Passive Income Sucks.

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a New Business Purely for Passive Income

Passive income.

Money that you earn while doing little or nothing to maintain where it comes from.

It sounds great, right?

What could be better than lying on a beach while traveling the world, or sleeping late Monday to Friday while your income takes care of itself?

Imagine being able to tell your boss where to stick their job, to no longer be a slave to money.

But how realistic is it to think that you can start a new business that will generate a meaningful amount of passive income in the short term, and is so automated and requires such little work that it will keep your income in autopilot indefinitely?

My two cents? Not very.

At least not for someone who is relatively new to business; the person who doesn’t have a significant amount of money to invest straight into the business, or the person who isn’t already an ‘influencer’ with a substantial social media following. Even then, it would still be a tall order.

I believe that when you’re starting out, centering a new business around passive income can be both dangerous and detrimental to your long-term success.

Here are seven reasons why passive income sucks for new businesses based on my personal experiences.

Note: Before we begin, I’d like to clarify that I’m not saying that passive income doesn’t work in all situations. I’ve seen it happen multiple times as a reward for building a medium to long-term business to the limits of its potential, where the founder is eventually awarded with freedom and what can be defined as passive income. This post covers my thoughts on passive income for entirely new businesses.

1. You probably don’t want to be working on it.

I’ve had plenty of passive income brainwaves, from paid apps to affiliate microsites. You name it, I’ve probably thought of it and tried it.

None of these worked. Or, if they did to any small degree, I didn’t enjoy working on these businesses.

Looking back, they were all types of businesses or niches that I wouldn’t have got involved in except for the lure of quick and easy money.

Developing apps and microsites around content that I wasn’t interested in was a struggle. It didn’t come naturally to me, and it was a constant effort to motivate myself in the absence of any real passion.

I soon became bored with each idea once the initial excitement wore off, once I hit an issue or when I wasn’t making money as quickly as I’d initially (and naively) expected. I’d then move on to the next idea, destined to make the same mistake over and over again.

I’d always have an excuse ready for when each venture inevitably failed or for why I’d given up. It was never my fault. There was always something outside of my control that prevented it from working.

It’s clear with hindsight that my thinking and approach were flawed. I was actively looking for a business that I didn’t want to invest myself in fully.

I wanted all of the benefits (i.e., money), as quickly as possible, for none of the work.

one-percent-intent-why-passive-income-sucks-for-entrepreneurs

You see, that’s the problem with passive income. Focusing your entire business on it causes you to focus on the wrong things. You look for quick wins and become a sucker to get-rich-quick schemes instead of working on something that you genuinely enjoy.

My advice? Think carefully about each new venture you create. What if someone told you that you’d have to work well in excess of a typical 9-5 for the first few years to make it work? Or, what if it was unlikely that you’d make a penny for the first 6-12 months? Would the idea still seem as attractive?

If either of these factors results in you questioning a business idea, you’re probably getting into it for the wrong reasons. When you care about a business idea, you want to work on it more, not less, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be phased by these long hours or extended periods of little to no income as you’ll be genuinely passionate about what you’re doing.

2. It’s an example of ‘backward thinking.’

My early passive income brainwaves always evolved while sitting at the desk of my 9-5 job, where I cursed my future with the thought of a mundane existence until retirement.

My first thoughts were around how much it would take to leave my job, followed by thoughts about the quickest and easiest ways to make it a reality.

“If I can earn XYZ a day then I can quit my job. Simple!”

Money became my focus, my obsession. I just needed to find a way, any way, to earn it.

It was like seeing your favorite sugary snack when you’re on a diet and at your hungriest. You know you shouldn’t. You know it goes against all conventional wisdom. However, you crave it, and it’s all you can think about.

Passive income is the same. It goes against all conventional wisdom of how and why you should start a business.

My drive to earn passive income caused me to create multiple businesses purely to make money as quickly, and hassle-free as possible, instead of doing something that I was genuinely interested in, good at, or could provide value with.

I was placing the cart before the horse.

one-percent-intent-passive-income-thinking-flawed

The widely accepted business advice says to go all in on an idea you’re passionate about and can provide massive value with, and eventually, you’ll be rewarded with money and freedom.

