I teach in the Recording Industry department at a local university. One of the classes I teach is called Music Survey. It explores the three main revenue streams of the music industry. The first time I taught the class was as an Adjunct Professor. I was working full-time with my own company, and teaching three courses. As I read through the book to prep for class each week, I was reminded of something I’d promised myself almost three years earlier. When I left my former job, I told myself I would never again work for just one company unless it was my own. And at the point that I decided to launch Gloria Green Entertainment, I also decided then that I would seek out multiple means of earning an income, so that no one thing could ever be pulled out from underneath me again.
As I was teaching students about the various ways to generate revenue, and stressing the importance of creativity and diversity in those streams, I continued to seek out multiple sources of income earnings myself. And while my age may put me on the forgotten line for those of us born in the 1960s, frequently left out of true marketing, psychological, or social demographic studies – other than being referred to as the Me Generation, thanks in part to the success of the Michael J Fox Pepsi campaign, and a series of Brat Pack movies from the 1980s, my mindset and lifestyle plants me firmly on a different line – that of the entrepreneurial-minded Gen Xer and tech-loving world of the Millennials.
So as a woman; especially a single woman, I have made it a point to try to encourage my friends to seek out opportunities to turn their hobbies and passions into a means of financial reward, while keeping their day-jobs. It is the spirit of Catching Raindrops in Water Buckets; and it is becoming the necessity of adjusting to your new normal. In the wake of five years of financial instability, where job security is a phrase of the past, seeking entrepreneurial opportunities just makes sense. And no, you don’t have to put together a 10-page business plan; you don’t have to have an MBA; you don’t even have to know how to run a business, although understanding how to balance a checkbook would definitely come in handy. What you do need is passion, a drive for hard work, and to surround yourself with good friends who will help you realize your dream, and maybe even come along side you in it.
I know talented women who have various abilities and skills that they could monetized, but they’re afraid of the idea of running their own business. That’s not to say that starting a company is easy and everyone should do it. Quite the contrary. Way too many first-year companies never make it past a few years. My challenge to my female friends isn’t about quitting their day jobs and giving up their profit share, 401-k, and retirements to chase a dream. It’s more about extending your ability to realize your dream by starting something more – like those incredible cookies you bake and give away as Christmas gifts every year that no one can stop talking about; those birthday cakes you decorate for your family, and every year more friends ask you to make some for theirs; the homemade cards you make from recycled paper; or the soaps you make using your own garden herbs. You love giving them away, but there are people out there who wouldn’t mind paying to have them.
I have friends who offer services ranging from copyediting to house sitting; and those who taught themselves new skills, like web design and photography. Even the ability to help others get organized can be turned into a nice side business.
So over the next few weeks, I’m going to share some stories of women; average, everyday women I know, who for various reasons, have taken a talent, a passion, or just a desire to do something else, and created a secondary stream of income; some out of need, some out of want, but all are growing a new business for themselves.
Perhaps you’re one of those people; someone who has created something more than the 9 to 5 job that pays the mortgage. Maybe you’ve gone from a two-income family to a one and you had to find another means of support for the family; perhaps you’re one of thousands of people who are currently underemployed, working at a job earning much less money than you were 3, 4, or 5 years ago. Creating another income source helps to close the financial gap. Maybe you’ve had several unexpected bills – after all, life happens – and the salary you have barely covers the bills you’ve created. Or maybe, like me, you’ve been burnt before, and never want to rely on only one income source. Whatever drove you to the desire to start something new, I’d love to hear from you here, or follow us and share the link to your website on our Twitter page @CatchingtheRain.