In a recent article (What is The Ultimate Lifestyle), I talked about the 8 core components that define "The Ultimate Lifestyle."
The first component was income streams, and the reason it was listed as #1 is because if you want to live the ultimate lifestyle (as you define it), you must:
- Have total control over your time (i.e. you're your own boss, not an employee)
- Have numerous income streams flowing, with as many of them as possible being "passive" or requiring minimal time and effort from you. To truly live the ultimate lifestyle, you must have income that flows whether you "show up for work" or not. These income streams are the "fuel" that drives The Ultimate Lifestyle.
In this article, I'm going to discuss the "Top 10" income streams you can setup. There are actually many more than 10, but we don't have we room to discuss them all here.
You may be in a position to take advantage right now of many or all of the streams I discuss, or it may take some time and effort to get one or more of them flowing. There's no hurry. Creating the ultimate lifestyle takes vision, time, planning and effort.
All the streams I discuss may not interest you or match your preferred lifestyle, and it isn't necessary to have all of them flowing at once (or at all) to live your own ultimate lifestyle. I'm just giving you food for thought.
Here are the "Top 10" best ways I've found to generate the streams of income required to truly live your ultimate lifestyle:
1. Start/Run Your Own Business
We're living at a fantastic time in history if your goal is to start your own business and create passive or "low effort" income streams from it selling products or services.
With the many benefits of the Internet, the power of direct marketing (online and offline), and the large number of top- notch contractors and third party companies you can offload the day-to-day "grunt work" to, today's entrepreneurial environment a dream come true if you know how to set things up to take maximum advantage of the many tools and resources available.
In addition, it has never been easier to set up a strong flow of income doing something you love or you're really passionate about - no matter what it is or how "obscure" it may be. Again, the Internet and direct marketing create unprecedented levels of opportunity.
Finally, there are numerous tax advantages to having your own business which enable you to put much more money in your own pocket -- if you know how to set things up and take maximum advantage of the many tools and systems available.
If you want to live your ultimate lifestyle, your own business will be at the core of it. It's my #1 choice for creating the ultimate lifestyle.
If you have a specific area of expertise and you know how to turn it into a book, audio, video or multi-media course, you can get other people to manufacture it, sell it, manage all the details, and send you a royalty check for a percentage of the sales. This is a great stream of passive income and one I'm currently pursuing aggressively.
You can also generate passive royalty income from inventions or other marketable ideas of various kinds.
You make less money "per piece" when you go this route, but the fact that you don't have daily responsibility for managing the production, sales, accounting and other details has a lot of value, and if you set it up right, the products that generate royalties for you also cause people to come back into your orbit to buy and do other things that end up benefiting you in many other ways in the long run.
Do you feel this is a good idea but you don't think you have the expertise that could translate into a royalty stream? That *might* be true, but I can almost guarantee that you have expertise you don't know you have, you could easily create it by following a passion and/or create a potential royalty stream from knowledge you have or could get if you got some the right kind help.
3. Licensing Fees
This income stream is similar to the royalty stream, but has many notable differences. Licensing involves charging a fee to allow others to sell products you create (books, tapes, videos, etc.), or to use your likeness, logo or other very visible aspect of your work, business or "brand."
Licensing can also take the form of allowing others to present a seminar, workshop or talk you've designed that provides many benefits to the audiences receiving them. I have two friends, Charles and Will, who've licensed the rights to one, two and three day seminars with their material, and they receive HUGE checks every month.
Will actually has 5000 people licensed to present his one day seminar, and tens of thousands of people are getting the benefit of his work, and he's getting big checks without lifting a finger.
There are other forms of licensing, however, that don't require expertise on your part, just visibility and a "brand."
One example includes Disney who licenses their logo, the likenesses of Disney characters, etc. Another example includes Harry Potter merchandise. Another example includes the use of the Coke or Pepsi logo.
While it's true that these examples center around huge companies, there are a variety of licensing opportunities for "little guys" like you and me if you get creative and set it up right.
