Diversifying is essential to life. Don’t stray too far from your clan when having children, and you’ll eventually see multiple genetic problems in your offspring. The more diverse the gene pool, the better for the health of your children and grandchildren.
Diversifying is also essential to your stock portfolio. The smartest investor is the one that has a variety of different types of investments. If one plummets, hopefully the other will improve. At the very least, they shouldn’t plummet at the same time if you’re well diversified.
If you’re self-employed, diversifying is essential.
Why Diversifying Is So Important to the Self-Employed
I’m self-employed and have three primary income streams: virtual assistant, staff writer and freelance writer.
My first jobs two years ago were small virtual assistant jobs. Then, I diversified and got my first staff writing job for a personal finance blog. Then I got a few more virtual assistant jobs and staff writing jobs.
After about 6 months, I started getting freelance writing jobs where people would contact me to write one-time posts for them. The freelance jobs ebbed and flowed. Sometimes I was swamped; other times I had no work.
I always considered the freelance writing jobs as extra. They were never part of my budgeted income amount. That way if they didn’t come, I wouldn’t be in a bind financially.
Over the last few months, my freelance writing jobs have dried up completely.
Someone else is writing the same types of posts for 50% less than I am.
If I was relying on those jobs as my sole source of income, I’d be in a bind.
If I relied on those jobs to help pay my bills, I’d also be in a bind.
Really, the only choice would be to lower my rates, too.
But because I’ve diversified, I don’t have to do that.
Would I like some of the extra money my freelance writing jobs offered? Sure.
But I don’t need it.
I don’t have to drop my rates.
The Benefits of Diversifying
Just this month, I acquired two new staff writing and virtual assistant jobs, so my finances are looking better, even though one of my self-employment income streams has essentially dried up.
Best of all, I’m making more with these new jobs than I would with the freelance writing jobs.
Advice about Diversifying for the Newly Self-Employed
If you work from home or if you’re considering it, put a price on your work that you can stand by and don’t lower the price to compete. That’s a losing battle.
Second, make sure that you’re diversified. Find jobs that complement each other. Then you can offer a variety of services so you’re not too dependent on one income stream.
If you’re self-employed, what are the ways you diversify your income stream?
Photo courtesy of flickr.com.