It doesn’t work so well in reverse, as I found out first-hand.

3. It doesn’t usually work in practice.

In 2005, Richard St. John released what would become a hugely successful TED talk titled the ‘8 Secrets of Success’. This talk covered his findings from interviews with 500 successful people.

I’ve summarized the eight secrets in the table below. I’ve also included a comparison between what each secret teaches us, and the experiences and thinking I adopted each time I started a new passive-income business.

 What each ‘Secret of Success’ teaches usWhat my passive income-centered business approach promoted:
PassionDo it for the love, not money.Do it for the money, not love.
WorkUnderstand that it’ll be hard work, but with passion, it won’t feel like you’re actually working.Find an idea that will be as little work as possible, both in terms of creating and maintaining the business. The goal is to be working as little as possible.
GoodPractice makes perfect. Become as good as practicably possible at something to be successful.Don’t aim for perfection. The goal is to be ‘good enough’ to maximize the amount of time spent not working.
FocusStick with one thing. Don’t become distracted and stretch yourself too thin.Aim for multiple ventures to maximize passive income, for example, multiple paid apps or micro-niche websites.
PushPush through negative thoughts. Push yourself mentally and physically.Don't waste time pushing in vain. Divert time and resources to finding an easier way to earn passive income.
ServeDon’t serve yourself. Serve others by providing value.If you can provide some value, great, but the priority is to exploit money-making opportunities.
IdeasCome up with ideas by listening, observing and being curious. Ask questions, solve problems and make connections.Don’t waste time developing unique ideas. Instead, actively look for widely publicized ideas that promise as much income as possible in as little time and with as little effort as possible. (Optional: argue with anyone who refers to these as get-rich-quick schemes).
PersistDon’t give up. Persist and work through problems until you’re successful. Persistence is said to be the number one factor in success.If a business idea proves too tough, there’s probably another easier way of making money. Stop working on the current idea and divert all attention and resources to researching the next passive income business.

As you can see, my original passive approach consistently conflicts with each of the ‘8 Secrets of Success’.

Based on this, it isn’t surprising that I struggled to achieve anything that could be categorized as ‘minor’ success by following this approach to business.

It’s obvious in hindsight. How could I expect success by building a business in a field I didn’t particularly care about and knew nothing about; by following ideas that weren’t best suited to my particular skills and experience; from having little to no focus; from placing earning money above providing value; from spending as little time as possible developing amazing content and products; from spending next to no time trying to outmaneuver competitors; from spending as little time as possible on customer service, and from not having the passion or patience to work through the inevitable learning curve associated with becoming an expert before I could actually start making money in my chosen endeavor?

The lack of success with passive income appears to be pretty consistent, too.

Call me a cynic, but barring any exceptional circumstances (for example having a significant amount of cash to invest into a new business), I am yet to find anyone credible (or believable) who is successfully earning enough money to comfortably live off with little to no work from a new business.

4. If it does work, it’s usually temporary and on a small scale.

Passive income, if earned early on (or at all), is typically short-lived and on a small scale.

Building and future-proofing a scalable, massive-value-providing business takes time, energy and creativity, in addition to the other factors listed in the ‘8 Secrets of Success’ discussed above.

Most passive endeavors rely on stifling a business of these critical ingredients, usually in a bid to spend time developing as many other passive income streams as possible, or as a result of maximizing the amount of time enjoyed away from the business.

It makes sense. Meaningful results will require a significant amount of work. Designing a crappy microsite and sales-funnel will produce, you guessed it, crappy results.

If you don’t genuinely care about the content you’re producing or the service you’re providing, and you don’t actively work to make your business as good as possible, it won’t be long before your competition catches up to you and your customers become frustrated and start to abandon your business.

Alas, just like a plant that is starved of water or sunlight, the typical passive income approach will often result in a success that is severely stunted from a growth perspective and is temporary given that it withers away as quickly as it appeared.

All the right ingredients are required to thrive.

5. It isn’t passive in most cases, and it isn’t easy.

How many passive income ideas are actually ‘passive’? Let’s think about it.

