He does though like to say things like you have to "create value". That's useful advice. Thanks Steve.
HN readers for the most part are probably not in need of his motivational/inspirational "speeches" and articles. And most understand the desirability of passive income but understand its challenges, obstacles, and reality.
Someone similar who shares Mr. Pavlina's strong beliefs and desires for everyone to achieve their life's goals and live every day to its fullest is Ramit Sethi (http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/) with his own book and numerous other "programs" like Earn 1K. Ramit recognizes and addresses the reality of passive income and recommends not going after it at first.
Both Ramit and Steve are excellent reminders and motivators to keep working towards your goals similar to 21times.org's daily email newsletters for startups.
UPDATE: I like what someone else said in another comment here. Paraphrasing it: Don't think of it as passive income, think of it as delayed income.
UPDATE: Let's clarify what we all really mean by "passive". It's not really passive as in "you don't have to do anything". What we mean is that we are no longer trading straight time for income. Our income potential is no longer limited to the number of hours we are awake trading our time for money.
UPDATE: The delayed income relies upon a long tail return. Often the amount of energy consumed to setup the long term tail is very similar to the amount of time and energy early (and bootstrapping) startups invest in hopes of recouping their time and money investment at a later date (and in hopes of that return being many times greater than what a hourly rated "job" would pay).
the difficulty comes in building the passive income while having to be realistic about health insurance, and well, having food to eat.
i wish these sorts of articles would spend more time on the bootstrapping portion of this journey instead of the "glorious future" when everything is all running smoothly.
i mean its just as easy to write a article about Facebook and say "just build one of those" but obviously the devil is in the startup, so to speak.
Aye, there's the rub.
Not sure what his point is after that supposition. The verbose fictitious conversation is rather ... absurd.
So from that perspective, this article is just another $20 per month in his pocket. That's the point.
"First, get a million dollars..."
He's always been a bit unorthodox, but he wrote a book that I found to have quite a bit of value, and was quite a bit more challenging in its exercises than the standard self-help book.
I still read him, but more for the occasional nuggets now - for where I am in life, I don't receive much value from his current set of posts because it isn't where I am right now in life. That's okay.
As for the passive income bit, I'm hoping the series gets better, but I fear it is going to be a repackaging of what he's said before.
It's sort of the Anthropic principle: you could only notice that if such blogs existed, and such blogs could only exist if you read them, so you've answered your own question.
How did this long, uninformative dribble make it to the front page?
Yes, your summary is correct, but short sided in that many need this sort of realization to remind those of us who are going to work for a boss everyday what other (and better) options are available.
The purpose of setting up a fictional person who doesn't like money coming in every month is so the author can explain at length how great his life supposedly is, and implicitly how great your life will be if you reject the stupid Friend character and instead give the author some money. This is not ambiguous. It's about as subtle as those Axe Body Spray commercials.
What real people have concerns about is whether the particular strategies available to them for generating ongoing income will be reliable, lasting, or lucrative enough to be worth the effort. That's an interesting question. But this article is an elaborate pitch not to address those concerns but to make you ignore them long enough to give the author some cash. If you're considering it, here's a hint: the small percentage of people who manage to start successful businesses are the ones who don't fall for this kind of pitch when they're spending their money.
And doing nothing (which all people seem to think they like...) => by far most people I have ever met would have no clue what to do with their time if they didn't have to work. You'll do 'fun' things the first year or two and then you'll start feeling worthless about yourself and get all kinds of cool mental and physical issues.
Anecdotes a-plenty: my grandfathers (who are both smart and both were managers) were bored out of their skulls after pension as is my father. A few fathers of friends of mine literally dropped dead months to a year after they started with their pension. A friend of mine (smart guy, age 40) got 'independently wealthy' so did a lot of 'fun' stuff for a few years, then he began to get ailments like pain in his stomach, back pain, headaches (migraine) and started to get depressed. Went to tons of doctors; nothing wrong physically. Recently (few months ago) he took a 9-5 job and everything disappeared; he is happy and no more vague ailments.
There are plenty of exceptions to this obviously, but a lot of people I know, poor or rich, cannot live with themselves if they would have to manage their own time. They need the pressure, the fulfillment etc of a job or career. I have passive income sounds great at parties, but mostly these people are actually working twice+ as hard as people in 'normal jobs' or they are actually not happy at all. I built a lot of sites / apps for internet marketers and have been with them in clubs in Monaco or on boats somewhere tropical; not very happy campers, almost all of them; making millions /year on auto-pilot (just mail the good 'ol 'list' and plok, another $200k) but being utterly depressed, paranoid, weird and usually having 10s of small ailments (allergies etc) which they magically acquired after years of doing almost nothing. And having full days to feel every ache in your body, analyzing the type of pain and location in detail and talking about it on cancer forums doesn't help either :)
If you really have got yourself into a situation where you could literally take as much time as you wanted off without worrying about your income level because all your work has been delegated then congratulations; you're a parasite.
You're absolutely correct, most people that have some passive income have invested lots of time into their endeavors and the ratio of time/$$$ is a large number (IOW, if they broke down their hourly wage it's really crappy, sometimes and often less than minimum wage). Few achieve the opposite and the end goals relies on a long tail return.
Passive income might be $2.54 per month revenue due to affiliate links (i.e. Amazon)... which might not redeemable until you accumulate a minimum dollar amount to withdraw the money...