Dozens of times, especially in the beginning before I started making money with my book. I doubted whether people were going to buy it or not. I kept saying, What am I doing wasting my time here? The hard thing about building a business online and passive income is that you have to put the work in upfront, and while you’re putting in that work, you’re not getting paid for it. It’s not like traditional work where you put in X hours and you get paid for X hours. You might put in days, month, even years of work before you start to get paid. It does not happen overnight, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Even after the book was sold, I had doubts.

Given the growth in the sharing economy, your junk can start to pay for itself. For example, if you have some awesome vintage furniture inherited from your grandmother sitting in a storage unit, you can rent this out to photographers for their “styled shoots” which are becoming all the rage. If your furniture is more modern but you still can’t bear to get rid of it – perhaps a home stager will be interested.
The paperback’s formatting could also be improved. I basically just messed around in LibreOffice on Mac to get formatting to work, but I wish I would’ve started with a tool like Jutoh, which is fantastic for formatting and publishing. My workflow was Google Drive exports to LibreOffice, and Google Drive just wasn’t good for editing once you cross 40–50 pages. In the future I’d like to format a better sized paperback.
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I have posts that are heavily linked to Amazon and some that aren’t to keep things balanced out. My heavily linked posts are product guides or stuff I was searching for my kids. Some examples are: Non-toxic high chair, 20 non-toxic teething toys, and Gift for 2-3 year olds. My blog is “green” so a lot of my posts are about non-toxic products since this is what I personally look for.
All that being said, the residual income valuation approach is a viable and increasingly popular method of valuation and can be implemented rather easily by even novice investors. When used alongside the other popular valuation approaches, residual income valuation can give you a clearer estimate of what the true intrinsic value of a firm may be. (Don't be overwhelmed by the many valuation techniques out there - knowing a few characteristics about a company will help you pick the best one. See How To Choose The Best Stock Valuation Method.)
A very thoughtful list here. Another relevant book published this year is “Retirement Planning for Young Physicians” by Dr. Ralph Crew. It covers many of the topics discussed here from the perspective of a physician who has successfully saved and retired. The book adds a lot to these discussions with a focus on the importance of lifestyle choices, as well as a realistic (though sobering) view of likely future physician income trends and how to plan accordingly for retirement.
Interesting post thanks. I have had similar thoughts about the passive income model – it’s not “passive income” at all, it’s just a different business model where you do the same amount of work to build a product/service and support clients in a slightly less direct way than standard freelance/project work. There are also greater risks with the passive income model – if you are simply selling your time as a freelancer or WordPress agency, you are guaranteed to be paid for your time. Whereas you can spend months or years developing a product, service or blog in the hopes of attaining “passive income”, only to find that it doesn’t take off and you never get paid for this time. In theory the gains of a passive income business are greater as it is scalable and the amount of work doesn’t necessarily increase as you get more sales, but the risks are greater too.

Another way to generate passive income is to invest and be a silent partner in a business. This is very risky, but with risk comes the potential for high returns. For example, several years ago both Lyft and Uber were looking for private investors to invest in their companies. Today, they are worth billions - but you as an investor would only reap that benefit if they go public via an IPO, or get acquired. So, it's risky.
It may sound like a daunting task, but it can be explained in a simple way. You have to satisfy a need that people have. Do people want a website that connects them to others with a similar interest? Do they want cheaper air fares? Do they want a personalized career path finder? You don’t have to create something new or ground-breaking; you can simply take existing services, and improve them in some way. Or you can create your own.
4. We do our own IT, website design and implementation, write all our own materials, do ongoing research to keep it fresh and develop new products and technologies, market, mail like madmen (our emailing subscriptions alone cost us $1,100 per month, but we’ve got a list of 15,000 after four years in the biz), and somehow manage to keep the dishes clean, food in the fridge, and love our 4 kids as much as we can.
4. We do our own IT, website design and implementation, write all our own materials, do ongoing research to keep it fresh and develop new products and technologies, market, mail like madmen (our emailing subscriptions alone cost us $1,100 per month, but we’ve got a list of 15,000 after four years in the biz), and somehow manage to keep the dishes clean, food in the fridge, and love our 4 kids as much as we can.
Tied into this point, I like how Scott discourages big dreaming from the point of view that when you try to solve too big a problem, you’ll normally fail since you don’t have the resources to tackle it – eg don’t reinvent say ecommerce platforms with complex software, instead create an online video-driven course on how to build online stores using WordPress (as an example!).
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