I know, I know, another blog post on earning money online. Bear with me; I promise it is different… slightly.
I am tired of people on TikTok talking about personal finance. I am tired of “gurus” giving half-baked financial advice.
So, I decided to do something about it.
Here it goes.
There are two types of income streams: active income and passive income.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard the term “passive income” thrown around in recent years. But what exactly is it? Passive income is money that you earn without putting in a lot of work. It can come from sources like rental property, stock dividends, or royalties on intellectual property.
In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to have multiple income streams. That’s because the traditional ways of earning money (working a 9–5 job or having an “active income”) are no longer as reliable as they used to be.
The internet is full of people who claim to know how to make money online with little effort, but most of their advice is generic and won’t help you achieve your specific goals. As I mentioned in one of my articles earlier, everyone and their grandmothers have hopped on the bandwagon to advise on personal finance. Gone are the days when you would look forward to a subject matter expert for their opinions.
Youtube videos, TikToks, Instagram reels, articles on Medium and LinkedIn, etc., all have recently been spammed with people coming up with new and “easy” ways to make money online. Generally, they promise that you don’t need a lot of investment to get to the desired levels of passive income.
Look, an “active” income is generated through two things. Either you invest your existing money to generate more money, like buying a property and then renting it out, buying stocks that pay dividends, etc., or you can invest your time to earn income. That’s typically what most of us do. We work 40 hours a week and are paid a salary.
You provide a service; you get paid for it. Simple. But the problem with this normal income is that you have limited time. Even if the service you provide takes 30mins of your time, there is a limit to the number of times you can provide that service in a day. Let me explain it as if you were just starting high school. You are a web designer, and you are really good at it. You can make a simple one-page landing page in 30mins.
You decide to charge $50 from your clients and work 8 hours a day, making 16 landing pages (two per hour, multiplied by 8 hours of the workday) per day, earning a grand total of $800 per day. You can scale it up by increasing the price you charge or the number of hours you work. But, after increasing the price to a certain extent, fewer and fewer people will order. Similarly, by doing more work hours, you will lose productivity and get burned out. You can scale the business up by adding more people, but the cycle will always have a limit to the upside potential.
On the other hand, a passive income requires no or very little effort on your part — after it is set up.
In our example, Davis Baer, founder of Carrd decided to scale up the business by making it simply available for the general public. He made a tool that people can use without his input/time/effort. While your landing page business will always have a limit to its upside potential because you are trading time for income, Carrd changes the rules and takes your “time” out of the calculation. Now, if someone wants to create a landing page, they can go to the website and do it; your presence is no longer needed. This has a massive advantage, and there is no limit to the potential income that can be created.
As I said, a passive income requires no or very little effort on your part — after it is set up. Read that again.
One of the things that these gurus conveniently forget is that you need to invest time, effort, or money to build passive income as well. Search the term passive income on Google, and you will come across thousands of “easy” ways to earn money. But you will have to do it all alone. You will waste hours figuring out the steps you should be doing and might even buy courses that just go round and round a topic and do not give you the solution. I am not saying online courses are bad; I have spent hundreds of dollars on Udemy, Skillshare, and Coursera and have learned a lot from them. But I will say that at least 2 out of 3 courses you find online are not worth your time and money. Be critical of what you buy.
Back to the topic, I have recently moved to Canada (this time, permanently). Coming from an underdeveloped country, I now realize the number of opportunities I have to increase my income streams. Yes, I have a limited number of hours, but the possibilities are endless. For the past few weeks, I have been doing my research and now I think is the right time to start the process.
I will be trying out different business opportunities to increase my income streams in the next few months. The plan is to work through different milestones and see how quickly I can achieve these milestones ($100, $1K, $5K, and $10K). I know the process would be slow, given that I am working full time and will only be able to give a couple of hours every day, after work, to this plan. I will be documenting the process.
In case you are interested, you can join me on my journey. You can ask me your questions and give me ideas to test out. No idea is a bad idea. Plus, who knows, one of you might give an idea that can scale up to $10K.
And Yes, I want to turn into a guru on personal finance. No, I cannot dance, so you will have to live with these boring articles.
I’m Armaghan Tanveer, a numbers guy by profession and a romantic by heart. I write about everything I find interesting, including productivity, investments, passive income, and personal experiences. If you like what I do, you can buy me a coffee ☕️ here.