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What's better than Multiple Streams of Income?

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/1/2006 | Entrepreneur
Let's begin by thinking about what Multiple Streams of Income means. Multiple simply means more than one and Income is money or its equivalent received for work you have done, services you have provided or products you have sold.

Those terms are fairly straightforward, but what is meant by "streams" of Income? If you and your partner both have jobs then does that mean you are getting Multiple Streams of Income? If you were to look up stream in the dictionary you would probably find references to a steady flow or current.

So yes perhaps a two-income family could be classified as Multiple Streams of Income as it is more than one income and it brings a steady flow of money into your bank account but this is not all that inspiring or revolutionary.

Here are a few thoughts to make this more exciting:

1. Change multiple from 2 to many more (20, 100, 200)
2. Change steady from being once a month steady to multiple times a day

Perhaps you can start thinking of a Torrent instead of a Stream. Multiple Torrents of Income.

And what could be better than Multiple Torrents of Income? You could have multiple torrents setup but they take up all your time and you can't enjoy the fruits of your labor. Three terms that you may like to consider are:

Systemization
Automation
Residual Income

Michael Gerber has an excellent book which talks about working on your business rather than in your business and one of the key points he makes is having operating procedures and systems. You make it so that you repeatable procedures. In the book he is treating your business as if it was a franchise. This means if at some point in the future you wish to sell your business it is much more attractive if you are not integral to the business.

When it comes to systemization if you take a look at McDonalds they have systems that teach how to follow the procedures - the gherkins are sliced and placed in such a way so they don't fall out, the fries are heated to a certain degree and it is all made very simple so they can get fairly low-skilled people to do much of their work. You can apply the same in your own business so that you can focus your money on the areas which are hard to get done cheaply/well.

Systems are not just for other people but also for yourself so you can have a basis from which to follow - for example if you create websites then they can all follow a similar format.

Automation is very useful when you find you do something which is repetitive, complicated and/or boring regularly. We can take a very simple example - within Microsoft Word you might find you regularly type your company name XYZ Widgets Ltd - you could simply set up an autocorrect entry so you type in XYZ and it fills out the rest. There are many things that can be automated when it comes to computers - it can be done through macros, programming, scripts, and software.

This indeed is one of the big allures of selling products online is that you can set it up so you can sell a digital product and the person pays and gets instant access to the product and can sign up to your customer list which then immediately emails them the most common troubleshooting procedures and can also follow up to gather testimonials, to recommend upgrades, to promote products, services and affiliate products.

Residual income continues to come in after you have done the initial work. This does not mean there is not some additional work. An example might be rent on a property which continues to come in month after month. You may have to arrange repairs to the property and handle disputes but it is residual rather than linear income.

The final part of the equation to be considered is Other Peoples Time. Once you have procedures in place then you can get people to follow those procedures to build your business while you deal with the things that are going to bring in more money and concentrate on parts you enjoy. Commonly people are not great fans of tax and accounting so they hire people to do it.

You don't have to be a great web designer or programmer to be great at Marketing products online - in fact there are some well known "gurus" who have never done any web design in their life and wouldn't know how to either. The same thing applies to having a book in your name - "ghost writers" are nothing new and are not just for the big celebrities. Indeed all your research for your book can be done by other people too.

Being an author of a successful book can be a very good residual income as sometimes a book can sell well for many years.

Here's to Multiple Torrents of Residual Income (MTORI)!