money coming in.
In the wake of that layoff, I wanted to take control of my future. I didn’t want to be in that kind of situation again.
Shortly after, I launched my company, Bridesmaid for Hire, and started finding other ways to bring in money on the side.
At first my approach to creating more income streams was slow. Every year or so, I found a new one to try out. Some have worked, but some faded fast.
Success usually depended on the time I had to invest in the strategy, marketing, and development of those income ideas, I realized. Over time, I have found a mix that works for me, with room to grow.
Looking back, getting laid off was the impetus for creating the life that I have now. I hope to become a millionaire before I turn 50. Knowing that many millionaires have multiple streams of income, today I have five main sources of income, that bring in a combination of active and passive income, and help me earn more than six figures a year.
I run two full-time businesses as a solo entrepreneur
One of my main sources of income comes from products and services sold from my two different businesses which I run as a solo entrepreneur.
My first business, Bridesmaid for Hire, offers both hands-on services that require me to be present, like in-person wedding support and maid-of-honor speechwriting. It also sells products, like a card game and merchandise, which brings in passive income on a weekly basis.
My second business, which includes services and products featured under my personal brand, works the same way. I offer one-on-one coaching and consulting, and I offer passive income products, like books and merchandise.
If you’re someone who wants to start a service-based side hustle or a business that can replace your full-time job, think of a variety of products and services that can generate income that involve your expertise and time, as well as offerings that don’t.
That way, you can scale your business while also reducing any potential burn-out you might feel from having to interface with clients all the time.
I book regular freelance jobs
After I got laid-off from my full-time job as a copywriter, I figured a steady way I could bring in income quickly was to offer my services to other people or businesses who needed a freelance writer.
I gathered clips of my professional writing and created a website using a free template on Wix.com. I then emailed colleagues, friends, and contacts on LinkedIn asking if they knew anyone who needed a copywriter and shared my website with them.
Video by Lauren Shamo
I posted my services on freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork, where I was able to book a few initial jobs. Some customers became repeat customers.
My best advice is to browse different freelance or gig websites (like Thumbtack, TaskRabbit, or GigSalad) to see what in-demand skills you have. You can create a free profile that lists your services and fees. Over time, you can land recurring clients or referrals to make this a steady stream of income.
I create and teach multiple online courses
An income stream I added during the pandemic was online courses. When my business in the wedding space was mostly on pause, I decided to spend the time thinking about a few of my areas of expertise and creating a course around each of those topics, from how to start a wedding business to how to become a stronger public speaker.
Each course took between four to six weeks to create. I wrote the course material, filmed videos on my iPhone, and uploaded the material to a course hosting platform called Thinkific. After that, I marketed the courses to my audience on social media, my podcast, and through my email lists.
Even two years later, these courses bring in a few thousand dollars of passive income every month.
Video by Lauren Shamo
If you would like to do the same, think of a skill you have that you think others would benefit from learning. Research what other courses are offered on that topic by browsing course platforms, like Thinkific, Teachable, or Udemy.
Then reach out to your potential audience for feedback by posting in Facebook groups or on online forums like Reddit, for example. That way, you can begin creating a course that stands out and have an established audience for it.
I consistently earn interest and royalties from past projects
One of my goals for 2022 is to bring in more passive income streams. Right now, I have only a few. Aside from the passive income earned from courses and products, I earn income from interest generated accounts, like my high-yield savings account, and from royalties.
While I earn only a little bit of money every month by keeping cash in a CD (which earns 0.55% APY) and a HYSA (which earns 0.6% APY), that money compounds every month, and at the end of the year comes out to be an extra couple hundred dollars.
I would recommend checking your bank accounts to see if the interest you’re earning is the best rate you can receive and if it’s not, ask your bank for any special offers or research other financial institutions to keep your cash in instead.
As an author who has sold two books to publishers, I make money off the sale of each book that’s sold. This income fluctuates every month and can range from $50 to $1,000, depending on how well the book sells or how much promotion I do.
I advertise for and collaborate with different brands
Since getting laid-off in 2015, I’ve spent time building my audience through social media, my newsletters, and my podcast. I’ve done this by being consistent with my content, doing giveaways to get new followers or subscribers, and collaborating with other creators who love my audience.
Between my social media followers, newsletter subscribers and weekly podcast listeners, today I have a platform with an audience of over 100,000 people, and I have been able to connect with brands who want to share their products and messaging with them.
In the past year, this has become my newest stream of income. I offer brands three-month or six-month packages that include podcast and newsletter ads, and social media posts, for a few thousand dollars.
I created these packages after studying my audience analytics and seeing that the best way to prove engagement to brands is by creating long-term partnerships with frequent and consistent mentions.
If you’re interested in working with brands but don’t know where to start, check out websites like Swapstack, Gumball, or Collabstr that can help you find brands who want to sponsor your content.
I’m always brainstorming new ways to add income streams so I can continue to grow my net worth and make sure my salary doesn’t disappear again. If you’re trying to add new streams too, start by picking one that you can invest your time in. Do your research and manage your risk by researching as much as you can before you get started.
Jen Glantz is the founder and CEO of the business Bridesmaid for Hirethe voice of the podcast “You’re Not Getting Any Younger,and the author of the Amazon-bestselling books “All My Friends Are Engaged, and “Always a Bridesmaid for Hire,
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