7 things I could do if I suddenly lost all my sources of income
This list is inspired from a list by @lovingkindnesscomedy. This sort of resiliency planning is high on my priority list. How much trouble would you be in if your income went away? What would you do about it? What could you do about it? What can you do right now, what other sources of income can you being to cultivate now in order to minimize the impact of losing your primary income.
My list is from my life which might spur you think about things in your life a little differently? I believe people need to spend more time on this so they don't financially crumble in the face of something unexpected. We'd be able to keep the lights on but discretionary spending would probably make me nervous.
1. Monetize a hobby 1
Related to my volunteer firefighting, I have training to work as a liaison on an incident management team. I believe this door would be open to me because I've met a lot of people in this field and I don't think I've pissed too many people off. This would be kind of lucrative but would require being away from home a fair bit during the fire season but you do what you have to.
2. Monetize a hobby 2
Related to my volunteer firefighting, similar to above going out on incidents on Walker Fire's ambulance as an EMT. This also pays quite well and would require being away from home. The added layer to this is staying fit enough to continue passing the pack test (3 mile hike, 45 minutes or less wearing a 45 pound pack). To send the ambulance out we need one paramedic and one EMT. Currently we don't have a paramedic that wants to go out and while we have people working on that, I too would try to work on that.
3. Foundation board member
Something that came to me because of my fire department gig is that I am research volunteer for a foundation that awards grants. Board members get paid and I believe I am on a path to become a board member down the road. The work as a volunteer is very interesting so even if the financial opportunity never materializes, it's fun and I am getting experience that might be marketable elsewhere.
I've been writing/blogging since 2004. I had a brief paying gig with Motley Fool in 2004, then with TheStreet.com from 2005 until 2013 (maybe 2014?) then at AdvisorShares from 2014 to mid 2018. The last two paid very well for being part time writing gigs. I've made no effort to get another paid writing gig since 2018 but where I had luck with this previously, maybe I could again.
5. Snow removal
I plow the road from my house down to the county maintained pavement which is about 1/3 of a mile. I have a smallish plow on our ATV. Plowing snow with just about any vehicle beats the hell out of the vehicle and the plow assembly. Something breaks on my plow every year so there is an unreliability factor. I would say no to roads/driveways longer than what I have to plow for us to reduce the odds of breaking something. This would be relatively lucrative on an hourly basis but there aren't too many days a year where people need plowing and some storms are too much for my rig.
I'm reaching a little bit with this one. I've helped fire chiefs from volunteer departments smaller than ours (we're actually quite big), I've helped people with diet and exercise stuff and done what I would call financial coaching. I've invested time (in some instances, decades) in learning about these subjects but would then need to invest time to learn how to get them off the ground as revenue sources.
7. Airbnb experiences
Is this still a thing? We have an Airbnb rental next to the house we live in. We have great hiking up here so I could guide people on hikes and maybe work coaching in to these hikes as mentioned above.
8. Summing up
This is something I write about frequently on my blog. Like anything else in life, the more you put into these sorts of things that pertain to your life, the better chance for success if you ever need them. Most of my examples are many years in the making except for number 3, I've only been involved for a year and half so far and I would not expect to have a shot of monetizing it for several more years if ever.
The more fit you can stay to an older age the more optionality you will have if ultimately you have to apply for some job you don't want but have to take.
Also, I think volunteering can be a great path to creating an income stream. It takes time and you have to be all in but the volunteering itself is great on many levels regardless of whether anything financial ever comes of it.
Waiting until your hand is forced before taking any action is a bad strategy.