The internet abounds with bright ideas for generating passive income. The term itself is alluring enough for most of us to want to take a look: the notion of earning money without working for it seems too good to be true.
Moreover, you’d be right. It’s hard work, and at the end of the day just another way of earning your daily bread. This is why you won’t find every second person tossing their 9-5 jobs and sitting on a tropical island sipping martinis while they live off their ‘passive income’.
However, if you have a strong entrepreneurial spirit, are not too risk-averse, and much prefer the idea of being master of your work destiny, here are some strategies which may help.
Earning passive income is the stuff of millennials, although not their exclusive domain. But your mindset ought to be one of discarding the work habits we’ve seen develop since WW2 and looking to change some of those routines.
Kill the myth
Developing a passive income stream is hard work. It doesn’t happen overnight, and many passive income streams need money to make money. Property rentals, for example. But if you start early enough by buying that small apartment at varsity instead of a new car, you’re on the first rung of a ladder which can only take you up.
Identify your passion
Discover what motivates you: meaningful work? Flexible work hours? Money? Career prospects? Take the example of Jeet Banerjee, who describes himself as a “24-year-old serial entrepreneur, author, digital marketing consultant, and public speaker.” In his young career, Jeet has launched several different companies, written two books, and has helped businesses make more money from the internet.
If you’re not already, become tech-savvy. Amazon – with Alexa – is the new marketplace, and Goldman Sachs predicts that it will grow by another 20% in 2018. For a company the size of Amazon, that’s
- “I build online businesses that take advantage of systems of automation that allow transactions, cash flow, and growth to happen without requiring a real-time presence. We internet entrepreneurs invest our time upfront creating valuable products and experiences. We work hard now to continually reap the benefits later.” (Pat Flynn: Smart Passive Income)
Start a website / create a platform for your ideas
Write 400 words a day. And read. Most entrepreneurs have written a book at some stage, and pretty much all of them have a blog. Build trust through sharing your ideas – and read. There are so many ideas out there.
Become an expert in something
Share your knowledge in blogs, on your website. Grow your following by helping others; build trust.
Research your market
Find a gap, an under-served need; look outside your ‘space’, get out of your rut, research other cultures and markets, travel.
Start something, change something, get involved, speak up, speak out, have fun; get some exercise. Tom Peters said it in 1982 when he identified companies ‘in search of excellence’ as having a “bias for action”.
Get curious about everything, and come up with ten new ideas every day (Jeet). “Repurpose” your skills – why is it that teachers seem to be able to reinvent their careers in all sorts of directions? Study online.
Network and build connections
Volunteer in non-profits related to your work interests, join clubs/associations that enhance your skills or relationships (e.g. a writers’ circle, an internet club). Surround yourself with smart people.
Some of your initiatives will take a long time to germinate or to generate sufficient – or any – income; some of them won’t Try something else.
- Genius is much less about genetics and much more about mindset, ridiculous amounts of hard work, self-belief, focus and perseverance in the face of any setback. (Jeet Banerjee)
Now and then look up from what you’re doing and see whether it is getting the results you expected. If not, see Point 11: Bounce back. If yes, get out the travel catalogues with pictures of tropical islands and martini in hand.
Alexander writes about the effective habits that make up a happy and healthy lifestyle. He is the owner and writer at Biz Think Tank. You can read more of his writing there or on his personal website.