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Tag Archive: How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder

How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder (Part 6)

If you missed them, .

Two weeks ago, we talked about setting up multiple streams of income. It’s a great concept, but until you can take it from a concept and turn it into real-life practice, it won’t do anything for you.

So, how do you set up multiple streams of income?

1. Think about what you’re good at.

There’s no point in spending enormous amounts of time trying to develop or hone skills you just don’t and won’t possess. Focus on the areas you already excel in.

For instance, while I’ve been attempting to improve my domestic skills (cooking, crafts, decorating, etc.), I would be crazy to try and set up a decorating business or craft-selling website. It’s not an area I’m talented in and it would only result in a lot of frustration for me–and any potential customers!

2. Use what you already have in place.

Look for ways to make additional income from things you already have set in place. For instance, if you mow lawns as a side job, could you also offer trimming services? Or teach a class on how to set up a successful lawn-mowing business on the side?

If you’ve already written an ebook that has sold well, could you produce and market other people’s ebooks for them since you already know how to do it yourself? Or offer ebook coaching or consulting services?

Sarah Mae proved herself as a skillful ebook marketer when her ebook, , sold over . So, she took that knowledge and experience and wrote

Dave Ramsey was teaching his staff and their friends a weekly class on how to run a successful business. He took this class and turned it into the and, just recently, the

3. Experiment, experiment, experiment.

I recently finished listening to Seth Godin’s audiobook, . He challenges people to stop spending so much time researching, planning, and goal-setting. Instead, he suggests you just go out and do something. Stop staying stuck in a box; go bust through walls and make things happen.

I believe wholeheartedly that you learn much more through hands-on experimentation than you can ever learn through reading about something or taking a class about it.

4. Always be looking for new income streams.

If you get a few income streams going, it’s easy to become complacent. Of course, if you land on things that really are working well, don’t jump ship. But don’t also get stuck in a rut. Constantly challenge yourself to look for new ways to improve and expand your current income streams so that you are maximizing the return on your investment of time.

5. Remember that failure is your friend.

The truth is, if you jump out and try anything you are bound to fail at least a few times, maybe even time and time again. If you stop looking at failure as a dead-end and start seeing it as a window of opportunity, you’re well on your way to success.

Don’t give up. It will be worth the 99 tries, when you finally hit on the hundredth amazing idea!

Next week, we’ll wrap up this series with some closing thoughts. If you have any specific questions I’ve not tackled in this series, feel free to comment and ask them (or shoot me an email) and I’ll try to answer them in next week’s post.

How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder (Part 5)

If you missed them, read the first four parts of this series here.

We’ve talked about many things in this series, but if there was one thing that has changed our income status, it would be what I’m going to talk about today. Not only has this principle transformed our mindset, it has also multiplied our income substantially.

What’s the principle?

4) Diversify your income

I first heard of the concept of income diversification when I was also learning about residual income. Since that time, we’ve experimented with numerous income stream ideas. Most of them have flopped royally on their face. However, some have been moderately successful and a few have been wildly successful.

The concept of diversifying your income is basically to set up various income-producing sources, instead of putting all your eggs into one basket and expecting that basket to be your sole source of sustenance.

We realized the beauty of income diversification when Jesse was unemployed back when we lived in Kansas City. Since I had spent the last two years experimenting with ways to earn money from home, we had a cushion to fall back on. It wasn’t a very soft cushion, but at least it kept us from crashing and burning.

If you lost your job tomorrow, would you have something to immediately fall back on?

Even if your employment is very secure, it’s always a good thing to prepare for the unexpected. Plus, even if you never lose your job, having secondary sources of income in place will allow you to save more aggressively toward your financial goals, give more generously, and/or just have more wiggle room in your budget.

When people ask me how I make money blogging, most of the time they are quite taken aback when I say, “It’s the power of multiple streams of income.” My blog earns a significant amount of money every month, but it comes in through dozens of different checks and electronic transfers from dozens of companies. Some of the checks (such as those from my sidebar advertising) are routinely much higher than what I’d make off of promoting something like , but each check brings in a trickle that turns into a strong stream of steady income to pay my team, my blog expenses, and to have leftover as personal income.

In blogging–and in most businesses–things ebb and flow. Certain things will do really well at certain times of the year. At other times, that income stream doesn’t do so well. If I were to just rely on sidebar advertising or one affiliate program for all of my blogging income, it would be a lot lower than it is. But because I have multiple streams of income in place, the ebbs and flows help balance each other out so that the income is fairly consistent.

When you understand and implement income diversification in your lives, not only does it allow you to often significantly increase your income, in experimenting, you’ll probably discover a number of different income-earning ideas that will give you a very good return on your investment of time.

How do you set up multiple streams of income? We’ll talk about that next Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Do you have multiple streams of income in place? If so, I’d love to hear what has and hasn’t worked for you.

How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder (Part 4)

If you missed it, read , , and Part 3 here.

