The phrase “multiple streams of income” is nothing new. My bookshelf is full of titles dedicated to the purpose, including “Instant Income” by Janet Switzer, “Multiple Streams of Internet Income” by Robert Allen, and my entire library of Dan Kennedy books.

In the past it was simple. Build a brick-and-mortar business, take the profits and invest in real estate, maybe buy a drycleaning operation, add some stocks to your portfolio, and buy more real estate. But this isn’t 1988 again, and times have changed. This is a risky approach in the days of Amazon.com, an unstable housing market, and a government influenced financial system. The old way of multiple streams of income is out and you could get wiped out if you are too heavily invested in one method of income (i.e. rental properties).

Fortunately, there’s a better way to build multiple streams of income today. But first, let’s look at how I stumbled into multiple streams of income due to pure necessity.

The year was 2003 and I was young and ambitious but uncertain about my future. My personal training business was adding clients, albeit far too slowly. At the same time I hustled to fill up training seminars and find speaking gigs at related sports-training conferences. In addition, I wrote for Men’s Health magazine, and continued to send them ideas each month, earning a few hundred dollars for each segment. Still, it was not enough. Finally, I invested in Bob Serling’s ‘Info Millions’ manual in another attempt to build my online business.

This manual became my official ‘Get Started in Drilling Income Oil Wells’ guide. The first time I read through the step-by-step list building section, I was able to add several thousand dollars to my online sales. While the manual seemed built for a direct-mail business (i.e. sending physical letters), I was able to apply the lessons to my web-based business. Over the next 6 months I read the manual three more times and each led to another sales burst of three to four thousand dollars. Eureka. Oil had been struck and I owned the rich, online income producing real estate.

Over the next eight years my web-based business became the biggest oil well in my field and spawned several others. My original fitness business immediately led to a side business promoting other fitness products through affiliate and joint venture relationships. In addition, my success attracted dozens of other fitness experts who have hired me as a business coach to help them create their own online businesses. The next evolution was the creation of a publishing business, where I partner with experts to help bring their expertise to the market.

There are still many untapped oil fields related to my original business in the ‘real estate I own’, but in the past 6 months I’ve been busy drilling for oil in new areas thanks to partnerships formed after proving myself to be capable of making the most of the opportunities available. Each additional well I drill seems to attract two more opportunities into my life. You can never underestimate the value of taking action.

Many of my businesses require daily attention and upkeep while others are almost passive income – although to be frank, there is little income in the world that is truly passive. However, that doesn’t stop business owners from chasing the dream. The idea of having multiple streams of passive income is the Holy Grail of business owners. While this is hardly an accurate description of my life, there are aspects where it’s as close to passive as you can possibly get.

One of my business partners focuses on product launches to attain customers and then recommending high-value (not high-priced, but high-value to the consumer) products that pay a recurring commission each month. As an affiliate for other business’s recurring billing products, he makes passive income as long as the people he referred remain customers. By doing just a little work – almost automated – he grows the number of people in the program year by year and creates about as passive as any income I know of these days.

However, when it comes to creating online income oil wells, you won’t be able to put them all in place overnight. It takes time to identify a rich field (niche market), to test the area and lay down your first successful well (your front-end product), and then to identify new opportunities (back-end products and affiliate products). Fortunately, once the first two steps are complete, the third step occurs rather quickly and is easily repeatable.

The best approach to creating follow-up online income oil wells is by periodically rotating your focus. This new way of thinking about multiple streams of income comes to me from my friend and fellow fitness entrepreneur, Alwyn Cosgrove. Alwyn emigrated from Scotland to America in the 1990’s and built up a successful training business in New York City before moving with his wife to her hometown in California in 2000 where they started their own gym (now the most profitable per square foot in America) and began to dabble in building online income oil wells.

By planning out your business calendar, you’ll be able to identify the best times to work on specific oil wells in your business. You might first focus on a product launch and then shift your focus to promoting other people’s products. Then you’ll focus on identifying opportunities to speak and build your brand in your industry. All the while you’re never neglecting any of your oil wells, but there’s always one that is the best choice for your focus at the time. As Alwyn explained to me, “I can crank up other income sources while others are down.”

An ‘a-ha’ moment for Alwyn came when he realized that selling his own products online and selling other people’s products online were two separate streams of income. While both were web-based, the strategies and

In addition, aside from a complete elimination of the Internet, one was not dependent upon the other. If his website crashed, he could still make sales of my product – and vice-versa. These oil fields were separate from one another – and that’s another reason why it is so important to have multiple oil fields. “Each quarter I can drop the lowest performing area so as to better spend my focus elsewhere,” Alwyn added.

That’s the new way of creating multiple streams of income and creating financial independence. Own your online real estate and drill income oil wells that provide you with both active and passive income. When one oil well slows down, shift your focus to getting all you can from another gusher.

The opportunity is out there but it’s time to get drilling. The boom in online income oil wells is as strong as ever, and as the number of Internet users continues to grow around the world, the rich fields of opportunity do as well – but only for those daring enough to take control of their financial independence.

[Get started creating your online income oil wells on your own terms by watching this odd presentation about the state of the American Dream. You’ll discover who is really in charge of your future, and what you can do to change your future. This is the most important video you’ll ever watch when it comes to your financial independence. Don’t miss the unbelievable twist at the end of the video here.]

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men’s Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he’ll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com