I think it's time you got another job. Not a new job, but a second job.
The majority of you reading this are slaves to your employer. They are your lifeline to creating the life that you don't even truly want because you want more – you want better. Despite wanting a better life, without your employer, you would suffer a lot of misfortune until another employer picks you up.
Which, by the way, isn't always guaranteed.
No matter how good a company's culture is, no matter how profitable they may be, no matter how bullish the market is, you are always at risk of losing your job – your lifeline. There are so many factors at play that are out of your control that it's actually foolish to think you're safe.
Having a second job on the side is a great way to take control over your life. Because I'm a member of the second-job economy, and have been since I was 21 years old, I'll share with you four things I did to ensure everything I chose to do I made money on – whether it was sales/marketing training, teaching self-defense classes to women, affiliate marketing or selling a wide array of products.
First thing you have to do is establish a strategy. A strategy will keep you focused on doing only the most important things that will drive your idea forward. To build your strategy, select, at most, three big but achievable goals.
Next, after you select those three goals, you need to define three buckets – or objectives – under each of the goals that will outline more specific items on how you're going to achieve those big goals. Next, develop your action plans for each bucket. The actions should be very specific and have a timeline attached to them.
To help you crystalize it, one goal could be to attain 20 clients by end of year. Your three buckets could say develop referral program, develop partnerships with local service firms, create a marketing plan to develop brand awareness.
Second, you need to innovate. You need to be honest with yourself and understand if what you're bringing to market is a commodity or if it's something new to the world. Chances are it will very likely be a commodity, so you need to make what you sell more attractive in the eyes of the market. One innovation strategy you can employ is through partnering with other companies to put together bundles that make what you sell more appealing.
A friend of mine sells soaps and lotions as her second-revenue stream. And after she experienced a tough time selling the products on their own, I suggested she partner with a local yoga apparel company and local candle company and ask for donations to include in a bundle. This partnership would give the partners access to a new market but also provide my friend with a very compelling package to sell. She did more business in a month, approximately $15,000, than she had done in the previous nine months, approximately $3,000. Today, she still partners and puts together bundles to make her offers more attractive.
The last pieces are significant pieces to this puzzle: sales and marketing. There's no escaping these two. If you want to make money, you need to sell. So you need to get off your butt and get in front of people you believe want to buy what you're offering. Tell them how it will make their life better and always ask for the business. Sales will get easier if you get good at telling stories on how your products or services helped others or how it can help them – that's marketing.
The key with both sales and marketing is persistence and consistency. Victory and growth don't always go to the best sales person or marketer; it more often than not goes to the one with the most persistence.
Ryan Caligiuri is a growth strategist and host of Cut the Crap Podcast – a podcast for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and students who don't have the time to read books but want the big ideas from the world's brightest business minds in sales, marketing, innovation and strategy.