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How I Diversified My Income Streams in 2021

One of my major resolutions this year was diversified income streams. I’m not sure about you, but for the most part I grew up thinking that I had to focus on one main income stream / field. If I work hard and excel, then that would one income would do. Well, hello, enter the pandemic of 2020! One of my takeaways as someone working mainly in the performing arts field was that I need multiple sources of income. Otherwise I would be screwed the next time around. So that’s what I set my mind out to doing this year.

At the end of 2021 I am quite proud to say that I have diversified to 7 different sources of income stream. These range from the most active to passive incomes. I’ll list them out for you and then give you some tips on how you can also diversify your income stream for 2022.

Active Incomes

  1. My main job is CEO of an arts nonprofit that I co-founded – the Bandung Philharmonic. This is still my main source of income at the moment. I did voluntarily slash my salary during the pandemic crisis thus the other sources become necessary.
  2. My other music-related job is with the South East Asia Music Academy Online based in Singapore. I had the pleasure of being invited onboard by Singaporean violinist Gabriel Lee.
  3. An interesting side job opportunity presented itself mid-year via freelance writing for a fantasy blockchain game called Eizper Chain. This came about through some members of Mad Tea Book Club, a completely voluntary book club that I co-host.

Side Business

  1. Since domestic travel reopened, my airBnB listing Villa Gupondoro has been able to start receiving guests again. It was real tough there during lockdown.
  2. Mulberry Jam – there is a patch of land by the Villa on which Oky, my late husband, and I had planted mulberry trees. Though so many things have changed, the trees keep blooming each harvest season! So I still produce and sell fresh mulberry jam twice a year, now with the help of the an awesome assistant Joe Wu.
  3. Online sales of my ebooks and stories from my shop have started to pick up this year – thanks to all the bookstagrammers and book reviewers helping to share the word about my books out there!

Passive Income

  1. I’ve bought / invested in some government bonds – not the highest monthly yield but I’m aiming for security with this investment.

There are other extremely high-risk investments I’m involved in such as robot trading and crypto trading. There are also some initiatives for 2022 building upon what I already have: book launches, Mulberry Tea product, and a small hedge fund opportunity. These are still in the infancy stage (or likely to go bust any minute due to the high level of risk!) so I try not to depend too much on it. I also think risk tolerance is also something very personal for every individual.

Those are pretty good well-rounded diversified income streams, if I may pat myself on the back. So how did this come about?

Tips To Have Diversified Income Streams

  1. First of all, as with everything, start with the why. Do you know why you’re trying to diversify your incomes? Do you really even need to? What is your current position in life and what are your goals? If you don’t have these major answers yet, that’s OKAY. You can always chat with a mentor / advisor and get more in tune with your life and goals. Once you have these, it’s much easier to make an intentional commitment to diversify your income streams.
  2. Throw your intention out there to the world. Get it out there. Tell a friend / family member / work buddy that you want to diversify your income stream somehow (you might not know how yet). You’ll be surprised at what opportunities come your way by just getting your intention out there into the big, big universe.
  3. Understand yourself better – what are your skills? What do you like to do? What are you naturally good at? These will be your assets in finding another source of income. Knowing what you don’t like, what you are not good at, and what will take you longer to learn will also help narrow down choices and opportunities.
  4. Once you’ve chosen something to pursue – it can be as “passive” as buying some government bonds / stocks, or a notch up with starting an online side business, or even applying for side jobs, then don’t give up or change direction too quickly. I would recommend to stay at it for at least a year before deciding it’s not for you and quitting. Some things take time to get used to, and time is also needed for results to really show.
  5. Find good trusted people/partners and find a way to collaborate or work with them on a money making venture that would benefit everyone involved. This is a big point and deserves more elaboration (getting cheated on, etc), but generally I would say it is very difficult to achieve great results if you only work alone.

It’s also really important to keep in mind that nothing is instant (except unhealthy stuff). If you’re impatient like me, find a hobby to distract yourself with. With that, I congratulate you for surviving 2021, and hope the best for the coming 2022.

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