Hey there friends!
Today I’m excited to talk a little bit about something that’s quickly becoming a favorite topic of mine - diversifying your income!
After building a successful six figure wedding photography business, I began to realize that as much as I love wedding photography and the opportunity to provide such an important, emotional service to couples I adore, I love the challenge of building a business just as much! Between the curiosity about other kinds of businesses and wanting to save a few more weekends per year for time spent with my friends and family, I began to think about diversifying our income.
Since then, I’ve begun building out a new branch of my business focusing on educating my fellow photographers, and my husband and I bought a little chalet in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, just outside of North Conway, to renovate, redecorate, and Airbnb out!
Both have been SO much fun, so fulfilling, and the extra income they bring in has been awesome - in the month of July alone, our Airbnb brought in enough revenue to cover its own mortgage for SIX months! Since both are relatively passive, it’s also given me some time to discover and explore new passions, and who knows… maybe down the road those will lead to even more ways to diversify my income!
At this point, diversifying my income has become my #1 priority. Let’s chat about why you should be thinking about doing it too, and how to set yourself up to diversify intelligently!
First, let’s dive into the why.
Diversifying your income is awesome for SO MANY REASONS, my friends! If you lose your job or your business starts losing steam or your family dynamics change or your health changes, having a few different income streams will make it much easier to weather. The good old “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” cliche is on point here.
It makes you a better business person. As you learn new skills, dive into new interests, and add in new income streams, you’ll inevitably begin thinking outside the box for your main career. Adding these new areas to my business has made me look at my wedding photography business in a completely different light. Try adapting techniques that are commonplace for the new income streams to your main career/business, and see where that takes you!
Career Flexibility. These days, it’s not unusual for people to have several different careers. Diversifying your income makes it much easier to transition career-wise or try new things out without as much risk. It’s much easier to replace 40% of your income than it is to replace 100%!
It keeps you from getting bored and stale. This one sounds kind of silly, but it’s actually a super important one for me personally. I’ve noticed that when I’m into something, I do it super well and with lots of passion. When I’m feeling burnt out, bored, or disinterested, it takes a LOT more energy to deliver the level of service I expect of myself! Keeping things varied and fresh (and taking the pressure off of any ONE thing to be the ONLY thing you focus on/make money from) really helps me stay motivated and passionate about everything I’m doing.
It allows you explore new passions. I honestly think the spice of freaking LIFE is just trying out and learning new things! When you’re always looking to diversify your income, it becomes extra fun to try new things, because you never know if it’ll lead to yet another income stream! Even $100/month extra in income from a new source can make a huge difference in your life!
It expands your network. The people you’ll meet or cross paths with thanks to your new income streams may end up being customers of your main business, may offer you your next job, may introduce you to your next big client… you never know!
Now, onto the how!
One of the main things I’ve learned while diversifying my own income is that, if you’re able to, structure your CURRENT business or job in a way that allows you to have a few extra hours per week to play with.
It can be tough to really get into trying new business ideas or learning new things when you’re feeling stretched thin. This isn’t necessary for diversifying, but if you can do it, I can’t recommend it enough. It’ll put you in a position that makes diversifying feel easy, fun, and exciting rather than draining.
When deciding to diversify, start with what you’re already doing. Can you find a way to serve a DIFFERENT set of people with the skills/products you have now? Or can you find a way to serve your current customers in a way that’s adding something new?
Or, do you already have a skill or passion that you’re curious about monetizing? Try it out! It’s great to be in a position and mindset of just experimenting since your main job/business is covering your regular bills. And don’t forget that reduction of bills by sharing something you already have (like carpooling!) counts as diversifying your income, too!