The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Multiple Revenue Streams: Like Our Forebears ...

With the complexities of life today and half the nation (U.S.) earning $34,000 or less a year on the job*, it is time to adopt the strategy of our forebears on the old frontier of Colonial yesteryear. Back in my archaeology days, we spent several years excavating a colonial plantation along the Potomac River that back in the late 1600s and early 1700s was out there on the wild frontier where Native Americans, pirates, and foreign powers roamed. Why the frontier, you ask perceptively? Because with the rugged and untamed edges of civilization came the opportunity to become involved in multiple revenue streams. Our planter (a merchant from England arriving in 1680) became a farmer, a ferry boat operator, millowner, woodsman, and head of the local militia. It's been a while. He may have had his fingers in one or two other pies that have slipped my mind. In terms of both influence and funds, our colonial entrepreneur had his hand on many forms of influence in the local community, was providing many services for the other frontier farmers, and was benefitting from multiple revenue streams at all times.

Today, we don't live on the wild frontier ... most of us, so we can't take advantage of wide open career paths to power needing to be filled. However, we can pick up on the strategy of multiple income streams, even if some of them are paltry. It will require creativity and extra work, but you can manage that! In fact, once you begin, you'll find you have more time than you think as you start pursuing ideas you love and dropping hours of TV or computer play time.

In the modern era, we have access to tools our man of the Colonial past couldn't even dream of using. We have computer connections in so many forms that give us access to platforms operating 24/7/365. Ponder for yourself how you can make use of that. From my second career as a writer and editor of antiques and collectibles books, I watched several antiques dealers do their business all day every day straight out of their homes with no shops involved. All their advertizing and sales came through their home computer. The most efficient had their own postal equipment and boxes at home as well. Material came and went via various postal services daily. Their digital shop was open always.

I know crafty people who add income by creating small and popular objects they produce quickly and at low cost. Lots of these items are sold via word of mouth and form one modest stream. Others find ways to use entertaining skills. Many jobs we have will provide spin off opportunities that do not interfere with the job at hand. Perhaps you can write for journals and newsletters or blogs about how to succeed in whatever it is you do ... without giving away trade secrets that will get you fired. I wrote many articles based on my book research in that previous career and those always proved useful revenue streams for my family.

Like our Colonial era entrepreneur, you'll need to be working seveal different areas at once as we too live in a challenging world, full of financial uncertainties and setbacks. It will require extra time management and lots of attention to keeping yourself from exhaustion. It will require some experimentation to find which of your passions actually pay off and are worthy of your time and energy.

Best of luck to you applying modern techniques to a centuries old strategy. Keep it safe and legal and see how far you can go.

*With this sad figure being the case, why is it that realators keep showing families purchasing quarter million dollar houses (roughly) in their TV commercials?

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