Take a blog, for example.

You can’t just churn out a few articles and expect to sit back while the money rolls in. What happens when you stop producing new content, or you stop driving traffic to your blog via SEO, paid advertising or social media?

These aren’t one-off activities. You need to do them continually, or the blog will die a pretty speedy death.

Recommended reading: How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging?

What about a paid app?

I have experience developing and releasing an app what at face value appeared to generate a small amount of passive income.

The app took 12 months to develop as I juggled coding around my schedule. During these 12 months, I earned nothing.

Even after it was released, I had to do things like marketing, building and maintaining an email list, and updating the code for new iOS changes. These all took a significant amount of time.

The small amount I earned in ‘passive income’ was effectively deferred pay for the work I’d put in upfront, and part active income for driving awareness and downloads of the app and maintaining the code.

Let’s look at another example.

How about a niche microsite that gets traffic from paid advertising and generates revenue with sales-funnels which peddle affiliate products?

Granted, it does sound very automated. But how hands-off is it in reality? Think about website updates, email marketing, dealing with complaints and refunds, keyword research to ensure your paid advertising is as effective as possible, and likely building social media profiles to drive even more traffic when you realized the profitability was low given your paid advertising approach. These all take time.

If you multiply any of these examples several times to cater for the trend of building multiple passive streams in a bid to maximize income, well, congratulations, you’re now probably spending the equivalent of a 9-5 job plus more servicing your business.

Focusing on passive income can cause you to enter into a business with unrealistic expectations.

one-percent-intent-expectations-versus-reality-graphic

‘Build it, and they will come’ does not occur in reality, and even if they did, most people disregard the significant time investment required to simply ‘build it’ in the first place, or how hard it can be given that you’ll usually have to learn new skills.

Learning things such as how to build websites, how to master social media and paid advertising, and how to develop the various systems that will automate the business will cause you to spend more time on it, not less.

I’m not saying the example businesses above can’t work, because they definitely can, but if you think they’re going to be easy or hands-off quickly, or you fail to realize that it can take years to achieve anything even remotely resembling a passive income, then it’s likely you’ll become despondent and want to work on something else because you’ve chosen something you aren’t genuinely passionate about.

6. It promotes small-scale thinking.

Over time, the appeal of passive income can result in the tendency to resort to small-scale thinking.

As with my early ventures, most people have a figure in mind when they start thinking about passive income. In my case, this was the bare minimum required to leave the job I hated, but it could also be a specific figure to cover the bills or to allow some extra discretionary spending.

The problem with this is that it can limit your aspirations. It can cause you to focus on short-term fixes and what you perceive as ‘easy wins,’ to the detriment of massive, long-term goals such as building a business or asset that could eventually be sold for life-changing sums of money if it proves successful.

In addition, if your original passive income figure is then reached, it can be all-too-tempting to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor by emulating the stereotypical passive income existence, or to start a new passive income venture to try and multiply the income you are earning. Both of these scenarios play into the small-scale, short-term nature of passive income, and come at the cost of not pushing your original business to reach its full potential.

7. It can negatively impact your work ethic.

My final point on passive income is that aiming for it solely can have a negative impact on your work ethic.

I personally experienced this as a direct result of point 1 (not enjoying what I was working on), and point 6 (not setting large enough goals), meaning I had little to no passion for what I was doing and lacked the stretch goals that would motivate me and inspire action.

In what would become my failed ventures, it meant that I gave up quickly. In my (somewhat) successful ventures, these factors lead to procrastination, working fewer and fewer hours and producing content of ever-lower quality. In short, I did the bare minimum and sat back while the small amount of money rolled in.

This isn’t surprising, and I found it to be consistent in that it occurred each time I aimed solely for passive income. Without any passion to fire me up over the long-term, my standards started to slip, and my work ethic went through the floor.

So what’s the alternative?

I can safely say that I’ve experienced more negative than positive repercussions as a result of striving solely for passive income in the past.

It’s clear that it’s a flawed approach when it comes to setting up a business.

So what’s the alternative?

How can you build a business that fires you up now, and will increase the likelihood of significant amounts of money and freedom further down the line once you’ve taken it to the limits of your potential?

