Taking Those First Steps Toward Earning Passive Income

Freelance woman working at home with her laptop

Let me start by saying, this is one of those ‘do as I say, not as I do’ posts. Or consider it a ‘learn from my mistakes’ post.

However you want to view it, let me plead with you, from one service provider to another, DON’T WAIT to create multiple streams of income!

I’ve been a VA for 5 years now, making an OK income but happy to serve my small list of regular clients. Continuously over the last 5 years I have heard about passive income, making money in your sleep, and don’t trade dollars for hours.

This advice certainly made sense but I didn’t pay much attention to it. Or I’d add a few affiliate links to a blog post and watch as NO ONE clicked on those links.

My most-used excuse was, “Well, I’m focusing so much on my client work, I don’t possibly have time to create a product.”

Yeah, you’d think I was billing 60+ hours a week with that one but that certainly was NOT the case.

The Most Important Step: Taking Action

There are a million and one other reasons why I didn’t create any products sooner but the simple fact remains that I just never took the action necessary to get it done. I have lists and lists of ideas but what good do the lists do me if they sit in my desk drawer? Absolutely none. There is no fairy godmother waving her magic wand to give you a product or affiliate sales. YOU have to set the plan in motion and hire the right people if you want to see any results.

The killer…I could have quite a nice product line by now if I had only spent 15-30 minutes a DAY following through on my ideas. Instead, I sat trapped by my excuses and my belief that I didn’t know enough to make a product. I don’t want you falling into the same trap.

My Personal Case Study

I’m a member of Solo Masterminds and every year the Platinum members join together to run a 10 Day May Madness Sale. Basically, it’s offering a product or service for the crazy low price of $7 for 10 straight days. For 4 years now I’ve sat by, watching my friends making some extra money from the sale but never participated (or I have a vague recollection of participating one year but I must have offered VA time instead of a product).

This year was different. I was DETERMINED to follow through on a product that’s been at the back of my head for quite awhile and lo and behold, I had my product created in 7 days.

I wouldn’t recommend completing a product normally in 7 days because I was working a lot of hours and pushing off some client work in favor of working on my product but it IS doable.

And I was able to present Super Simple Audio as part of the May Madness sale.

Phew! Step 1 was completed…I made the deadline! Now, would anyone buy it?

The short answer…yes! I made 21 sales which helped me break even (I hired someone to make the cover graphic) and I even spent a little on my own May Madness purchases. So I made a little profit this time around. But the great thing is all of my future sales will be 100% PROFIT!

Was it completely passive income? Not really because all the Solo Mastermind members were busy promoting the sale to their lists and on social media BUT now that the majority of the work is done, I can theoretically promote Super Simple Audio for years without putting in the same number of hours I did at the beginning, getting it created.

No More Excuses for You!

So what’s holding you back from creating passive income streams? Some advice that I keep hearing is don’t wait until your product is ‘perfect’ before releasing it. You’re your own worst critic, so do you ever really think it will reach the level of perfection you envision? Probably not.

It’s totally OK to make changes to a product after it’s been released! Think of all the website themes or computer software that is released and then just a few months later they have a new release (think iPhone and the iPads). Certainly, you don’t want to produce garbage…there is definitely a level of quality you should reach for but don’t wait so long that you talk yourself out of doing it.

In fact, I listened to this advice myself. I needed a beginning and ending slide to my video tutorial but I was so close to deadline and was just so tired I just put up a very generic (and ugly!) slide with the basic information. No branding, no nothing except the title of the video and my URL.

Certainly not ideal but I let the buyers know right away that I’m making that change and will send them the new download link when it’s done. Will an ugly slide affect sales? Probably not. The information in the report and in the video tutorial certainly outweigh the slides in quality. But I easily could have let that be my reason for not submitting my deal for the sale.

And don’t wait 5 years like I did! Put in the work, see if it sells, then make revisions or start from scratch based on your experience. You’ll never know if you don’t try.


  1. Mary Bernard says


    I love this post and your transparency in telling us about your product creation process.

    I WANT to do this soon, but I am stuck as to WHAT type of product to create. Working on brainstorming that now. :)

  2. says

    That’s a great suggestion. I’m glad that you shared your story with us so we know that it can be done. Congrats on making your first product.

    I have ideas floating around too, and like you were I have fear that my ideas aren’t promotable or they won’t sell. (Plus some of them would be soul bearing ones as well.)

    Thanks for this post.
    Crystal Green recently posted..Gateway to Summer Event GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Melida Harris says

    I have always worried if I ever made a product to sell whether or not people want to hear or read what I have to say. Then I wonder “What do I have to say?” Your post made me realize that those are just excuses and fear.On another note I never thought of a product like you mentioned as a form of passive income. Thank you so much for the pointers!

  4. Debora Humphries says

    Congratulations on creating your first product.

    I love that you provided your own personal case study as an example as well as the fact that, a product can always be changed and added to later down the line.

    Thank you for sharing with us.

  5. says

    Hey Melinda! You’re quite welcome for the pointers :) I can’t tell you how long I have struggled with the ‘what do I have to say’ mindset!! Quite honestly, you’ll never know until you try it. The same could be said about any blog or website on the web…yet people always manage to find their own ‘tribe’ or following. Don’t get stuck with indecision or with doing too much research because then you’ll never get a product released. Even if it’s just an ebook or small $7 report…if it sells, then you can expand it into a longer report, audiobook, or video series and command a larger price :)
    Christina Lemmey recently posted..Four Signs Your Freelance Business Is Ready For A Coach My Profile

  6. says

    Hi Crystal. You can always start small with producing your own products. Even a short $7 report or a $2.99 Kindle book can indicate if your idea is marketable and/or profitable. And start with an idea that you are excited about because then you’ll WANT to work to complete the product instead of letting it sit for too long on the back burner.
    Christina Lemmey recently posted..Four Signs Your Freelance Business Is Ready For A Coach My Profile

  7. Amber Lafon says

    I love that you admit to putting this off for years. I do not have an online business as of yet, but in my current job, I am the world’s worst for saying “I’ll do it later.” Well, guess what? Later never comes because you get busy with other things. You have to schedule time to accomplish the goals in your life. Loved the article and it was definitely inspiring!

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