What if there was a simple, straightforward solution to the complex issue of poverty? Imagine a world where individuals and families are not only able to meet their basic needs but also have the means to pursue their dreams, aspirations, and Divine calling. In this article, we will explore the fastest way to stop poverty: increasing income sources. By delving into innovative strategies and practical solutions, we will uncover how empowering individuals with multiple streams of income can lead to sustainable change and economic empowerment.
Are Charities Enough To Stop Poverty?
The short answer: no.
Don’t get me wrong… I love how charities are getting involved to help those impoverished.
But it takes more than being “rescued” from your circumstances to truly escape poverty. Plus, not every location has access to nonprofit services. And we all know how skilled the government is when it comes to breaking what isn’t broken to make problems far worse.
It takes a major mindset shift, recognizing opportunities, and uncomfortable actions.
When You Lose Everything
I’ll never forget it. Couch surfing with friends and friends of friends… just to keep a roof over my head. It was no secret… my health sucked. So much that I physically couldn’t function when the temperature rose above 78 and below 70. If I became too hot or too cold, I’d fall unconscious. And my inability to regulate my own body temperature was definitely not something to brag about. It was a season of life that quite literally sucked the life out of me.
If you don’t know my story, you can read it here. The basics: I developed a severe autoimmune and seizure disorder while serving in Bahrain with the Navy. We don’t 100% know why, what, or how my health declined… but it was quite literally overnight, and spent 3 years regressing to the point where I was forced out of the Navy with no benefits. My neurologist was the one person who was charged with starting a Medical Review so a group of doctors could assess my case and decide whether or not I deserved a medical retirement. The week the paperwork was due, he deployed to Afghanistan without turning my case over to a different doctor or submitting any paperwork, denying me the chance to be considered for a medical retirement and associated benefits.
At the same time, my enlistment ended, with no ability to continue the involuntary extension I was already on. My personnel office served me with paperwork to begin my transition out of the military with less than a week’s notice, no benefits, no ability to work, and no income… saying to take it up with the Veterans Hospital and hope for the best. Eight months later, the Veterans Hospital granted me disability, which amounted to $974 per month, and disregarded 80% of my list of symptoms because I did not receive official diagnoses recognizable in their system that called for disability ratings.
If you’ve ever tried to live off less than $1,000 each month… you know all too well the struggles to keep a roof over your head and food in your stomach. Meanwhile, workers at the veterans hospital told me to seek help from civilian offices for housing… and the civilian offices told me to use veterans homeless services… just to leave me with no where to go and no support. All the employers I applied to told me I was unreliable because I couldn’t schedule my seizures, and the veteran support offices remained unresponsive when I applied for my benefits to be increased to handle affording the basics of life. Come to find out… I wasn’t the only one. This is common among the disabled veteran community… to be hung out to dry by the systems that are supposed to be there to help.
I felt hopeless. I felt helpless. I felt incapable.
To go from feeling indestructible and invincible… to not even being able to walk up a flight of stairs… or stand up long enough to fully brush my teeth… and constantly being judged anytime I was in public. Hearing over and over again, “but you don’t look sick” – all while being told at the VA that I needed to sit and wait for my dad or my husband (because women are often treated that way at veterans hospitals)… depression snuck its way in.
I ended up with a bad case of being incapable at everything. Until I landed myself in the middle of an unexpected healing journey. My neurologist warned me that using food and natural remedies as medicine would kill me faster than my condition, making it clear I wouldn’t live to see 30. It was music to my ears after 16 seizure medications hospitalized me… and seizures also thwarted my suicide plans… all I knew was my suffering needed to end.
What I didn’t expect… was for it to end my suffering through HEALING me… physically, mentally, and spiritually through renewing my faith.
After regaining my health… I thought life would go back to “normal.” Find a good job… work… afford life… live happily ever after.
Boy, was I wrong…
Seeking Normalcy After Healing
I networked like crazy. Numerous small business owners were impressed by my ability to help them solve numerous problems, save them money, and provide ideas to help them better organize to maximize their business’s efforts. A few even offered me jobs, saying to send my resume just for “formality.” I was SUPER excited.
Business strategy is one of my favorite things to do. I love critical thinking and helping people become more efficient, maximizing profits. Especially with small businesses. I eagerly spent hours refining my resume, showcasing my talents and work history to perfectly identify with their office staff needs. And never received a callback. Upon following up… I was thanked for the strategies I had already provided and I wasn’t a good fit for the job because of a 5-year employment gap. I was crushed all over again.
A Wake-up Call…
At that point, I was providing free consulting to a few friends and a few referrals from friends to help people live a bit more healthy and overcome some of their own “permanent” health problems. While talking with a friend on how to best support someone she knew with similar issues to what I was going through, she asked me “why are you not charging for this? What is keeping you from starting your own business.”
And it hit me…
Why was I doing everything for free? While I was helping a LOT of people, and super happy about it… why was I not honoring my time and knowledge by monetizing what I was already doing so I could also take care of myself in the process.
Increasing Your Income Without Finding Another Job
This really stuck with me. I loved helping people. I LOVE strategy. So why was I doing everything for free, while simultaneously struggling to make ends meet, and seeing my credit card balance increase every month.
For a couple months, I really struggled with the idea. I mean… people really needed what I was doing… and I heard over and over again how they wouldn’t be able to afford the services I was providing had I been charging appropriately. I can’t count how many times I’ve received messages and phone calls filled with gratitude, talking about how my clients felt blessed beyond all measure for receiving my consulting at no charge. And it totally resonated with me… I wouldn’t be able to afford to pay someone, either.
