Online Passive Income
Yes Please!

Online passive income seems like a pretty sexy idea after yet another stressful day in court.  Although sometimes the life of a lawyer seems romantic and exciting, like all jobs, the experience can be exhausting.  

What is online passive income?  It occurs after you have built something, created something, or shared something that generates income over and over and over again without your continued direct input.  It most often requires a significant investment of time at the beginning of a venture with little or no immediate pay-off.  Then once the pay-off starts generating (when a project is successful), the pay- off itself continues to generate on an ongoing basis.  

Generating online passive income is the exact opposite of how most professionals earn their money.  Professionals, who are often really really smart, are really really not so smart about getting the most bang for their time spent working. 

Professionals, who are mentored by the best and the brightest in their industries, are not shown or taught to avoid the relentless and soul-sucking trap of making their livelihood solely via linear income.

The truth is that the best mentors in any profession are often totally clueless about how to make their time and money work for them.  They earn their money via linear income only and then ultimately burn out.

Linear Income

What does linear income mean again?

Linear income is the opposite of what online passive income represents.  It is the way most professionals earn their living. Most professionals, particularly when they work in their field, are paid according to how many billable hours they put in (lawyers), how many surgeries they perform(surgeons), how many patients they see (doctors), how many cavities they fix (dentists), how many tax returns they do (accountants), etc.  You get the idea . . . 

Now it is true that for many professionals, their linear income is handsome. Hour for hour, client for client, a professional tends to earn way more money than, say, an average restaurant server or salesperson.  Yet, linear income means that the professional is paid according to how much they work.  They are paid nothing more. Most professionals do not earn their money for something they have created that produces income for them over and over again.  They are not paid because they are selling a widget that they once designed and someone else makes so that they forever (or at least for a long time) make significant funds from that widget they once made. Nope. They continue to bang away at their jobs for hour after hour day after day, week after week and so on.

As I write this, I note that this particular professional has been up since 5:30 am working and I have gone almost non-stop for most of my day.


My work-day was spent presenting argument on my client’s behalf to a very curmudgeon-type judge in a window-less courtroom.  I keep thinking, there has GOT to be a better way to spend one’s waking hours.  There has GOT to be a better way to earn a living.

Now, don’t get this wrong.  Many lawyers enjoy going to court and the whole event can be exciting and challenging. A lot of lawyers know that they are actually contributing to the betterment of their clients’ lives.  It can be very a very rewarding profession.

What the lawyer, or other professional, however, ultimately starts to experience is wondering what the whole point of it all is, after day in and day out of working working working and missing missing missing the sunshine while being purely exhausted all the time.

One of the first things about de-Jonesing is to realize that while your linear income earned as a professional (handsome as it is) may serve you to better your lifestyle, do not count on it as the sole method for financial growth and security.

One great way to supplement your linear income is to learn how to create online passive income. There are lots of books and resources out there that can assist someone in learning how to do that. One of my favorite and eye-opening reads about earning online passive income was provided to me by Tim Ferris in his book, The Four Hour Work Week. He provides a well-deserved and scathing critique of what is expected of workers in our economy and the assumption of the 40 hour (or more) work week.

The de-Jones way to create online passive income is to start by learning about online passive income and then moving forward from that.  The ultimate goal is to create at least one project (and then another and then another) that generates online passive income.

Another awesome thing about online passive income is that rather than reaching only a finite audience as we do with a local business such as a law firm, the world wide web is a seemingly limitless resource for money-making opportunities. You simply have the ability to reach way more people. You can reach way more people with your products, ideas, e-books, other books, recordings etc.

As an example, this website, and the little earning bits attached to it – will ultimately represent my online passive income. The idea is to replace my linear income or at least significantly supplement it.

How am I doing that?  So far, I have been following the “Site Build It” method and have been developing this website.  I have also started to do the same with my law firm’s website.

I will continue to generate ideas by looking at Tim Ferris’ blog. Yet, the idea of creating income outside of my linear income is challenging. There is a built in block about it created in my own head and the culture in which I live and work. Most lawyers make their money via linear income.

The thing is that I earn good money per hour as a lawyer. Yet, in order for me to make a cent, I have to work. It is even worse that if I take holidays, I have to somehow manage to continue meeting all of my obligations for my overhead. Just because I have decided to take a holiday does not stop my staff from being paid, or the other expenses from continuing to roll in. This is why I have not taken a holiday in ages.

Each week, no matter how busy I am (which can be pretty busy), I attempt to work towards generating my online passive income. That is how you get going on replacing your linear income.

Just like investing your money with the hope that your investment grows over time, the plan is that your investment of time and energy can result in your income growing over time on a passive basis. So, gone is the idea of working more and more hours and seeing more clients on a relentless hamster wheel. 

It is about investing your available resource of time, energy, skill and talent to develop something that will repeatedly pay.

Written by Val Hemminger, the nonconforming professional

Return from Online Passive Income

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