One of the not-so-obvious secrets of the wealthy is the creation of multiple income streams.  Many income streams keep you insulated from dips and pauses that come from owning your own brokerage or being and independent agent.  Increasing your monthly income significantly might only be achieved by diversifying the way you make money.

1) Writing a book. Do you have a particular sales pitch that’s perfect? Advice on retail that’s second to none?  How about a sure-fire way for landlords to qualify tenants?  In today’s world, self-publishing a book is easier than ever!  Amazon allows you to self-publish a book in 48-hours.  When you sell a book, you’ll make 70% royalties that are sent directly to your bank.  The more books you write, the more likely you’ll be considered an established writer.  Try writing just one book in your spare time.  You may find it’s an easy way to make extra money.

2) Left-over skills. Were you the high school hockey champion? Do you play chess like no one else?  Consider making your largely un-used or hobby skills into a side business.  Coaching can be a weekend and night job when you’re not closing deals.  Same with tutoring in math, English, or other subjects.  Just note that you may need a Sheriff’s Card to work with children.

3) Investing in an unrelated business. I know someone who has partial ownership in a liquor store and runs a CRE brokerage. Investing in a local business can bring in additional income, but it’s a risky venture.  Be sure to thoroughly examine your business investment with credit checks and access to their financial statements.

4) Turn-key businesses. Running a coin car wash, storage units, and RV park can be great for extra cash. Consider investing in a business that takes little or no energy from you and can be managed 100% by employees.

5) Owning a chain. Buying a Subway / Molly Maids / Chem-Dry can bring in a relatively good revenue if you hire good managers to ensure profitability. Often, owning one franchise only brings in an average of $30k profit per year, so it’s a good side business.  Just make sure it’s not taking over your life.

6) Investing in stocks that pay dividends. To find the companies with the best dividend yield, you can use Stock Screener by Fidelty. Click on “Dividends” on the left menu and select the criteria you’re interested in.