Starting a business requires laser focus. You have to constantly define your niche and distinguish yourself from the competition. You get better at flexing this muscle, the one that strengthens your message and expertise.

But it's not leg day every day--you need to work your other muscles for a healthy, balanced you. That's why I recommend branching out into different revenue streams to not only keep yourself mentally fit, but to keep your bank account fit as well.

1. Don't put your eggs all in one basket.

Having multiple income streams can come in handy if one income stream dries up. After two years in business, I've learned that you'll always have peaks and valleys. Sometimes everyone is paying you, and sometimes your lead pipeline can look barren. I started a marketing and PR agency and spent that first year working my startup muscles: planning, strategizing, defining markets. If I hit a slow month, I kept working those same exercises. While it helped grow my business, I sometimes needed an intellectual rest day.

During my down time, I doodled ideas for funny mugs and other products that made me laugh. I tested a few concepts for sale. When I cleared a profit in the first year of my marketing agency, I invested the capital in my e-commerce store. The store now generates passive income. To flex my creative muscle even further, I created Line & iMessage stickers, which provides me with monthly income. I'm also in the process of developing on-demand training courses and e-books for other potential revenue streams. 

2. Side projects keep your creative muscle flexed.

Being an entrepreneur requires both creative and business skills, but sometimes these skills need practice. My side projects give me a dose of creativity when sometimes marketing work requires me to wear only my analytical hat. When a client's project demands market analysis, I can work on that during the day, and then take a break at night designing new products for my store. 

Exercising your creative skills doesn't just give you a back-up revenue stream; it also helps you be a better entrepreneur. When clients ask about branching out, I have firsthand knowledge of what it takes and how to do it.

3. They can turn into partnership opportunities.

When I started researching cryptocurrency, I immediately thought of ways to turn the lingo into pun-ny products for my store. I started selling a line of cryptocurrency mugs, which in turn started conversations with blockchain companies.

Developing a secondary income stream is easier than you may think. Think about how you like to spend your off hours and research potential markets. Maybe you're really good at explaining something that is a difficult concept for other people--create a course on an on-demand training site like Udemy or Skillshare.

Start today and reap the benefits tomorrow!

5 Side Hustles That Turned Into Hugely Successful Businesses

Published on: Mar 28, 2018