I’m not claiming to have all the answers, but an excellent place to start is the 8 ‘Secrets of Success’ mentioned in this post. I’ve reordered these from Richard St. John’s TED talk and presented them in what I think is a more logical format below:

passion-ideas-icon

Start with a mixture of passion and ideas.

  • Be clear on where your passions lie.
  • Develop a well-thought-out business idea around one of your passions, but think it through carefully:
    • Ensure the business area your passion falls in has clear ways of being monetized (however, as mentioned: think passion first, then money second).
    • Aim to see things differently and look for ways to improve on what’s already being offered, or look for key problems which have yet to be resolved.
one percent intent hard work icon

Understand that it will be hard work.

Don’t start a business with the impression that it will be easy. Understand that it will take significant amounts of time, energy and creativity from the outset. Ensure your passion is strong enough to not only overcome this but to actually enjoy the challenge.

one percent intent focus icon

Have laser focus.

Focus on one project only. Don’t become distracted and stretch yourself too thin otherwise you’ll fail to take the business to the limits of its potential.

one percent intent provide value icon

Provide MASSIVE value.

Place providing massive value at the center of your business’s values. A business will not succeed in the long-term unless it can consistently surpass the needs and expectations of its customers.

one percent intent mastery icon

Commit to mastery.

Understand that practice makes perfect. Continue to develop yourself and your business to the limits of your/its potential.

one percent intent persistence icon

Be relentless, push through limiting thoughts, and persist until successful.

Be relentless and commit to making your business a success. Push through negative thoughts and what Richard St. John refers to as ‘CRAP’ (Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, Pressure) and don’t quit until you’ve achieved your ultimate goal.

What are your experiences with passive income? Do you agree/disagree with my points above when it comes to passive income for new businesses?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

Passive Income Sucks.

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Start a New Business Purely for Passive Income

Passive income.

Money that you earn while doing little or nothing to maintain where it comes from.

It sounds great, right?

What could be better than lying on a beach while traveling the world, or sleeping late Monday to Friday while your income takes care of itself?

Imagine being able to tell your boss where to stick their job, to no longer be a slave to money.

But how realistic is it to think that you can start a new business that will generate a meaningful amount of passive income in the short term, and is so automated and requires such little work that it will keep your income in autopilot indefinitely?

My two cents? Not very.

At least not for someone who is relatively new to business; the person who doesn’t have a significant amount of money to invest straight into the business, or the person who isn’t already an ‘influencer’ with a substantial social media following. Even then, it would still be a tall order.

I believe that when you’re starting out, centering a new business around passive income can be both dangerous and detrimental to your long-term success.

Here are seven reasons why passive income sucks for new businesses based on my personal experiences.

Note: Before we begin, I’d like to clarify that I’m not saying that passive income doesn’t work in all situations. I’ve seen it happen multiple times as a reward for building a medium to long-term business to the limits of its potential, where the founder is eventually awarded with freedom and what can be defined as passive income. This post covers my thoughts on passive income for entirely new businesses.

1. You probably don’t want to be working on it.

I’ve had plenty of passive income brainwaves, from paid apps to affiliate microsites. You name it, I’ve probably thought of it and tried it.

None of these worked. Or, if they did to any small degree, I didn’t enjoy working on these businesses.

Looking back, they were all types of businesses or niches that I wouldn’t have got involved in except for the lure of quick and easy money.

Developing apps and microsites around content that I wasn’t interested in was a struggle. It didn’t come naturally to me, and it was a constant effort to motivate myself in the absence of any real passion.

I soon became bored with each idea once the initial excitement wore off, once I hit an issue or when I wasn’t making money as quickly as I’d initially (and naively) expected. I’d then move on to the next idea, destined to make the same mistake over and over again.

I’d always have an excuse ready for when each venture inevitably failed or for why I’d given up. It was never my fault. There was always something outside of my control that prevented it from working.

It’s clear with hindsight that my thinking and approach were flawed. I was actively looking for a business that I didn’t want to invest myself in fully.

