Diversify your income sources, establish passive income streams to hedge against financial setbacks. All this is possible when you act on a plan to make money online.Recently, we received an inquiry from someone who found us via Eliza Fayle's Silver and Grace community:
Loved reading your info, on how you and hubby downsized, your location Independent life, and honestly since losing my job and now surviving on a substitute teachers salary, I would like to know more about how I too can acquire the life of Location Independent. Without the 8-5 or shall I say 5.30 AM to 6.30 PM; when you factor waking up, getting ready and traveling to / from work, it is really longer than 8 hours a day.
Could you provide me with information on how to find a the opportunities you found?
Everybody's circumstances are unique, of course, but one big thing is to diversify your sources of income. This is the basis behind many people deciding they'd like to make money online and work toward becoming location independent. Much in the same way as financial advisors recommend investment diversification as a hedge against loss, a variety of income streams can be a hedge against financial setbacks and inevitable change in the marketplace. (Even if you have a job, you are still marketing yourself every day you show up to work). If you get laid off, it would be nice to have a passive income source or two to mitigate the effects, right?
So think about what you might have to sell and where you might sell it. If you'd like to make money online, you can set up the way your product sells without a lot of effort on your part (like online downloadable, for example). Then you have "passive income," meaning you've done the work once and it sells over and over again. E-books, 3rd party Produce on Demand online stores like Zazzle or CafePress, Squidoo and other passive income sources are easy to search for and identify. Pete has written a nice little FREE e-book about how to make money online with Zazzle which might be of interest: How to Get Started on Zazzle
If you are substituting as opposed to having a teaching contract, you already know a little bit about hustling vs traditional employment. As you're a teacher, is there an opportunity to produce additional passive income and work toward becoming location independent by selling what you know? Tutoring? Coaching? Perhaps you could make money online with downloadable lesson plans or info about staying organized? What's the best strategy to get the best substitute teaching assignments? Etc. Perhaps you have a hobby or an area of expertise - what are people wanting to learn about that and can you help them? Do you have books or household items that you could sell on Craigslist or Ebay? When we first started out Pete sold his childhood collection of comic books (with a fictitious sob story about how his mean new wife was making him do it, I might add, hahaha) and used the proceeds to buy a MacBook Pro to use in getting started with his photography work, which now is a source of passive income in several venues.
Here is a post we put up some time ago about "Side Hustles" of this nature: Career Goals: Side Hustle Your Way Into Independence
This post outlines our business structure. We did another post in August about with our 2nd quarter progress for this year.
The good news this is all very simple in nature. The not-so-good news is that it takes time and dedication to get established, and you may not become location independent for quite some time. There are any number of resources that you can Google for ideas in the "make money online" niche, but be aware that some of the advice and income claims are pie-in-the-sky. We addressed this here: Be the Tortoise, Not the Hare.
The other big thing that we see people chasing is "work-life balance." I think this is a misnomer, as true work-life balance is never achieved. Instead, if you can think strategically about integrating work to fit the life you'd like, in my opinion there is a better chance of success: Passive income from online activities tends to support this type of integration.
We sat down early in our marriage and went through the process of deciding what we'd like our life together to be about. Our choices boiled down to our tagline of "travel, simplicity and independence in work and life." Once that was decided, we began to evaluate passive income opportunities and ideas on how to make money online with that framework governing how they fit into the big picture, and we still do.
This is all very much a work in progress for us. When you sharpen your abilities to evaluate opportunities, it seems as though many, many more flow past. It's up to each of us to decide which ones are the most viable and promising. We have a couple of Resource Sections on this site which you might want to look at, and of course there are any number of bloggers who are in the location independent and passive income niches that you might relate to. Simple Google searches with those terms will get you started reading and learning, but the important thing is to take action, even if it's a baby step or two. So don't get too bogged down in the preparation. Instead, just pick something that you think you'd like to do and get started!