I’ve interviewed over 350 wealthy entrepreneurs on my podcast and here’s an interesting fact. Rarely do my guests make money from a single source. They all have multiple streams of income.
In fact, successful entrepreneurs often diversify their income sources to prevent a single point of failure. If any one income source dries up, there are 3 more available to take their place.
Because I run a successful ecommerce business and teach an ecommerce course, I’m often asked why I bother selling courses and creating content when I could just pump out more online stores.
The answer is diversification! While I’m great at selling physical products online, my goal is to generate multiple streams of income to future proof my wealth generation.
Here are my 10 streams of income that generate me over 2 million dollars per year.
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The Truth About Creating Multiple Streams Of Income
Many of you who are reading this post are likely depending on a single paycheck to survive and it’s a risky way to live. If you ever lose your job, your income would instantly dry up!
While creating multiple streams of income sounds great on paper, in practice it’s an iterative process that takes time. I didn’t create my 10 income streams over night. Instead, my multiple streams of income are my life’s work built up over 10+ years!
The key thing to realize is that you can’t have multiple streams of income until you start with just one. So if you’re tired of depending on your J-O-B for money, look through my income sources below and see if any resonate with you.
The good news is that making money online today is much easier than ever before. Just pick one income source and follow through!
Income Stream #1: My Ecommerce Business
Bumblebee Linens is one of my biggest and most stable income streams. I still remember when I told my friends that I wanted to sell hankies online, they all thought I was crazy.
But this random business idea in a very narrow niche ended up making over 100K in profit in our first year of business. And today, it makes over a million dollars per year!
The revenue from our online shop is consistent, predictable and we’ve been running our store for over 14 years. Our ecommerce business has allowed my wife and I to quit our jobs and spend more time with our kids.
If you want to learn more about how to start your own online store step by step, the best place to start is by signing up for my free 6 day mini course.
Income Stream #2: Podcast Sponsorships
My Mom always told me that I had a face for radio:) So in 2014, I launched the My Wife Quit Her Job podcast.
The My Wife Quit Her Job podcast is a show about entrepreneurs who quit their jobs to start successful online businesses. Every week, I bring on a new guest and I break down their exact strategies for success.
Listeners have told me that my main superpower is the ability to ask the right questions and extract out every last detail. I’m persistent and always demand the specifics!
People subscribe to learn the latest ecommerce strategies and today, my podcast is a top 25 show in Apple Podcasts in the marketing category with millions of downloads.
Because my podcast is targeted specifically towards online business owners, I’ve been able to attract many sponsorships for the show. But I don’t just accept any company.
In fact, I only work with companies that I (or a close colleague) personally use for my business!
Income Stream #3: Online Courses
When I started documenting my ecommerce journey on MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, I attracted many readers who wanted to learn from me directly.
But what’s funny is that I never intended to sell an online course and I resisted the urge to teach a class for nearly 3 years.
Finally on a whim, I decided to throw up a sales page for a “hypothetical” course with zero content and no lessons prepared.
I was very forthcoming about the lack of content and here’s exactly what I wrote.
My course doesn’t yet exist but if I get at least 10 signups, I’ll follow through and create a class.
Within a week, I had 35 signups who paid $300 each and the rest is history.
I’ve been running my flagship ecommerce course for 10 years now and there are over 500 lessons in the class. Can you believe that I’ve been running weekly live office hours for an entire decade?
My results for the course speak for itself.
Many of my students are making 6 and 7 figures online using my teachings! If you want to hear their stories, I’ve interviewed many of them on my podcast as guests.
For a short list of success stories, go to the course sales page.
Today, I run 2 full service online courses.
- Profitable Online Store – If you want to sell physical products online, this is the course for you. I can confidently say that my course is the most comprehensive course out there and I teach you how to start your own brand with your own store as well as on Amazon.
- Profitable Audience – If you want to build an audience with your content and sell digital products, advertising, sponsorships, memberships and courses, this is the class for you. We cover how to make money with blogging, YouTube, podcasting, Tiktok, social media and more!
Income Stream #4: Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is when you act as a virtual salesman to sell products you love.
By using a specially tagged link, you can earn a commission when someone clicks on your link and signs up for a product or service you recommend.
I love affiliate marketing because it’s completely hands off! You don’t have to provide customer support and you don’t have to answer any questions. Once you refer a sale, you’re done.
The best part is that you get to advertise the products and services you love and make money at the same time!
From running MyWifeQuitHerJob.com for over a decade, I’ve developed a brand that people trust. As a result, my readers value my recommendations. I would never ever recommend a product that I haven’t tested or use for my own business!
Affiliate marketing is one of many topics that I cover in my Profitable Audience course
Income Stream #5: Run A Conference
For the past 6 years, I’ve run an annual ecommerce conference over at SellersSummit.com.
Running a live, in-person event was never on my radar screen. But when my business partner Toni (who has years of experience in the event industry) offered to help, I jumped at the opportunity.
The Sellers Summit is a small, intimate 3 day event that focuses on learning and networking.
Personally, I hate going to large conferences and getting lost in the crowd. As a result, I purposely limit ticket sales and keep the Sellers Summit intentionally small.
I also hate not knowing anyone when going to an event for the first time and the anxiety involved in meeting and approaching new people.
As a result, we provide free food and drink so everyone stays together for the entire conference. Everyone eats together and parties together!
Over the years, many deep friendships have been formed at my event and that makes me really happy.
My final pet peeve is going to an event and getting pitched for a product or service.
As a result, we do not allow sales pitches at the Sellers Summit. Almost everyone we select to speak owns their own brand and shares the strategies and experiences that have worked for their company.
