A wealthy person's resume is often "fluid". Think about some of the world's most successful people, such as Beyoncé who sings, acts and owns a clothing line, or Donald Trump, who runs a mega real estate business, has a television show, is a public speaker, writes books, etc. Clearly, self-made millionaires are not one-trick ponies. But having multiple careers is not just for celebrities. You can do it too.
What's A Scanner?
Author Barbara Sher refers to people who continuously use all their skills as "scanners". Her book, "Refuse to Choose" (2007) coaches those with many talents to explore them all. Scanning is more than just having a side job. According to Sher, scanners feel more fulfilled. This is because they lead a lifestyle that implements what is known as Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a psychological theory that suggests that individuals are motivated by varying levels of need. When one level is satisfied, they move up to the next level. Scanners develop latent skills to create a robust resume with many vocational possibilities, while at the same time fulfilling a greater number of their personal needs. And scanning is not just for hard times; in fact, it could help you build wealth in any economic climate. (For more get-rich tips, see Getting A Millionaire's Mindset.)
Save. Invest. Repeat.
Robert G. Allen taught the concept of scanning to create wealth in his book, "Multiple Streams of Income" (2005). It's timely advice given today's economy. Allen's income recommendations include investing, entrepreneurship and lifetime passive income, among others. Many people are forced into scanning when they are laid off; they get creative, start their own businesses and hustle to make ends meet. Scanners tend to be ahead of they game: they already have ongoing alternate sources of income and are less likely to struggle. (Find out if you have what it takes to start your own business in Are You An Entrepreneur?)
Allen's mantra is "Save. Invest. Save. Invest." Income from multiple sources produces extra cash for investment. Scanners have the opportunity to increase their portfolios quicker if they have the discipline to put the money to work instead of spending it. The compounded growth helps them meet their goals sooner.
Multiple Income Sources Mean More Options
Scanners may also be more likely and more able to afford to start new business ventures. Earnings from one endeavor can be used to finance another. Self financing reduces the need for debt. For example, a scanner in the current economy might invest in rental properties and use the rent to buy advertising for a new internet business. (To learn more, read Three Simple Steps To Building Wealth.)
Residual income also allows scanners pursue their passions, as Barbara Sher suggests. If you are not struggling to make ends meet, you are more likely to create something - such as writing a book. If this venture is successful, you will be able to continue your scanning endeavors with the help of the income you receive in the form of commissions, royalties, license fees, etc.
How Do You Start?
Use hobbies and leisure activities to practice skills that can translate into new careers. Stretching existing skills and learning new ones increases personal value. The key to making multiple careers pay off is to continuously develop them to make sure they don't become rusty. For example, a computer programmer 10 years ago would have to be retrained to fit into today's IT environment - unless he stays connected with the computing world. Experts command higher salaries. Those who become experts in multiple fields and combine them can significantly increase their value to an employer. For example, the tech guru who also has well-developed sales skills has more options for earning a living.
Scanning requires good time management skills, discipline and the ability to handle change. You know you've become a scanner when someone asks you what you do for a living and you're unable to answer right away because you have too many sources of income to pinpoint just one.