Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that every person has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Our country was founded on the principle that we have a right to be free and use that freedom to do what makes us happy. Those rights mention nothing about work or money.
But here’s the reality – you gotta pay to play. You need money to buy freedom and pursue happiness. Unless you have very cheap tastes and no need for anything beyond food and shelter, it takes money to live well! So, by all means, money is necessary, but it is not all there is to living a rich life.
What if wealth was not only about having plenty of money but plenty of time? Youth? Energy? Health and vitality? Purpose and choice? Beyond just having a narrow definition of wealth, there’s an even more insidious myth about money into which we can be indoctrinated. I may make some enemies on this one, but here goes – it’s the myth of entrepreneurship. We are led to believe that the ultimate dream is to be “our own boss.” You are told to own your own business, be the CEO, be a boss, babe. I have been trapped in this paradigm myself for years.
Here’s the stark reality: entrepreneurs are often less time rich than the nine-to-five crowd! As mega-investor and Shark Tank star Lori Greiner wisely says, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” To add insult to injury, most entrepreneurs are also broke. They are wantrepreneurs. If you ask them why they became an entrepreneur, they will tell you that they want freedom or to make a lot more money, but they often have little of either.
They would never admit it to themselves or to anyone else, but what they really own is not a business but a job. Granted, many entrepreneurs are extremely well paid compared to their W2 earning counterparts, but the data reveals that most make only slightly more. While the nine-to-fiver puts in forty hours a week and then leaves for home, the entrepreneur puts in sixty or seventy hours a week and takes that work home at night. The career expert site Zippia notes, “As of 2021, the average entrepreneur makes $74,000 yearly or $35.68 hourly. The bottom 10 percent make roughly $41,000 yearly, while the top 10 percent make $134,000.” In 2022, Zippia lowered those average numbers to $70,849 per year and $34.06 per hour, ranging from $42,000 to $118,000.
Having achieved over eight figures in product sales purchased by over 100,000 people in 47 countries, I am living proof that there’s a more assured path to that sublime dual reality of financial and time freedom. – that of the passivepreneur. Mark Twain famously wrote, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” But I disagree with Twain. What if there’s no job description for what you love to do? What if the thing you love to spend your time on doesn’t pay a dime? This may buck conventional wisdom, but the aphorism ‘Do what you love and the money will follow is pure nonsense. Make money follow you so you can do what you love for the rest of your life!
So, if jobs are not ideal (unless we do them for the sheer joy of it) and being our own boss is not necessarily the answer, what is? The answer is to identify a source of income that can meet your financial needs that is not dependent on you. A source that is not earned income or money that you trade your time for. A source that will allow you to spend your time doing what you want with no thought of what it pays or even if it pays.
The idea here is that our source of the money does not need to be our source of happiness, fulfillment, and joy in life. I believe it is possible to list all life’s greatest joys without ever listing work as one of them! Money is not like food, where you get to enjoy various flavors and varieties. A dollar is a dollar is a dollar. It doesn’t matter how it was earned; it is all spent equally. So it makes no difference what business or vehicle you use to earn those dollars (assuming they are earned in an ethical and moral way). There is no more value in a dollar because you “earned” it than there is in one you did nothing to earn today.
My hope for all fellow passivepreneurs is that as they explore this new philosophy of money-time, they will be able to identify many new sources of income. These passive income vehicles (PIVs) don’t need to be in your area of expertise and may even be down the road anyway. The shortcut to becoming a passivepreneur is simple. We must find vehicles that have worked consistently for others and then get in those vehicles ourselves. We don’t need to reinvent what works or be pioneers; we can simply follow what’s been proven to work.
There are countless opportunities in the online arena. The power of digital opportunities is that anyone can get into them. There are a few barriers to entry if you have an internet connection and a smart device. Not to mention, the digital world is where wealth is being created at the fastest pace in history. The point is, it now takes less and less time to create true wealth, but only if you’re building that wealth in the right vehicle. Once you learn which vehicle is a fit for you, the key is making sure you can get the maximum income from the minimal time invested – and learning how to focus your efforts on those things that create passive income..
The most important skill you can hone on your quest to become passivepreneur is learning how to commit fully. My book’s title exclaims: “Don’t Start a Side Hustle!” Immerse yourself in making your chosen vehicle(s) work, and give yourself a time frame (for example, one to three years) during which you’ll give it your entire energy and focus until you see results. Don’t give up before you hit exponential wealth. Remember, we are not on a linear path, which means you may have to hang in there a bit longer to hit that exponential rise and eventually achieve success.
Entrepreneurs tend to lean toward saying yes. They go down rabbit hole after rabbit hole, chasing the next great idea. But there’s a better way. By making a solid commitment to reaching a goal, that goal becomes much more likely to be achieved. Today, we have more choices than ever before in history, and while having choices is good, having too many can mean our attention is constantly being pulled in many directions by competing opportunities. Once you’ve chosen your vehicle, commit to it and say no to everything else until that PIV hums along nicely.
One more comment on the “constantly saying yes” factor. Let’s take a metaphor from the romantic world. Saying yes is sleeping around. Saying no is getting married. When you get married, you promise to say no to everyone else—forever. But with that choice, you may also find the fulfillment singlehood can’t provide. I’m married now, but I thought “Till death do you part” was terrifying for many years. Saying yes, in this case, is scary. What if I choose wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? I think I’ll just stay single for life, I reasoned.
This is how many of us approach business. We’re promiscuous but want to enjoy the benefits of long-term commitment. We want to be able to walk away when things get tough rather than stick to it and put in the work. If we don’t commit, we must settle for the results of our unwillingness to do so. I’d rather say no to something that could have been great and succeed wildly at what I’ve committed to than say yes to small opportunities and never hit a grand slam.
I agree with CD Baby Founder Derek Sivers, who says, “When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say, ‘Hell yeah!’”
Brian Page is an author and speaker focused on passive income creation. He has worked with such heavyweights as Grant Cardone, Tai Lopez, Dean Graziosi, and Kevin Harington from Shark Tank and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Inc., MSNBC, and Forbes. Page is best known as the creator of the BNB Formula, the world’s #1 bestselling Airbnb™ coaching program with over 25,000 students in 47 countries. He is the host of the “Digital Titans Podcast” and the star of the reality show “House Hackers.” His current Passive Income Vehicles™ include digital products, short-term rentals, online coaching, affiliate offers, commercial real estate, mortgage notes, dividend stocks, and cryptocurrency staking, to name a few. Page’s latest book, “Don’t Start a Side Hustle!” will release on Nov. 8, 2022, via HarperCollins Leadership.
By Brian Page