This is a Guest Post by Maren Kate from Escapingthe9to5.com, a friend of mine from the Internet Business Mastery Academy. Maren Kate was recently featured in a success story interview on the Internet Business Mastery Podcast.
Passive income is my goal.
Right now I work entirely too much, though still less than if I had a “real” job, but when I dream, it’s of sugar plum fairies and passive income streams.
When I first escaped the 9 to 5 I did so by starting a social media marketing firm to help brick and mortar businesses get launched into the online realm. I'm glad I did it, but it’s not exactly passive. I have two employees who work for me full time (VAs really) and with that comes writing schedules, checking up, wooing clients…the list goes on. The point is, passive income is the goal, but I'm implementing smart active income to get there… The awesome thing is you can do the exact same thing by following some simple steps to getting smart about your passive and active income goals!
What Is Smart Active Income?
Active income can come from a variety of sources, anything from flipping burgers to being the CFO of a major corporation, but I believe truly smart active income consists of not trading hours for dollars. You can escape this vicious cycle by creating systems and organizational charts that allow you to work X hours for anything between 10-200 units of product, then if your business grows beyond that you can hire someone to replace you completely and the systems you've set up will scale to put out more and more product with the aid of more workers.
Where does this leave you?
Possibly not sipping margaritas in Cabo, but at least you aren't working from 6 am to 6 pm doing everything yourself. Instead you've learned to delegate, which is something they never teach you in business school and possibly the most important part of entrepreneurship ever.
How Can I Create Smart Active Income?
Just like with passive income, it's best to create a business model that is centric with your passions and skills.
Are you a writer? Create a copywriting service online where at first you write everything but as the business grows you hire other writers at X and charge the client XX, making a profit without much additional work. Do you love to bake? Create a specialty dessert business run completely online, you'll bake the goodies in your home and then ship them out upon each order placed.
As you grow you'll document everything, planning as if you'll franchise the deal down the road. Then if you must move to a physical location because of expanding sales you can hire on a few people, have them read your detailed systems and begin duplicating your processes as you ease yourself out of the mix (baker humor!).
Also if you've been planning as if you would franchise your business someday what holds you from just doing it? If it works you can become the next Nothing Bundt Cake and with every new franchise license sold you create a real stream of passive income that can grow exponentially. So assess your skills, measure what drives you the most, and then look at the active income opportunities that exist around you. You can always find ways to turn active income into passive income and often the more active path produces results faster as you focus on escaping the rat race to build up your passive income streams the smart way.
How To Turn Active Income Into Passive Profits
At the beginning I worked like a dog (or maybe a mule?) to get my active business off the ground, then slowly but surely I created systems and brought on other people. Once it was actually profitable I started to look for little ways to tweak the business model so I was actively involved less, thus the business was still being ‘active' but the income appeared more passive to me.
Additionally, I began to create mini-products within my site that were completely automated, whether I sold 1 or 100 it still took the same effort—that is pressing a few buttons every morning to run a program. This is my example of turning an active income stream into a more passive one and a thousand more examples exist.
Worst case scenario you can use smart active income to allow you to escape your current job (where you most definitely work hours for dollars) and with your spare time develop and test additional passive income streams. I have begun to do this on my blog as well as testing out the idea of mini sites and affiliate income.
There are tons of ways to make an income on and offline, the best thing is to do your research and then jump in head on. If the business model is too active for you, tweak it as you go so it becomes a source of more passive income… if you find you love the active lifestyle, keep it up, just be sure to delegate all the things you don't cherish to others.
Regardless of which path you chose be sure to keep an open mind on your entrepreneurial journey, never allow someone else to pick your path for you and focus above all on loving what you do by trading passion for profit.
For more from Maren Kate, you can visit her superstar business blog at Escapingthe9to5.com.