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AP 0920: How Do I Address People Who Think Passive Income Is Easy?

AP 0920: How Do I Address People Who Think Passive Income Is Easy?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 920 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: What up everybody? Pat Flynn here. Welcome to Episode 920 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We are almost in August, but for right now we’re going to finish off July with a question from Jane from Sydney, Australia.

Before we get to that, I do want to take a moment to thank today’s sponsor, which is FreshBooks, an awesome company. They are serving millions of small businesses, helping us keep track of our business finances, from our income to our expenses to profit loss statements, balance sheets, all those sorts of things, but also with invoicing. In less than thirty seconds, you can create a really awesome professional looking invoice so that you can get paid for that work that you did. What’s really nice is they can also help you keep track of who has yet to open those invoices once you send them, which makes it easy to follow up with exactly what you need to do so that you can get paid again. Anyway, if you want to check out FreshBooks for free for thirty days, all you have to do is go to and just make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “How did you hear about us?” section. All right. Here’s today’s question from Jane.

Jane: Hey, Pat. It’s Jane here. I live in Sydney. I want to know, how do you deal with friends, family, or people that you don’t even know, that think you’re getting something for nothing when you earn money when you sleep? It really bothers me that they think that you put no work into earning this money. Not that I’m earning very much money at the moment, but everybody seems to think of it as free money or that I’ve got it easy. I don’t know if it’s just me or whether everybody has this problem, if it’s stressing them out. I think it’s probably just me. I’d love to know your thoughts.

Pat Flynn: Hey, Jane. Thank you so much for the question. I appreciate it. A couple things I want to ask you and have you think about. First of all, why does it matter to you that other people think negatively of passive income, when that is actually a reflection of them and what they feel of what is not possible for them? You’ve made it possible for yourself, and you should be proud of that. Don’t let other people knock you down for the amazing work that you’ve put in to create something. You know that what they are thinking, that you are not doing anything and you’re making money, is not true.

Passive income takes work. Passive income takes an investment of time. If you wanted to, I’d bet you you could sit down and write down all the hours and all the things you’ve done that now has enabled you to earn passive income while you sleep. That’s one thing. You could literally just say like, “No, that’s not true. Here. I wrote all of this to show you what I do. Because it helps serve people, even while I’m asleep because I’m using the internet, it doesn’t mean I’ve never done the work. I put in the work up front and I’ve invested that time and now it’s paying me back and it will continue to pay me back. If you want more information about this, check out”—no, I’m just kidding.

You could just literally explain how you do that and how other people might be able to. I’ve tried to explain similar things to my friends who are stuck in the old school mentality. There’s no real way to convince them really because a lot of people—and you probably know this, Jane, because these are the type of people who are saying this—they’re stuck in their old ways. They don’t want to believe these things are possible, mainly because it makes them and what they’ve chosen to do with their lives look less, not glamorous, but just like they’ve achieved less or they haven’t gotten to that level yet. It’s just a way for them to feel secure about what they do—is to put other people down.

Don’t let this bother you. I would actually question to yourself, why are you letting it bother you? What is it about that? It could be something in your past related to what people used to say about you for something. I don’t know. Maybe you had something related to money happen when you were younger or the way that you were growing up with money and your parents and all that stuff. That could have an effect on it. I’m not a psychologist. I don’t know much about that, but I do know that things that have happened in our past shape who we become, and it takes often conscious, and also subconscious, thinking and training and just experience to get over those things before a mental shift happens in you. I would attempt to see how you might be able to do that if this is really bothering you.

If it’s just kind of a side thing that’s just kind of, “Ugh. That kind of annoys me,” but you can still get your work done and it’s not affecting you too much, then I wouldn’t even worry about it too much. It could just be sort of a funny thing that you could write off in your head. Just be like, “Oh well. They just don’t get it.” That’s it. That’s that. If it’s really bothering you to a point where it’s affecting your work, then you need to take action and figure it out, because if you don’t, it could stop you in your tracks. These thoughts could bloom into something much bigger that can really put a halt to the progress that you’ve made. You’re serving an audience out there. They need you. I’m hoping that you’re looking for other ways to do it too now that it seems like you have some extra time on your hands from what you’ve built.

Anyway Jane, just spitballing here with you. I wanted to share these thoughts. Really, it’s not you. It’s them, but it partly is you too, the fact that you’re reacting to it this way so much that you actually called in to ask this question. Hopefully, this puts things back into perspective for you. I want you to also feel proud of what you do and know that sometimes people just don’t know the language or don’t speak it, and so it’s hard for them to understand. Because they don’t understand, they try to make sense of it by making sense of their own lives versus yours.

You are in a place, here on AskPat and with the other people who are listening to this, you are with people who understand. We’re not going to think negatively of your passive income. You know there are people out there who are doing the same thing. Those are the people that you should be spending time with as well to help counter that. Knowing that there are people out there who are there to support you and help encourage you to do even more of what you’re doing, and that’s me and other people listening to this show too.

Jane, I encourage you to keep going. Don’t worry about what the haters are saying. They’re probably not haters; they’re just people on the side who say random things here and there that bug you a little bit. Anyway, focus, keep going. You rock. Jane, thank you so much. I appreciate you. I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show.

For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show as well, all you have to do is head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you so much, I appreciate you. Here is a quote to finish off this episode here today, and that is from Samuel Johnson. “Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information about it.” True that. All right guys. Take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye for now.

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