The 7 Traits Needed to Create an Alternative Income

By on March 2, 2013

The 7 Traits Needed to Create an Alternative Income Whenever you mention alternative income sources or passive income streams, inevitably many people's minds turn to visions of scammy and unethical practices, especially if the alternative income source is tied to an online venture.

Others consider such efforts to be too time consuming or simply too much work.  I know several people who tried creating an alternative income stream, only to give up after a month or two because they didn't receive the instant gratification of cash pouring into their checking accounts.

In most of these cases, when I asked why the person gave up on their alternative money plans, they responded with "why spend so much time and effort doing this when I could make more with a part time job or by working some overtime?"

My answer to them was that their job (and their overtime) would not always be there for them.  Some day (maybe sooner rather than later) they would need to replace their employment income.  Hopefully it would be when they are ready to retire and hopefully they would have enough money saved, but we all know that nothing is certain in this economy and job market.

I've also had many people turn down my offer of assistance in creating an alternate income because they felt it would be scammy.  While it's true that there are many scams out there on the internet, there are also many legitimate money earning opportunities.  And I think most of us can distinguish between the two.  I also ask them to consider two of the very best alternative money generating ideas - stock investing and real estate.  Both are considered very legitimate.  So much so, that the majority of wealthy people make a good part of their money through investments in real estate and the stock market.

What about complaints of the time and effort involved in building an alternative income stream?  Is there merit in these complaints?

While it does take a good deal of time and effort, at least initially, over time it becomes easier as you learn the ropes of your new money making project.  There are also a wide variety of ways to create an alternate income.  This can create confusion in some, but in some ways this is beneficial because it lets you plant many seeds and then nourish the ones that sprout the strongest.  I've tried many different alternate income methods and while most turned out to be unsuitable for me, others have worked out exceptionally well.  Even those which didn't work out continue to pay me a small amount to this day.

Just as a budding musician can't expect to learn how to play Mozart in a month, neither should you expect to master an alternate income method in a month.  It takes effort, diligence and sometimes pure luck for things to work out.  If you are interested in alternate income, here are my 7 personality traits that will help you to be successful.

  1. Expertise - While you can certainly learn as you go, it makes more sense to focus on something you are already knowledgeable about, at least for your first project.  Why waste time learning the ropes when you could dive right in and accelerate the money making process.
  2. Commitment - Even if you can speed things up by attacking an area you already have knowledge about, it will still take time and effort.  This means you will need to be committed to sticking with your plan, at least until you can be sure it is working or not.
  3. Diversification - Because you can't be sure something will work in your favor, don't stop with just one alternative income project.  Once you are comfortable with your first idea find another, and then another.  You never know when an income stream might dry up or when another might produce a windfall.  Diversification is good for stock portfolios and it's good for income streams as well.
  4. Passion - Even while you are diversifying, stick with things that you love and enjoy.  For example, if you hate selling don't try affiliate marketing.  Chances are you'll hate it and give up before you can become successful.
  5. Persistence - In addition to being committed and passionate about your new venture, you need to be persistent.  Don't expect to be wildly successful immediately or even in the medium term.  Some blogs were in existence for years before their owners started making money from them.  You will need to stay the course if you expect to find success.
  6. Patience - This goes hand in hand with persistence.  Take things slowly and monitor your small successes.  Over time you should see that things are improving.  Note that I said "over time".  Because it takes time to build a successful alternate income you need to have the patience necessary to take things slowly.  Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your alternate income.
  7. Small victories - While you are being patient, persistent, committed, and diversifying be sure to note the small victories in your efforts.  For it is these small victories that will eventually add up to something much bigger.

And there you have it; the 7 traits of the successful alternate income seeker.  Do you have what it takes?  I believe we all do, we sometimes just need to looker deeper within ourselves, or get that first push to make ourselves strive for something better.  Let me know your thoughts below.

Steve Walters
Steve Walters
Contributing Writer at
Steve blogs about personal finance at his site Money Infant. After paying off over $40,000 in debt in less than 3 years, he and his wife sold all their stuff and moved across the world to Thailand with their 1 year old in tow. Needless to say it's been an adventure. He is also available for freelance writing assignments and can be contacted here
Steve Walters

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