We were talking last night, my partner and I, considering what we want to do in 2010 when his current contract comes to an end and the obvious question came up – do I make enough passive income online for him not to work anymore. The short answer is not quite – but we are getting close. What’s more I am definitely now of the opinion that it would be a huge financial risk for me to go and get a job now compared to my making money online – and here’s why.
Passive Income in the Real World
Every month no less than eight groups of people pay me – they are tenants in various properties we own in New Zealand. I hire a property manager so I count that income as passive – every month money goes into our account at home. There is a catch though – every month money goes out of that account too – usually just a little more than went in – all going well it will balance – but if you have a month where you need to replace not one but two hot water cylinders – it does not!
We didn’t plan it that way – but we couldn’t control all the variables – the most important variable is having a tenant – we have an excellent occupancy because we bought the right houses, tenants aren’t the problem. The issue is interest rates.
We bought the last time the interest rates were low – and have weathered our floating rate go from 6.9% to 10.45% and now back to 6.45% – when you multiple that out with borrowings of just shy of $1,000,000 – it turns out to be quite a few thousand dollars a month – small in the scheme of things but large in absolute terms (BTW if the figures look wrong to you I am talking New Zealand dollars and interest rates). Yes I know fixed rates reduces your risks but in NZ you can only fix for a maximum of five years – so over the 9 years we’ve owned most of the properties the low fixed rates ran out on us.
So in the real-world property is a great way to make passive income – but it has its risks, and for us the main risk is the leverage that you need to use by borrowing money. The main way to control that risk is of course to pay some of the mortgages back. So its likely now that when we go home we will downsize our home and also sell our worst performing rental to reduce our outgoings to be comfortably less than our income – we will drop from a LVR of 60% to about 30%.
So what on earth does my adventures in property investment have anything to do with
How to Earn Passive Income Online ?
Well its about not just the basic question about how to earn income online. Well this is no secret: my preferred method is to build silly little niche sites and make money while I sleep, drive the Nullarbor or sip gins by the beach!
Because really that’s the only way I know that you work now – get paid later. Sure there are lots of other ways to make money online – I’m looking at building a Legitimate Online Business to help with the expenses – especially if my partner chooses to stop working – but that sort of business does require a bit of customer service and support – not too much, but some.
Obviously there are lots of ways to make income online which aren’t passive – but are still better than a) working for someone else and b) having to get dressed in the morning. Into this category I put activities such as freelancing (be it web design or writing), selling things (either by drop shipping or from your back bedroom), and building a flagship blog in order to become a Trust Agent and kick start your book deal or speaking career.
But if you chose the right keywords (properties) and have more rather than less (diversification) you can make a very nice income from silly little niche websites.
But some people will even say that its almost impossible to build a significant business with just passive income. I disagree. The main reason people end up as tied up with their own business as they were when they worked in corporate hell – is quite simple – personality.
You Need The Right Personality To Earn Passive Income
Let me explain, I used to think one of my strong personality traits was a negative thing, in fact so negative it wasn’t something I ever mentioned at job interviews – even when prompted to list my failings. It was a big secret, which I kept quiet – but now I’ve come to realise this personality trait of mine is in fact a huge advantage.
So what is my deep, dark secret? Well I’m lazy – yup bone idle. Give me the choice of working or playing I’d rather watch TV, or sleep, or go swimming. You see my main motivation with this online income thing, is the actually the same as it was with the property investment. Its to make passive income, because I can’t be arsed working.
With property its easy – so long as you have a good credit record, a mortgage free valuable home and two secure jobs – the bank will offer you three times what you are asking for (good thing we didn’t take it we would have been in serious trouble with the interest rates). After a few years lots of people get out of rentals: its too much hassle – the tenants ring up at all hours complaining about broken light bulbs or leaking taps, the houses need painting etc. etc. But being lazy I had set it up right – I’d found a property manager first, found out what sort of property they had the least problems managing – and bought properties that fit that criteria.
We’ve never had the problem – the tenants don’t call us – I doubt they know who we are – they deal with the property manager. Property is entirely passive income if you have the right property manager, the right properties and the right level of debt.
Online income is similar. You can make yourself a slave to your online income business as easily as you can a real-world business. For a long time i.e. 20+ years I said I didn’t want a business. I’d worked for small businesses where the owner took less out of the busienss than he paid me, worked longer hours, never took a day off. I wasn’t delighted about working for someone but at least I chose the right profession, got well paid, normally had a choice of jobs and really should have had it made.
But I couldn’t outsource my real world job – so it was still an issue with my laziness – I still had to get out of bed in the morning and get dressed – that wast he problem. Obviously I needed to own my business – but I didn’t want to work stupid hours – in fact I wanted to work as few hours as possible.
So now I need to set up a genuinely passive income online. That’s an income where the customers don’t call me – they don’t even kow who I am – they buy from me and they move on. That’s what I like about making passive income online. Some of the A-listers dont’ really believe that its possible – but they have a disadvantage – you see its important to them to work hard in a driven manner – but that’s not important to me at all. I don’t need to work to be important – I need to work to make money. If I won $5 million tomorrow in lotto – would I keep on building websites – LOL don’t be stupid – I’d put in the bank and live of f the interest! Well I might keep this passive income online website going just to have fun calling out the scams, but that would be purely for entertainment – not work or anything.
Other Lazy Onliners
Phil @ I Need Money Now
Roland @ Online Income
Shane @ Freelance Writing
agrande @ MLM Leads Guide