After last week’s post on how to find more time in your day to devote to focusing on making traction on your goals, some of you might be feeling discouraged as you’re already using your time wisely, you don’t have any big time wasters in your life, you don’t get enough sleep as it is, and you can’t afford to bring on any help.

Don’t panic; there are still ways you can inch toward your goal. In fact, I’m going to teach you a principle that could revolutionize your life. This principle can be applied to any project you want to accomplish or goal you want to achieve. It’s so simple, but it really works!

The 15-Minutes-A-Day Principle

Set aside 15 minutes of each day to work on your goals. No matter how busy your schedule, there is likely something you could give up somewhere to carve out 15 minutes each day.

Make a prioritized list for the things you want to accomplish in the order you hope to accomplish, set the timer for 15 minutes every morning, and begin chipping away at this list until the timer goes off. If possible, do this early in the morning–before breakfast and before your day has gotten off the ground.

While it might seem like 15 minutes isn’t much, investing this time every day on a consistent basis can really start to add up to significant traction made and ground accomplished. 15 minutes a day adds up to 105 minutes (or 1 hour and 45 minutes) each week. 15 minutes a day adds up to almost a full day’s worth of work (7.5 hours) put in over a month’s time. And, if you consistently devote 15 minutes every day to working on your priorities list for a year, you’ll have put in 90 hours!

90 hours of focused work on your goals list will certainly get you somewhere, don’t you think?

Focused Intensity is the Key

If you only have 15 minutes each day to devote to working on your goals list, you need to make sure that you are giving 150% during that short timeframe. I’d recommend setting up an area in your home with all of your needed materials at your fingertips so that you can set the timer and dive in (if you don’t have space to set up a small work area, then at least put together a box or bin with all supplies you’ll need–pen, paper, research materials, etc.).

Turn off all distractions and don’t let anything deter you from your purpose during that 15-minute timeframe. Stick with your 15-minute-per-day commitment and I promise, slowly but surely, you’ll start to see results.

In fact, you might just be amazed at how much work you can accomplish when you work with focused intensity in short amounts each day. Not only does such a short window of time discourage you from dawdling, but you also won’t struggle with running out of steam because your time will be up before you know it!

Recommended Reading on Time Management

— Lots of practical advice and inspiration for making the most of each day.

— Laura helps you rethink your “I don’t have enough time” excuses and shows you how you just may have quite a bit more time than you realized!

Time Management 101 — My series sharing time management lessons I’ve learned and principles that have increased my own productivity and efficiency. You can download the entire series in a free ebook here.

How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder (Part 3)

If you missed it, read Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

After you’ve set big goals and changed your mindset about money, now it’s time to have the rubber meet the road

3) Make the Time to Turn Your Goals Into Realities.

While following the principles in this series will definitely put your well on your way to earning more while working less, I want to be clear in reiterating that there’s no shortcut to success. If you want your dream to become a reality, you’re going to have to work hard to make it happen. This may mean short-term sacrifices and more time invested upfront, but keep at it and it will pay off in the long run.

If you’re feeling like you don’t have time to add something new to your schedule, here are some ideas:

::Track Your Time

You may not have time because you’re not managing your time well. Keep a detailed time log for a week or two to see where the 24 hours of each day is actually going. This exercise will invariably be enlightening and possibly disheartening when you realize how much time is being wasted or spent carelessly. Use the information gleaned to make positive changes to that will push you closer toward your goals and objectives.

::Eliminate Time Wasters

As much as is possible, remove time suckers from your life. If you’re spending a lot of time on the phone, set specific phone hours and let the answering machine or voicemail pick up otherwise. If you’re wasting time surfing the internet, impose a time limit for each day and create a plan for how you will spend your time online.

One thing I recently eliminated was my Facebook account. I loved interacting with people on Facebook, but I realized that I was using it as a distraction or time staller. When I should be focusing, I was, instead, checking to see if anyone had updated their Facebook status. I tried to come up with various solutions, but finally just decided I needed to completely disable my Facebook account right now. I figured that the world will still go on, I’ll be a lot more focused on the computer, and my friends can call, text, or email me if they need something. 🙂

::Stop Making Excuses

As long as you keep making excuses that you don’t have enough time, you’ll never get any closer toward your goals. If something is important enough to you, you’ll make time for it.

::Practice the 5 a.m. Principle

Getting up early and working for 30 minutes or an hour while the rest of the world sleeps is one of the most efficient and simplest ways to make great strides toward your goals. Sure, when the alarm clock goes off early in the morning, another hour of sleep sounds so much better than tackling a project, but I can guarantee that if you faithfully get up and put in that hour’s worth of work, it can pay off big time.

This is how earlier this year. I knew that I didn’t have much extra time in the middle of the day for writing (especially since I have three young children!), so instead, I went to bed by 8-9 p.m. and got up at 4 a.m. almost every single weekday for three months in order to have at least an extra hour of uninterrupted time to write in the morning. I had to drag myself out of bed some of those mornings, but now that , I know it was every bit worth it to rearrange my schedule and get up earlier in order to accomplish this goal.

