Without any alternative income source, I am afraid. Very, very afraid that I won’t be able to maintain my lifestyle after retirement. Even the maximum compromise will lead to just surviving. With piled up debt and the fear of the golden handshake, I can feel poverty and bankruptcy slowly suffocating me.
Corporate zombies. That’s what we have become, living day to day, month on month, paycheck to paycheck with just less than a decade of service life remaining?
Being part of this frustrated and fearful herd and knowing very well that our meagre savings from the provident fund, gratuity and other savings stored slowly throughout our career will almost vanish in a jiffy.
But there is a silver lining to this dark and ominous cloud.
This fear can be the key. It can open a door leading down into the depths of failure. Or it can open the door leading up to the summit of success.
Is it possible to create an alternative income source while still working in our day jobs? Can this side income carry enough weight to become our primary source of income in case we get the pink slip?
Read on if you want this fear to kick start your journey towards a hugely fulfilling life.
I have tried to express why we should not only wish for a side income but be driven and fully focused on creating this redundancy in income.
What is Redundancy? Why is it so important?
In simple terms, redundancy is an equivalent alternative. The IT infrastructure is a great example of redundancy. We have our website data on multiple servers, so if a server or the path crashes it can still be up and running through the alternative paths.
At the front end, we as users do not even feel anything, whether we are accessing the server in India or the USA.
A lot of examples follow this similar principle like our power system (at the grid level), critical infrastructure, etc.
The primary objective is to increase the reliability and availability of the systems. This redundancy can be active, passive or shared. We will get into the details later.
The Concept of Redundancy Alternative Income Source
In all walks of life, we plan for redundancy except for our primary source of income. Ninety-nine per cent we can be sure that nobody shares with us why it is absolutely important to create an alternative income source.
All successful leaders do it. It should not be that we focus on too many things and divert ourselves. There must be a primary goal we should go after fully. But we must program some investment into our plan to slowly create this backup.
I am targeting people like me – salaried, middle-aged, in a small or medium organisation with a meagre corpus. We are the most vulnerable, pawns walking near the chopping block.
Can we survive a pink slip or salary cut? Will our backup sustain us even after retirement?
Very likely not in spite of our frugality.
The raw wound of the pandemic is only too real.
It becomes our priority to create this side income source to sustain our families and dependents and to live a fulfilled life.
It does help to have two earning members in a family. Of late it has become need-based to pool resources together and lighten the burden. Not all of us have this benefit though.
Why Side Income Will Change Your Life for the Better
Side income is a business. It will only benefit us if we treat it as such and not a serious hobby. Our focus must be to deliver service and earn revenue from the same.
How does it improve our lifestyle?
Being part of the salaried herd, we get used to following instructions only. Follow set processes and “do our jobs” as per orders. This is a barrier to self-initiative and thinking for oneself.
But the person at the top thinks, innovates, suffers the pains and thus takes the gain.
That is how the fair prices shop in life works.
For one business persons are risk-takers, not gamblers. We get used to taking calculated risks and following through on our plans even if they do not work out as we have planned.
This also makes us responsible for those decisions and take ownership of the consequences also.
So we are grinding through our 9-5 or 9-9 jobs. For 25-30 years.
Then a bouquet and then? Nothing.
We generally do not know.
Because we seldom plan. As middle-class workers with a middle-class mentality, we want to see our destination even before we start our journey. We are afraid to visualize our destination in the future.
Check out the demand for money back policies in life insurance against those who opt for term plans and you will get the idea. The very motive of insurance is defeated.
Similarly, low-risk investments are preferred over those providing higher returns with slightly greater risk. So to be unretired we need to create more channels of income. It takes discipline, focus and an increased ability to suffer in the short term.
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki just proves this point.
The first book was written decades ago and still has the most profound impact on those who are desperate for success.
The second book is by a contemporary author slightly different take but the underlying principles remain the same.
And it all happens in our minds. Eighty per cent of our success first plays out in our minds and the twenty per cent is only the execution.
Running a business will make us solution-oriented. We stop focusing on the problem and think of solutions. This positive never say die attitude also helps in maintaining good health.
Less medical expenses in the long run.
This leads us to think about how to develop a growth mindset in business and weather the storms that are bound to batter us.
A goal supported by a mission and a grand vision of creating a legacy is a great driving force to create a side hustle into an alternate income source.
The Unretired Mindset
We have all seen herds of deers and buffaloes and zebras grazing on the fields.
Does the grass run away from the deer? No. Scarcity chips in when there are too many deers.
How about the tigers and the lions and the leopards?
The deer or the buffalo do not willingly wait to be devoured. They run away if they can at the slightest smell of danger.
These predators have to go out there and hunt using a combination of stealth, stalk, strength and force. Hunt or go hungry.
Why the above two examples?
The herd depicts the middle and lower-middle salaried class. The predators symbolize the business owners.
One remains in the perceived safety in numbers not knowing when we are called to be the sacrifice. The other has to fight every day for food or go hungry. This is the mindset we need to develop if we are to survive in the present economy.
One can only underline the fact why mindset is important in business. Pareto’s principle of 80-20. There will always be a lesser number of people who would dare take the pain to run after a dynamic prey – one that runs away from us and mostly choose to eat grass or fruits.
Customers are like the fleeing deers. They can sense an insincere offer and run away easily unless nurtured with care.
It will give us the freedom to choose what we do and how we do it. Even if we continue to be in service, our approach to our jobs will change to an entrepreneur’s mindset. If we think of growth for the business, we are sure to succeed in our day jobs as well.
Double benefit. We do not need any title to be the leaders in our own lives.
And to quote Jim Rohn we must bear the pain either way – the pain of regret or the pain of discipline. The first is long term and can be devastating and the latter short term pain with the fulfilment of achievement and freedom to live life on our own terms. The choice is ours. Life is easy when we mind our own business. That means we focus on our growth and think more than just surviving. It is our business to enjoy life and help others enjoy life too. That can only be achieved through financial freedom.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Side Income Will Transform Your Way of Living?
Developing and running a side hustle challenges our capabilities and instils innovation in our system. Our outlook will change as we learn to value our resources and put them to their best use.
Why Everyone is Obsessed with Side Income?
A side income properly nurtured can be a fulfilling experience. Moreover, it helps us achieve financial stability which is a huge benefit in the present world scenario. From wealth to health it has a profound effect on how we live our lives.
How to build a side business while still in service?
Simply put, finding our competence and developing it into a revenue-generating venture. It is an advantage that we can test the market, create a want in the market and match the product or service to this demand and reap the first-mover benefit.