I think when people talk about “passive income” there needs to be more clarification of what that means.

Here’s an example. One of my hobbies is pattern drafting. Several years ago, I built a site to sell some of my patterns. I have not logged into that site for over a year, and it still makes me money every month. How much is determined by whether I do anything to promote it. But regardless, it still is passive income.

Generally when people talk about passive income, what they’re talking about is income that’s not earned via labor/services. An accountant has to keep doing accounting if they want to get paid. A website designer has to keep designing websites or they don’t get paid. But if they write a book or create a course, it has the potential to become passive income. Which is to say it’s income from something they created once, and sell over and over again.

All businesses need to be promoted, but not all income needs to be tied to hours of labor. The accountant has to promote their business and do the accounting. A designer has to promote to get clients, but still has to do the labor of building the sites. So of course someone who has a book or download or some other “passive” income generator will still have to promote. What they don’t have to do is attach their income to their labor.

I don’t think passive income was ever supposed to mean that a business does not need promoting. Perhaps too many internet hucksters gave that impression because it sells courses. But income doesn’t need to be directly tied to hours of labor. Sorry that was so long — lol.

Written by

Top writer. Featured in NYT, Forbes.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store