Passive income online – the truth

It seems the holy grail of internet marketing is the idea of making passive income online, and of course, that’s something everyone wants – well wouldn’t you?

The question is, does such a thing exist, how easy is it to achieve and is it a realistic expectation for your online business.

Let’s face it, if it was that easy to achieve, everyone would be doing it – right? And that’s the point.

“Passive income” is definitely achievable, but not that easily. With that said, the result, if achieved, is worth any sort of effort to get there. It’s got to be, just imagine making money while you sleep what could be better?

Okay, slow down. Before we get carried away here, let’s look at something we’ll call delayed gratification, it’s an important concept.


Passive income online is not instant riches

You’ll have often heard it said that a doctor or attorney will work many years to get to a position where they’re fully qualified. I did a quick Google search on how long a doctor trains for and it’s actually longer than I thought!

In the UK, a doctor can take up to 16 years before they qualify! That’s 5 years studying their degree (6 if you take an additional subject), 2 years post graduate foundation followed by 3-8 years of specialist training.

Now, that’s a long time to get to the point where you’re fully trained – and a great example of delayed gratification.

A doctor is prepared to dedicate up to 16 years of their life to get to a point where they DON’T EVEN ACHIEVE PASSIVE INCOME!

They don’t work, they don’t get paid.

The question becomes, if you could eventually achieve passive income online, how much effort would you be prepared to put in?


Getting your head around delayed gratification

In a high-tech world that moves at a million miles an hour, many online entrepreneurs make the mistake of thinking their income will come just as quickly.

They’re not prepared to put in the work needed to see success, and that’s sad. It’s the reason why 99% of online marketers fail. I’ve no idea if that statistic is accurate, but I’m betting it won’t be far off.

For goodness sake, if a doctor is prepared to work 16 years to achieve his ultimate goal, what makes anyone believe they can go from zero to hero overnight – it just makes no sense. Especially when you understand that a highly successful online marketer can earn way more than a qualified doctor – we’re talking multiple 6 figures here, some are making 7 figures.

Just to be clear on this – 6 figures means over $100,000 per annum and 7 figures means more than $1,000,000 per annum.

Wouldn’t you be prepared to put in a bit of effort for that kind of money, I’m sure I would?

The point is, get used to the idea of delayed gratification. Be prepared to put in the hard work needed that can ultimately change your life forever.


Yes, yes – but what about passive income!

Okay, here’s what I believe – there is no such thing as truly passive income.

You can earn money while you sleep, yes. You can build a business that allows you to travel the world, yes. And, you can build a business that will still make you money without putting in work every day (eventually), yes.

But there’s a danger in this kind of thinking. No business can survive without some sort of input or maintenance, eventually, it will crash and burn.

And let’s face it. If you spend a portion of your life building a business that works, makes you 6 or 7 figures and delivers a lifestyle you can currently only dream about, are you going to neglect it and hope it will still continue to produce an income for you – of course not?

But there is a way to make “virtually” passive income online and it’s actually fairly straightforward.


The nearest thing to passive income online I know – the model

Now we’ve agreed there’s no such thing as completely passive income online, we need a model that can get us as close to it as possible, so here’s a basic outline of how to achieve this:

  1. Get an idea for an online business, select a niche.
  2. Start building the business out – probably website, content, YouTube, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, paid advertising etc. etc.
  3. (Gradually) build an audience/ following that you can sell a product to aka affiliate marketing.
  4. Work hard, keep building aka delayed gratification.
  5. Eventually, replace job.
  6. Keep building – more delayed gratification.
  7. Get to a point where you can justify/ afford a VA (virtual assistant).
  8. Work hard, keep building – more delayed gratification.
  9. Get to a point where you can justify/ afford a team to take care of all key aspects of your business.
  10. Supervise and run the whole shooting match, or sell out 🙂

Okay, there’s a lot of detail that’s not in the basic plan above, but that’s essentially the bones of it. Note one thing though, at no point in the plan do we get income completely passively.

Even in the best-case scenario, we have to supervise the team.


End words – don’t fool yourself

I think it’s obvious that there’s no such thing as truly passive income online. We can get very close to it, but even in the best-case scenario, someone has to steer the ship.

Also, think about this, would you ever want truly passive income? Your immediate answer is probably to scream yes, of course, but I don’t believe you. Why?

Well, think about it. You spend months, probably years building a business that brings you in more than a doctor earns. You have enough money to do whatever you want – travel the world, buy a nice house, car etc. etc. You most likely have a team running your business for you at this point.

Do you really think after all that effort you can successfully adapt to a life of no work, no challenge and no reason to get up in the morning? Don’t fool yourself.

If that was you, you’d never have been successful in the first place…


What are your views on creating passive income, drop a comment below.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Xaric

    Most people cannot even understand what delayed gratification means. There are times that I tell my friends that I stayed in and worked for 6 hours the day before and they ask me “How much did you make?”.

    When I try to explain that I didn’t make anything but that I am building something that has the potential to keep bringing me income in the future, all of them are looking at me like I am speaking jibberish… It’s kind of funny most of the time 😛

    I believe that delayed gratification is a MUST to build a successful business. People who can’t delay gratification will simply give up most probably sooner than later.

    1. Les Blythe

      That’s a very common story that most of us entrepreneurs know only too well. Try to explain the foundations you’re building for a future of “passive” income and you’ll get a lot of blank stares more often than not.

      That said, the reason I set up FYF in the first place was to help educate people, make them aware of the real potential for substantial, sustainable income that working online has to offer if you’re prepared to put in the work to make it happen.

      I’m on a mission…

      Thanks for your comment and keep at it!

  2. Dhayours

    Of all the things said on this blog, the best part of it that got my attention is delayed gratification. I so much believe in delayed gratification. It may take a while to build that business or to acquire the knowledge required to advance in online marketing but it’ll pay off when it’s time. Thanks alot. 

    1. Les Blythe

      A byproduct of delayed gratification is longevity. In other words, if you take the time to build your business on a strong foundation, it will be around for years to come!

  3. Barbara

    This was a very interesting article and I very much agree with you. Today there are a lot of promises made on the net of a passive income that seems to be a click away from you. What amazes me the most is that people do believe that they will have to do very little to gain a lot and never ever have to worry about it after.

    I believe money online income can be made, and you can have a proper business but I do not believe that once it is set you can have it on an automated pilot and never after to look at it again.  Thank you for your post maybe it will be an eye-opener for people that actually believe this stuff.

    1. Les Blythe

      It’s a bit of a reality check Barbara.

      Yes, you can make from job-replacing income (how much do you need), right up to a serious fortune online, but it ‘ain’t push button and it certainly won’t fall in your lap.

      Getting your head around delayed gratification is the point – be prepared to steadily put the work in and the payoff will come if you refuse to quit.

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