Am I A Failure When It Comes to Earning Passive Income?
The vast majority of you are extremely friendly and supportive, and it’s something I am infinitely thankful for. Occasionally, however, someone will criticize me, and sometimes it’ll be harsh. I received such a comment recently, on my November income report blog post.
Instead of becoming defensive or feeling offended, I welcome this criticism. In fact, while others may reply to such a comment and quietly bury it, I want to bring it to your attention and reply to it publicly, out in the open.
Here was the comment in its entirety, from a reader named “Rocky”:
“I need you to think about something really long and hard, because I think it’s costing you quite a bit of money…
You need to follow through with things from start to finish. You seem to get excited and riled up about something, and then a month or two later you move on to the next thing, RIGHT WHEN YOU”RE ON THE CUSP OF MAKING MONEY.
Buddy, I just feel bad for you, honestly. It seems like you put in a great deal of work initially with all of these things, and then you just let them fall apart at the tail end because you don’t want to create backlinks, or you don’t want to do this last extra thing, or you’ve found something else to be excited about.
I’m actually most impressed that you’ve been able to build any kind of income with the way you bounce around, so congrats! But look: you could have made so much more by just sticking with one thing and following it through.
So good luck, I really do wish you the best, and I hope this problem isn’t hindering you in other parts of your life.”
I’ll start off by saying, Rocky makes some really good points. What he’s saying may definitely be true for some people, however, I don’t believe he knows me well enough. I think he’s confusing “adding new projects” with “giving up on old projects.” I haven’t really given up on anything – most of it gets placed on the back burner, and I revisit it periodically. Just because I don’t constantly write about adding backlinks to my site for the niche site duel doesn’t mean I’ve stopped doing it. I only give up on a project if I really believe it’s not going to provide sufficient value in the future.
I’ll be the first to admit – I have entrepreneurial ADD (attention deficit disorder). No, this isn’t a medically diagnosed condition. I love trying out new projects and experimenting with new ideas. One of the greatest things about making money online is that you can do it in a way that works for you. It’s amazing.
Let’s say after I started my InfoBarrel earnings challenge, I did nothing but write articles until I reached my goal – I stayed focused, did not allow myself to be tempted by another project, and wrote tons of articles. Would I be better off now? Maybe. Would I burn out and eventually not feel like doing anything? Probably.
Why I Think Jumping From Project to Project is OK
Some people need to stay focused on one thing in order to be successful, but I don’t think it has to be that way for everyone. Here’s why I think it’s okay to multitask and jump from one project to another:
This is probably the most practical benefit. If you put your heart and soul into one way of making money, and that gets taken away from you somehow, you’re in a bad position. If you purely relied on a few big AdSense sites for your online income and your AdSense account mysteriously got banned (it’s happened to people before), you would be in pretty bad shape.
However, if you had a mix of items in addition to these AdSense sites – Clickbank affiliate sites, Amazon sites, articles on InfoBarrel (or eHow, Hubpages, etc.), you wouldn’t be hurt as much.
2) Planting Your “Passive Income Seeds”
This is similar to diversification, but allow me to draw an analogy. When a farmer wants to feed his family for the upcoming season, he does so in a very methodical way. He plants his seeds in one plot of land, and moves onto the next plot, and continues planting (I have no experience with farming or even gardening, so please pardon my lack of a good description in this analogy).
What the farmer doesn’t do is plant one area, and spend all of his time watering it, adding any necessary chemicals, etc. He does this eventually, but his first order of business is to plant all of the seeds.
This analogy isn’t perfect, but I’m hoping it will illustrate my point. When you’re building niche websites, the growth of a particular website often comes with the passage of time. I’ve seen this with my InfoBarrel articles – there are many that have no backlinks, however they continue to earn more and more simply because they have aged and this has caused them to move further up Google’s search engine rankings.
With niche websites, I love to plant my “passive income seeds.” What may seem to be a group of incomplete websites today, may in fact be a powerhouse of passive income earnings a year from now. Once you introduce outsourcing into this picture, this becomes an even more powerful model.
This currently isn’t my full time job, nor is it something that I need to do to support myself financially. That’s not to say I don’t want it to someday, but I do this now because I enjoy it. It’s much more of a hobby to me than it is a job.
With that said, I want to go about doing it in the most enjoyable and interesting way possible. For me, that involves jumping around and trying new things. Variety is the spice of life (cliché alert), and that’s what I live by when I work on my passive income projects. Maybe I could be making more money if I stuck with one project and followed it through to the end before looking at anything else, but I don’t think I would. Why? Because I’d get bored. When I’m bored, I’m not working at my optimal level.
I’m not the only person like this either – it’s very likely that you’re this way too. I’ve recently come across Christina from CashCampfire.com who has the same problem – and just like me, the variety is what excites her and keeps her motivated to continue.
At the end of the day, you need to do what works for you. If you produce a better result by always staying focused on one project, then this is how you should do it. If you need variety, then seek out that variety and make it work for you.
And to respond to Rocky’s last sentence in his comment: no, this behavior doesn’t hinder other parts of my life. I’ve been in the same type of work (accounting/taxes) for over 5 years (this may soon be changing!) and I’ve been with my girlfriend for almost 7 years. I know when focusing on one thing makes sense for me and when it doesn’t.
So what do you think? Am I failure? What are your thoughts on jumping from project to project?