Monday, December 20, 2010 Post By: Grayne Wetzky

Are You Chasing Residual Income?


It seems that everywhere you look these days, someone is trying to push another way for people to make money from home, get rich from answering surveys, or get paid to use google.com. Obviously, there are a huge amount of people looking to make some extra money as fast as possible. Trying to build passive income is not a bad idea, I am guilty of the same myself, but when you see the endless stream of scams, unrealistic promises, and underwhelming payouts it makes me wonder; Why are people looking for passive income in the first place, and why so many people never seem to be able to make more than $5 a year of their various endeavors.

I think that for most people, the idea of building up passive income is appealing because they see themselves enjoying more money without having to work more. Seems obvious, but why is this a goal in itself? A lot of people, and a lot of American people in particular are caught in a fast paced spending culture where success and happiness are measured by your paycheck. This outlook is what drives so many people towards purposeless, unfulfilling lives, but it is also the motivation that drives people to look for ways to get rich fast or build passive income.
The way I see it, chasing after passive income in itself is pointless, the process should really by fueled by a different motivation. Having money, as nice as it sounds really doesn't matter. When looking closely at what people really want, it's never having money in itself that they want, even when they say their goals are financial freedom, or being a millionaire. What people really want is to live like they imagine really wealthy people live. To have the freedom to travel, eat fancy meals, buy expensive TVs and so on.
In my opinion, if this is the reason why people are looking to make money online and increase their cash flow, they might as well not try. First of all, a majority of money making opportunities people pursue fail, often because of lack of motivation and follow up when the initial results are disappointing, but also because many advertised opportunities fail to deliver what they promise. Spending hours and days chasing around the internet, setting up affiliate programs that no one will ever see, just to be able to get that awesome Blue-Ray player 2 months earlier than they could on their salary is not creating freedom, if anything it's just adding another bar to the cage of consumer driven lifestyles.
To truly unleash the power of living in freedom, the starting point has to be reset, your currency changed, priorities tested. Starting with a thorough and honest examination of what it is you really want. Many people have a hard time answering this question, after years and years of intense pressure to buy things to be happy. If the answer to why you want to make more money is that you want to buy something, you should immediately examine why you want to make that purchase. Very often, we want things for the short term euphoria of owning something new.
There is nothing wrong with liking to buy cool things, the problem is that there is an unlimited supply of newer and cooler things, and by the nature of shopping for pleasure, you will never be able to generate the income to sustain that kind of pattern. Millions and millions of people are trapped in patterns where they say that if they could just double their income, they would be happy, only to find that as their income doubles, their expenses triple. With this kind of starting point, adding passive income can limit freedom, instead of generating freedom which is what most of us really want to begin with.
The real value of generating passive income should not be to increase your spending, rather it should be used to create a much more valuable entity than money; time. The whole idea behind making passive income should be to replace your current time consuming income streams, with much lower effort opportunities. The amount of money you make is hugely irrelevant, it's how much time you generate that you can use to do what you really want that matters. From this perspective, spending 10 hours a week to generate $30 in passive income is inexcusable. Breaking free and becoming your own boss will not generate freedom if you're trapped in your own cage, maybe even working more than before to make less money.
When thinking about income with this basic idea, it becomes much clearer why you should start with a thorough process to find what you want from life. After all, creating time for yourself is pointless if you don't know what to do with that time. A more subtle benefit is that once you see past the maddening buyer frenzy and look straight at what it is you truly want, you might find that you are currently wasting a lot of money chasing things that are irrelevant to you. For example, you might realize that you don't really have much use for cable TV, that you are paying for it because it's just what people do. Maybe there's a few shows you love you could download from hulu.com, or you could pick up the big game in a sports bar. A simple change like this could save you as much as $100 a month. For most people, it would take many weeks, if not months to build up a passive income of $100 a month. With a clear view of where you want to be, you can probably cut down on the money you need to make quite substantially. Ideally, when you are able to make monetary savings this way, trade those savings in for time. Negotiate working just a half day on Friday for a pay cut, and spend that time on something that is truly important. As you trim away unnecessary expenses, if you are able to grow your passive income at the same time, you can trade in your earnings for even more free time.
If you are able to switch over from the mindset that you need to work to keep up with the Joneses to always striving to have time and opportunity to do things that are meaningful to you personally, you will experience more joy and happiness than you thought possible. And you will probably do it at a fraction of the costs you used to think was needed to live carefree. Going against what everybody else does and think can be daunting, but the rewards are endless. Take command over your own life, and live the life that YOU want, not the life that Wal-mart is selling you.



  1. Ame

    Ok, ok. I'll cancel my cable again. :)

    I really needed to see this today. Thanks for the post (I know it's an older one, but still). :)

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