My journey to the world of passive income started around October 2014. Prior to this time, I was just a struggling entrepreneur who was trying to build a company the way the entire world understands it to be, brick and mortar, physical businesses, you know. However, something changed so fast after a friend wrote a book about the subject of making money online and asked me to proofread the book. Reading this book opened my mind to a new world, the world where you can leverage the power of the internet to make money, even while you’re sleeping.
Today, I make a good amount of money from the internet. In fact, to give you some idea, almost all the money I’ve ever spent in the last 3 years was from my internet businesses. But before you get too excited, there’s one big truth most people don’t know about passive income and I’ll explain that in this blog post.
Now let’s get to it.
You see, the idea of passive income is not popular because people know what it is. It’s popular because it appeals to people’s lazy brains. No. I’m not pointing fingers at you. I’m your brother. I’m just as lazy and as greedy as you’re. For instance, if there’s any 3 hours job that could drop a million dollars into my bank account today, I will be glad to be the first person to know about it and that’s where our problem starts. Most people hear “Passive Income” and the first picture that comes to their mind is, “Now, I can stop working” yes, you can stop working, but not as straightforward as it seems.
In my own case, I have a blog that’s making me money up till this morning, even though I’ve not written any content for the blog in the last year. That sounds very interesting, right? But you see, I sacrificed about two horrible years to work on this blog before I started making any significant money.
I have other business models which rely on the internet and give me money, even if I don’t work or work a little. But as always, it only happens after some tough work. The work I’m talking about here isn’t just about getting your hands dirty even at 11 Pm doing stuff, it includes reading and learning, searching for relevant and useful information, changing your strategies and business models, making countless mistakes, and deciding never to look back. While passive income sounds good, not so many people can go through tough times, and that’s where the problem lies.
You see, the truth most people don’t know about passive income is that it’s like a child. The children are sweet and lovely. Looking at a 10 years old beautiful and brilliant kid makes you want one. But if you’re to be given the account of what has gone into making that child live, even till her first birthday, you’ll understand better. I’m not a woman, so I can’t tell you about pregnancy, but as a father who saw how his wife went through those 9 months of pain, I perceive it’s not something cheap. Raising a kid too is tough. It’s a full-time job. It’s a lot of work until the child grows up. A similar thing happens with passive income.
If anyone tells you that passive income isn’t real, it’s because such a person hasn’t done it before. If, however, anyone tells you that passive income is easy to build, it’s because he is a scam.
Yes, you can make as much passive income as you need to live a great life anywhere in the world, but are you willing to sacrifice several months or a few years?
Are you willing to learn, make mistakes and fail, yet keep fighting?
The other point I need to make here is, are you willing to be converted to entrepreneurship?
If that question sounds strange to you, let me give some explanations. First, don’t be like most people who think there’s a trusted formula for creating passive income. There’s none outside entrepreneurship. Meaningful Passive income can only be created by smart entrepreneurs. You can’t do it any other way. You can’t build any business unless you’re an entrepreneur and since only business can give you passive income, you can’t have passive income if you’re not an entrepreneur.
Your second concern may be, why do you have to be converted to entrepreneurship since entrepreneurship isn’t a religion? While entrepreneurship isn’t a religion, it’s a different world, very different from what most people think it is. Like religion, entrepreneurship has a different belief system. Like religious adherents, entrepreneurs have a different way of life. Like religious fanatics, entrepreneurs don’t change their minds or look back. They are kind of rude and stubborn. If you agree with me that only entrepreneurs can build significant passive income, then you’ll agree with me that you’ll need to be converted.
The first thing is about your belief system. To build passive income, you have to stop thinking like an employee. You have to stop thinking of getting. You must start thinking of giving because it’s by giving value we make money. Most employees have been conditioned to think of getting and that’s why they can never build a business because, in business, you have to concentrate 90% of your energy on serving people. You must also stop expecting rewards for your effort immediately.
One of my employees once complained to me that she wasn’t motivated because the payment plan she agreed on was 6 weeks instead of 4 weeks as it’s commonly done in my country. What this lady doesn’t know is that the project I employed her for has been running for about 2 years and I’ve not made any significant money from the project, though I’m spending money and time on it. That’s it. She couldn’t be motivated to wait for 6 weeks, but I am willing to wait for 2 years. If such a person starts a business, she will run back after 5 months because when she gets nothing, she would think it’s a waste of time.
You must change the way you think about rewards. If you want it now, you’ll only get a little. If you can plant the seed and patiently wait, though the harvest may take time, it will come bountifully.
The second thing is about your way of life. Like religion, entrepreneurship requires that entrepreneurs live differently from everyone else. For instance, I almost never buy anything except I have questioned myself several times whether I truly need it. Other people can buy watches and cars to show pictures on Instagram, but true entrepreneurs don’t do that. You must know how to re-invest what you earn. When you become a millionaire, you can waste some money, but not now. This is important because to grow your streams of income to a point where you can make money with little or no work, you must spend several months or a few years re-investing most money you earn. If you can’t re-invest, you can’t build any significant passive income.
In summary, everyone can make passive income but only a few people will do it because it’s like raising a child. It does require a lot of sacrifices at the beginning. You must understand this and go through whatever challenges with a big smile.