© 2014 Elena Fawkner
One of the legacies of 9/11 is that that large sections
of the U.S. and world economy have taken a body blow.
Every day we hear of more and more companies who plan
to lay off large numbers of workers (or have already) as
they strive to reposition themselves to ride out what
the doomsayers predict will shortly become a full-blown
As much as you can intellectually sympathize with a
tactic that effectively sacrifices a few for the good of
the many (i.e., the ultimate survival of the business entity
and the jobs of all those left behind), if you're the one in
the firing line it's pretty cold comfort that others will be
more financially secure as a result of your sacrifice.
REBELLION AND VULNERABILITY
It's not unusual for people in such a situation to begin
to rebel against the idea of having their financial destiny
in someone else's hands. Quite right, too. The response
of many in this situation is to begin to think about
working for themselves, to be free of the tyranny of
being dependent on others for their financial survival.
Unfortunately, however, the failure rate of new small
businesses is high and they take time to get up and
running. So thinking about and actually starting a new
business AFTER you've lost your day job is too little,
For this reason, many people start their own business
part-time, while they're still working full-time. This
approach has several advantages, not least of which
is a financial cushion (i.e., your salary) during the time
you're building your business.
The goal of most such business owners is to eventually
become successful enough to allow them to quit their
day jobs and work on their own business full-time. Fair
As recent events have shown, however, no-one is
immune from financial vulnerability whether you be
employed in the full-time workforce, a struggling home-
based entrepreneur running your own small-scale travel
agency or anything in between.
So how do you know what to choose as your livelihood
to ensure that you will never again be subject to the
vagaries of the economy, to ensure that your financial
future is secure?
The cold hard truth is that since you don't have a crystal
ball, you simply don't. After all, who could possibly have
foreseen the events of 9/11 (other than the FBI and the
Whatever your job, career, business or investment
strategy, things can take a downturn. Does that mean
you have to take a downturn right along with them?
Well, if all your eggs are in that particular basket, it
does. But what if all your eggs are not in that basket
but only a few of them? Well then, you simply divert
the energy you were expending on the basket that's
gone south into the ones that are still headed north.
MULTIPLE STREAMS OF INCOME
Multiple streams of income is the key. You've probably
heard of the concept in terms of running an online
business. It means don't just sell one product or service
from your website, sell several so that if one bombs,
your livelihood doesn't have to.
Well, you can apply the same approach to your life.
Who says your only choices are to work full-time in
paid employment, work full-time in your own business,
or work full-time in paid employment and part-time in
your own business?
Maybe the solution is to do EVERYTHING part-time.
Let's say you work full-time in paid employment and
you run an online business in your spare (part-)time.
Let's also say that your salary is low enough that, if
you just had enough time to devote to it, you're pretty
sure you could ramp up your online business to the
point that you were generating more profit from every
hour you devote to it than if you spent that same time
working in your paid job.
Now, some would decide that at that point they'd quit
their day job and just work on their business full-time.
That may be a good option. IF you can be sure that
your business is going to succeed over the longer term.
But it ignores the fact that you don't really know what's
around the corner and by giving up your day job you've
also just given up your financial cushion (your
"insurance" if you will).
And if you decide to do away with your business because
you figure if you devote your time and energy into working
even harder and longer hours for your employer you'll get
a promotion and more money, if you lose your job you're
screwed because you don't have the financial cushion of
your business as insurance.
THE "ONE PART-TIME PLUS ONE PART-TIME EQUALS
ONE FULL-TIME" SOLUTION
So what's the answer? Work both your job and
your business part-time so that, together, they add
up to full-time. If (and this is an important "if" if cash
flow is tight) the extra time you have to devote to your
business will result in a commensurately greater financial
return than would working the same hours in your job
(make sure you run the numbers to be sure this is the case
- if not, start a more profitable business!) this can be a
viable option. Even if it yields the same return (or maybe
even a little less) it may still be worth considering as sort
of an insurance policy against being laid off.
Likewise, an employer that's struggling in a soft economy
and facing having to lay staff off may well welcome the
option of converting you to a part-timer with the resultant
reduction in payroll and overheads.
Such a situation can be a win-win for all concerned. (And
if you're a parent of young children, I hardly need to point
out the lifestyle advantages and reduction in child care
So, if you're still looking for The Answer, your Big Break,
The One, STOP. Stop thinking in terms of "ones" and
start thinking in terms of multiples. Multiple part-time
ventures (and don't limit yourself to just one part-time
job and one part-time business, the best combination for
you may be two part-time jobs and one part-time business
- whatever works) which, when added together, bring in
just as much or more income than your J.O.B. (Just Over
Broke) and minimize your risk from the vagaries of forces
and events over which you have no control.
Just as investment advisers warn investors not to place
all their eggs in one basket, so too you should avoid
relying on just one golden goose. Get a flock of 'em!
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Thursday, 09-Jul-2020 07:01:03 CDT