Today multiple sources of income are necessary to actually live a comfortable life. Unless you are the head executive of some multinational company and you are earning large sums of money from your career alone, then chances are what you’re earning from your regular job is only enough to pay for your basic needs.
We were all raised to study hard in school, graduate then get a good job. Once we get that good job, it seems our future is secured. But this is traditional thinking and this is true only about 20 years ago! These days, this formula is no true. This is the sad and painful truth. But look around you. How many employees who have no sidelines are actually earning a lot to achieve financial freedom? Chances are, they are earning only the bare minimum to fund their expenses. If they are an exceptional employee then they get promoted to higher positions with higher wages. But companies are also smart. They often retrench seasoned employees – paying them attractive separation wages then giving them counter offers for a regular post but lower in salary package.
This is simply the reality of our times now. It is not enough to simply be an employee. No wonder, when you enter an office, you would always find someone engaged in either direct selling or network marketing. Everyone is consciously looking for some sideline or raket.
So now that we know that MULTIPLE SOURCES OF INCOME is necessary, what are our legitimate options at increasing our cashflow? How do we avoid all the scams out there that promises us great returns but once they get our money, they vanish into thin air? And in the first place, how do we identify if a business opportunity is actually legitimate or not?
Before I list the different multiple sources of income I am familiar with and have tried, let me first answer the questions above.
HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S LEGAL?
Do your research. Simply put, there is nothing better than doing some background check on the company. It is not enough that your bestfriend or someone you trust presented you with the business opportunity. They might have made a misguided decision too. Your safest course of action here is to gain more knowledge. Check the internet for information about the company. Check the SEC if needed. Ask around – but be careful that the people you ask are actually knowledgeable because many are in fact misinformed.
Legitimate sources of income won’t pressure you to act on the spot. They would respect your decision to do research and would even encourage you to! However, be wary of analysis paralysis. Once you have deemed the opportunity as legal and you have it within you to actually try it out, then go for it! The rest of the steps would show themselves to you.
Every time I am invited to a networking seminar and encouraged by a friend to join, I first do a little background check on the company. It doesn’t matter if the opportunity is really good or if my friend is already earning a lot – point is, I would sleep better if I knew the legalities of the company. This is true with any financial product offered to me. A simple google search would reveal a lot. But do not simply trust what you read. Analyze it too. For example, I often google the word scam or scandal after the name of the company. If something comes up, I read it and decide for myself if the written literature is trustworthy or not. Often times, the author is simply misguided or sometimes it’s a post with the intent to sabotage the company or product.
At the end of the day, check if the company or product or offer is legal. Don’t be lazy. This is your future.
SO WHAT ARE OUR OPTIONS?
I will classify the different opportunities into two: OFFLINE and ONLINE.
Because of the INTERNET, a whole new world – and countless possibilities have opened up for us. Let us discuss first the various means we can make additional income OFFLINE.
A List of Offline Opportunities
Buy and Sell
If you or your friends have items they wish to sell but find it disadvantageous to sell via the usual buy and sell shops, then you might want to do the selling yourself. A simple text blast to friends or a post in Facebook announcing that you are selling a gadget or particular product usually does the trick. Simply connect the buyer to your friend (or if you have the item directly sell it to them) and your friend gives you commission if the sale is successful.
This is easy cash with little capital investment except for cellphone load or internet connection and some convincing power on your part. You don’t even have to convince anyone because you would simply inform them that the particular item is for sale and answer their queries.
Products usually sold using this scheme are gadgets and cars. With gadgets, you can earn anywhere from P500 to P2000 while for cars, you can earn from P10,000 to P20,000. It all depends on your agreement with the actual seller. For this, best make sure the seller is really your friend because this strategy involves a lot of trust on both ends.
In the past 5 years, the number of networking companies has dramatically increased! Almost everyone is aware of networking and are either misinformed or well informed about it. But what is networking really? Is it a scam? Are the success stories actually real? We will discuss this topic in detail on a separate post.
