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Jackson is 34 years old and has been married to his college sweetheart, Marie, for 9 years. The couple has two children- 8 year old Jackson Jr and 6 year old Sophia. Marie stays home with the kids while Jackson works 50 hour workweeks as the district manager for a shipping company. He has been working for the same company for 12 years and has worked hard to get to the position he is at now. In fact, he has his eye on a promotion. Unfortunately for Jackson and his family, his company has been struggling to stay afloat for the past few years and it was recently decided that they would have to close their doors. Only the top people in the company are being provided with any kind of severance pay, and even they are not receiving very much. Everyone else is simply left floundering, wondering what they will do without that income. Unfortunately, Jackson finds himself in the latter group. Now, he and his wife are left to figure out what they will need to do to make sure they don’t lose everything they have worked so hard to gain.

This scenario is fictitious. Unfortunately, it represents real-life scenarios being lived out by far too many Americans. People are having their lives turned upside down as they lose jobs that they thought they would have forever – or at least until they decided to move on. So, now what do they do? Let’s take a look at what would happen if this situation were a little bit different. This time we will look closer at Marie.

33 year old Marie is happily married with two children. Although she has a college degree she has decided that, for now, she prefers being a stay at home mom. She immensely enjoys spending unlimited quality time with her children, making sure their household runs smoothly, and being able to spend time with her husband, Jackson, when he is home. However, a few years ago, when her youngest child was two, Marie began yearning for something more. She was happy being a wife and mother, but she felt as though she needed something just for her. So, after much research, she decided to start a home-based business doing something that she was skilled at – photography. She started off by just taking pictures for friends and family. Pretty soon, however, business started growing steadily thanks to word-of-mouth advertising about her talents and fair prices. Over the years, Marie has managed to build her business into something that brings in a steady flow of income and her client base continues to grow.

When Jackson was suddenly laid off from his job, he and Marie were understandably upset. They had heard rumors of the company’s financial troubles for years, but the sudden closing of the company had thrown everyone into a tailspin. One of Jackson’s closest friends was already facing foreclosure and this turn of events would certainly push that family’s struggles into overdrive. Thankfully for Jackson and his family, Marie’s income from her photography business had been growing steadily over the past few years. While she was not making as much as Jackson did, she did make enough to cover their major bills for long enough to allow Jackson to find another job. In the meantime, Jackson decided that he, too, would start a home-based business that would allow him to bring in additional income. He did not have much money to invest in a start-up business, so he decided to go into direct sales. He did his research and found a company that offered products that he was interested in and that he actually enjoyed using. The starter kit was very reasonably priced and included products for him to sell that would generate almost immediate profit. He joined the company and had a very successful launch. For 4 months, Jackson would do his job search during the mornings and afternoons, and working on his business in the evenings before spending time with his family. Thankfully, at the end of the 4 months, he was offered a new job. The pay wasn’t what he was used to, but he was grateful to even have a job. He was also thankful that he and Marie managed to stay afloat in the interim thanks to both of their home-based businesses. 5 years later, with Marie working her photography business full-time (averaging at 3 or 4 photo shoots each week) and Jackson working his direct sales business part-time, they were actually making enough money to allow Jackson to retire from his corporate job.

This may seem like it is too good to be true. But, in reality, this scenario is playing out for countless families all over the globe. So . . . what, exactly, is their secret? Four words: Multiple streams of income. It’s as simple as that. Now, you might be wondering “what does that even mean? It’s really pretty straightforward. Having multiple streams of income means that you have more than one way to make money on a regular basis.

Do you have more than one stream of income? If your answer is no, then you (my friend) are skating on thin ice! In this economic climate, having multiple streams of income is no longer just an option to consider – it’s basically a necessity. If the soaring rate of unemployment and the increasing number of layoffs happening across the nation has not taught us anything else, it has shown us that no one’s job is safe.

Unfortunately, for all too many people, their only source of income is from their job. Which means that they are living at-risk. Some people are more fortunate – they have a partner/spouse who is also working. That helps. But, at the end of the day they are still relying on that single job to sustain their lifestyle. But what happens if that job is suddenly no longer there? What happens when the income stops but those bills keep coming? Is there a backup plan? The best backup plan is having at least one other source of income.

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