Passive income is one of the most common terms you’ll hear about in the “make money online” space.
And there’s a good reason for this:
The idea of money constantly flowing into your bank account, with no need for a daily commute, sitting in an office, or dealing with a boss, is obviously very attractive.
Some marketers take the idea one step further with the whole “lay on a beach while the big bucks keep rolling in” image.
While this can be done to some extent, the complete picture is far less glamorous than most are led to believe.
To give you a more realistic view, let’s look at 3 harsh truths about passive income.
The First Harsh Truth
It takes a lot of time and effort to get a new income stream up and running.
The only exception to this is if you’ve got enough money for investment and outsourcing.
If you don’t, get ready to work hard for many months before you get a significant passive income stream going.
I’ll give you three examples:
Getting to your first monthly 1000 dollars with Kindle Publishing typically takes around 3-5 months of steady work that involves:
- Keyword and niche research
- Finding good ghostwriters
- Coming up with cover designs
- Proofreading and editing
- Marketing the books
If you want to build money sites (even if you do everything right), you’ll have to wait for 6-8 months, maybe longer, before Google starts warming up to your content and the big traffic (and thus money) starts coming in.
Should you want to launch a premium online course, it will take you a full month or two to produce the videos, audios and/or PDFs.
Then, another week or so to create the sales page and funnels, as well as making sure everything runs smoothly on the back end.
Finally, you’ll have to go through 2 -6 months (or more) of content marketing to gather an audience you can actually start selling to.
Knowing What To Expect
If you’ve got the right info and attitude, all of this can certainly be done without major issues, and possibly faster.
However, for most who are looking for “easy ways to make passive income online”, the workload and time frame will be more than they can stomach.
So, to sum up, establishing a new (significant) stream of passive income will take a lot of time and effort.
To avoid the high failure rate, you need the right information and the persistence to see it through to the end.
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The Second Harsh Truth
You need to do maintenance work.
Remember the guy relaxing on the beach while big money flows into his bank account?
Well, that may work for some time, but if you do it for too long it can end up dooming your online business.
The truth is that the popular “set it and forget it” mindset is not a good one to have.
Even if you’re content with your earnings, most passive income sources need maintenance work – oftentimes more than you’d like.
Examples Of Maintenance Work
For example, if you release an online course, you need to manage your advertising costs or keep up your content marketing (maybe both) to ensure continuing sales.
If you do Kindle publishing, you need to monitor your book rankings, reviews, and marketing efforts to ensure you’re not getting outcompeted anytime soon.
Even if you own multiple money sites, which bring the most passive income, you’ll still have to monitor your analytics and search results to keep an eye out for negative trends that need fixing.
The Third Harsh Truth
Passive income can rob you of your potential.
I see this all the time.
People who say if they’d just make enough money in passive income to live on, they would be set – that would be heaven on earth for them.
But think about it:
If you could amass, say five thousand dollars a month in passive income, why stop there?
If you’ve hit that mark, you’ve already shown yourself to be strong-willed and skilled.
Why not push your limits and see how far you can go?
Comfort Is Not The Final Answer
I’ve personally lived for a couple of months off passive income while doing minimal work and I can tell you:
It gets old fast, it really does.
If you’re doing the 9-5 thing right now, I understand that may sound strange, but it’s the truth.
Very soon, I started thinking about what other things I could be building and the money I could (and in my mind should) be making.
When you get attached to the passive income mentality, you risk leaving a ton of money, recognition, experiences, satisfaction, and ultimately potential, on the table.
Passive Income = More Freedom
With that being said, passive income is still completely awesome and something you should strive for.
However, try to tweak the idea a bit so it doesn’t make you lazy and complacent in the long run.
Instead of thinking about it as “work a lot then don’t work for a long time”, think of passive income as increased flexibility.
You want to keep up the pace, to push your limits and explore new horizons.
But you can do it while setting your own work hours and vacations, meaning you can live with much more freedom.
To get this idea into your head, you can use terms like “leveraged income” or “flexible income” as well.
A More Realistic Image Of Passive Income
So, to sum up the harsh truths about passive income:
- It takes a lot of work, money, or both so set up.
- You still need to do maintenance work, sometimes more than you’d like.
- The idea of it can rob you of your potential – don’t get complacent and keep aiming higher.
With these understandings, it’ll be much easier to make smart, long-term business decisions.
Remember these points as you keep stacking your income streams, and don’t stop pushing forward.