On a personal note, I have tried 2 networking companies and I must say I have earned the promised rewards from them. However, this type of business involves a lot of hardwork at the beginning and would really test your character. Many people fail in this industry because they simply do not possess the attitude and skills required. But those who are able to overcome the hurdles do emerge as victorious.
If you are the type who is fond of selling to friends different products from cosmetics to household items, then this might be for you. Membership is usually minimal and you get loads of discounts from the products alone. Sell the products using the brochures and you get a large profit.
This is largely beneficial if you are also a huge fan of the products and you use them constantly. Then even if you don’t sell them, you still save a lot by buying at discounted rates.
Very few people I met are actually aware that they can earn shopping or eating out or even performing various services. A lot of large companies want to check how their operations are performing and employ mystery shoppers.
How do you apply as a mystery shopper? Look for online sites that offer mystery shopping services. Usually, they also hire mystery shoppers. Once they accredit you as a part of their pool of shoppers, they assign shop visits that you need to complete. After completing a certain visit, they reimburse you any expense incurred plus pay you additional fees.
If you normally shop or dine out, this is a good source of extra income for you. You just need to be observant of the place and service of the area you are shopping or dining in and report in accordance with the details the client ask.
If you have a special skill, you can outsource it to those looking for part-time or one-time contracts. For example, if you are good with bookkeeping and you know someone who needs help setting up their accounting records, you can help them do so for a fee. Or if you are good with grammar and you know someone who needs help editing their thesis then you can offer your services in exchange for something.
As long as you know you are an expert in a certain field and you have the credentials to back it up, you can offer your services to those in need of your expertise. Usually, you just offer them advice and this is already valuable information that they would pay you for.
If you have the capital and the time, you can setup a traditional business. But be sure it is something you love or are passionate about. Most businesses fail because they are doing it for the sake of earning money alone. Businesses are risky because at the start you will certainly go through a lot of ups and downs. Often, you will fail. Very seldom does a startup business become a success at the start. But this is ok since it is all part of the learning process. Now, if you do not love what you are doing, chances are you will quit at the first sign of failure.
If you have the capital but do not have the knowledge of building a business system. You can try franchising. Just be on the lookout for the concept or product that sells and also make sure you have a good location for your franchise. Also be prepared to always abide by the rules of the franchisor.
A List of Online Opportunities
There are many sites out there that runs surveys commissioned by marketing research agencies for big brands. They want your opinion and they are ready to pay for it. Although payment is usually peanuts, it is still better than nothing.
If you have a skill, no matter how seemingly trivial it is like entering data into Excel spreadsheets, chances are, someone is willing to pay you for them. Search the internet for various ways to earn through online jobs. You will be surprised at what people will be willing to pay you for.
Do not expect a high starting salary. You need to also build credibility as a freelancer to be able to get the really big contracts.
People with skills in digital design are the most sought after in this field.
Online shops, Buy and Sell
This works like the offline buy and sell except here everything is easier because almost everybody is online. Chances are you can reach a wider audience for a lesser amount of money and time.
If you have a passion for something and you want to share it to the world, why not blog about it? Blogging does not mean you have to be a good writer or an expert at something. Chances are, if you are passionate about a topic such as Financial Education or even Tennis, and you can write endlessly about it then by all means start a blog.
At the start, you won’t earn much from this because you need to build traffic to your blog. As the traffic builds up, you can run ads which will give you the revenues. Alternatively, if you become an expert at your field, brands will approach you to write about them and to engage your readers to engage with their brands.
These are just some of the many opportunities available out there. By all means, it is not an exhaustive list and there are many other things you can do to generate increased cash flow.
I believe that there is a financial genius residing in all of us. As what Robert Kiyosaki said in his book Rich Dad Poor Dad as long as we force ourselves to ask “HOW CAN I AFFORD IT?” instead of telling ourselves that “I CANNOT AFFORD IT” then our mind will begin to think of ways by which we can generate more cash. We will be able to see opportunities which before was invisible to us.
Increasing cash flow is not impossible. It is not even that hard if we know where to look and if we have the proper mindset and attitude towards it.
Share your stories and tips on how to increase cash flow in the comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.
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