I wanted all of the benefits (i.e., money), as quickly as possible, for none of the work.

one-percent-intent-why-passive-income-sucks-for-entrepreneurs

You see, that’s the problem with passive income. Focusing your entire business on it causes you to focus on the wrong things. You look for quick wins and become a sucker to get-rich-quick schemes instead of working on something that you genuinely enjoy.

My advice? Think carefully about each new venture you create. What if someone told you that you’d have to work well in excess of a typical 9-5 for the first few years to make it work? Or, what if it was unlikely that you’d make a penny for the first 6-12 months? Would the idea still seem as attractive?

If either of these factors results in you questioning a business idea, you’re probably getting into it for the wrong reasons. When you care about a business idea, you want to work on it more, not less, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be phased by these long hours or extended periods of little to no income as you’ll be genuinely passionate about what you’re doing.

2. It’s an example of ‘backward thinking.’

My early passive income brainwaves always evolved while sitting at the desk of my 9-5 job, where I cursed my future with the thought of a mundane existence until retirement.

My first thoughts were around how much it would take to leave my job, followed by thoughts about the quickest and easiest ways to make it a reality.

“If I can earn XYZ a day then I can quit my job. Simple!”

Money became my focus, my obsession. I just needed to find a way, any way, to earn it.

It was like seeing your favorite sugary snack when you’re on a diet and at your hungriest. You know you shouldn’t. You know it goes against all conventional wisdom. However, you crave it, and it’s all you can think about.

Passive income is the same. It goes against all conventional wisdom of how and why you should start a business.

My drive to earn passive income caused me to create multiple businesses purely to make money as quickly, and hassle-free as possible, instead of doing something that I was genuinely interested in, good at, or could provide value with.

I was placing the cart before the horse.

one-percent-intent-passive-income-thinking-flawed

The widely accepted business advice says to go all in on an idea you’re passionate about and can provide massive value with, and eventually, you’ll be rewarded with money and freedom.

It doesn’t work so well in reverse, as I found out first-hand.

3. It doesn’t usually work in practice.

In 2005, Richard St. John released what would become a hugely successful TED talk titled the ‘8 Secrets of Success’. This talk covered his findings from interviews with 500 successful people.

I’ve summarized the eight secrets in the table below. I’ve also included a comparison between what each secret teaches us, and the experiences and thinking I adopted each time I started a new passive-income business.

 What each ‘Secret of Success’ teaches usWhat my passive income-centered business approach promoted:
PassionDo it for the love, not money.Do it for the money, not love.
WorkUnderstand that it’ll be hard work, but with passion, it won’t feel like you’re actually working.Find an idea that will be as little work as possible, both in terms of creating and maintaining the business. The goal is to be working as little as possible.
GoodPractice makes perfect. Become as good as practicably possible at something to be successful.Don’t aim for perfection. The goal is to be ‘good enough’ to maximize the amount of time spent not working.
FocusStick with one thing. Don’t become distracted and stretch yourself too thin.Aim for multiple ventures to maximize passive income, for example, multiple paid apps or micro-niche websites.
PushPush through negative thoughts. Push yourself mentally and physically.Don't waste time pushing in vain. Divert time and resources to finding an easier way to earn passive income.
ServeDon’t serve yourself. Serve others by providing value.If you can provide some value, great, but the priority is to exploit money-making opportunities.
IdeasCome up with ideas by listening, observing and being curious. Ask questions, solve problems and make connections.Don’t waste time developing unique ideas. Instead, actively look for widely publicized ideas that promise as much income as possible in as little time and with as little effort as possible. (Optional: argue with anyone who refers to these as get-rich-quick schemes).
PersistDon’t give up. Persist and work through problems until you’re successful. Persistence is said to be the number one factor in success.If a business idea proves too tough, there’s probably another easier way of making money. Stop working on the current idea and divert all attention and resources to researching the next passive income business.

As you can see, my original passive approach consistently conflicts with each of the ‘8 Secrets of Success’.

Based on this, it isn’t surprising that I struggled to achieve anything that could be categorized as ‘minor’ success by following this approach to business.

