Develop Multiple Revenue Streams to Make Money on the Road

Rene and I learned early in our travels that the best way to make money on the road was to develop multiple revenue streams. Now that we’ve been traveling for 16+ years, I can confidently say we must be doing something right. But the successful remote business we’ve built is only the result of trial and error during those early days trying to make money on the road. That, plus lots of planning, perseverance, and plenty of hard work.

The most important advice I have for anyone hoping to hit the road and enjoy the nomadic lifestyle before retirement is to do it debt free. In addition, it is important to have an emergency fund to help pay for, well…emergencies. And there will be expensive emergencies once you spend any amount of time on the road. But living without the pressure of debt, and having a cushion to fall back on make focusing on the important aspects of the RV lifestyle much easier. Like figuring out how to make money on the road.

make money on the road
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Why Develop Multiple Revenue Streams?

Unless you’re independently wealthy or have a healthy retirement income, there is one thing you will need to support your nomadic lifestyle. Whether you travel with a backpack, in a van, or behind the wheel of a big Class A, you’ll need money. So, if you don’t already have a steady remote job that pays all the bills and allows you to work from anywhere, you’ll need to make money on the road. But why create multiple sources of income? Spoiler alert: There’s no magic bullet. Very rarely will you pull the trigger on that one idea guaranteed to take off and make you rich.

Side Note: In my opinion, rich does not mean wealthy. Rich to me is feeling fulfilled in the work I do while living the lifestyle I enjoy with all my needs met. So detach from any numbers you may have thought of when being “rich” comes to mind. Instead, redefine what success means to you. But I digress…

When we first hit the road, Rene and I had planned and budgeted for a year off. Our goal was to travel the country and explore new areas where we might want to settle down next. Another spoiler alert: We still haven’t “settled down” yet, more than 16 years later. However, we have settled into our nomadic lifestyle by supporting it with the work we’re able to do wherever we go. That work is another story in itself. Suffice it to say that our niche business wasn’t exactly how we ever imagined to make money on the road. Instead, we started by trying different things.

I’ve often explained our own business journey as putting a lot of irons in the fire. We blew on the ones that started to glow, and let some smolder, while quickly dousing many others. Eventually, a couple of those hot irons enabled us to stoke a good fire that still fuels our travels today. Why did we develop multiple revenue streams like this? To reference another old adage, we didn’t want to put all our eggs in one basket.

Why not focus on one specific goal?

Consider these reasons to develop multiple revenue streams when figuring out how to make money on the road.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. I already mentioned that, but it bears repeating. If your basket breaks, with all your hopes and dreams pinned to the eggs within, you’ll have nothing but a big mess on your hands.

Try new things. By testing the waters with different ideas, you can determine whether that big idea really lights your fire. Or, you may find out you’re not cut out for the job after all. That was true in our case. Those first few years on the road, we quickly discovered how much we did not want to launch an animal rescue, nor open a resort, nor start our own organic farm.

Find your purpose. Perhaps you’re not sure what it is you want to do next in business, or in life. Ultimately, this was also the case for us. We really had no idea what we wanted to do when we grew up. Last spoiler alert: we still haven’t quite grown up yet. But, by exploring different ventures and ideas, we eventually found our purpose and fell in love with our passion to help others cope with amputation for their pets. Yeah, like I said, another long story.

How to Develop Multiple Revenue Streams?

So, how exactly does one make money on the road with multiple revenue streams? Rene and I share the whole story about how we did it and offer plenty of helpful resources in our full-time RVing handbook, Income Anywhere! Here are some highlights to help anyone hoping to get started.

Workamping: The first step we took to save on rent and start making money on the road was to discover workamping. While the definition of workamping has evolved over the years, traditional jobs include exchanging work for a place to camp. Don’t miss The RV Entrepreneur Episode #307 to learn all about workamping.

Utilize Your Talent: Believe it or not, you are an expert at something. At least, you know more about something than I do. Maybe that’s programming or bookkeeping, video production, SEO, or marketing. Thankfully, there are numerous talent marketplaces where potential clients are constantly searching for help.

Get Creative: There are as many creative marketplaces as there are resources for selling your talent, if not more. If you’re the creative type check out some of these sites to sell anything artsy from handmade creations to digital assets.

Sell photography? Don’t miss RVE Podcast #309.

Gig Apps: Need to make some quick cash or looking for side gigs to supplement your multiple revenue streams? Check out some of the many gig apps available to make money driving, doing simple tasks, transcribing audio, and much more.

Welcome to the Gig Economy

Remote Jobs: Remote employment and self employment are the safest bets to make money on the road. There are legitimate profit-sharing opportunities out there, but there are also many more scams. Before signing up with any “work from home” company, stick to tried and true resources from employers looking to hire a remote workforce.

Finally, this is RV LIFE Entrepreneur, so we are here to support your efforts no matter how you make money on the road. How can we help? Got a story to share? Drop a comment below or join the discussion in the RVE Community group on Facebook

Recommended Reading: Income Anywhere!

Learn more at Live Work Dream.

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Jim Nelson