So what are the seven streams of income?
I didn’t even know that was a thing.
I only know that I’ve been a hustler all my life.
Here are our 19 streams of income.
My goal in sharing is so that you can gain ideas from them.
Although I possibly have too many irons in the fire, I was grateful for the multitude of different income sources when the pandemic struck.
My wife Mandee and I have worked together for more than ten years.
At one point, I took a corporate job, as I thought it would be a good fit with my skillsets.
I lasted 90 days before resigning – company politics aren’t my bag.
In this post, I want to talk about multiple income streams and how important they have been for us.
“Dude, what do you actually do?”
This is a question I’m often asked (mainly by looks on faces) by my friends.
I know, I know, it always seems as if I’m working on a new project.
And often, I am 🙂
But I have always been a fan of creating different streams of income.
[In this podcast episode, I attempt to answer the question “What do you do?”]
Income Streams and the Pandemic
The purpose of this post isn’t to be an income report.
There are plenty of those online.
I won’t list the income amounts that we make from each.
I’ll leave you with a range.
For the last seven years, we have made a net income between $35k – $150k.
Vague, I know.
But I wanted you to have a frame of reference when reading through the ideas and how some of them might relate to you.
From year to year, the income amounts vary from the different income streams.
But, just like every other thing in life, the 80/20 rule applies.
80% of our income comes from a minority of sources.
My purpose is to share with you the different ways that we make income for our family to decide if any of these are good fits for you that you can take on either as a side hustle or a more extensive source of income.
When I began prepping to write this post, I was even blown away by how many income streams we had.
So let’s begin.
I hope that you can gain value by getting ideas of your own.
Real Estate Income
Real estate income makes up a large portion of our income. We have been licensed real estate brokers in the state of Alabama for several years. By default, this gives access to deals, commissions, and networking.
Long Term Single Family Home Rentals
We operate one long-term unit, and we intend that this will be one of our main strategies for the bulk of our long-term income. We have access to the resources and information to acquire these properties.
We operate multiple Airbnb units. Airbnb has been an interesting story, as I began renting a room in my home back in 2013. I then started moving out of the house temporarily to rent it. Now we have dedicated properties that we rent out full-time on the platform.
It’s an incredible opportunity, but one that you need to understand.
If you get involved, you are now both in the real estate and the hotel business combined.
You now have customer service added (you don’t necessarily have this with a long-term rental).
When I returned from New Zealand back in 2007, I started real estate by buying, renovating, and selling properties.
I have purchased two personal homes and have both been complete gut jobs (I’m a sucker for a good deal!)
Real Estate Commissions
I don’t do many standard real estate deals as a real estate agent, like helping people purchase their first home. But I have worked with several investors, helping them buy and sell. We also market our home renovations to sell those and pay ourselves the commission.
Wholesaling houses is where you buy/sell a property without doing any work to it. There are times where you get a buyer fast enough that you don’t even have to purchase the property with your own money. You can use your buyer’s funds to transact the entire transaction. You are selling your contract. I’ve done 15-20 of these deals.
Real Estate Valuations
You have to be a licensed real estate agent to do these. My wife Mandee is a master at valuations. She does enough of these to make close to a full-time income. In the real estate industry, they’re called BPOs (broker price opinions). She gets orders from clients and creates a valuation report for them. It’s more affordable for a bank or insurance company than a full-blown appraisal.
Online Business Income
You’re reading this blog, so you probably know that I’m a firm believer in generating income from online sources. I even write and share ideas for how to make extra money.
So this section will share the income sources that we make in the online world.
We have registered for more than 50 companies to get paid a commission whenever we refer their products and services. If you’re unfamiliar with affiliate marketing, here are some of the best affiliate resources for beginners. I won’t list all of the companies, but I’ll share some of them with you below.
Canva – This design tool has made us into designers and allowed us to create like the pros.
Bluehost – Web hosting is required when you’re building a website. It’s where this web page is stored when you view it. Great for beginners starting at like $3.95/mo.
Elegant Themes (Divi) – A theme is a design element of a website. We built this website with the Divi Theme, which is an Elegant Theme.
Shopify – Online Stores. They run many of the online stores that you may have never even heard of. They help us run BePositive, which I realized isn’t on this list. Consider it added now!
Convertkit – Awesome email newsletter tool. Like others you have heard of, this one gears toward online content creators and is easy to use.
Amazon – Yep, they have one of the most extensive affiliate programs out there. So when you check out this cute puppy coffee mug, if you purchase it (or even other items on that same online shopping visit), Amazon will pay me a % of that purchase. Thanks for your love of dogs!
Beachbody – It’s no secret that my wife Mandee, helps keep me healthy. This company has a great app that you can use to exercise at home or even when on vacation (sadly, I’ve been forced to do this).
