A note from Rach Smith's digital garden

It doesn't seem that passive to me

Added: September 16, 2022

Tags: miscellany

Who doesn’t love the sound of passive income? Sitting back and doing nothing while letting the money roll in? As someone who’s mostly relied on “active” income1 that sounded like a great idea. I thought I would see what I needed to do to make this passive income happen.

Most of the passive income suggestions I found online are along the lines of creating some kind of content product like an online course, e-book, YouTube videos etc. 🤔.

The reason they call it passive income is because it supposedly happens with “minimal labour to earn or maintain”.

Say I were to choose to create a course and try to use it as a source of passive income. I would have to:

  • come up with the course content
  • film the course
  • build an audience who would actually pay for my course
  • continue to promote the course so I can get ongoing signups
  • provide support via questions and refund requests

That doesn’t sound like “minimal labour” to me. It actually sounds like a lot of work. Work I would enjoy doing way less than my current developer day-job.

I’m calling bullshit on most of these passive income suggestions. Call it a side hustle or change of career to content creation… but it still involves a lot of effort. And you won’t be able to sell it to me as a good idea when I make so much money from a very well paid “active income” job that I love.


  1. I do earn some passive income via dividends on shares via the ETFs I buy each month. Now that’s what I call passive 😴.


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