Today I will mention what I do for active income and passive income streams. As of now, not all my passive income streams are in play, but I am working on building them by putting the initial effort it which hopefully will generate the benefits I can reap later down the line. If you are already a regular on this forum, you already know about my portfolio and my passive income goals, but until now the details were scarce.
I was an employee and now I have my own consulting firm. It has only 1 employee, thus you can say that I am self-employed. Through my business I offer niche services in software engineering across the European Union. This is my bread and butter as this is my main revenue stream and counts for over 95% of my income.
One of the key challenges I have is finding new projects and customers. As I dedicate myself 100% in the project and only work for one customer at a time, it is hard to transition to different customers. Ideal for me is to find a way to extend this business and further invest in it. My aim is to extend and have some experienced employees work for my customers in parallel while I take care of business development and coach them along the way.
If you read a lot of personal finance blogs, you will find this under phrases like find out what you are good at and invest in a business. What I do on top of this is invest a % of my income into my active business. Some examples would be: online presence, business extension to educate in my niche, etc.
In most cases a blog is considered passive income, but this is not true. At least not true for me. There is a lot of time needed to shape the blog, create content, do SEO, sort issue, advertise, etc.
For now my blog does not produce any income and is taking some time. The idea is simple: do the work now and reap the benefits later. I hope that one day the blog will help people and become a revenue stream. Once that is done I will move this from Active to Passive income revenue streams.
I am not sure if this is the right place to state it, but the current amount spent for the websites (4 domains for the company + 1 for the blog + hosting for both); some SEO courses and some SEO services from Fiverr totaled out to 400 EUR in cost. My hosting from Bluehost is valid until 2022 and I will give up 2 domains next years to reduce the domain registration cost.
There are a lot of passive income articles and tips & tricks all over the place. For me not all are that easy as all the ads make them be. You can find advice from all over the place to create a YouTube video, upload a course on Udemy, become an affiliate, etc.
Below I am listing my “Passive Income” revenue streams, but for the sake of full transparency, with some exceptions these do not seem passive to me.
Paying off Debt
You might say that I am nuts listing this here, and you may be right. This is the last thing you would expect as an active and passive income stream, but the less you pay on a monthly basis automatically increases your household income.
As we currently have only 2 remaining loans we are focused to get rid of them so that we can re-use or invest that monthly payment. The good and in the same time bad part of these loans are that they are both mortgage loans. Good because they are not personal consumption/car/medical/etc. loans and bad because as mortgage loans there are for a considerable amount. Apartment still has 40,000 left and the House 205,000. Together the eat around 1,350 EUR per month and I can’t wait for the day when all this money goes into our investment portfolio.
Our current aim is to reduce the principle by 10% of the original loan value each year and we are looking to sell the apartment in 1-2 years. Once it is sold the loan will be covered and the extra will go to reduce the house payment. If you want to check out more and to see why we want to pay off our loans early, you can check my post regarding prepayment on the mortgage.
The core of my passive income is my investing. This is the area towards which I want to allocate most of my savings and go long. As my strategy is buy and hold I can easily flag this under my passive income stream.
My strategy is set and even if I take some risk by acting like a mini VC and investing in Etergo, I consider my risk profile as OK for a 32 year old due to the diversification and my asset split. You can also read about how I finally decided on my portfolio in my other posts and get a better sens of my diversification and risk.
P2P lending seems somewhat new and it looks like a fad, but I prefer to invest into it rather than cryptocurrencies because this is something that I understand. This does not mean that I will never go into cryptocurrencies, but for now I stick to my experience and my guns.
As an EU citizen, I decided to use 2 main platforms: Mintos for small buyback loans and Crowdestate for secure debt real-estate and company loans. On average one is at 11% annual return and the other fluctuates but seems to stay above 12% as you could also see in my monthly stats.
Due to automated investing and a proper configuration of the platforms as you can read from my reviews, P2P lending fits right at home as a passive income stream.
Sell eBook online
This is one of the standard passive income streams as shown in all media by bloggers or by the passive income community. Originally this was not on my lift, but I decided to create a book that helps software engineering professionals to take the next step in my niche or to attain a global recognized certification. I am not the one organizing their exam or other similar items, but for this certification you do not need to have a mandatory course presence. You can just sign up and show up for your paid exam and if you pass, you are certified in the profession.
I am not yet fully comfortable to list the book or the niche, but one day I will. I can at least say that 2/7 chapters are done and the book will be published via Teachable as I like the platform and have 6 months of Basic use for free. The other information which I will share is that I am creating the book in Canva where I intend to switch from FREE to a normal subscription once all is done and later use this to help me create shiny ads to showcase it to my customers.
Even though I have not yet invested money in the eBook, there is a high investment of my time in this project. For now it looks more like an active income stream, but I can’t wait for this to be over so I can start converting the time invested into passive income for the next 2-3 years or for as long as the book is still relevant.
Sell Course online
This supplements the book, although originally I started with the course and because it was too heavy on the theory I have decided to mix things up and add an eBook. Again, this is a classic on each list for passive income and I do it on my niche and leverage my expertise.
After the first (out of seven) chapter was done by using Doodly for the graphics and Audacity for the audio I have decided to put it on hold until the book is out and rethink my approach. Why rethink and why re-do of the course? Simple. It needs to captivate the audience and my first chapter was becoming boring after the first minutes.
As soon as the eBook is done I will resume the work here and am planning to share 1 chapter for free and the other 6 as individual courses on my business website by using Teachable.
At this point in time I do not have the actual time, nor the willingness to invest a lot in affiliate marketing. I will share my experience in my posts and provide while providing affiliate links and I will also review the passive income tools that I use like Mintos, Crowdestate, but also Canva, Bluehost, Fiverr, etc.
You can find a full list of my affiliate links (only products I use – either free version or paid/subscription) at my Resources page (just check the Menu).
Last, but not least is YouTube. I plan to create videos for each of my posts that catch your eyes or provide the best value for my readers. The aim is to transition from a written format to a video one for those of you that would prefer it that way.
I wrote about YouTube at the end because I have not spent any time in this at the moment as I am currently fully engaged in my active income streams and putting most of the remaining effort in the eBook so that I can add an additional stream besides investing and P2P lending to my passive income portfolio.
I know this was one of those long posts, but it feels good to put it all down and in writing so that I can explain what the journey to reach my passive income goals.