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Tips for Making a Little Moolah on the Side

Hannah P. Morgan

Your financial adviser suggests you disperse your investments across a portfolio of instruments such as mutual funds, stocks, and bonds to protect your money. Yet most people have not applied this same logic for diversifying and protecting their income. If you should lose one source of income, wouldn't you feel better knowing you still had some money coming in?

One Income Source Is Risky

It used to be that having one job was good enough. This was back when you joined a company and were practically guaranteed a job until you retired from that company. No one worried about downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, or outsourcing. The world of work changed and jobs no longer last a lifetime. When your job ends, where does that leave you? If you're eligible, you can collect unemployment benefits for up to 26 weeks. These weekly checks won't replace your lost income. However, if you've been saving money you may have enough to make up the difference. When you're unemployed, you don't want or need the added stress that comes from financial worries. It is stressful enough to be in a job search. The solution is dispersing your sources of income.

Ideas for Additional Income

You may have heard about people who make millions flipping real estate or perhaps you've seen the work-at-home scams. Be wary of those things that sound too good to be true. Your options to generate additional income are limited only by your creativity. You could launch an online store, offer consulting services, turn a hobby into an income-generator by selling products or providing instruction, or join a direct sales or multilevel marketing opportunity with a company like Pampered Chef, Mary Kay, or 5Linx.

Seek Help From Others

As you begin thinking about business ideas, bounce them off of people you know and respect. Ask your friends to provide their honest feedback. Simultaneously, conduct online research to see what other people have done to launch their side businesses. Find a network of solopreneurs who can advise you and whom you can consult with to find new solutions for running your business.

It Takes Time

Getting a side business up and running takes time. If you're employed in a 9-to-5 job, you'll be giving up some of your evenings and weekends to get your business running. As terrible as this sounds, the payoff is seeing the fruits of your labor and if you truly enjoy what you're building, it doesn't feel like you're losing free time. Set aside time each day and each week to take your idea from concept to reality.

Just Say Yes

You could say you don't have time, you don't have any ideas for a business, or you aren't cut out to be in business for yourself. Maybe these excuses are true, however, consider the alternative--you lose your job and run out of money. What will you do then? A wise investor saves for the future, so why not build your additional income stream before you need it?

Hannah Morgan is a speaker and author providing no-nonsense career advice; she guides job seekers and helps them navigate today's treacherous job search terrain. Hannah shares information about the latest trends, such as reputation management, social networking strategies, and other effective search techniques on her blog, Career Sherpa.

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