But not being paid for the time I invested wasn’t paying my bills either. I still needed to pay for a roof over my head… still needed to pay for the food I needed to eat… still needed to pay for the personal care products I used to keep my body clean…
$974 wasn’t cutting it… at all… Even when I was able to decrease my food bill through gardening vegetables. And then it dawned on me…
I Still Needed To Increase My Income To Survive.
While I desperately needed to increase my income… I was also stuck in a mindset that kept me in my own way. I needed to make money… but I thought “who am I to charge.” From my perspective… no one wanted to pay someone to help… unless that person had the alphabet soup next to their name in certifications and degrees. Here I was… a bachelor’s degree in business, a disabled veteran, rapidly growing knowledge in herbalism and natural wellness, very little relevant work history, and unemployed. Who would want to pay me? Who am I to charge for my knowledge?
My journey through Autoimmune Hell and unemployment had totally shaken my confidence. It had totally shaken my drive to strategize my way out of my own situation.
No doubt about it… Helping others was much easier for me than diving down deep, facing my own demons, and strategizing my way out of my own darkness.
Help From Unexpected Sources
I received an email from a friend regarding healthy products I was already purchasing from her. Her email was very timely and very sweet. She noticed a few Facebook posts I was tagged in, thanking me for my insights (free coaching), and briefly informed me there was a simple way to do what I was already doing for free and monetize my efforts… and it wouldn’t cost me more than I was already paying for those products.
I wasn’t interested at first because the company is a network marketing company, and I had been burned by a few of those in the past, filled with empty promises and terrible coaching techniques. But I was also intrigued by her approach, feeling maybe this time was actually different.
At first… I focused on replicating what I saw her doing. I created my first blog and started writing. As time went on, I monetized the blog with her business opportunity and several other affiliate programs.
And she was right… I found a way to increase my income and be paid without worrying about charging a consulting fee to the people who still needed my help but couldn’t afford it. This was a total win for my mindset that was stuck in all the excuses of why I “can’t” charge for my time, research, and efforts.
Now, I’m pretty skilled at helping people take their strengths and interests and find a way to turn them into various income-generating activities.
Affiliate marketing is where a company pays you a commission for recommending their products or services. This allows the company to increase its sales without super expensive ad budgets.
It also works really well for me, and others who choose to engage in marketing, because as prices rise, so does your income… making it much easier to manage during recessions.
Affiliate marketing also works much faster than older forms of advertising. And I truly believe it’s the future of marketing, so much so that I’m engaged in several affiliate marketing programs that all tie into my blogs.
I applied for everything I qualified for and was interested in… and was super excited to be accepted, especially knowing the affiliate courses and products I was endorsing would help the people I was already serving. At first it only added $50… then that grew to $457 in a single month… and I was beyond excited. When you’re used to making less than $1,000… having an extra $450 is a total game changer!
My income has only increased from there.
I started thinking more about the email my Sponsor had sent me and talking to her about using the business opportunity as affiliate income. Thankfully, there were required monthly or annual sales quotas, and I was using their products anyway, so I wouldn’t have to worry about the purchasing requirements. We agreed that it was worth the effort to incorporate their info into my writing, as applicable.
Then it happened…
Friends of mine who I didn’t even know were interested in adopting a healthier lifestyle started buying from me. Friends who previously thought I was crazy for taking on natural health strategies started buying from me. Strangers I met online through my blog started contacting me about receiving my consulting by purchasing the products I endorsed. And a few wonderful ladies who purchased from me ended up also joining me in starting their own businesses… and my business was born.
From Failure To Feeling Blessed
I was actually being paid to talk with people about natural methods to solve their problems. And I was also being paid to talk with people about business strategy (still a favorite).
Next thing I knew… my income kept growing. $400… $500… $1,000… all from different sources coming in each month.
A total game-changer and a total eye-opener.
Expanding My Dream
I created a few online courses to provide to my customers, giving them my content for free. Some of them I offer publicly, too.
Then, after saving up $6,800 to hire a fantastic business coach, I realized how important it is to honor my time and start charging for my services. Through working with my business coach, I learned how when you charge for your knowledge, the people you’re teaching end up learning more of what you teach than if they were to take the same course or receive the same advice for free.
While I still offer my courses for free to my monthly paying customers and business leaders… I started offering them publicly, too, further increasing my income and my ability to afford life. My courses and consulting topics include removing toxins from homes/offices, managing hormones naturally, building an online business without being obnoxious, self-care that works, and leading healthy lifestyles.
What’s crazy… with the exception of that initial $200 investment in my health (that I later recuperated in commissions)… I didn’t have any other initial expenses. Of course, since then, I’ve invested heavily in growing my business and websites.
Affiliate marketing, blogging, coaching, and course creation can be done for FREE when you first start out. Which means… you can do it, too, without worrying about an initial investment.
Replicating My Efforts
My favorite thing about starting my journey of working for myself…
- I don’t need to rely on the ‘good graces’ of people who really have done nothing to deserve my time.
- I didn’t need to worry about picking up a first, second, or third job.
- I can do everything in my business while hanging out with my kids.
- I was able to increase my income and leverage that income based on my own knowledge, interests, desires, and efforts.
All the while, I get to choose when I work… where I work… the people I work with… how I work… and what specifically I do each and every day. And I manage to do it with my young children hanging out with me.
I’m no genius. But I do care.
I know how hard it is to be down on your luck.
I know how it feels not knowing where your next meal will come from.
And I know all too well how difficult it is to figure out how to improve your life when you’re in the thick of the fog.
This is why I do what I do with teaching you how to improve your life and move up out of the haze and into where there is an abundance of opportunities and plenty of wealth and health to go around.
Ready to get started doing something to change your circumstances? See the ways I can help you here.