Well, technically there is… but NOT how it’s defined by online salespeople.
What is passive income?
From BusinessDictonary.com: “Earnings from rent, limited partnership, or other sources of income (in which the earner does not take an active part), not including salary, wage, interest, or capital gain. Also called unearned income, passive income can be written off against passive losses.”
There is a section of the U.S. tax code dedicated to passive income as it’s defined above. It’s this.
In other words: Passive income IS NOT ebooks, info products, webinars, courses, downloads, workbooks, etc. that sell “in your sleep.”
That isn’t passive income. See the official definition above, whereby the earner does nothing active.
So, why is it that there are dozens and dozens of online salespeople who claim that their course, their ebook, their workshop, their mastermind will help YOU create a stream of passive income, earning you virtually six figures (why do they always say six figures?) while you sleep?
Why? Well, because people are willing to throw money at the idea that they can earn a ton without doing much.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but unless you are, say, a landlord or something that the IRS considers “passive,” selling anything online requires a ton of activation.
It’s the polar opposite of passive.
To make a living selling products online, you have to do one (or all) of three things:
- You need to build a large, thriving, loyal audience–a feat that takes concerted, purposeful effort.
- You need to spend a fortune on running ads, something that costs money and also a ton of your time because you have to figure out what types of ads convert, write the copy, create the imagery, run the campaigns, etc.
- You need to create stellar products that deliver on what you promise at such a high value that your customers can’t wait to buy your next product.
All are worthy and worthwhile. None are passive.
They all take time.
They all take money.
If you don’t have an audience, you don’t have anyone to sell to, and it can take years of hard work to create that audience.
If you don’t have time and money to spend on ads, especially if you haven’t yet built that thriving, engaged audience for potential organic reach, no one will know your product exists.
And if you don’t create amazing products–something that takes a mountain of effort–you’ll find yourself with dissatisfied customers who demand refunds and, even worse, blast you on social.
Sure, once you have all that in place–a thriving audience, an effective ad campaign, and amazing products–you’ll make money while you sleep as products sell.
But you’ll never build a thriving, sustainable business with minimal effort. You’ll just end up with unhappy customers (which, btw, doesn’t stop MANY people from still selling online… they just funnel gobs and gobs of money into targeted ad campaigns to hit new people with each launch).
Instead of throwing your time and money at some online guru who claims to be able to help you build a six-figure income in your sleep, stop.
Take a breath.
Then attack your business with passion and purpose.
Save the money you were going to spend and create and run your ad campaigns instead.
Save the time you were going to spend and create amazing products that people can’t help but buy.
Save the effort you were going to expend and work on building your audience through authentic content creation and purposeful content marketing.
And if you need help with the content piece, check out my super affordable, you-do-the-hard-work guide, Authentic Blogging. For only ten bucks, you get:
- Seven chapters to help you discover your authentic voice.
- Worksheets to improve your blogging skills.
- Appendices with resources to further your study.
- Exclusive bonus worksheets to expand on the concepts.