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9 Income Streams and Counting: How Dorie Clark Has Scaled for Success

The author, consultant and Harvard professor talks about the impact of her work and her plans to make some noise.


Business and professional development author Dorie Clark provides an incredible amount of value per page. That's not a real metric, but you'll immediately understand what I mean after you read just one chapter of any of her books. She cuts through all the fluff and grandstanding and delivers crisp and actionable insights, including a "Try This" or "Ask Yourself" section in every chapter. And she manages to do it with an incredibly kind, honest and genuine approach. Her success didn't happen overnight -- she speaks openly about the challenges she encountered early in her career, back when she would rarely get a response from editors at various publications. It wasn't until a moment of serendipity hit while selling her bike on Craigslist that she got her big break. The woman who bought her bike worked at the Harvard Business Review, learned that Clark was a business consultant, and eventually introduced her to an HBR editor.

Mark Thompson/
Dorie Clark

Clark's latest book,⁣ Entrepreneurial You, is a solid blueprint for any professional seeking to monetize their expertise through consulting, paid speaking engagements and more. Her previous work,⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣Stand Out, helps you determine how you can be recognized in your industry, whether you work in-house or independently. In Stand Out, she wrote, "Whatever your cause, perspective, or point of view, the world can't afford for the best ideas to remain buried inside you."⁣⁣⁣

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The inspiring writer tells us about her passion, her philosophy for success, and, of course, her 10-year plan to write and produce Broadway musical.

Income streams, the more the merrier!

"Answering the question 'What do you do for a living?' is a challenge for me because I'm a big adherent of the importance of having multiple income streams. I have nine different income streams, so you could say I'm a professional speaker or a business school professor or an author or a consultant or an executive coach and so on. The way that I like to think about it is that they're all spokes around a central hub of sharing ideas about how to improve business and careers."

Success sneaks up on you.

"When it comes to measures of professional success, it is not linear growth. For a long time, there can absolutely be no perceptible positive change, so you have to make your own metrics in order to keep yourself motivated. The success of an individual entrepreneur is really similar to the trajectory of the creation of something like 3D printing or artificial intelligence. Growth is almost invisible to the naked eye, and then all of a sudden you can shoot forward because you've been making progress underneath the surface."

Related: Most CEOs Miss These 3 Things When Scaling Their Businesses

Passion for sharing.

"In 2016 I started creating my own online course, and so far I've only sold to my readers through my email list. But now I have multiple online courses, and I think that it's ready to be scaled. So, I am excited about learning that process and really operationalizing it to create an evergreen funnel for my online courses and get them in front of more people. Working with people and watching them succeed is so gratifying. I got a message from a woman who took my Recognized Expert course a year ago. After taking the course, she decided to reach out to her business school professor, and the two of them collaborated on a case study together. It has been presented at a major business school, and she's just so happy and so proud. I find that amazing."

Related: 9 Ways to Rewire Your Brain for Creativity

Go Broadway or go home.

"I entered the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, a two-year program that trains you as a musical theater writer. It's completely free, but it's very competitive to get into it. I've really committed myself to it, and I have never done this before. My ultimate goal is to write a Broadway musical. I know that a lot of people dream of doing that, but I feel like I'm a very motivated person, and I'm willing to do what it takes to learn the skills. I mean this literally is my 10-year plan -- this may be a decades-long campaign -- but I'm fine with that. I'm a busy person, and I have a lot of other things going on, but if you don't start now, it's not going to happen."

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