It’s obvious in hindsight. How could I expect success by building a business in a field I didn’t particularly care about and knew nothing about; by following ideas that weren’t best suited to my particular skills and experience; from having little to no focus; from placing earning money above providing value; from spending as little time as possible developing amazing content and products; from spending next to no time trying to outmaneuver competitors; from spending as little time as possible on customer service, and from not having the passion or patience to work through the inevitable learning curve associated with becoming an expert before I could actually start making money in my chosen endeavor?

The lack of success with passive income appears to be pretty consistent, too.

Call me a cynic, but barring any exceptional circumstances (for example having a significant amount of cash to invest into a new business), I am yet to find anyone credible (or believable) who is successfully earning enough money to comfortably live off with little to no work from a new business.

4. If it does work, it’s usually temporary and on a small scale.

Passive income, if earned early on (or at all), is typically short-lived and on a small scale.

Building and future-proofing a scalable, massive-value-providing business takes time, energy and creativity, in addition to the other factors listed in the ‘8 Secrets of Success’ discussed above.

Most passive endeavors rely on stifling a business of these critical ingredients, usually in a bid to spend time developing as many other passive income streams as possible, or as a result of maximizing the amount of time enjoyed away from the business.

It makes sense. Meaningful results will require a significant amount of work. Designing a crappy microsite and sales-funnel will produce, you guessed it, crappy results.

If you don’t genuinely care about the content you’re producing or the service you’re providing, and you don’t actively work to make your business as good as possible, it won’t be long before your competition catches up to you and your customers become frustrated and start to abandon your business.

Alas, just like a plant that is starved of water or sunlight, the typical passive income approach will often result in a success that is severely stunted from a growth perspective and is temporary given that it withers away as quickly as it appeared.

All the right ingredients are required to thrive.

5. It isn’t passive in most cases, and it isn’t easy.

How many passive income ideas are actually ‘passive’? Let’s think about it.

Take a blog, for example.

You can’t just churn out a few articles and expect to sit back while the money rolls in. What happens when you stop producing new content, or you stop driving traffic to your blog via SEO, paid advertising or social media?

These aren’t one-off activities. You need to do them continually, or the blog will die a pretty speedy death.

Recommended reading: How Long Does it Take to Make Money Blogging?

What about a paid app?

I have experience developing and releasing an app what at face value appeared to generate a small amount of passive income.

The app took 12 months to develop as I juggled coding around my schedule. During these 12 months, I earned nothing.

Even after it was released, I had to do things like marketing, building and maintaining an email list, and updating the code for new iOS changes. These all took a significant amount of time.

The small amount I earned in ‘passive income’ was effectively deferred pay for the work I’d put in upfront, and part active income for driving awareness and downloads of the app and maintaining the code.

Let’s look at another example.

How about a niche microsite that gets traffic from paid advertising and generates revenue with sales-funnels which peddle affiliate products?

Granted, it does sound very automated. But how hands-off is it in reality? Think about website updates, email marketing, dealing with complaints and refunds, keyword research to ensure your paid advertising is as effective as possible, and likely building social media profiles to drive even more traffic when you realized the profitability was low given your paid advertising approach. These all take time.

If you multiply any of these examples several times to cater for the trend of building multiple passive streams in a bid to maximize income, well, congratulations, you’re now probably spending the equivalent of a 9-5 job plus more servicing your business.

Focusing on passive income can cause you to enter into a business with unrealistic expectations.

one-percent-intent-expectations-versus-reality-graphic

‘Build it, and they will come’ does not occur in reality, and even if they did, most people disregard the significant time investment required to simply ‘build it’ in the first place, or how hard it can be given that you’ll usually have to learn new skills.

Learning things such as how to build websites, how to master social media and paid advertising, and how to develop the various systems that will automate the business will cause you to spend more time on it, not less.

I’m not saying the example businesses above can’t work, because they definitely can, but if you think they’re going to be easy or hands-off quickly, or you fail to realize that it can take years to achieve anything even remotely resembling a passive income, then it’s likely you’ll become despondent and want to work on something else because you’ve chosen something you aren’t genuinely passionate about.

6. It promotes small-scale thinking.

Over time, the appeal of passive income can result in the tendency to resort to small-scale thinking.

