Rollo Tomassi, in his excellent book “The Rational Male”, talks about plate spinning, which is the practice of keeping multiple relationships going simultaneously and not a single exclusive relationship. The idea behind this is to filter out for the best LTR or marriage opportunity out of many possibilities in an efficient manner. My take on it is that plate theory is also very applicable to wealth accumulation.
Serial vs. Parallel relationships. Plate theory contends that spinning multiple plates is an efficient way to finding quality relationships. In your financial life, you want to be spinning multiple plates too. Starting or investing in multiple opportunities like micro or niche businesses you can operate inexpensively. Following plate theory, you would drop those plates that are going nowhere or show now signs of future promise so that you can replace that financial opportunity with another one.
Oneitis, thinking that there is only one girl for me in the whole world is silly. That is a scarcity mindset. There are multiple compatible women, which leads to the opposite which is abundance mindset. There are a lot of ways to add income streams that fit in with your skill sets. Limiting yourself to a serial approach to wealth is equally silly. If you do that, then you’ll be doing the 8 to 5 till 65 (or more like 85). And if you do develop one income stream apart from your day job, why stop there. Start up multiple ones as you discover them, and drop the ones that aren’t working out and replace them with something else.
I mentioned exclusivity above. Exclusivity limits your opportunities. Right now if you are just working a day job, you are in an exclusive relationship with your employer. You have no options. The man owns you until he is done with you, and then you are left on the curb with nothing. Having multiple streams of income gives you opportunities and freedom. If you play it right you might not even need to be a wage slave. At the least, you can make yourself layoff-proof by having other sources of income when that pink slip comes. As Tomassi says in his book, “The definition of power is not financial success, status or influence over others, but the degree to which we have control over our own lives”. That way of thinking dovetails nicely with Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book “Antifragile”. Taleb also says that to be antifragile you should have multiple sources of income. As Tomassi says, “in any relationship, the person with the most power is the one who needs the other least”, and this is a good place to be in employment or business relationships.
Spinning plates leads to learning. Whether learning to deal with rejection or failed business ideas, it’s far easier to drop those failings and move on to the other plates you have spinning. Plus you learn a lot from failures. Most successful entrepreneurs failed several times before becoming successful. They leveraged those hard learned lessons. This also leads to greater confidence and boldness in trying out new income ideas as you find them. Tomassi says, “Real options are the cornerstone of confidence”.