Passive Income is Not an Escape

If your motivation for passive income is escape, you’ll most likely fail. Passive income is fuel to expand what you’re already doing. Trying to add fuel to what you don’t want is a recipe for self-sabotage. You will give up before you get very far.

Trying to build passive income streams on top of a lifestyle you dislike is like doing weight training with incorrect form and then trying to add more weight. You’re only going to hurt yourself if you proceed. It’s not an intelligent approach.

If you don’t like your lifestyle, it’s important to fix that first. Don’t think you can escape it by creating streams of passive income. It won’t work.

My advice would be to first transition to active income sources where you can do work you enjoy. Then you can build upon that with passive income to serve even more people and extend the value you’re able to provide.

So if you work as a health coach and mostly enjoy that kind of work, you can expand your service with something like an online course or an ebook or a website, which will allow you to passively provide value to people even when you’re not available to help them one on one. This in turn will allow you to earn passive income. Passive income is a side effect of providing passive value.

But if you hate your current work and try to escape it with passive income, your work will be a constant albatross around your neck that drags you down. The real problem is your low standards and low self-esteem. Why are you currently willing to do work you dislike in exchange for money? Don’t you deserve any better than this? This mindset is a bankrupt one. It means you’ll never deliver your best service, and so your income will be depressed as well.

If you try to generate passive income from this place, I can tell you what will happen. Your willingness to do work you don’t enjoy in exchange for money will carry over and infect your approach to passive income. Your focus will be on the money. You’ll be thinking that if you can earn enough passive income, you can finally quit doing work you don’t enjoy. So you’ll pick something that you think will make money, and it will also require doing work you don’t particularly enjoy — because that’s where your mind is. You may try to make a website, even though you don’t like making and running websites. Or you may try blogging even though you don’t like writing. Or you’ll try to write your own ebook even though you don’t care to become an author. But your heart won’t be in the work, so you’ll burn out within a matter of months. You’ll quit.

This is nothing but a repeat of the same failed strategy you’ve used on the active income side, except that with active income you may have a boss, coworkers, and enough bills to ensure that you keep showing up. Passive income is usually much easier to quit.

It’s your unwillingness to demand enjoyment and fulfillment from your work that’s the real issue you must deal with first. Passive income won’t cure your willingness to sacrifice your happiness for pay. If your mindset is infected by the idea of doing work you dislike in exchange for pay, then you are living with incorrect form. If you try to carry this incorrect form over to the passive income side, you will fail. You won’t enjoy the work enough or see the point of it. You will quit.

So before you get all gung ho about setting up passive income streams, pause for a moment and check your form first. Are you living with correct form right now? Do you require fulfillment and happiness from your day job? Are you doing your best work? Do you feel motivated to work each day because you get to do what you enjoy?

Sure you may have some tedious tasks now and then, but what’s the big picture? Overall, would you say that you like the way you’re currently living and wish to expand it further? If so, then you’re a good candidate for passive income. If not, then you need to stop and fix your form first.

Again, if you’re willing to do work you dislike in exchange for pay, you’re going to take that same wonky mindset with you as you pursue passive income. But this mindset isn’t effective. It causes you to hold back, wallow in low standards, do work you feel is undignified, and give much less than your best effort. That isn’t good enough for effective weight training, and it isn’t good enough for generating passive income either… unless you only desire a mere trickle of results.

Fix your form first if it needs fixing. Make happiness a true priority in your life now — before you try to extend it with passive income. Otherwise you will be just as miserable on the passive side as you would on the active side, and who’s going to work for something like that? You’ll surely sabotage your results before you get very far at all.

Passive income is expansion, not escape. Creating passive income streams will add fuel to your current lifestyle, helping to extend and expand it. If you don’t want to extend and expand what you already have, then make those adjustments while you still can. Don’t try to build something that would make you feel even worse.