• While out on a run with a co-worker of mine, Julio, he started pitching me about a vacation package he had available for an “all-inclusive” resort in Cancun. He described various options and while trying to picture the resort, it suddenly occurred to me, “Hey I thought you were a systems analyst? I didn’t know you sell vacation packages as well?” I joked. He motioned with his hands directed at himself and quickly responded, “I am one-stop shop, and I can sell you real estate, life insurance, and a vacation package as well.”
    While continuing our conversation, I learned that at the age of 35, he was not only employed full-time as a systems analyst in our online training facility, but that he was also a travel agent, a real estate agent, and licensed to sell life insurance. He was married and living in a house, which intrigued me to find out more about how he got involved in all those professions. It turns out it started with his love for traveling and he wanted to get better discounts, so he became a travel agent. Then once he started to book reservations for family, friends, and co-workers, he appreciated having the added income.
    Finally, he often referred people to others services as well and realized he could process the request himself and collect the commission. Since he had a full-time job, he chose professions that he could pursue online at his leisure. Besides his regular income, he was able to pull in an additional one to three thousand dollars per month. Furthermore, he had the flexibility and option of spending as much or as little time as he wanted on his side jobs. He then chose to utilize the added income half as “play-money” to treat himself and the other half went toward investments.
    This got me thinking, everyone always talks about diversifying their investments. What about diversifying your streams of income to survive the turmoil of a shaky economy? Yes, it’s important to focus on saving money, and learning how to get the most “bang for your buck.” However, there something to be said about furthering your education and affording yourself the ability to have multiple streams of income by expanding your field of expertise. It not only promotes job security, but can supplement your income if the current source isn’t producing according to your needs.
    With the flood of online courses, there are many degrees and professions you can obtain from the comforts of your home. Be cautious not to fall into the cliché of being a “Jack of all trades but master of none.” Know what you’re doing and what you’re selling. Typically, if it’s a side-job that you enjoy in your personal time like traveling, real estate and others, you’ll stay on top of your game. Simply put, it’s the difference between capitalizing on your free time and pursuing your interests to afford you added income and/or benefits or passively sitting back and hoping that your current source isn’t jeopardized. It never hurts to learn something new to add to your toolbox. You never know when it might come in handy.