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.
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I have posted a few times about the idea of passive income. Real estate investing is a much applauded form of ‘passive income’ in the modern sense. If you own properties, and rent them out, you will get rent checks coming in month after month, right? Right, but you still have to go out and locate the tenants, take care of utility issues and upgrades, etc. The idea of passive income is not that you have to completely do NO work, but the idea that when you set up a certain system, most of the day-to-day tasks are on auto-pilot. If you post everyday for 3 years straight, you will still get traffic in from the search engines, Yaro. As long as the ads are still on your site you will receive the passive income. This is your ‘system’. The idea of passive income is that so which you have the freedom to do something when you want to do it and you don’t have to give up working hours to go do that thing AND the money will still keep coming in. This can only happen if you set up your system.
I wonder what the avg number of hours/week (over a year) would be for something to be considered “passive income”. To me, it’d be under an hour a week. If I was able to earn money from something with that time investment, the hour a week would be mostly a time investment in checking on things that it’s still working and setting the course back on track.
If Uber was a thing in my country I would do this every day as you can earn enormous amounts of money just by driving other people to work and back home, while doing the same thing for yourself. This can turn out to be a fun experiment as it will bring you money, and you will have people in your car keeping you accompanied on your way to work and back home. It’s like a school bus, but better!
Clickbank is particularly noteworthy because in many cases you can even earn 50% to 75% of the product revenue. However, most affiliate programs will offer commissions between 5% and 10%. In order to maximize your income, promote products that have are expensive. For example, a $1,000 product with a 5% commission will earn you a decent $50 commission.
When you are working you have a fixed amount of time that you can possibly work. You can only work so many hours in a day, so many days a week and for only so many years. It is during that time that people have to pay for their most expensive things in life; homes, children and then save for retirement. Add in a debt load that cannot be paid down with the current income being generated and no additional time to work, it becomes a cycle that has no end.
Again, no leader worth her salt will be attracted to such an opportunity. And anyone you do hire to lead the value creation, if they have two brain cells, will see that she's the one adding all the value. Sooner or later she will simply find a way to cut you out of the value chain, either by requiring more and more compensation, or by going off and competing against you (and actively at that.) Why does she need you? You're not adding any value anyway!
PS Joel also throws up the whole coaching idea in this book, and whilst it’s not at all passive I just wanted to mention it, because this is one of the ways to create a six-figure business for yourself if you are a true expert in an arena. ie you can use passive income info products (that generate say $30,000 a year) to pull in the customers for your 1-1 or mastermind style coaching service (that brings in say $100,000+ a year).