Taking Passive Income from Idea to Reality: The Next Step

So you’ve got some great passive income ideas that you think might work. How do you take an idea that you hope will help you earn passive income in the future and turn it into reality? Well, you’ve got to take the next step, which is to spend a little time evaluating four main things.

Some of these might surprise you, but you should evaluate:

1. Your expectations.
2. Your resources.
3. Your idea.
4. Your possible exit strategies.

I’ll go into detail on each of those in later articles, but for now let’s just go over them briefly.

Your expectations.

Think about what you hope to gain from passive income. If you’re thinking you can pop a niche site up there and then sit back and watch the Adsense checks roll in, you’re going to be disappointed. Passive income doesn’t work like the Field of Dreams (“if you build it, they will come”) — at least not for a good long while, if ever. So if you’re looking to get rich quick, this isn’t for you.

Your resources.

While many people are drawn to the idea of passive income because it sounds, well, like you don’t have to do anything to make money, that isn’t the case. Make sure you have the time and energy each week to devote to getting things going, and then to maintaining things. Be sure you have the commitment too, because you’re probably looking at around six months to a year before you start seeing more than minor results from your idea.

Your idea.

You can’t be in it just for the money. Of course the money is important, but if your idea involves something that you have zero interest in or don’t believe in wholeheartedly, you’re wasting your time. Passion matters, as do things like competition and an urgent need for what you’re offering. See how your idea meshes with all that, and with the resources you have available.

Your possible exit strategies.

Yes, before you even start to implement your passive income idea, you’ve got to know how you want things to end up. Of course, the ideal is that your idea will be a success and that you’ll be able to just maintain it while earning money regularly. But what if your very first idea doesn’t succeed? Few people get it right in their very first try. Be sure you’ll be able to recover from there and try again. Or what if your idea works but turns out to require more hands-on involvement than you’d hoped? Will you sell it? Hire others? Close it down?

Think about all these things from the get-go, and your idea will have a much better shot at success. Just don’t think too long! Seize the day and get going once you’ve spent enough time thinking things through. And remember, you’ll never have all the answers. Adjusting along the way is part of it.


  • Good points, and I think that the expectations/resource tradeoff is one that many get tripped up on. If instant riches were THAT easy, then most people would be there already. It might happen if timing is right, but generally it takes winning ideas, time/energy, and perseverence to make it happen. Setting up shop, kicking back, and watching big bucks just roll in is highly unlikely to happen.

    Money can be made, and even very good money, but the term “passive” sure doesn’t mean “sit back and do zero”! There’s upfront work and maintenance that people should expect to do.

    • Yeah “passive” can be kind of misleading if you don’t think about what it’s really referring to. It doesn’t mean “no work”, that’s for sure!

  • The Marketeer

    Great article! Small businesses are still very risky, but some planning ahead can parse a bit of it. Also, allow you to cease operations without causing severe financial stress.

    Cheers! The Marketeer.