My February Time Breakdown and “Organic Earnings”

Organic earnings is another way to describe passive income earnings. They are earnings that indicate how well you set sell something automatically.

You’re probably used to reading my monthly income reports, but I’ve never really talked about how much time I spend doing what I do. I’m sure you’re all interested, so that is what this post is specifically about.

As many of you already know, February 2009 was dedicated to wedding planning, my honeymoon, and moving into a new apartment. This left me little time to actually put into work. So, how much time did I actually spend doing work related to my online business in February? 10 whole hours.

In 10 hours of work, I grossed over $23,000. There are many ways to think about this crazy statistic:

Of course, this isn’t how it really works. We’re all familiar with traditional wages and working X hours and earning X dollars. If you want to earn more cash, all you’d have to do is work more hours (or earn more per hour). The trouble is, it’s not always that easy to add more hours in our schedule, or ask for a raise. This is the beauty of passive income, and why those numbers above are way skewed.

Why? Because I don’t want to work 40 hours a week, and obviously, the income is not directly proportional to how many hours of work I put in. If I work an extra hour, it’s not really an extra $2,300, for example.

Passive income earnings are what I like to call “organic earnings,” or earnings that are based on how well you set yourself up to sell something automatically, and just letting word of mouth and the “online business nature” take it’s course.

The Work I Actually Did

For the entire month, the only work I did was answering customer service emails, and setting up a couple more advertisement spots on my website at This took a total of 10 hours.

I worked on the advertisement spots from home, but most, if not all of the customer service emails were answered on my iPhone while I was traveling. As I mentioned in my Monthly Income Report from last month, a lot of the times, I was in the bathroom when I was answering emails. (There’s a funny joke in there somewhere, but I’ll keep it clean for now.)

The Possibilities that Passive Income Creates

Working on a passive income opens up a whole new lifestyle that you could live. Remember though, it’s all about living exactly how you want to live.

If you want to travel somewhere—you could, with no reservations (no pun intended). Working on the internet, all you would need is your laptop (or just an internet cafe), and your online business could still be up and running. I used my iPhone as a tool to bring my business with me to Hawaii on my honeymoon.

You could even live in an entirely different country, which a lot of people who work on the internet do. They take advantage of the currency exchange to make it even more possible to live an extravagant lifestyle in the country they reside in. Personally, my wife and I are happy living in San Diego and plan to do so for the rest of our lives.

You could work somewhere you love that maybe doesn’t pay you a supporting wage (or you could even volunteer), and your passive income could pick up the slack.

Or, you could take a break from your business so you can plan a wedding, go on your honeymoon, and move into a new apartment, without worrying about losing money because you’re not putting in any hours.

Before I Finish

Let me set one thing straight—earning a passive income is not a “get rich quick” idea. It takes some time, a bit of research and probably a little bit of luck too (although I like to say you can create your own luck), in order to get to this point. I feel very fortunate to be where I’m at today in my life, and this is why I’m sharing all of this with you, down to the decimal point.

Again, it’s about putting in the hard work now, so you can reap the benefits later. In the beginning, I spent a lot of time setting up my blog and writing my ebook. I used to spend 8 hours a day in addition to working 8 hours in a 9 to 5 job writing my ebook (I did this for a couple of months), and I wasn’t really sure how well it was going to do. But, I gave myself a chance and it’s definitely paying off now, and this is what you should do too. Give yourself a chance, ’cause money isn’t going to pour into your bank account unless you try.

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  • Pat Flynn

    Hi, I’m Pat, founder of SPI and host of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. Let’s continue the conversation over in our communities.

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