If you are interested in attending, I would love to meet you in person!
Income Stream #6: You Tube Channel
For a long time, I was intimidated by video. As a result, I didn’t take my YouTube channel seriously until 2019.
But within 1.5 years, I hit over 50K subscribers and my channel continues to grow!
Because I create videos in the lucrative ecommerce space, the advertising rates are much higher than a traditional YouTube channel that’s built for entertainment.
Here’s what I’ve learned about being successful on YouTube from the perspective of someone who hates producing video:).
- You don’t need fancy equipment – Some of my best videos were filmed on a smartphone.
- You don’t need complex editing – Most of my videos teach a simple concept without any frills or fancy editing. I don’t try to be funny or use complicated setups.
- You can quickly establish yourself as an authority – When people see and hear you on video, it creates a lasting connection with the viewer. As a result, people who follow you will listen to your recommendations and perceive you as an authority.
- You can be yourself – People want to see your personality. It doesn’t matter whether you are shy or if you aren’t the most eloquent speaker in the world. People love authenticity!
As with any form of content creation, success on YouTube requires consistency. If you decide to record videos for YouTube, establish a routine and publish your videos at the same time and day of the week.
Within a year, I started making a few thousand dollars per month with YouTube advertising. In addition, I’m often pitched to create sponsored videos that provide large payouts in the 4 and 5 figure range.
Income Stream #7: Stock Investing
Most of you don’t know this, but I’ve been investing in stocks since high school.
Because my parents introduced me to stock investing at an early age, I put most of my allowance and red envelope money into tech stocks and watched my portfolio grow.
For example, I’ve held Microsoft and Oracle since the 80’s and these stocks continue to climb every year. A large part of wealth generation is putting your money to work.
There’s no point in keeping your money in a checking account unless you need to spend it in the near future. Instead, you should invest your money in assets that will grow over time.
I’m not going to go into too much depth on my stock strategy but I generally invest in companies that I know and understand. For me, it’s all about tech.
Income Stream #8: Angel Investing
For the past several years, I’ve invested a portion of my money in small companies who require seed money or capital for inventory.
My buddy Andrew Youderian runs an investment group called ECF Capital and I’ve participated in their last few investments.
In addition, I’ve invested several hundreds of thousands of dollars in various ecommerce and real estate companies as well.
Overall, I consider angel investing extremely risky and I would never put a large percentage of my holdings in any one company. However, the payout multiples can be huge.
Angel investing is just like stock investing at a larger scale. You’ll have plenty of losers but your winners will more than make up for it.
Income Stream #9: Advertising
You won’t see many ads on my blog but I do have a few ad placements on specific posts that bring in passive income online.
The easiest and most brain dead way to make money with advertising is by adding Google Adsense to your content pages.
But once you exceed more than 50K pageviews per month, you can sign up for services like MediaVine or AdThrive to increase your ad pay outs and fill rate.
Overall, I’m not a huge fan of making money with advertising because the revenue per visitor is extremely low.
If you can find a relevant affiliate offer for your content, you’ll likely make more money than any advertising content on your blog.
Furthermore, advertising is designed to take people off of your website which isn’t optimal when trying to sell your own products. But overall, it’s free money:)
Income Stream #10: Consulting
I rarely offer consulting. But occasionally, if there’s a company that I love and respect, I will provide consulting services for a set hourly fee.
However, I never take on a consulting gig unless there’s a benefit that goes beyond just the money.
For example, I’ll sometimes consult a SAAS company to get inside access to unreleased tools. Sometimes, I’ll invest some of my own money in their company.
Because consulting involves trading time for money, I greatly limit this income stream unless there’s an opportunity for future collaboration.
Bonus Income Stream #11: TikTok
I used to think that Tiktok was for teenagers and young twenty somethings. But over the years, TikTok’s demographic has started skewing older.
As a result, I decided to launch a Tiktok channel and in just 4 months, I have over 50K subs!
Tiktok is only making me a couple of bucks per month for now. But I anticipate that in a few years, my Tiktok channel has the potential to overtake my YouTube channel revenue.
Which Stream Of Income Should You Pursue?
Even though I have multiple streams of income today, I didn’t launch all ten at the same time. You have to pick one income stream and focus all of your time on that one stream to give it a chance.
The problem with most new entrepreneurs today is that they have shiny object syndrome. A good rule of thumb is to spend at least 1-2 years on any given stream before you move on to the next.
My ten streams of income were built up through decades of work so you have to start now! Working a day job will never make you life changing money.
The good news is that starting a side hustle is infinitely easier today thanks to the Internet.
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Steve Chou is a highly recognized influencer in the ecommerce space and has taught thousands of students how to effectively sell physical products online over at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
His blog, MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, has been featured in Forbes, Inc, The New York Times, Entrepreneur and MSNBC.
He's also a contributing author for BigCommerce, Klaviyo, ManyChat, Printful, Privy, CXL, Ecommerce Fuel, GlockApps, Privy, Social Media Examiner, Web Designer Depot, Sumo and other leading business publications.
In addition, he runs a popular ecommerce podcast, My Wife Quit Her Job, which is a top 25 marketing show on all of Apple Podcasts.
To stay up to date with all of the latest ecommerce trends, Steve runs a 7 figure ecommerce store, BumblebeeLinens.com, with his wife and puts on an annual ecommerce conference called The Sellers Summit.
Steve carries both a bachelors and a masters degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Despite majoring in electrical engineering, he spent a good portion of his graduate education studying entrepreneurship and the mechanics of running small businesses.