How Passive Income Can Set You Up to Unplug From Your Business
Welcome to this episode of The Determined Mom Show. I have the lovely Lindsay Sutherland with me, and she is a business consultant with my unplugged lifestyle.
Today we’re gonna be talking about how passive income can set you up to unplug from your business. I’m very excited to talk to you about this because, during our pre-call, I think we had a lot of things to talk about regarding this, and your journey is very, very interesting as well.
I would love for you to start with, you know, kind of giving your background and how you got into making passive income as opposed to like service-based or product based.
Definitely. Well, one thing about me is I was the primary breadwinner in my family. I had built up a career in the car business and was sustaining that for my family and making really good money, kind of one of those dream careers I had. Even though it was the car business, I had.
A good schedule. I worked with good people. I liked my environment, but for some reason, I still felt like going to my job was like a prison. I just, I told my husband, I feel like it’s slowly killing me inside.
I just, I’m sure other, other parents can relate when you are going to a job that it should be great, but even though I missed my kids, Four kids throughout my career, and every time I had one, I would say to myself, okay, by the time this one is one or two, I’ll make it.
I’ll get out of this. Well, it’s hard to do that when you are the primary income earner. I mean, it’s, it’s one thing to replace maybe a thousand or $2,000 a month. Not to belittle that, but I mean, I would’ve been grateful if I could have done that, but I needed to earn like six, seven, $10,000 a month.
There was no, and there was no room to scale like I didn’t have that grace period. I thought to myself, what do I wanna do? And trust me, I tried all the side hustles like everyone else. You know, network marketing companies and all these things before I even realized what passive income was and learned really about it.
So my journey started way back in, I would say, probably 2008 when I started researching real estate and I started apprenticing as a real estate investor and I started flipping deals and doing some stuff like that. Later I learned about passive income online and I was really curious about it because there is so much Quote snake oil out there.
You know, people promising the moon and, oh, we make a thousand dollars a day. Just simply post on your Facebook or something like that. And I’m like, there’s gotta be a way to find out what is real and what isn’t without having to go try them all. And that’s when my journey started. That was a few years ago, back in 20, late 2019 when I started my podcast.
I started it because I wanted to learn from experts who were already doing it, and I wanted to pick their brains essentially. It was like my education and I thought, well, plus I can share it with the world. So happy day. Everybody’s strategy.
And through that, I started really, I started signing up for courses. I started trying things. I started learning. I started just exploring all these possibilities. Meanwhile, through this, I had determined to leave my career.
I just, I don’t know if I told you this in our pre-chat, but both of my parents passed away before retirement, and I couldn’t fathom the idea of living out 20 years until someday retiring, and then someday living my best life like it.
Didn’t seem like it could happen for me, so I ended up leaving. We ended up buying a log cabin in the woods, which was something my husband and I had dreamt about and talked about for years, and that was super scary because I left this great job. I sold my house, I left my family. Everybody, we picked up and moved three states away without knowing anybody.
Well, ultimately we got up here and the plan was that I was going to stay home with the kids and homeschool, and my husband was gonna pick up a job. Well, things didn’t pan out quite as well.
He ended up not getting a job that could sustain us, so I ended up back in the workforce for at least a short while all the while still building up my passive income and plugging away on the side.
That is one thing I will say about passive income. It isn’t necessarily quick, not saying it couldn’t be, because sometimes you hit it out of the park, but it isn’t normally quick. And so for anybody who might be looking for that passive income is a great thing to do, to build up on the side while you’re ready to make that transition.
Because ultimately, you know, you definitely wanna have a cushion and you want it to be sustainable. And so that’s what I was doing in the meantime. Well, leading up to last, what, like August, I was determined again, to homeschool my kids. I was seeing what the public school was doing, plus with cos after Covid.
You know, everybody kind of had their own experience with that. But for me, I saw that when my kids were home, we. Different family dynamics. My children were less sassy.
You know, like just so many good things came from them being home. I thought I have to be here, no exceptions, no matter what. And so I made this plan to leave my job.
