The U.S. Internal Revenue Service categorizes income into three broad types, active income, passive income, and portfolio income. It defines passive income as only coming from two sources: rental activity or "trade or business activities in which you do not materially participate." Other financial and government institutions also recognize it as an income obtained as a result of capital growth or in relation to negative gearing. Passive income is usually taxable.
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Last month I met a person, who runs a grocery shop. The ladies in the family (his Mother and wife) runs a small food business from there home. They were having a very small menu, routine food items, and were listed on Zomato. Being a Simple home cooked food, they were quite popular on the site and were getting good orders. I loved the idea and was something easily is replicated in other families.
Or, there is another theory for your primary salary – generate enough to have a little excess cash flow, but do it at a place that you can work stress free and have time to dabble in other projects. A good friend of mine has this setup – he works 10-5 and makes $50,000 a year. This allows him to easily cover all of his expenses, but the shorter hours and flexibility in his job allows him to pursue his secondary income generating ideas!
The other point is that it is pretty easy to get started. You don’t need to be super rich, and you don’t need a lot of time to get started. To say it requires no time would be a lie, but you don’t need to make anything listed above your life. You can work at your job, invest your excess income, save to buy a rental property or rent out a room in your current house, and you start a side job online without breaking a sweat.
If you have specialized knowledge in a certain topic, you can put together an online course to teach others. For example, if you have experience in real estate investing, you can create an online course “Real Estate Investing 101”. The benefit of an online course is that once you create the course material, you can sell it to as many people as you want.
Sell an eBook Online – Self Publishing is mainstream today. When you purchase an eBook off of Amazon there’s a pretty good chance you’re buying a self-published book. Self-publishing is also ridiculously easy. I tried this a few years ago and couldn’t believe how simple the process was. To self-publish a book you’ll first need to write and edit it, create a cover, and then upload to a program such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Don’t expect instant success though. There will need to be a lot of upfront marketing before you can turn this into a passive income stream.