Multiple sources of income, often passive in nature, are important to becoming a millionaire precisely because most people can’t work enough hours in a day, week, month or even a year to reach millionaire status without the establishment of passive streams of income.
What Is Passive Income?
Unfortunately, scrolling through your Instagram timeline while at work does not qualify you as having achieved a stream of passive income. Though driving people from place to place as an Uber or Lyft driver might be done passively, with little more than a “Hello” and “Goodbye,” the money earned on that trip is not passive. And no, taking your little cousin’s money in weekend card games does not qualify as passive income either.
Investopedia.com defines passive income as earnings an individual derives from a rental property, limited partnership or other enterprise in which he or she is not materially involved. In layman’s terms, passive income is money you earned which you expend no extra energy to receive.
Creating passive income is the most difficult and most coveted type of income in American life. It’s what American business people dream of and the only thing that allows those who have strategized about their income successfully to maintain an acceptable standard of living AND bring their working days to a close.
In 2014, Vulture.com explored the economic impact of one of the most successful syndicated television shows ever, Seinfeld. The article demonstrates how the sitcom series has generated $3.1 billion since entering syndication in 1995.
In 1998, after the show’s entrance into TV syndication, Jerry Seinfeld himself was earning the equivalent of $1 million per episode for work he’d already completed. This is the definition of passive income. Oprah, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Daymond John and plenty others all model their businesses and careers with passive income in mind, creating avenues for multitudes of checks on a regular basis.
Making an Investment for Long-Term Returns
Building pathways to passive income is no easy task. There are many kinds of passive incomes, many of which are only achieved after deep success of a primary venture. But here are a few ways you can get started in building your own pathways to passive income today.
Understand What You’re Good At
One of the keys to creating long-term, successful passive income streams is understanding what you excel at or what problem you are uniquely positioned to solve. Before you can monetize anything, you have to develop an understanding of what skill(s) or products people are willing to pay for and how you can convince them you’re capable of executing on that skill.
Being good at something does not guarantee someone is going to pay you for it. Once you’ve identified your skill or the problem you intend to solve, you have to understand how you will monetize it, changing it from a skill into a business.
Build Replicable Systems for Output
Those who achieve wealth through entrepreneurial means typically do so largely through the optimization of a system. Knit on Saturday. Post new products on Sunday. Sell knitted products online throughout the week. Repeat. Passive income has to have an established system such that it’s easy to continue towards a path of lesser and lesser daily involvement.
Duplicate Your Career as a Freelancer
Though not totally passive in nature, figuring out a way to duplicate what you do in your day job in the evening time or weekends is a great way to develop a secondary, semi-passive stream of income.
Consider Investing in Dividend Paying Stocks
Investing in Dividend paying stocks, ETFs or mutual funds is one way to immediately begin building a passive stream of income. Dividends are small portions of profits paid out to shareholders of companies which incentivizes your keeping your money invested in a particular company. Over the course of a couple decades, with consistent purchases of a few dividend-paying products, you can develop a nice, passive stream of income that requires no work on your behalf.
Own a Home? Rent a Room
We’ve discussed this plenty on Manage Your Damn Money. Are you a homeowner? If so, do you have the flexibility to rent a room or your basement? One of the most effective ways to build passive income is to incorporate the renting spaces into your home ownership plans. It might not be your dream to have a housemate, but the income from sharing your space will make it well worth it.