I hired a business strategist and I had no alternative. I said to her, I am quitting my job at three. And I need a plan. She stepped right up to the challenge and that’s when I finally launched and just went all in and it’s been so amazing.
You know, I homeschool my kids three days a week. I finally found a rhythm that works for me. So that I can build my business on Mondays and Fridays and then still do household and fun stuff on the weekends.
So we have a good balance now, and I’ll admit that income isn’t derived from passive income yet, but it’s sustainable to the point where it gave me that launching pad, so to speak so that I could finally have that little bit of time where I needed to build up clients.
And thank goodness Heaven, thank heaven. I mean, I mean that, thank God from the bottom of my heart. He blessed me with immediate results. Like I got clients right away. So it was just really a fascinating journey. Even, at it in awe, like, how did that even happen?
Agreed. Well, also I just, I had to beef myself up with positive talk. You know, I said things like, Lindsay, you’re capable, you know, you’re capable of getting another job if you had to, you know, just to give myself that sense of confidence and peace, and then also reminding myself that girl, you know what you’re doing.
Like you, I think the biggest thing so many of us struggle with is, especially when we’re passionate about something, in particular, We never feel like we know enough or know, at all. Right? Because we’re excited to learn more. We’re always eager and so we always see ourselves as not quite there yet, and it’s easy to get caught up in that.
I’m not in a good enough mindset that makes it say like, oh, I’m not good enough to teach what I know. Well, I talked when I started talking to people and doing like, um, free coaching, just to kinda see what would happen.
People were blown away. They’re like, slow down. You’re giving me so much information, and I’m like, okay. I can do this. Like, I do know what I’m talking about. It’s funny. We have to like to sell ourselves on that. Yeah. To yourself. Right.
I’m very excited to talk about passive income. I think I started my entrepreneurial journey like in, well, my like third or fourth one, in 2017. This one, I’ll say the latest one in 2017 when I had my daughter, my third daughter, and a similar situation to you. And I remember listening to Pat Flynn’s podcast, Smart Passive.
I love Pat’s story, and it’s funny too because I recently had an experience similar to that where, anybody who’s familiar with Pat’s story knows, and I’ll, I’ll just kind of recap it. He had started a website that was essentially a learning tool for himself to pass a test, and he didn’t build it for everybody else.
It was just simply for himself as a study tool. Unique. I would never think of doing that, but okay. So he did that and then one day he was kind of figuring out what passive income was and wondering if he could do it and realized he had traffic going to his website. And then he thought, well, I wonder if I can monetize this.
So he made something, a download or whatnot, and it was like 15 bucks. It wasn’t a very big dollar amount, and he made it for sale. And then that’s when it took off. That’s when he was like, yes, I could do this. And I’m gonna tell you that moment when you finally make a sale is, It doesn’t matter if it’s $5
It’s so exciting, especially when you wake up and see that in your inbox and you’re like, I just made money while I was sleeping. This is so wonderful. And essentially that’s what passive income is. It’s doing something one time. And getting paid for it over and over again.
And there are a lot of misconceptions out there. We won’t even go down the bunny trail. Just know that that is essentially what it is. If, if you’re hearing somebody say something is passive income, and you’re hearing them say, well spend two hours a day on social networking and do this and do that, I mean, that is not.
My methodology, I called the My Unplug lifestyle methodology. It’s threefold for a reason, and I’m gonna tell you a little bit about that. But to finish answering your question, going back, oh, I know what I was telling you. I was telling you about my story. I remember the first time I woke up and had, I think it was like 40 bucks I made from an affiliate sale.
So affiliate marketing is one form of passive income. I am a person. Don’t think it’s something I would invest a ton of time into unless you’re going for the long haul, like major. And it is a lot of work and I think that’s what a lot of people started doing. There are ways to make affiliate income.
That’s larger percentages rather. Usually, if you’re selling other people’s courses or information, you’re gonna do better than if you sell products. So just a little nugget of wisdom for people. That’s what I do on my podcast.
