So what is 7Streams?
So what the heck is seven streams?
Good question. From this blog’s perspective, seven streams is the concept of achieving financial success and, perhaps more importantly, financial certainty and independence by developing seven, non-correlated streams of income. For example, a rental property and your salary are not (normally) correlated nor are dividends from common stock and your side eBay business. But before delving into this, let me give you some things to think about.
In a fast-changing world where fortunes are made and lost overnight, where technology enables startups to achieve “overnight” success one day and lose their edge the next (can anyone name an equally successful follow-up to AngryBirds?), where generations-old businesses go bankrupt because they couldn’t keep up with the changing times, where governments default on their commitments and where an ill-timed downturn in the market can wipe out a lifetime of “safe” investments, nothing is secure (this is excepting my own beliefs in a God who knows all and controls all and has already decided His will and our fates). Outside of a few outliers, rarely can a single event or idea guarantee lasting success or enduring financial security.
If you survey the world of entrepreneurs what do you find? Hard-working and smart people moving from idea to idea (pivoting is the buzzword) as fast as the market allows because nothing is static or certain. Andrew Warner of Mixergy.com interviewed one shining example of this recently. The interviewee ran a successful business that made a paint which would turn a wall into a whiteboard on which you could use dry-erase markers (my kids would love this for their room…or for the hallway). I’m sure there was more to the paint and the business than that but you get the gist. Well, the business did quite well but eventually the gentlemen sold the company. Do you know what he is doing now? He’s a cofounder in a business that is making and selling, of all things, a spicy honey (MixedMade.com). While he used the knowledge gained from the one business to jumpstart the other, how different could these endeavors be? One business did millions of dollars of revenue turning boardrooms at technology businesses in Silicon Valley into creativity centers, the other business is selling small-batch honey to specialty grocers one case at a time!
There are plenty of other examples in the entrepreneurial world that, while they do not necessarily embody a deliberate 7Streams strategy, do provide models of how a single idea or endeavor is just that, a single successful (or unsuccessful) event. Rarely is an entrepreneur content to either continue refining only one thing for the rest of his life or to simply cash it in and live at the beach in retirement. Other individuals come the mind: Jeff Bezos and the continued evolution of Amazon (from books to everything to web hosting to technology developer), Elon Musk and his many pursuits, Donald Trump (need I explain?), the father of a co-worker (school teacher who ran a construction business on the side), Tucker Max (google him and then find his most recent interview on Mixergy), etc.
At this point you may be saying something along the lines of “but these are all people who made a metric ton of cash from their one idea and can now explore other options.” You are mostly correct in this thought. But the point at which I am driving is how the mindset of these entrepreneurs pushes them to continue evolving and find new pain points they can solve, even after finding success in one venture.
So, circling back to the beginning, several years ago (2010 in fact) my wife and I attended a NASCAR race with a friend and his wife. On the way home my friend started telling me about a book he was reading that talked about the seven streams concept and how banking on only one stream of income was inherently risky. For the life of me, I couldn’t tell you the name of the book or even what else he told me about it that day. But that concept has stuck with me all these years…and the more I thought about it the more logical and sound the concept became. And as I grew and developed as a person, as I faced some career realities and as I continued to discuss entrepreneurship with a few friends, I determined to implement the 7Streams methodology in my own life…and to start now.
7Streams is an entrepreneurial journey along a life road that hopefully finds massive success in one or more ventures along the way, but, while on that path, one also diversifies the means to that success. From a practical standpoint, seven non-correlated streams of income provides protection against the failure of any single (or multiple) venture(s). From a philosophical perspective, 7Streams nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit. In a future post I plan to explore the seven streams on which I am currently working…and the timeline I have given myself for realizing them.