Flickr: Sally MCC license.

Of course it’s that time of year again when people make resolutions to improve themselves and/or their career/ business. Myself, I have a campaign to improve my business and finances because of some of the (positive) personal changes in my life. In fact, it’s a necessity that I get back on track.

Experience has shown me that if you work for yourself, never settle on just one income source. Build as many income sources as you can, especially if they’re passive or semi-passive. Passive means you have to do little work beyond an initial effort. Semi-passive means you might have to make a “maintenance” effort. This will become clearer in the examples below.

My 2009 Life, Business and Career Resolutions

Flickr: shutter.chickCC license.

My overall goal? Having my cake and eating it too. The following is a list of some resolutions as well as a list of most of my current services. Maybe the list will give you some ideas for your own life, business and career resolutions, which you can feel free to share in the comments.

1. Work smarter, travel, and enjoy life more (again). I’ve already been working long hours most of my career, but used to also take time to enjoy life. The bulk of my work in the past four calendar years has been freelance writing and blogging. That used to mean long hours of writing. I’ve since developed some powerfully productive workflow by using Mind Mapping for all my work – gains which I write about occasionally at FreelanceSwitch, Geekpreneur, here and elsewhere.

My aim is to be a Digital Nomad, working and traveling extensively – a topic I’ll be writing a great deal about starting in 2009.

2. Share more of my knowledge. I’ve been in the workforce for over 20 years and been fortunate enough to learn numerous skills, gain a fair bit of knowledge about many topics. It was always my intent to share that knowledge when I started blogging, but that hasn’t always been the case. So my 2009 goals include writing and giving away at least a half-dozen ebooks on various topics, as well expand my discussions of the following topics:

  1. cloud computing,
  2. crowd sourcing,
  3. digital nomads,
  4. freelancing + entrepreneurship + career planning,
  5. learning,
  6. mind mapping + problem solving,
  7. mobile web + mobile platform,
  8. personal finance, prosperity and investing,
  9. social media + networking,
  10. travel (especially in the context of digital nomads and anthropology),
  11. web 3.0 + semantic web,
  12. writing + blogging.

3. Build multiple streams of income. Freelancing can be a tough game, unless you work smart and build multiple streams of income. Hopefully my sharing of knowledge skills will create useful content (articles, ebooks, podcasts, screencasts, diagrams) that translate into more income starting in 2009. It’s not enough to rely on website ad revenue – most bloggers just don’t make enough to live on. Leverage all of your skills. Here’s how I’m leveraging mine in 2009 and beyond. (Over time, I’ll expand on how you, too, can build revenue streams with some of these methods.)

  1. Ad revenue. You can sign up for dozens of ad networks for your websites, but that does not mean they’ll earn you anything. Be selective.
  2. Affiliate marketing. The more my colleagues tell me of their successes, the more I realize that this is an important and honest income stream.
  3. Coding. Programming/ coding, along with technical writing, was my bread and butter for many years, and it’s time I got back into it. Got some Perl, PHP/ WordPress coding you need to get done? If I can’t do it, I usually know people who can.
  4. Consulting. I love “New Media” and have ignored this as an income stream. Want to know more about how web video, podcasting, screencasting and other forms of New Media can benefit your online presence? Talk to me.
  5. Ebooks. Writing (and storytelling) was one of my first loves, and remains something I enjoy. Need a book or an ebook written? I’m a published print author, and have a few ebooks in the works. Contact me.
  6. Freelance writing/ blogging. This somehow replaced coding and tech writing as my bread and butter, but it really isn’t easy to write dozens of articles weekly – at least not with consistent quality, on deadline, and to a word count. I love writing, though, so freelance writing will stay as one of my core services. Email me (rdash001 at yahoo dot ca) if you have some writing that needs doing.
  7. Link building and SEO. This is a service that I offer in tandem with several partners who have powerful social media presences (though I tend to not have time to build mine). Ask me about this can help your online presence.
  8. Producing. Web video and film producing is a path I’m already headed down. If you need web video or film production (or even film financing), feel free to contact me, as I have a small stable of close friends who have experience in this business who I can put you in touch with.
  9. Screencasts. You can see the bulk of my screencast work at Tubetorial, where I was the Editor for a period of time in 2007. Other screencasts appear at a number of websites. Screencasts are a great way to promote software or teach people how to use desktop or web applications.
  10. Stock photography. I’m what you might call a “professional amateur” photographer, and have been for decades. As I’m planning to work and travel extensively in the future, I’m getting back into photography. If you need images, let me know, as I have a number of photographer colleagues.
  11. Technical writing and training. This another mainstay of my career, and a service I’m continuing to offer.
  12. WordPress installs + customization. Have you come to realize how important a website is to your online presence? Maybe you want a blog? WordPress is a free web publishing platform, and it’s not just for blogging.

So what are some of your resolutions? How are you planning to build out your income streams in 2009?

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