I remember my father sitting me down one night after he came home from work. The company had approached everyone who was 50 years of age or older, telling them to take early retirement or face being terminated in the next six months. He was crushed, having given them many years of service, traveling 3-5 days every week and sacrificing time with his family so Mom and he would have a nice retirement and his family would not have to worry. I will never forget him telling me to take care of myself first, and not to have that level of loyalty for a company any longer because it would not be rewarded. Dad was 49 years old, and because his birthday was close, they had asked him to leave too.
Looking back, I realize that his experience was a signal of very different changes happening in the American workplace. That sense of loyalty between employers and employees was being destroyed by a drive for profits over people. It's been several years since that conversation, and I've carefully watched the shifts take place.
Today, most workers change jobs many times during their careers. Many believe the best way to get a raise is to polish up their resume about every 2-3 years. Because there is little security in the workforce, many now establish small businesses or profitable hobbies on the side, just in case. We've even created a name for it - a "side hustle."
Diversifying one's income stream means a better chance of being able to survive market changes, being 'downsized' out of a job, and political upheavals that affect one's employment. There is a skill set required to start and run a side hustle though, that many do not possess. Unfortunately, it can take years to learn the process, which also continues to change.
Partnering with someone who has that knowledge and experience will shorten your learning curve and increase your chances of success. That's where I come in.
How can you work with a strategic business consultant? The right one can take you from your initial concept through defining and refining it into something that's sexy, smart and will be successful, all the way to your grand opening and beyond. Many specialize in a particular size of business, known as stages. Stage One consultants work with brand new entrepreneurs up to about $1 million in revenue per year. Stage Two consultants work with those who have reached that plateau and are usually looking to expand into different markets, countries, etc.
You can hire a consultant to help you write your business plan, secure financing, set policies and procedures in place, market your business, get free publicity, and so much more. You can hire one on an hourly or per project basis as well. It's up to you and what you feel you need.
I'm that Stage One consultant. I love the excitement, anticipation and hard work of setting a strong foundation. I play with business models and concepts like holograms in my head, every day of the week. I love the challenge of creating something from a small kernel, and giving birth to new fledglings and then watching them fly. That's what feeds my desire to do what I do.
Where do your passions lie? If you could provide an additional income stream by doing what you love, would you do it? What would that look like? Hmmm....
Ronnie Roll has started several businesses from the "I Have An Idea" stage to grand openings and beyond. Her passion is helping others achieve their dreams, and her art mediums are business modeling and food.