It’s been a tough couple of years for many people — myself included. And while 2011 offers signs of hope for economic recovery, things may not be getting much better all that quickly. Home prices are still falling in many areas, there are still foreclosures flooding the market, food and gas prices are going up, raising the issue of inflation, and unemployment is still high.
That being said, we can’t all just throw our hands up in the air like Chicago Cubs fans and say, “There’s always next year”. We may just have to take the bull by the horns, look at ourselves and our situations, and jump on any opportunity that presents itself in order to better our financial positions.
Here are some of the ways I hope to use this fresh year to strengthen my financial situation.
Focus More on My Blog
Working on my personal finance blog has typically been at the bottom of the totem pole on my priority list as of late. Until a recent influx of traffic boosted my hopes of it becoming some sort of revenue producing factor, it was more a hobby with the hopes making a buck here and there attached. However, with the increased traffic came renewed interest and I’ve committed myself to working harder and more consistently upon the site.
Re-evaluate Productivity Standards
I’m pretty darn good at time management and being productive, but there’s almost always room for improvement. Taking a few minutes to sit down and list bad habits I have or things that I do (or don’t do) that could affect my time management can help improve my productivity, which in turn could lead to increased income or more free time to spend with friends and family. Sometimes just simple adjustments in one’s schedule — eliminating distractions, making use of more productive times of day, changing work habits or techniques — can lead to significantly enhanced productivity.
When you work for yourself, it’s easy to get sidetracked or focused on the wrong things. I tend to do this when I have clients who submit business with fixed prices. I aim to please, and I hate turning away business, but once I have sold those articles to the client, they are theirs and I lose any possibility of earning future income from that work through residuals.
It therefore behooves me to bear in mind that while selling the rights to particular projects is a necessary evil for income purposes, working on projects that could earn me revenue over the course of years or even a lifetime is where my focus should remain. As clients come and go or various income streams fluctuate, stepping back and looking at my income picture as a whole can better clarify where I need to focus my attentions most.
New Income Streams
The great thing about the Internet and freelance work is that you are always on the lookout for new possibilities for increasing or bettering existing income streams, and you never know what might happen tomorrow. It can become addictive — almost like panning for gold — you’re just waiting to find that huge nugget lying in the bottom of your pan.
With stock markets on the rise (momentarily at least) and things looking at least a little bit brighter than in recent years, there could be some great income opportunities presenting themselves. This is why I am committed to watching for and researching possible new income streams for 2011. It’s safe to say that there are plenty opportunities out there, with many more popping up regularly, but I will continue to conduct my due diligence and move forward with measured caution before making any moves.
More From This Contributor:
5 Websites that Could Save You Money
I Am the General of My Retirement War Plan
How I’m Helping Plan for a Parent’s Retirement
The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. For financial advice, readers should consult a licensed financial advisor. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.