If I have guests on my podcast and they have a course that they’ve got an affiliate program for, that way I’ve monetized my podcast. That is a form, but I wouldn’t say that’s something that.
For me anyway, it’s not super sustainable. It doesn’t give me recurring revenue, regularly, as I can track it and measure it. Where that comes in is when I offer my products and services, right? Because I can control the marketing side of it.
I can control the landing page, I can do my AV testing, and I can dial in my ads. If I’m to that point where I’m ready to do that, I can automate the funnel and make it so that from point A to. You know, because the funnel isn’t gonna be an AB funnel. I can control things along the way and, learn and grow and improve my funnel strategy and have my metrics going.
Truth be told could be done with affiliate marketing. But why do that for only like, you know, 15 bucks a sale when you could do it for yourself and make a hundred, 200, 300, a thousand, whatever, you know? So, it’s the same amount of work, you just get paid more.
Thank you. I do, you know, one time I put something out when, this is early in my journey, I was trying to find out what people were thinking when they heard passive income and I went in a Facebook group and I just said, Hey, I’m just doing market research. I’m not trying to sell anything.
I’m curious about what comes to mind when you hear the words passive. And my thread went like crazy with comments and people saying, I think out of all of that, I have maybe one or two people who said something like real estate, you know, passive investing, things like that. That was a reality. But do you know, I would say 80% of them thought it was network marketing?
They took my post down because somebody said, why do people always prey on us? Da da, da. And I’m like, whoa. I specifically even said, this is just market research. It was just such an eye-opening experience for me. It proved to me that so many people just have this misconception. Not, not to their detriment.
Like it’s not their fault because the problem is so many people are touting out passive income and then telling you it’s something that it isn’t. And you know, I love Robert Kiyosaki, who’s one of my favorite authors, and I’ve, I’ve gone to many of his works. You know, seminars and whatnot. He has that quadrant, right?
If you’ve heard of it, the cashflow quadrant where there’s the business owner and there’s the employee, and then there’s this, self-employed and then the investor, and when you’re looking at passive income, there are three categories. You are either self-employed in the beginning, and then at some point, you may hire a team.
Now you’re employed, you have your company, or you can also do passive investing. So passive income can come from a lot of different things. What I have found is a good focus for the majority of people that are in my circle is an online business. And you know, real estate is where my podcast kind of went in the first year, but I think that’s, It’s a scary idea.
It’s a lot of investment. There are also a lot of risks, and so it’s one of those things that only a select few people are gonna even be willing to try. My philosophy is like on a grander scale, developing a passive income business. And then when you get profitable, invest in passive income strategies. And the reason I say that is because you definitely wanna make that part of your goal. After all, there are huge tax benefits for that. The income you earn from a passive business online is gonna be taxed differently than the real estate tax. So that’s just kind of a bunny trail.
But you know, it is important to think about and have that as part of it. The big plan for the long term. I’m always a proponent of thinking to the end. Thinking of it from the end of what your big plan is. So make your goals include that.
You’re talking about my methodology, the three steps. So essentially it starts with mindset. I always say mind, you know, I once saw a post on Facebook. It said, what matters more, mindset or strategy? I’m like, it’s equal. I don’t know, why would we choose one or the other?
They’re both important. Um, and mindset is a, is an important part of that. And I know for my journey, leaving my corporate job to were was living in a log cabin in the woods with nothing to do and going stir-crazy that I felt like I need to have a passion and a mission.
But I also found that I also kind of had this threshold for chaos and busyness. And so I’ve learned over the years to just reduce that and be able to permit myself. To relax. I think especially when we’re small business owners and we’re working for ourselves, our minds are on all the time. So learning how to turn that off and intentionally be present with our families is so important. So that’s why that’s a big part of my methodology.