4. Real Estate
I've only dabbled in real estate over the years, but I'm gearing up with my wife to get very involved with Real Estate in 2004 and beyond.
Passive income streams can flow out of Real Estate in many ways, including:
Buying and then re-selling foreclosures and other "distressed" properties
Buying apartment buildings or office buildings
Buying a building for your own business use (I plan to do this in a few years)
Buying houses, renovating them, and reselling them (my stepmother does this with a good friend of mine in Los Angeles and they're *very* successful at it) Real Estate does require that someone "shows up" to do various things, but you can set it up so you aren't that "someone." That's my goal and plan with my wife.
There are many people out there who teach powerful systems for setting up passive income streams with Real Estate.
You can setup passive or "low effort" income streams from having cash you invest in "vehicles" that generate dividends, interest, or other forms income.
You can also generate an income stream, although it's not completely passive (but might suit your lifestyle preferences) by trading stocks, options, or commodities.
There's an art to generating income from investments.
You do not want to choose this option without exercising great caution and/or finding an advisor or partner that can do it for you.
6. Life Insurance
This is a longer term strategy and one designed more for your retirement years, but there are forms of life insurance that allow you to fund the policy in earlier years and then receive guaranteed income in later years. I'm putting a program like this in place as we speak.
7. Sale/Payout Of A Business
If you have your own business, you can sell it one day (maybe even soon) and use the cash you receive to fund your ultimate lifestyle -- and/or to pursue the other passive income streams discussed here.
My father did this. He bought a small chain of travel agencies, built it up, then sold it. He got cash at the time of sale, but also had an "earn out" that sent a strong income stream to him for 15 years. My friend randy did the same thing when he sold his business.
8. Network Marketing
Network Marketing (or "MLM") gets a bad rap from many people and in many circles, yet it's one of the best ways to create passive, or reasonably passive income streams, if you pick the right company and work the system correctly.
9. Other Partnerships
In addition to the options listed above, there are a variety of other partnerships and relationships you can create where you help other people to achieve their goals, get something they really want, or give them something to sell, and they compensate you for it.
10. Information Products
This is a subset of having your own business, but I'm breaking it out separately because it's an ultimate lifestyle creation tool you should consider even if you already have your own business right now.
When I say "information products," I mean books, tapes, courses, seminars, coaching programs, etc.
There are many people who already have a business doing something (like being a doctor, dentist, real estate broker), and through having that business, they've developed a strong expertise that can help other people in the same business enhance their success.
For example, I know one dentist who's so skilled at a particular kind of reconstructive dentistry, that other dentists flock to him and he's created additional income streams from sharing his expertise through a newsletter, seminars and "look over my shoulder" events. He generates $1 million a year from his information products business and could stop practicing dentistry at any time if he wanted to.
I know of another man who's in the lumber business who developed a revolutionary process for drying lumber faster. He started teaching that process to other people in the lumber business through just 2-3 weekend seminars a year and created a $250,000 a year income stream from it.
I know of a very successful real estate broker who created a variety of information products (courses, seminars, and coaching) to teach other real estate brokers how to use his system to make a lot more money with a lot less effort. While he's still working as a real estate broker every day, his information products business generates a huge income stream for him and he could also stop working as a broker at any time if he wanted to.
I know of a very successful carpet cleaner who is now living his ultimate lifestyle teaching other carpet cleaners how to increase their sales and profits using his unique approach.
I also know a very successful orthopedic surgeon and mortgage broker who want to stop working so hard in their chosen field and are currently seeking ways to create information products businesses to replace their current incomes while making dramatic shifts in their lifestyles.
Do you have your own business and have developed a unique expertise or approach that could be converted into an information products business?
The Next Steps ...
Depending on where you are right now in your career, you may be thinking to yourself, "This all sounds great, but I have absolutely no idea what income streams I might be able to setup or how to do it."
If that thought (or one like it) crossed your mind, stay tuned. I'll be discussing some "what to do" and "how to do it" ideas in future articles.