Zyia – My wife converted 80% of her closet to athletic wear, and this company makes great stuff. And they have a rep program. So she gets paid to wear the clothes and share them with others—a pretty solid win.
I can go on for days about how I think affiliate marketing is incredible, and we already do it offline every day – “hey, who’s a good mechanic? What restaurant do you recommend?” – this allows for the same advice online and for you to get paid for the referral since it’s digitally tracked.
This form of advertising is becoming one of the larger income streams for us. In the past, I worked with Google Adsense. I don’t think I realized that you need serious traffic to make ad money. But this makes sense. Once you start getting traffic and you want to make money with display ads, you need to work with other ad networks. These are outlets like Ezoic that use artificial intelligence to place ads. And as of September 2021, I qualified for Mediavine and began using their artificial intelligence system to place ads on my website(s).
I created a few courses to get some understanding of the industry. I gave away most of them for free to help grow my audience. But as I keep growing my blog business, I will return to making courses for a larger audience to show individuals how to do what I’ve done. I have created courses via both Udemy and Thinkific.
[Below is an image that shows where my students are located around the world].
We assist a few companies in doing tasks that we already do for ourselves, such as…
Text Message Marketing
I enjoy getting to share what I’ve learned. I haven’t done this much and don’t want to do a ton. It’s hard to scale your time. Unfortunately, the only choice is to charge more. But I enjoy the opportunity to connect with hustlers that are moving projects forward and need fresh ideas, a bit of motivation, or a new perspective.
These have been interesting, as I have not sought out these opportunities. Marketing managers of companies have instead found me. Because I have been growing my YouTube channel, I’ve been able to have this opportunity. So even though my channel isn’t monetized via YouTube, I have still been able to generate income because of it.
Selling Items on Facebook and Ebay
We have done this a long time, and we still do it. I can be swayed whether to call it income or not, because typically I’m taking items that were paid for at some point in the past and selling them. So most likely, we lost money. But many times, we break even on items, and sometimes we actually profit on something that we purchased (I’m still obsessed about this antique chair I bought for $30, used for a few years, and then sold for $100). So it becomes a Facebook Flip!
Rakuten (formerly Ebates)
While shopping online, we literally click a button in a google chrome extension and we get back a % of our purchase via a PayPal payment. It adds up. You don’t have to change anything out of your usual habits to make money with this. Just sign up and download the extension. Get more info on Ebates here.
Offline or Non-Typical Income Opportunities
Print Ad Sales
We own a local digital media company. It has special print projects. When we produce these, we have the opportunity to take our ad sales business offline and sell good old fashion print ads. Yep, these still work in a niche market such as your local community.
Credit Card and Banking Offers
We make hundreds of dollars per year from cashback bonuses on our purchases from great credit card offers and banking deals. All we have to do is spend a certain amount of money on a newly opened card, and then we get a few hundred dollars. We pay our credit card balances in full each month and never incur any interest, so we profit every year based on these offers. Hacking the financial system makes me smile.
Yes, I know. I might get blasted for this one too. Again, we can argue it’s not income. And it’s not cash. But the IRS sure sees it as income! If I own a local media company (I do) and I provide digital advertising to a local restaurant or gym (I do). If they provide me gift cards and memberships in exchange (they do), then this is thousands of dollars that I don’t have to spend in a year at those businesses. Call it what you want, but to me, this is the ‘same’ as income.
Seller Financing a Business
Several years ago, we sold a business. We receive monthly payments from the new owner. We would have taken less in a cash payment, but because we financed it, we collect interest and principal payments.
The Stock Market
We have a very simple investing strategy. I invest mainly in the S&P 500, which is the largest 500 companies in the U.S. Over the last 90 years, it’s averaged about 8% returns. So you can set it and forget it. It’s for investing passively for the long term.
And if it doesn’t provide a positive return over time, then we have bigger fish to fry (it means the U.S. economy, and possibly the country, has more than likely collapsed).
How Many Income Streams Should I Have?
I have no idea. There are apparently seven streams of income and instead, we have approximately 19. I had never actually made a list of these until recently. If you asked me, I would have assumed that we had maybe a handful of sources.
Some may argue that I have way to much going on and should focus on One Thing.
I can’t say that I disagree.
But one thing I can say is that I am grateful that I have built different sources of income over the years.
In April of 2020, 100% of our Airbnb guests canceled their stays, an event that I was producing and marketing got canceled, and our local media company had no ads to sell to local events.
For about 90 days we were scratching our heads.
I said that we pivoted so hard our feet were hurting.
But because we are diversified, we shifted our energy to focus on other projects.
So, do I advise everyone to develop a side hustle?
You darn sure bet I do.