The second I call the PCU method. So we talk about the perfect product, married with the right process. Equals profit. And that’s where we get into the fun stuff because it’s about finding the right product. There are four main product choices that I usually guide people towards. I mean, there’s a lot out there, but as I said, I focus on these four because they’re, they usually can apply to anybody’s passions and I’ll just tell you what they are briefly.
So, you know, we have eBooks. eBooks are a common one and it’s gaining popularity on Amazon. These are short. Short books, which is great because those of us that aren’t experienced writers, why do we wanna write a novel if we could write a short book and have success, right?
E-commerce. So e-commerce would be like drop shipping and you know, or selling, having something being sold on your website, those kinds of things. and then principles, surprisingly, this is a very lucrative angle that a lot of moms can do and a lot of moms can. While their kids are running around, it doesn’t involve talking to people.
You can set up Etsy stores that sell principles or downloadables. It’s amazing. So that’s an easy one to get started with. For anybody who’s kind of into Canva and wants to play around a little bit, you can certainly pop those on Etsy and start selling ’em. So those would be the four primary categories.
And then we put a process in place. That’s the funnel. And then we. Traffic to it. That leads me to step number three, which I call the content effect. So it’s the effect of evergreen marketing. Recently, somebody said, you keep saying evergreen marketing. What does that mean? So evergreen essentially means very much the same as passive income.
Massively powerful. You know, on top of that, we can be guests on other people’s shows, and even if you don’t have a podcast yet or you’re not quite ready to take that leap, you could be getting guest spots on other people’s shows to drive traffic to your, to your product, and. They’ll give away the beans.
Pinterest is my ultimate favorite. I talk about Pinterest all of the time. Pinterest is great. It’s just a widely underused platform, and many business owners don’t even realize that it’s a search engine and not a social media.
I mean, that’s just it in a nutshell because ultimately, I don’t care how many passive products you create, how many freebies you do, whatever the case may be, how pretty your website is if you’re not driving traffic.
Then nobody’s gonna know about it. And more importantly, we don’t wanna create a hustle. We don’t wanna be out there dropping links and trying to drive people to go check out our stuff. Right? That’s not the purpose of passive income. So if we don’t have that evergreen marketing strategy set up, then the whole plan just is built on sand.
That’s all Evergreen. Marketing podcasts are the same too. Actually. What’s cool about Pinterest lately, I’ve noticed, and I’ll bet you do too, in your line of work, more and more people are finding me. From Pinterest, but not because they’re on the platform, but because Google is now presenting pins as part of a response to a search inquiry.
Yes. Well, thank you and I’m glad to hear that. I’m grateful to hear so many people are doing that for themselves because it, you know, and it’s true, it doesn’t always happen overnight, and heaven, bless those that do. I love those stories, but it just doesn’t, so just stay with them because it will work.
I’m telling you, I saw this on my own, I didn’t even. Know what I was doing when I started my podcast. As I said, it was more for me to inform myself and be educational and sure enough, like six months in I had this whoop like upscale, right?
Then after a year, I had another upscale, and then I ended up taking like 90 days off because I was revamping and reorganizing and kind of gonna do a season two. And I was figuring it all out. And in that 90 days, I still had 500 downloads.
So my primary passive income is from real estate. I had gotten started with that early on. It was enough that the money and it’s gotten better as time has gone on cuz rents have gone up. So I’ve been able to increase rents and have more passive income that way over the last. I mean 10 years. That’s kind of been, you know, it’s interesting. I was just thinking about this.
When I first started, the very first condo I bought, I bought from somebody who was going into foreclosure and it was maxed out. It was a deal nobody would take. Yeah, because it wasn’t a good deal at all. I was putting 10 grand in to get it out of foreclosure to make $150 a month passive.
It wasn’t a deal any investor would take, but I happened to know the person and I wanted to help them out. That was one part of it. And then the other thing was, I was thinking long term. I was thinking, I’m gonna own this forever. I’m not looking to make a thousand dollars a month right now.
