According to my reader survey, 34% of you are already full-time entrepreneurs. That 34% know something the rest of you might not: Entrepreneurship is not risky. In fact, it might be the least risky thing you can do.
Why a Post About Entrepreneurship?
According to that same reader survey, 57% of you are not currently entrepreneurs but want to be. That’s why you follow me…to learn how to escape a job you hate and make it on your own.
Most of that 57% know what is holding them back. It’s usually not financial considerations (only 23%). It’s usually not lack of knowledge (only 19%). It’s most often a single four-letter word:
Fear of what?
For most it’s failure. But not just the failure itself but what it means. Failure as an entrepreneur means no income. It means going back to the very thing you hated. It means you’re not good enough.
At least that’s what most people think.
Why Conventional Thinking About Entrepreneurship is Wrong
Conventional thinking says that entrepreneurship is risky. And risky ventures have high failure rates.
But entrepreneurship is not risky at all. In fact, it’s the least risky thing I’ve ever done in my life.
When I worked for someone else, I had a single source of income (at least until I started my side business). I had one paycheck every two weeks. That was it.
I was one stupid mistake by the owner from having NO income.
Conventional thinking is based on the myth that a “steady paycheck” and a “safe job” are somehow desirable. And yet there was nothing steady or safe for the employees of Enron, Circuit City, or the countless other “too big to fail” companies of the past few decades.
The safety and security of those jobs was nothing more than a myth.
Why Entrepreneurship Isn’t Risky
Why would I say that owning my own business is the least risky thing I’ve done in my life?
After all, don’t have I have to hire people, make payroll, keep up with our taxes, make sure we pay all of our bills, and remain solely responsible for making sure we actually make money? Yep. All of those are true, but so is this:
I’m not dependent on any one source of income.
While my income is certainly not steady by any means (in fact, it varies wildly from month to month) it is safe. It’s safe because I have dozens of revenue streams, none of which make up a huge chunk of our revenue.
I ran a rough breakdown of just our top 10 revenue sources over the past year. Not a single one of them makes up more than 14% of our revenue.
Client A: 14%
Client B: 10%
Client C: 8%
Affiliate Campaign A: 7%
Affiliate Campaign B: 7%
Client D: 6%
Product A: 5%
Product B: 5%
Affiliate Campaign C: 4%
Affiliate Campaign D: 4%
And that’s just our top 10 sources, which only make up 70% of our revenue.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d be heartbroken if we lost our top client. After all, I love working with all of them.
But while I’d be disappointed and probably bummed for a few days, I wouldn’t be worried about my livelihood. Our kids will still eat. We’ll still get to go on some nice vacations. And we’re not going to freeze to death in the winter.
Here’s what our revenue report from the past year looked like:
No single source of revenue is all that significant. And that is beauty of entrepreneurship.
Risky? I think not.
How Affiliate Marketing Plays Into Entrepreneurship
As you can see above, affiliate campaigns made up four of our top ten sources of revenue last year. Altogether, affiliate commissions accounted for 31.7% of our revenue.
Promoting affiliate offers is a great way to diversify your revenue sources. You get to introduce your audience to great products and make some good money, with virtually no overhead.
Think about it…you don’t have to do much more than send some emails and post to social media to succeed at least at a basic level. No product creation. No credit card processing fees. No staff. Pure profit.
It’s literally risk-free. (Unless you consider losing a few grumpy subscribers a “risk”)
How Affiliates Can Help You Scale Rapidly
No matter how good you are at marketing, there is a limit to what you can do on Facebook or SEO. You need affiliates to grow.
Having affiliates also takes the risk out of marketing. Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket, you have an army of affiliates promoting you. If one decides not to promote you anymore, that sucks, but again, it’s not the end of the world.
If you have 100 active affiliates, that’s effectively 100 revenue streams. Combine that with affiliate offers, clients, and other sources, and you literally could have hundreds of active revenue streams in your business.
Does that sound risky to you?
Think about how non-risky it can truly be to run your own online business. You can have revenue sources all over the place:
That is the least risky looking career plan I can think of.
Question: If you’re not full-time as an entrepreneur yet, what is holding you back. If you are full-time, what is the biggest benefit to being on your own? You can leave a comment by clicking here.