Income Diversification

I just read that there’s a thing called a “serial entrepreneur.” I’m afraid I might have a case of this. That or “serial project-doer.” I am the girl who’s always busy with something. I have a constantly revolving to-do list and there really is never enough time for me to get everything done that is on my plate. I laugh inside when I hear people say they are going home “to relax” because during my week I am GO GO GO even when I’m at home. The weekends are a different story. Believe me, I love my weekends. But my weeks are getting pretty crazy.

This blog is part of the lovely craziness; there you go, you are an enabler!

People always talk about my generation. They have it pretty spot-on with their commentary about recent college grads in this economy and unemployment and yadda yadda but it’s a lot different when you’re actually living it. Trying to make it big. Waiting for that opportune moment. I am what Suze Orman calls YF&B – Young, fabulous & BROKE! But somehow, by the grace of God, what I need (and not much extra) to be independent is provided and I am living the dream.

I’m no stranger to being busy. I’ve done the juggle of a couple jobs with a couple classes plus or minus different situations. Ever since high school when I started getting involved in DECA, I knew business was my thing. I never played sports, but I ran the student store. I got good grades and took AP classes, but I hung out with some crazy kids. I combine my creativity and business knowledge and often think of businesses I would like to own or help to fund to get started. So many ideas. Recently I’ve been working through a staffing agency; that and my experiences thus far after graduating have led me to this interesting place in my life.

I’m not unemployed… I’m diversifying my income!

And wont be “unemployed” for long. Switching that to “self employed.” There are so many things happening right now. Good things. Sometimes scary things. Lots of long night things. But very exciting things.

This is what’s keeping me busy as of late:

*I’m currently working full time for a corporate office in downtown Tacoma, WA through a staffing agency. It was originally supposed to be a 2 week project but they liked my work so much they kept giving me more work. It’s 4 months later and I’m training their field employees at about 20 locations across the country, but still no job offer. Trying to cut down my time in their office so that I can focus on my other ventures.

*Recently I was approached by a good friend from school and asked to be part of the ownership team of his new company In The Black Media ( So I will be 33% owner in this company which is an umbrella/conglomerate for our smaller trade-name businesses that will be funded by In The Black. In The Black meaning, no matter what the division, the work we do will always be about getting our clients profits and productivity, making sure they stay in the black, literally, and then some. My branch of this…which I’ve been brainstorming names for… will be the consulting side. Because that’s what I really excel in. I’m a leader, not a follower, and I really like being an objective change agent and making such great progress for all kinds of businesses. Plus, from my experience at the staffing agency I’ve learned that companies right now want to hire talent but they don’t want the commitment of bringing you on full time. Expectations of benefits and and a future career are a little much for a lot of business owners right now. This way, we all win.

*There are also side projects that I have. I’m a Mary Kay consultant [turns out you really DO have to make an effort to sell this great product…time and effort I haven’t had for this lately.] Because I really want to stray from the norm. I can’t do the whole pressure-party thing. I don’t want that. I think the approach I’m going to take with this is I am just going to plan 4 open house events every year [different seasons make it so I can have fun with themes] and this is just basically like a party at a retail store. All my inventory is set up, there’s snacks, lots of drinks, good times, people can try what they want at their own pace and come and go as they please for a whole day. I think that actually sounds FUN. I would go to that. I’m thinking a mid-summer open house for my first one. And if that doesn’t freaking work its all going on EBAY.

*And I know I’m not the only one who loves her Pinterest!! I’ve learned so many awesome crafts that have to do with wine. They are pretty awesome. I think I can definitely make some money off this cute decor so an item on my to-do list is an etsy store soon! I finally unpacked my glass-cutter today and have my goggles/gloves and uhmm a fair amount of bottles ;)I just need to try it out!

*I also volunteer regularly for a non-profit here in Tacoma called Shared Housing Services ( I’m on the Board of Directors, Finance Committee, and am currently working on a totally pro-bono marketing plan for them. I love doing marketing plans and business plans so this is a piece I’m going to be very proud of when it’s done, which should be this month! Yes. This. Month.

*To tie all of this together, I bought – this is all going to be part of an awesome online presence and successful career TRULY living the dream because I am being ME, doing what I LOVE, on my own terms. It will link to my consulting, all my social media, this blog, anything I’m involved with, and also serve as a total interactive online portfolio. I ‘m proud of the essays I’ve written, the creative marketing plans that got me noticed, and the presentations I’ve put together – so I want to use this stuff. So my future clients can agree when I say “I know that I’m young, but look at this TALENT and everything I can do for you.” My generation. We’re coming up. This is our time but we need to work for it. Brand ourselves. Market ourselves. I’m putting in that work.

This is more of an introductory blog so you can see where I’m coming from. The schedule for this right now is weekly and there will be various business topics. Some posts will be completely my theories and from my personal experiences in business and some will be commentary on something going on in the business world. I enjoy staying up to date on articles, business news and best practices; I usually have something to say about this news and I look forward to being able to express my thoughts on these topics.

Until next week,

By: Kelly Rates