As with my early ventures, most people have a figure in mind when they start thinking about passive income. In my case, this was the bare minimum required to leave the job I hated, but it could also be a specific figure to cover the bills or to allow some extra discretionary spending.

The problem with this is that it can limit your aspirations. It can cause you to focus on short-term fixes and what you perceive as ‘easy wins,’ to the detriment of massive, long-term goals such as building a business or asset that could eventually be sold for life-changing sums of money if it proves successful.

In addition, if your original passive income figure is then reached, it can be all-too-tempting to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor by emulating the stereotypical passive income existence, or to start a new passive income venture to try and multiply the income you are earning. Both of these scenarios play into the small-scale, short-term nature of passive income, and come at the cost of not pushing your original business to reach its full potential.

7. It can negatively impact your work ethic.

My final point on passive income is that aiming for it solely can have a negative impact on your work ethic.

I personally experienced this as a direct result of point 1 (not enjoying what I was working on), and point 6 (not setting large enough goals), meaning I had little to no passion for what I was doing and lacked the stretch goals that would motivate me and inspire action.

In what would become my failed ventures, it meant that I gave up quickly. In my (somewhat) successful ventures, these factors lead to procrastination, working fewer and fewer hours and producing content of ever-lower quality. In short, I did the bare minimum and sat back while the small amount of money rolled in.

This isn’t surprising, and I found it to be consistent in that it occurred each time I aimed solely for passive income. Without any passion to fire me up over the long-term, my standards started to slip, and my work ethic went through the floor.

So what’s the alternative?

I can safely say that I’ve experienced more negative than positive repercussions as a result of striving solely for passive income in the past.

It’s clear that it’s a flawed approach when it comes to setting up a business.

So what’s the alternative?

How can you build a business that fires you up now, and will increase the likelihood of significant amounts of money and freedom further down the line once you’ve taken it to the limits of your potential?

I’m not claiming to have all the answers, but an excellent place to start is the 8 ‘Secrets of Success’ mentioned in this post. I’ve reordered these from Richard St. John’s TED talk and presented them in what I think is a more logical format below:

passion-ideas-icon

Start with a mixture of passion and ideas.

  • Be clear on where your passions lie.
  • Develop a well-thought-out business idea around one of your passions, but think it through carefully:
    • Ensure the business area your passion falls in has clear ways of being monetized (however, as mentioned: think passion first, then money second).
    • Aim to see things differently and look for ways to improve on what’s already being offered, or look for key problems which have yet to be resolved.
one percent intent hard work icon

Understand that it will be hard work.

Don’t start a business with the impression that it will be easy. Understand that it will take significant amounts of time, energy and creativity from the outset. Ensure your passion is strong enough to not only overcome this but to actually enjoy the challenge.

one percent intent focus icon

Have laser focus.

Focus on one project only. Don’t become distracted and stretch yourself too thin otherwise you’ll fail to take the business to the limits of its potential.

one percent intent provide value icon

Provide MASSIVE value.

Place providing massive value at the center of your business’s values. A business will not succeed in the long-term unless it can consistently surpass the needs and expectations of its customers.

one percent intent mastery icon

Commit to mastery.

Understand that practice makes perfect. Continue to develop yourself and your business to the limits of your/its potential.

one percent intent persistence icon

Be relentless, push through limiting thoughts, and persist until successful.

Be relentless and commit to making your business a success. Push through negative thoughts and what Richard St. John refers to as ‘CRAP’ (Criticism, Rejection, Assholes, Pressure) and don’t quit until you’ve achieved your ultimate goal.

What are your experiences with passive income? Do you agree/disagree with my points above when it comes to passive income for new businesses?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.

28 Rules You NEED to Follow to Supercharge Your Blogging Income.

Get your FREE checklist and email course to find how to consistently earn $1,000+ a month from your blog!

28 Rules You NEED to Follow to Supercharge Your Blogging Income.

Get your FREE checklist and email course to find how to consistently earn $1,000+ a month from your blog!

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Rajesh Godhaniya
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great tips! found such an amazing post thanks for sharing

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