::Delegate

At face value, outsourcing might not seem frugal. In reality, it can be a powerful secret in your ability to work smarter, not harder.

For years, I felt like I had to do all of the tasks of running my business myself because it would be extravagant to pay someone else to work for me. However, I finally got to the point where I was working way too many hours and was constantly behind. In short, the business had outgrown what I could handle myself.

As I’ve slowly brought on people to help, I’ve found that not only does it free me up to focus on what I do best, it also makes my business stronger because I’m able to hire on people who are strong in areas where I’m weak. Yes, it has significantly increased my business expenses, but since it has strengthened the business and allowed me to focus on my core competencies the result has been major growth and income increase. In fact, my expenses have only gone up slightly in comparison to how the business income has increased.

Recommended Reading:

— This book is packed with helpful advice and suggestions for how to earn income outside of your day job. If you feel like you don’t have time to start something on the side because you already work full-time, this book will especially be helpful.

— This book is jam packed with practical ideas for prioritizing your time and life so that you make the most of your days.

— I loved this book! In his witty style, Jon shares a wealth of advice for getting from where you are to where you want to go.

…to be continued next Wednesday

How to Significantly Increase Your Income Without Working Harder (Part 2)

Last week, we talked about the importance of setting goals and breaking them down into bite-sized pieces (if you missed it, you can read it here). This is foundational for success in business and in life, so if you’ve not set specific written goals, I encourage you to make that a priority in your life in the next few weeks.

Once you’ve set goals and are ready to move forward toward them with focused intensity, it’s time to move onto step two:

2. Change Your Mindset About Your Income

When Jesse and I were going through our lean law school years, I did extensive research online looking into any and every possible way I could earn income from home. The more I researched, the more convinced I became that I needed to change my mindset about earning an income.

You see, for years I’d always worked multiple side jobs. I made decent money, but the income was dependent upon how much I worked. If I didn’t work, I didn’t earn money.

The more hours I invested in work, the more money I earned. So my pay was equal to the effort expended.

I started realizing that, with my current mode of operation, the only way to get ahead financially would be to work more and longer hours–provided I could find work to do. What I really needed to focus on was setting up residual income.

What is Residual Income?

Residual income is a cashflow that is not dependent upon the number of hours you work. In most cases, it requires an upfront investment of time and resources and it requires some maintenance and upkeep, but it continues to bring in a stream of income even if you invest little into it.

My first foray into the world of residual income was my experiment in selling ebooks and printed booklets through my website. Printed booklets took more time to produce than ebooks and produced a much lower profit margin since I had to invest in physical materials. Ebooks, on the other hand, could be an automated source of income.

In the beginning, I rarely made more than $5 per day selling ebooks. But $5 per day was a start. And considering that it only required a one-time upfront investment of time, I quickly realized that making an automated $30 to $50 per week every week for almost zero work (except for the occasional customer service email) was nothing to sneeze at–especially considering that the initial ebook usually only took me 10 hours to put together.

Over time, as my customer base grew and I improved my products and marketing, I was making a guaranteed $400 to $500 per month off of ebooks and ecourses. On the months when I produced a new ebook or put together some sort of package special, I’d sometimes make twice that amount!

Needless to say, I was definitely sold on the idea of residual income. However, as my customer base grew, so did the customer service load. And by the time December212012.info had really started to take off, I decided to quit selling ebooks in order to focus on providing high-quality, free content at no charge. We no longer needed the extra income from ebooks and I decided that a business model of offering all downloads for free (resulting in a lot less customer service issues!) was better suited to the season of life and the business direction and goals I have now.

Currently, we’re saving towards investing in real estate as we’d like to take residual income to a higher level. Our dream is to one day earn more from residual income than we do from our business incomes–not only so we can give more generously, but so it frees us up to possibly take new directions with our businesses.

Turn Your Knowledge Into Residual Income

Joy from is a great example of someone who turned her knowledge into residual income. She’s a mom of three who started her own in-home preschool a few years ago. In the process of starting her in-home preschool, she found that there weren’t resources out there offering tips on how to do it.

After she figured it out on her own—and made a lot of costly mistakes along the way!—she determined to make it easier for others who wanted to do the same. After months of testing, tweaking, and refining her preschool, she put together –a kit that packages up all of her knowledge and everything she’s learned over the past few years to save someone hoping to set up an in-home preschool an enormous amount of time and effort.

This is brilliant! If she were trying to increase her income teaching preschool, she’d have to take on more students or teach for longer hours. Instead, she took her knowledge and created a product. This one-time investment of time to put together the kit has likely made her far more than she could ever make in years of teaching preschool–and it doesn’t require her to put in incredibly long hours over a long period of time.

Do you see the beauty of residual income? After the initial investment, it can actually free you up to work a lot fewer hours and make more money.

Since your time is valuable, you might as well make the most of it by looking for ways to set up residual income streams. Best of all, if you lose your primary source of income, these residual streams provide you with something to fall back on!

…to be continued next Wednesday