Well, back then the rents were only like 800 a month. Now they’re 1500 a month. And my expenses have stayed the same. So now I’m cash-flowing wonderfully. Plus I also have equity. So that’s, you know, that’s another, when you talk about your income, right, or your net worth, obviously that can be your monthly cash flow coming in, which is what we wanna focus on.
But also when we look at our net worth, that’s how we establish ourselves as ballers. For lack of a better word. But for anybody, you know, when you’re just getting started, do a net worth statement.
I encourage you, even today, if it doesn’t even look pretty, a net worth statement, you simply on one side count all of your assets and their value, and on the other side you count your debts, and then you do the math and you might be in the red.
That’s okay. And it’s kind of fun because then when you get started and you make has have you ever played the game cashflow? It’s a great game. It’s a Robert Kiyosaki game. He and his wife Kim invented it. And in that they have this little paper, it’s like a monopoly.
It’s like a grown-up version of Monopoly. And you have to track your assets. And so on your net worth statement, make a list of your assets and track your cash flow. And eventually, you’ll see if you just start doing that every six months, check in and see. You will see how much your net worth has changed.
And before you know it, you will. I mean, you just keep doing those, take those steps, right? Keep moving forward and eventually, you’re gonna see that your net worth is actually in the black. And maybe, you know, oh wow, now I’m worth 300,000. Now I’m worth 500,000. Now I’m worth a million. And it doesn’t all have to be in actual cash. It could be in assets. So it’s worth doing that if you don’t if you haven’t already done it.
That’s awesome. And you’re, and that’s great that you’re at that level, that you’re ready to do that. It’s something that, I mean, when I started in real estate, I had no experience with. I’m one of those people who shouldn’t have been doing it. That’s basically what I’m saying, but I also had not had very much to lose either.
You know, I was young. I didn’t even have kids yet. Like that’s when, how long ago it was that I started? And I was just trying to figure it out. Unfortunately, I got into it right when the market crashed. It was just bad timing. I think I got into it, you know, either 10 years before that, or even five years later.
Instead of that, it kind of got me a little bit scared right after it happened. But then now that I’ve been through it and I’ve seen the whole cycle go through from start to finish, I’m like, okay, now I can be smart about it and I understand it even more. I’m, I’m just at a whole. I guess, understanding, so you look back and you just kind of have that hindsight.
I mean, I would just, I would just say have the mindset of the long game.
When I started, I told myself that I was committed to a year, even if no matter what, no matter if my metrics were awful, no matter anything, just, do it for a year no matter what, and I have to. It was the most rewarding experience. I ended up falling in love with podcasting. I fell in love even more with what I’m doing.
And then I found my zone of genius like I just found this thing that lights me up. I could talk about it all day, and it also makes me money. It’s the perfect thing. So you know, you might start one way and it may not end that way, but just continue and don’t give up and stay committed for the year, and I think you will see the magic happen.
I love that. So everybody, if you’re listening to this, that means that you must commit to one year of passive income creation. No, I’m just kidding. It’s not a contract, but it’s, it would be a very, very nice thing for you to do for yourself and your family. So where is the best place for people to get in touch with you?
My website is, passive income examiner.com. That’s also the name of my podcast. They’re under there is resources and courses and such. You can check me out there.
I know you have a business Bootcamp, is that right? So coming up in April, we’re doing a small business Bootcamp. Focused on people who already know. The main criteria are you need to know who your ideal client is and kind of what your passion is.
So we’re not gonna start from the very, very beginning, like just figuring out what you wanna do. So if you’re a service-based business owner and you wanna take your business to a new level and scale with passive income.
That’s what this is for. So, definitely if you email me, my email is the Passive Income Examiner at Gmail, and if you email me with the subject of the Determined Mom Podcast, I will give you the details of that and also give you $500 off.
Oh, that’s awesome. That’s a great deal. Well, I hope that many people take advantage of it because what you’re offering and what you have to share with the world is extremely important, especially for moms and families. And you know, just having that time back with your kids is priceless. So I love it.
If you have any questions, let us know! Reach out to us!
Connect with Lindsay Sutherland
Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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