There is a HUGE myth around multiple streams of revenue: that if you diversify income streams you’ll make more money. Let me set the record straight (and save you the mistakes so many of us make).
I want to talk about passive income streams, investing, and building one bridge at a time, so you can learn how to diversify your income the RIGHT way.
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If you’re not making enough money in your business right now and you think you’re going to be able to make more through multiple streams of revenue, I hate to break it to you but that’s a myth.
I want to talk to you about why it’s a myth and why you should not be trying to build multiple streams of income before you’re already successful. I also want to talk to you about what you can do in the meantime to be able to start diversifying your revenue anyway.
So I know it’s a really sexy idea… if you want to make $100,000/year you’ve got to have multiple streams of income because if you can’t get past 30k or 40k on one stream then what are you gonna do, right? Wrong.
This is the biggest, most dangerous myth out there. It’s what keeps most entrepreneurs below six figures and I can only know this for a fact not only because I’ve learned it and seen it from other people, but because I made this mistake myself.
My very first business when I started 20 years ago was as a massage therapist and I hit a lid. I couldn’t make more than x number of dollars just working independently and so I decided I needed more streams of revenue. I thought I’d figure out how I can build these multiple streams of income that everybody’s talking about. So I went about trying to do just that. I started contracting other therapists to work with me and expanded from a one-person show to a company and had multiple therapists.
I also started in-home spa parties and chair massages at events. We were doing hotel massages, doing chair massages at businesses, and with those spa parties, I decided to sell the products that I was making because obviously, I had this image in my mind that these products were just gonna be this like best kept secret and people were gonna share them with everybody and everybody was gonna want them. And it’s such bulls***.
There’s this image in the book Essentialism, if you have not read this you need to read it.
There’s this image that really sums this up.
You can either go in 10 different directions and really end up going nowhere or you can double down in one direction and get really far. It’s really easy to believe that more ideas are required in order to make more money but it’s just not true.
More money doesn’t come from more ideas, more money comes from mastering and expanding on one idea.
Until you get it really, really good to the point where you can pass it off to somebody else on your team and it continues to make money, then moving on and doing the same thing with a new idea. It’s this concept of building one bridge at a time, if you want to cross the river from where you are now to where you want to get from five figures to six figures you’re not going to do that by trying to build 10 bridges across this river, you’re never going to finish any of those bridges.
Your time and your resources are so minimal, they’re so spread thin, that you never actually get it completed you end up burning yourself out.
This was exactly what happened in my business. I was doing 10 million things, none of them very good, because I didn’t understand the underlying mechanisms that were necessary to master one revenue stream. And that’s the real kicker, if you don’t have one revenue stream that is rocking it then you don’t have any business trying to do the same thing in another one because all the problems from that first revenue stream are just going to be doubled, if not tripled in the next one.
You’re not just doubling your time by doubling your ideas, you are quadrupling it because you’re increasing the stress with the increase of the problems.
What’s your one thing?
So up until $100k you need to double down on one thing, one idea, one concept…
Maybe you have one product line, that’s okay, right? Maybe you have a couple of product lines but you need to be focusing on one strategy to be able to build those and until those are done and solid. You need to let go of everything else. You might need to let go of strategies, platforms, or even some of the things that you’re currently offering.
If you have too many offers and you’re spreading yourself too thin apply the 80/20 Rule.
Which of these offers is bringing in 80% of your income?
Let the other ones go, double down on those ones for a while. Master those, master the sales behind it, master the marketing behind it, master the strategies behind it. Once it gets really good then start bringing in the next idea because now you have the skills and the talent and the experience to do the same thing – to duplicate the success. Otherwise, you’re just going to be duplicating your failures and your stress and your worries and your doubts and your lack of self-confidence and ultimately, your burnout rate.
Now that being said I am still a really big fan of multiple streams of income even if you’re not making $100k because we don’t need to put all of our eggs in one basket
It’s just not safe, it’s not sustainable. We want to be diversifying our income so that we have a little bit more of a security blanket should something happen. So, how do you do this while still focusing on one bridge at a time?
#1 – Pay your future self first
You take a percentage of every dollar you earn, even if it’s just 1% and you stick that into your own retirement fund. You pay your future self first.
I talked about this in another video on the Money-Making Habits. It is so crucial that you start doing this, that you start investing in a retirement fund, and stocks and things that are going to build up over time.
