What’s Your Passive Income Strategy?

By: George Verdolaga Building Your Brand 6 Comments Sep 12, 2011

Ever sit in (or even join) on a network marketing company’s product or business plan orientation? Whether or not you buy into their pitch, there’s one thing that they promise that’s really interesting: the opportunity to make money while you sleep. This is also called the “royalty” or “passive income” effect. It’s the kind of steady income that real estate (or stock market) investors enjoy simply by putting their money into steadily appreciating assets or financial instruments.

What’s your second act once you retire from your job? Will you be able to do something that will give you passive income? Will you be able to turn your current job into a consulting practice where you can charge a certain amount of money per hour in order to maintain your lifestyle?

How would you be able to do that? It’s simple, really. Just write a book about what you do. It can be about your job, like “How to be the world’s best secretary (or executive assistant)” or you can broaden the topic, thereby increasing the appeal of your subject matter. Taking the “secretary (or EA)” book title mentioned previously, you can then turn this into something like “How to Be Organized & Effective: Lessons I Learned Working for Top CEOs”.

Having a book gives you exclusive entry into the world of high income ($ 5,000 – $ 20,000) speaking engagements and coaching gigs (at $ 500 – $ 1,000 per hour) and also passive income (from book royalties and membership subscription websites). Lots of people talk about writing books. Do you have what it takes to finish not just one, but several (no sense being a one-hit wonder) and then to market these so that they become bestsellers?

If you’re seriously considering writing a book and launching a career as an expert check out Dan Poynter’s classic “Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book”.

6 Responses to “What’s Your Passive Income Strategy?”

  1. Fred says:

    How could anyone resist to this incredibly persuasive invitation?
    I can foresee that, in a very near future, Mr George Verdolaga will pen a guide to writing books to leverage his thorough research on the subject. I wouldn’t be surprised… Any plan in this direction, George?
    re: my passive income strategy. Too focused on the active one for now. And passivity has too great an appeal for me that I have had to built defenses to protect me from anything somehow related to it.
    You could also call that short-sightedness 🙂

  2. George Verdolaga says:

    Writing a book’s a huge undertaking never mind promoting it. But I think once the timing is right you’ll probably get started with it, Fred. The timing has to feel right, absolutely, as it’s not something to be taken lightly. Just remember to do bite-size portions (e-books) first if the thought of making a 120 to 200 page book sounds daunting. Alternately, you can string your blogs into a book. As for writing a book about writing books, I may just do a course rather than write one (there’s tons on this subject out there already).

  3. Daniel says:

    Interesting article George.

    I have been reading Catch Me If You Can. I was admiring the author’s lifestyle and ability to travel around the world cashing fraudulent checks and really living the dream. Just last night I remarked to a friend “You know what’s better than traveling the world cashing fake checks? Traveling the world cashing royalty checks!”

    So I agree with you on the appeal writing has.

    I must disagree with the ability of most people to benefit from this appeal. Writing, like any field, is competitive and selective in who succeeds. Maybe 10% of published authors can live off their incomes, but it’s probably less.

    Personally I would qualify your statement to be “If you have highly specialized knowledge that is in demand or an amazing and entertaining story to share……”


  4. George Verdolaga says:

    Thanks for your feedback, Dan. Yes, an expertise in a particular subject area does help. In many cases, though, a unique take on things or “angle” is all one needs plus a talent for marketing (which any writer needs) and a catchy title. A great example of what I mean is Cindy Cashman’s famous blank book “Everything Men Know About Women” (i.e. blank book = nothing… get it?). Even Tim Ferris’ famous “The 4-hour Workweek” is simply a treatise about the benefits of outsourcing. If Tim called it :”The Benefits of Oursourcing” he’d still be an unknown author today. However, he dared to make an outrageous claim in his book title (that he does only work 4 hours but in reality, that’s not really the case), and the rest as we say, is history. And I believe 90% of authors can’t live off of their writing because they suck at marketing.

  5. Greg Lam says:

    Hey George,

    I was thinking about the terms “passive income” or “royalty income” and to say it in another way, you’re talking about managing your own business.

    Whether it is a book, information, or cakes, you are creating a product that can continue making you money. I think the key is whether you are able to step away from the business and continue to make money. I think that a lot of businesses are set up in the get-paid-by-the-hour form as opposed to the passive income form.

    For example, if you are personally making the cakes, than the minute you stop making those cakes yourself, you stop making money. On the other hand, if you have a manager running the shop for you and employees under the manager, you could step away and still make money. It all depends on how the business is set up.

    The one thing I am wary of when reading about passive income strategies (especially online) is that the authors usually make it sound easy to do. If you’re making passive income, this means you are running a business, and most people who run businesses can tell you it takes copious amounts of investment in time and money to be truly successful.

    However, I think what you’re introducing to people, the idea of “passive income” is beneficial, since many people don’t even consider this a possibility. Also, with the Internet, I believe it is making it easier for people to find specialized niches that they can succeed in that were never available before. Your example of book authoring is a very good example. 20 years ago it would have been hard to self distribute your own book. Now, quite literally, anyone can write a book.

  6. George Verdolaga says:

    Thanks for making the distinction between a passive income “strategy” vs. a passive income “product” (which was the subject matter of my blog). Naturally, the best type of business is one that employs this passive income “strategy”, where one simply steps back and lets someone else run it on our behalf, with minimal interference from us.

    And with regards the Internet, we definitely would not have been able to produce my two books without it. Not only is it easier to create, collaborate, market and distribute books as a result of it, it’s much easier to create viral buzz and keep it on top of the bestseller list because of the way the internet has shaped the way we interact with each other (i.e. discussion forums, blogs, etc.).

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