In the “gig economy,” it’s always surprising to see young people cling to one source of income from an employer. And yet, the SBA reported in 2016 that less than 2% of Millennials are self-employed, compared with 7.6% of Gen X and 8.3% of Baby Boomers. With that kind of drop in entrepreneurship, it’s clear that Millennials prefer the safety and security of a single source of income, even though most Millennials would readily admit to wanting to make more money.
The problem with this scenario is that it flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which is to diversify your financial risk as much as possible. With your income tied to a single source, what happens if you get laid off? Even if you have job security, how would you go about growing your income by 10%, 20% or even 100% per year?
Instead, some Millennials are turning to a hybrid personal income model to make more money in 2018 and beyond. Although money doesn’t come from trees, making more money can be as simple as understanding how to properly set up a diversified income strategy. To that end, here are 3 surprising ways to make more money starting in 2018:
Make your current job rock solid
There are two types of jobs: Jobs where you’re expendable, and jobs where the employer would sell her house before firing you. Any employee can strive to be the latter. To make sure you have job security and the best chances for a raise, there are two keys: performance and networking. Performance is obvious — do a great job, all the time. Be willing to take new projects. Strive for excellence and go the extra mile.
But networking is an often-overlooked way to solidify your role and gain incredible opportunities to get the raise you deserve. For starters, make sure all of your higher-ups know who you are and what you stand for. Take them out to coffee and sit with them at lunch. Build rapport and a personal mentor relationship. Those connections could prove vital later on.
Build a passive income stream
There are tons of ways to create passive income streams for yourself. My recommendation: Choose an income stream as boring as possible. Why? Because it can serve as a hedge to whatever else you’re doing. Real estate is a perfect component here, because — barring another financial crisis — it’s a great way to gain leverage in an asset that typically appreciates very slowly, has predictable rates of return and doesn’t require an Ivy League doctorate to operate. Other options include writing and selling eBooks or developing other automated businesses that are easy on your schedule and can make you a modest profit every year.
Start an active side hustle
What if you want to make more money this month? If you want full control over your financial status, start a side hustle. You can bake, sell online courses, start a T-shirt business with your favorite drawings from when you were ten years old, or whatever. It actually doesn’t matter what you do — what matters is that you set the intention of making more money through selling and start down the road.
Just starting to build a side hustle will lead you on a path to learning what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, and that hands-on education will serve you well as time goes on. The trick here is to not get lost in dreaming of building an empire. Start small, and try to sell your product or service without any investment (it’s absolutely possible, and entrepreneurs do it all the time!).
Strategies to make more money
If you want to make more money in 2018, there are more ways than ever thanks to the internet. But the key here is to pick a diversified strategy and then start making moves. Small decisions over time can add up to literally millions of dollars. And if you’ve got a diverse set of income streams, you won’t have to worry as much about the next round of potential layoffs. And if your diversified income streams let you quit your day job, anyway, then all the better for you.