The Ugly Truth About Passive Income
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Passive Income Is Awesome
I’ve been a natural entrepreneur ever since I was a little kid. I remember being about 5 years old and putting all of my old toys on the sidewalk to create a little store. The plan was to sell the old toys for money to buy new toys. Only it never really panned out.
No purchases were ever made, and I was just a sad little girl on the sidewalk with piles of crappy toys.
What was once a childhood dream, to make money with my own business, has evolved into an adulthood full of financial risk-taking.
Spending way too much money on college? Check!
Opening a cupcake shop? Check!
Donut shop? Check!
Wedding cake business? Check!
Yeah, I’ve started all those businesses, but they never really made me a happy millionaire. I LOVE starting the business, but I never really get to the next level of talking other people into taking it over, so I can collect.
I think my main problem up until now has been the fact that I was trying to work in food. It’s notorious for being a low income, demanding line of work. Whereas what I was looking for was something more hands off…
Working From Home
At some point in my internet travels, I stumbled upon the idea of passive income from online endeavors. It sounds risky, but hear me out!
The theory is that you can sell a product online. It will take an initial time investment, but after that, all you have to do is sit back and cash the checks.
Sounds amazing right? Well, I’ve tried my fair share of these endeavors over the past few months and I can tell you that the only thing that has worked so far has been stock photography. Weird right?
Make Easy Money Dropshipping With Aliexpress!
This is the first thing I tried after watching 100’s of Youtube videos about Digital Nomads in Chiang Mai. The dropshipping model seemed a little sketchy, but worth a shot.
I bought a Shopify storefront and quickly started testing my products. While I did make a few sales, they were quickly returned when people realized how long it took for their items to ship.
Standard shipping times from China can be anywhere from 2-5 weeks.
Triple that if it’s Chinese New Year.
The thing is, you can disclose information all over your website until you’re blue in the face, but if people don’t pay attention, you’re the one that pays the price.
I put the shipping times EVERYWHERE. On the product page under the description, the check out page below the total, and even included it in the Thank You email that was sent with shipping confirmation.
Needless to say, I am no longer attempting this model.
Become A Youtube Personality And Get Advertising Cash!
Ok, I knew this was going to be a long shot, but it was worth a try, right?
The fact is, I’m sort of a goofy moron, and people all over the interwebs have been shown to LOVE goofy morons. My problem was with Youtube its self. Right after I started making videos was when the adpocalypse happened.
Before it happened, you just had to get accepted into the Youtube advertising program and they would pay you based on views.
After adpocalypse, they changed their standards on acceptance into the advertising program. What was once open to everyone, was then only open to people with more than 10,000 views.
To me that wasn’t a problem, I like messing around with cameras and video production and could practice until I started raking in my millions.
The problems really started for me when they went from the 10,000 views to get into the program, to requiring people have 1,000 subscribers, and 4,000 hours worth of watch time.
Sorry, that’s fucking impossible for a small timer like me.
I mean, all my videos are still up, and it’s still fun to make them, but it really took the wind out of my sails. I was making 4 or 5 videos a week. Even the 4 bucks a month I would have made after reaching 10k views would have been enough to keep me motivated.
I’ll go back to this one in the future, but I want to focus my energy right now on something that will actually net me some money, no matter how small the amount.
If you’re bored, here’s a fun video to watch. Feeling sassy? Go ahead and subscribe!
Work From Home With Retail Arbitrage!
This is one I’m trying my damnedest to make work. The premise is, buy things cheap, sell them high.
Some ways to do this are with eBay, which has been around since the beginning of time, or with the Amazon FBA program.
I am currently balls deep in both.
Selling On eBay
The eBay thing is tough because I’m a brand new seller. I had an account back in the early 2000’s, probably right after they started, but I can’t remember any of that login information, so I decided to just open a new account.
I’ve had items listed for almost 3 weeks and have yet to sell a single thing.
People see new sellers and automatically assume they aren’t trustworthy to buy from. I can understand this since I’ve heard so many horror stories of scammers and lost merchandise.
Scams, and people being shitty are the reason I gave up eBay years ago.
I had a boyfriend that used to deal in used records. One day he found a high profit one at an estate sale and promptly sold it on eBay for a cool $1,000. The buyer even went so far as to confirm they received it and seemed happy with their purchase.
I don’t know if buyers remorse kicked in or what, but all of a sudden he was claiming with eBay that he never received the item. Of course, eBay sided with the buyer….even though my boyfriend forwarded them the email exchange saying the guy received his record.
My current boyfriend sold his old MacBook Pro for $2,000, the buyer claims he sent them a box of rocks. He did not and ended up losing not only his computer but the $2,000 he sold it for.
Point is, people suck, so I absolutely understand protecting yourself, but I’m not selling anything big. I think my highest priced item is a $20 dollar recipe book.
Hate eBay? Try Amazon FBA
Amazon FBA on the other hand, I have higher hopes for, but still, haven’t sold anything.
I’m trying to stick to used books for right now, and if it works out I’ll branch out into other stuff.
I had been sourcing at Goodwill and Salvation Army for the most part and supplementing with my own book collection to beef up my inventory.
The problem with Goodwill and Salvation Army is that both of those places have started listing books online themselves, so it’s tough to just go into stores these days and find gems worth money. I’ve found a couple, but it’s taken tons of scanning.
It is not worth being in a Goodwill for 3 hours if you’re only going to make 8 dollars profit.
Online arbitrage, just might be the way around this. I found a site where I can sort books sold by merchant fulfilled sellers on Amazon, that go for a higher price with Amazon Prime. Since what I’m doing is Amazon Prime, I buy books from the merchant, and then send them to Amazon.
All I need to do after that is figure out what to do with all that sweet, sweet cash money.
It seems easy. Too easy.
I’ll keep you updated on this as I go. As of right now, I have invested a nice little chunk of money in securing inventory, but I’m expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 100% ROI.
We’ll see if it pans out that way, I could have just lost $400 bucks. It is by far the highest amount of money I have invested into one of these projects, but I believe it will work.
Stock Photos-The Ultimate Passive Income
We all know and love stock photos, right? Some of them are real gems. I read a photographers blog about stock photography and how he makes money, but not enough to quit his day job. All he has to do is take photos and upload them to the site. The site sells them and gives you a handful of pennies in return.
Since I already had a camera for my Youtube project and love taking pictures, what did I have to lose?
I listed 40 photos in November and have made a cool 8 bucks. That’s passive income at its finest.
Now, I could, and fully plan to add more photos. I would like to get into the 1,500 range and see how much that nets me per month. Either way, it won’t be enough to retire on, but it’s a nice little cushion since…
Income Diversification Is The Way To Go
These are scary times we’re living in. The poor stay poor while the income of the wealthy skyrockets. I have known far too many people that have been screwed when the economy crashed or when their company decided to lay them off.
One particularly heartbreaking story came from a guy who worked in Detroit for a big auto manufacturer when they decided to close their plant. He told me four of his friends committed suicide that weekend because they were horrified they could no longer support their families.
People talk about Millennials and “side hustles” like it’s a bad thing, but really, I can think of no better way to cover your ass if something bad happens.
My plan is to find something that works, make some money from it, and then move on to the next thing. I want to have lots of income streams from lots of different ideas so I’ll never be stuck if one thing stops working.
To me, having a little bit of passive income from a few different sources seems like a much safer bet than going to a 9-5 job every day for one employer. Don’t you think?