Most people start passive income side businesses to make a bit of extra money without having to exert a lot of effort. After all, as the name implies, the whole point of passive income is that you don’t put in much work to see the rewards.
That being said, it’s not unheard of for passive income “side businesses” to turn into genuine passion projects. Consider Pat Flynn’s example. He’s one of the most influential passive income gurus online today. But he didn’t plan to be. Flynn was just a young employee at an architecture firm who wanted to earn a higher salary. He decided to get an additional certification to make himself more valuable to his company.
Acquiring that certification meant taking a notoriously challenging test. To help himself study, Flynn started a blog on the subject. Later, he learned that his blog had established him as something of an expert on the subject online. He turned his expertise into an e-book, a financially rewarding project that launched him on a completely new career path.
Although many people simply wish to earn some extra money without working a lot for it, there are plenty of professionals who secretly hope their passive income side businesses will turn into legitimate careers. There’s no way to guarantee this will happen, but by following these smart tips, you’re more likely to make it happen.
Focus on Something You’re Passionate About
Publishing e-books and online courses is one of the most popular (and effective) ways to earn passive income. Once the content is published, aside from doing a little promotional work, there’s not much you have to do to earn money from the content.
Some people choose to write e-books or design online courses around topics they believe will be most profitable. However, if you want to use your passive income project as a launching pad for your next career, you’re better off focusing on subjects about which you are passionate. If the content is successful, you’ll have the desire and expertise necessary to generate more of it.
That’s part of the reason why people like Pat Flynn and other passive income experts recommend focusing on your own passions when first starting out. There are very practical reasons to do so. Obviously, the more you care about a particular topic, the more you’re likely to know about it. This makes it easier to generate content without having to do a lot of research or hire freelancers. It also means you’ll be more enthusiastic about promoting it. Your e-book and online course are much more likely to be successful if you care enough about the subject matter to create a high quality product.
Make a Plan
Many people are embarrassed to admit that they hope a passive income idea will turn into a legitimate career. Few adults feel totally comfortable stating a desire to quit their day jobs—it may sound impractical, or like a silly fantasy.
However, if you’re not willing to be honest about your goals, you’re less likely to pursue them. Be honest with yourself if part of you would like to see a side business become your day job. By admitting this, you can start making a plan to transform it into something you could truly make a living on.
The nature of your plan will depend on the nature of your business. For instance, if you publish an e-book with the goal of becoming a full-time e-book writer, make plans for future books right away. Plan promotional strategies to boost awareness of your initial release, create social media accounts to build a following, and determine how you will use both your current and future releases as promotional tools for each other.
Yes, it is possible to turn your side business into a real business without having a plan first. Again, Pat Flynn didn’t think he was going to be able to switch career paths simply because he published an e-book on a niche subject. When he realized how popular it was, only then did he grasp that this was the type of work he could pursue full-time.
That said, you’re much more likely to succeed in your efforts if you do choose to make a plan from the start. Yes, this involves more work, but if you’re the type of person who wants to start with a passive income idea and turn it into a career, you’re probably the type of person who doesn’t mind doing extra work.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to simply create a basic side business that earns you income with little effort, while you continue in your main job. That’s the goal most people have when starting passive income projects. But it doesn’t need to be your goal. If you want to make your side project a career, keep these points in mind.