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Can You Afford to Put All Your Eggs In One Basket?

When you rely and depend upon a single employer to provide you with a salary and benefits and everything else you need for a financially and emotionally secure career, you are putting all your eggs in one basket.

eggs in basketThis has been the norm for a very long time, however, it is risky.  Especially today and even riskier in the future. Your financial advisor would never recommend you put all your investments in a single fund, yet this is what you are doing when you don’t have other streams of income.  Does this make sense?

In principle, it probably does make sense.  However, I know what you are thinking…

  • I am not hardwired to be an entrepreneur.
  • I don’t know what I would do to generate another income stream.
  • I don’t have enough time for this.
  • I don’t have money to start my own business.

I hear you. There are so many obstacles and unknowns.

Ask around, look around.  People you know may already be doing it. Do know people with rental property?  An Etsy site? (If you don’t know what that is, please, look it up!) Refereeing a sport on the weekend? Repairing equipment, cars, or computers on the side?  Developing websites?  Consulting? Speaking? Writing?

Perhaps deep down inside, you’ve always dreamed of starting some business or going out on your own.  Open your mind to the possibilities. The best time to start a business is while you are employed.  You won’t feel the financial pressure to replace your income.

When Tom Peters wrote The Brand Called You for FastCompany in 1997, it was just the tip of the iceberg. Peters belief about managing your personal reputation or personal brand is  absolutely a critical part of this.  Then came  Jay Block.   I was first exposed to Block in 2010 when he wrote Welcome to the New Realities in the Age of Protean Careers on QuintCareers.  A must read!  In February of this year he wrote The New Era of Protean Careers on Personal Branding Blog.  This post  lays it out pretty clearly and Block has devised 6 actionable steps to start embracing Protean strategies.  Block says:

…let me share with you six initial strategies for thriving in this transformational workplace:

  1. Reduce television time and spend an hour a day contemplating the future and where you fit in.  You can’t change anything tomorrow with the same thoughts you have today.
  2. Don’t put all your financial eggs in one basket; consider multiple sources of income.
  3. Bring more value to the marketplace tomorrow than you did today; invest in lifelong education and increase your worth, so you are compensated accordingly.
  4. Create your own job. You don’t have to invest big bucks to start a business.  Just seek out opportunities and go for it!  Become a painter, a cook, an electrician, a subcontractor, or form a web-based business. Be resourceful and identify ways to self-generate income.
  5. Downsize your life and live within your means. The federal government is broke and most states are as well.  All of society must become fiscally responsible.
  6. Invest in good health. No one can build a thriving future with poor health, no energy, and a negative mindset.  We all must work as hard on ourselves as we do on our careers.

I want you to read these links. I want you to seriously consider what the future looks like, not just your future, but the future of our globally connected world.

My colleague and friend, Meg Guiseppi featured me on Executive Career Brand.  Branding and multiple income streams go hand in hand and I talked a bit about this with her.  I strongly believe that we can’t ignore the changes going on and that we deserve to take ownership and accountability of our careers TODAY!

What do you think about this idea?  Please, let me know!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Michelle Rusch May 11, 2011, 8:24 am

    Hannah what a fantastic article and SO true. I just had this conversation with a friend of mine – he works in the restaurant industry and recently had his hours reduced out of the blue and has had some sleepless nights feeling like he’s at the mercy of his employer and unfortunately he is. I feel that when people are able to branch into other opportunities outside of work they actually add value to their current employer – I feel this outside security makes them feel more secure at work and they are able to think more freely versus thinking “I better not make that suggesstion in free of losing their job” and they perform their job better becasue they are happy and have more self confidence!

    • Hannah Morgan May 12, 2011, 6:13 am

      Michelle,
      You’ve told a great story and I absolutely agree. Having interests outside of work benefits not only the individual but the employer too!
      A strong personal reputation also benefits the company!
      Thanks!
      PS I hope your friend is able to regain control of his career and can feel empowered to do what he needs to do.

  • Marc Miller May 11, 2011, 11:33 am

    The fact is the employment world is rapidly moving to a contractor based model. Most of us baby boomers got use to getting everything from our lifetime employer, i.e. salary, medical insurance, vacation pay, 401(k), pension,…..
    We are now required to take responsibility for all of this. Plus, many of us started our career in our 20′s by choosing what was available or expected by our parents/family/peers. We then did it for the next 20-30 years. Somewhere in the middle the rules changed.

    A lot of what you say in this post relates back to my favorite book – “Repacking Your Bags: Lighten Your Load for the Rest of Your Life” by Richard J. Leider and David A. Shapiro

    As a generation we need to take responsibility for ourselves, which is a scary thing to do at this point in our lives. We might actually start doing something we might actually ENJOY!

    • Hannah Morgan May 12, 2011, 6:16 am

      Marc,
      You are absolutely right, the rules did change mid-stream on the Boomers. Many are onboard with the new rules, however, many still struggle.

      Thank you for recommending your favorite book, I will have to get a copy.

      Life is for living. I am so glad you get it! And I hope your wishes for the Boomers come true!