As you know, if you’ve been reading the past week’s entries or so, I’ve been thinking a lot about socalled passive income:
– How I want to create it
– How much I want of it
– and what it is.
And it suddenly occurred to me yesterday or the day before that, some time in the evening when I had turned off the Internet Noise and just lay on my bed:
– What if I don’t need passive income?
After all, I live in a relatively rich country where there are insurances if you can’t take care of yourself, partially or wholly state-sponsored. They are not what will make you rich, but they will help you survive.
So if I don’t need PI to survive, when I get old or sick, then what?
Steve Pavlina asks in his article “The Endgame of Passive Income” that you imagine a time when all your material needs and desires are met by passive income, e.g. royalties from a book-series. Then what?
Will you just sit and watch the Internet Noise all day? Play golf? What?
If you can’t answer that question satisfactorily then you are heading in the wrong direction trying to create passive income (which is never wholly passive anyway – a book needs to be written and marketed, after all).
Instead, Steve says, you should try to create passive income to be able to do more of what you really love, and what really makes you feel you are contributing to the world.
Sure, if you really love watching television and don’t feel you need to contribute anything more to the world, then that is it. But that makes it by definition virtually impossible to create an asset which will bring you income while you sleep.
Because any kind of asset that people will pay for, like a book, a course, a new drink – that is something that has to have value for other people. Even if it is ‘bad value’ – like cigarettes.
First, you have to get off your butt and create something that is perceived as valuable by a great many people. Then you can reap the fruits. There is no other way.
I perceive I create value – real value – through my live-talks about fascinating historical characters and the life lessions we can learn from them.
Why would I want to stop doing those? Of course, I can’t vouch for my interests when I’m 83, but right now I feel like that is an activity I would go on doing, even if all my material needs are met.
My live-talks I do not just for money. It’s about a LOT more than money.
And if I want to travel for 6 months, I guess I just want to save for that. I for buying a house. It’s more difficult than if you have a regular royalty coming in from books or stocks or whatever, but it’s not impossible.
So maybe I don’t need ‘passive income’. Maybe I’m looking the wrong direction?
What was I looking for anyway? Security?
I think I debunked that for now (see above).
The possibility of being able to do nothing all day?
So what then?
I’ll have to answer that before I can answer anything about what passive income I ‘need’ to create.
I’ll have to answer what I’ll do once I have this vaunted income-stream created in my life so I can – the words of the money gurus – “make money while I sleep”.
What do I want to do with my life then? If that is achieved?
More live-talks is one part of the answer, I feel. But not all of it.
This is perhaps the most important search of all. Because we spend so much time thinking about how to get more money, more easily.
Not so much thinking about what we would actually do if we didn’t need money.