You take that money, you ignore it, you pretend like it’s no longer there, you put it into a good investment and you allow that to build.
I highly encourage you to do this from your very first dollar. Yes, you’re taking money and investing it in your business but you want to be taking it and essentially what you’re doing is investing it in other businesses by investing it in the market. This gives you that diversification, it builds the habit so that over time you make sure you maintain that habit and you’re ultimately going to have those multiple streams of revenue or multiple streams of income down the road when you really need them.
#2 – Tripwires and Upsells
The next thing you can do, in your spare time, is to do really simple things like tripwires or upsells.
This means if you’re selling a product line on your website now, maybe on the checkout page you’re adding some simple thing like “do you want to add this?”, “this would go really well with that”. The sort of things that are completely passive. We’re going for totally passive so that you can focus on your main bridges, the main things that you’re trying to accomplish with your one offer, your one marketing strategy, and so on.
If you are a service provider or you have an online course or something like that you’ve probably seen upsells where you get to the checkout page you order something and then it goes to another page that says “Hey! Here’s this other thing, do you want to add it?” You can do the same thing there, too.
It’s important to make sure that you’re either using something that’s already been created, even if it’s imperfect.
You don’t need to be spending a lot of time and energy on this, or that it’s something that you can create literally in one afternoon. It’s short, it’s sweet, it’s probably an inexpensive add-on but it creates additional passive revenue for you.
#3 – Ad Revenue
Another truly passive option would be things like ad revenue.
This applies only in certain circumstances, so for instance, my channel, all the videos on my channel have ads and that creates a passive revenue stream for me. This isn’t something that I’m worried about, it’s not something that I focus a lot on, it’s not something that I count on, it’s just a passive revenue stream that’s gonna get created through things that I’m already doing anyway.
So, maybe you have a blog that you can put ads on if it doesn’t dilute the message or the work that you’re doing on that blog. Maybe you’ve got a YouTube channel you could put ads on, or you’ve got sponsors and you can have them sponsor newsletters.
Again what you’re going for here is something that’s truly passive, something that’s not going to take any extra time so that you can be putting all of your mental creative energy into that one bridge that you’re building until you master it.
What serves your audience?
Here’s the last thing that I want you to know and this is probably the most important: when you go to build a new bridge don’t just pick an idea that you like, that you think is sexy, and that you think other people will like.
Listen to your audience, ask them what they want from you. Ask them questions, get feedback. If you’re not doing that then odds are you’re not creating something that’s going to sell. Or you’re creating something that could sell but kind of misses the mark because you haven’t made sure that it’s covering all the bases that need to be covered.
This is what I did in my business.
My clients weren’t asking for spa parties and spa products, I was just saying “oh I could do this, oh here’s a new idea” and that’s what most entrepreneurs do. We are idea-generating machines but we struggle to follow through on them, in part because there are so many of them.
You are going to get to develop the self-discipline of focus, putting the blinders on and just focusing on that one bridge at a time.
And then when it’s time to build that next bridge putting your blinders on and focusing just on what your clients or customers are telling you, literally out of their mouth that they want you to create for them. When you do that that next bridge really starts to take off.
So, again, I know this isn’t sexy, I know that this isn’t what you want to hear, and I know that this is hard. It is so difficult to choose one idea, one thing. So what do you choose first?
You choose the one that’s closest to cash. You choose the one that has the most potential. And potentially, you choose the one that over time you’ll be able to outsource as you grow your team.
In other words, you can pass it off to other people who can help you to do that thing. If you’re a service provider you choose your one-on-one services because that is always closest to cash and then maybe your next bridge is going to be a one-to-many service. If you’re a product-based business you’re looking at your products and you’re saying okay which ones are selling the fastest, which ones are selling the most and you’re focusing on really mastering the sales around that one first.
It wasn’t until I mastered this skill, a focus of blinders and choosing one bridge and mastering that bridge, that I finally broke the six-figure mark and continued to grow from there.
This, by and far, is the most important skill that you can have. Saying no to yourself when you’ve got lots of excitement over lots of great ideas. It’s not that you’re not going to do them; you just got to remind yourself it’s not the right time yet.
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What about you, boss lady?
Do you have multiple streams of income – and if so, which one did you build FIRST?
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