The Desire to Cultivate Multiple Streams of Income
One of the most discussed and desired aspects of business development for entrepreneurs involves multiple streams of income. In fact, among psychotherapists and coaches (life coaching, business coaching), there are some truths that people realize from the outset:
- Developing and maintaining individual clients can be challenging. It requires a capacity to be both effective in service and good at either telling people about your services, or inspiring others to share about your services.
- Once you have an individual or even group case load, you have limited your income to the fee you charge per hour. Yes you can go up on your rates…however a fee per hour service is a fee per hour service.
- Lastly, most therapists and coaches don’t want to be stuck at the same level of income with no end in sight. It is both detrimental to one’s eventual retirement and to one’s current living expenses (needs and wants).
So What Should Service Providers Do?
- Master your craft. Providers who lack confidence in their skill set do not inspire customers to engage in their services. There is a part of them that does not want clients or more clients because they are afraid that they cannot deliver. First you must sit up, then scoot, then crawl, then walk, then run…everything has a learning curve. Don’t expect to be an expert from the outset. Give yourself time to grow. You don’t have to have additional streams of income right now.
- Stay connected to yourself. If you don’t know who you are, no one else can tell you. There may be guides along your path. But you won’t go with them unless you can learn to trust your instincts. If you are a service provider, make no mistake about it…you are selling an aspect of self. People need to want to work with you. They need to want to buy your service or product. People have a difficult time wanting to associate with anyone who evidently does not know who they are and people can like someone who is ever changing…becoming what they think each next customer or client wants for them to be. The person who doesn’t know themselves is often boundary-less. They are amorphous – changing services and business names so often that no one can identify them effectively for any extended period of time.
- Develop one stream of income at a time. While many of us are prolific multi-taskers, we can only literally do one thing at a time…if we are to do any one thing effectively. Focus is critical. First, identify your foundation. Your foundation is that service or product at the center of what you do. You must build an effective business structure around that service. An effective structure involves having a way to on board clients/customers, deliver services or products, collect fees, allocate your funds and then repeat the cycle.
- Allow demand to determine your next stream of income. Offer the next stream of income (services) based on what people want from you. Once you have mastered your craft, a natural demand for more services will show up. It is important to wait for this to happen. Sometimes people want to jump ahead and develop or offer services and products for which there is no demand. While much of what you do should be based on what you want to offer or provide, it helps to be grounded in the reality of what people are seeking – not just in general, but specifically from you. If you cultivate products and services without regard for demand, you risk digging a money (and time) pit, not a stream of income.
- Accept defeat. Defeat can involve a myriad of events…here are a few:
- planning an event and having few registrants;
- offering a service but not getting any calls;
- investing money into some form of business support that doesn’t actually produce results;
- having a setback with a client;
- hiring additional providers who don’t produce.
You will feel defeated from time to time. That is normal. You must accept defeat so that you do not fear it. You can and will bounce back from failure as long as you get back up.
Income Streams Must be More than Income Streams
The services and products you offer can only succeed if there is passion attached. The passion must be real. You cannot “fake it until you make it.”
Some people will find that they started out as a therapist or coach or (fill in the blank), and they ended up not identifying with what or whom they set out to be.
- Maybe the work wasn’t enjoyable,
- Maybe they did not or could not master their craft,
- Maybe some other creative force or endeavor called and they didn’t listen.
Developing multiple streams of income is not something that can simply be copied, borrowed or emulated. Every single person that you have observed successfully providing services, selling books, speaking, training etc…is someone who exudes passion. They love what they do and it is infectious. If people are not infected by your voracious passion for your services…then it is often a reflection of some greater truth. People won’t buy what you are selling if you don’t buy it.
A Time for Everything
If you give up because things haven’t gone the way you expected, then the fire isn’t there. “There is a season for everything and a time for every activity under the sun.” “A time to be born and a time to die.” This is true for aspects of your business. If you don’t let what is dying go…then what is new cannot be born. Birth is not a passive act. Birth is laborious. To master multiple streams of income you must master faith in yourself and be humble enough to receive (learn from consequences and feedback), stay on course or chart a new one.
Copyright © 2018 Ruby Blow. All rights reserved.
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