Seeing Paul's renewed focus on building residual income streams I figured I would use this thread to list/organize what things I have been able to do to create income for my family. Not all my income streams are residual or even not-quite-residual income streams but I hope that I will be able to develop a number of them into income streams that don't require a lot of my dedicated time.
So far I have:
A spouse that supports me financially: If I'm being honest here then I have to admit that a large portion of the family income currently comes from my wife's job as a cake decorator at the local grocery store. The way I hope to build on this is to one day be able to support her opening her own small bakery which could hopefully become a self-supporting business.
Tree care/Permaculture design business: I've been a certified arborist for a number of years and managed to leverage that into my own business performing tree care. Recently I've completed a couple of PDC's and ventured into doing permaculture designs. The business currently provides me with only a small take home income because it's still small enough that most profits go back into growing the business. The business does provide a number of perks in lieu of actual pay such as a vehicle and fuel, tax write offs for office space and equipment that happens to help around the property like chainsaws and a big chipper. Although this endeavor is taking a huge amount of my time and physical effort I feel like for me personally it has the best potential to become a not-quite-residual income stream that can support me focusing more effort on developing other income streams.
In the interest of furthering these efforts, if you can do this:
get in touch with me, maybe we can help each other out. For any of you wondering, yes that's me up there in the video and yes, it is still a little scary. I guess that's how I'm developing my 'unfair advantage' here as one permaculture writer puts it, most people are just too scared to try to be my competition.
YouTube videos: What can I say, I've made a few videos and gone ahead and uploaded them to YouTube. At some point I remember being offered the chance to 'monetize' my videos and I clicked yes. Last I checked I've accumulated over $30 in 4 years!
Things I'd like to develop:
My property has some great views, is in a natural playground of mountains, rivers and lakes, and is also less than a mile from an off-ramp for the I-5 freeway which is one of the most traveled freeways in the nation. I've identified 5 or 6 sites that I can develop to hold well outfitted canvas wall tents on platforms. I currently have one tent and I'm (slooowly) developing the area I want to put it. Once I have that installed I'm looking into putting it on Airbnb.com but I have to be careful with codes and regulations living in California. If I can get all 5 or 6 sites developed there's the potential to employ others to deal with the day-to-day operating of the 'resort' with some left over for me and my projects.
Courses at the glamping resort: As I have acquired and developed my skill set I've started to realize that there are others that don't have what knowledge I have and would be willing to pay me to get some of that knowledge, especially if it was packaged properly. I could teach things from basic permaculture to forest management to tree care and climbing and all the while the students get to stay in some really nice accommodations. Courses could be filmed and either made into media to sell such as DVDs or online courses, or could be developed into a YouTube income stream.
One of the great by-products of the way I manage my woods is very straight grained knot freewood. This can be made into some very high quality items from furniture to watercraft. Since one of the major species in the forest here is incense cedar I would really like to make a few cedar strip canoes. One major drawback with that plan is the fact that those boats require epoxy and fiberglass, both things that I don't consider very permaculture friendly. Ideally I would be able to provide the workspace/tools and resources for people to build and develop and income stream off of either selling the superior resources and workspace time or getting a commission off the sale of things made.
So far those would be the major things that I'm focusing on. I'll update this thread as I made advancement on these listed or come up with other things that I think are worth it for me to develop.
"Instead of Pay It Forward I prefer Plant It Forward" ~Howard Story / "God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools." ~John Muir