Inspire People While You Sleep! Your Passive Inspiration Stream

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Here’s an idea that could dramatically shift the way you think about your role as a writer, author or “content creator” of any kind. Read on and hang in there with me for a few short paragraphs, because I think you’ll really benefit from this.

You’re probably familiar with the idea of “passive income.” That’s when you earn money without having to physically provide a service.

I am blessed to have a business that generates money passively. I do very little consulting or speaking work that requires my direct involvement. Much of my revenue comes from the sales of downloadable titles from my website, and books that are sold and shipped by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online retailers and distributors.

Sure, I physically ship some books and have to deal with tech support type emails from customers, but most of my revenue comes from passive means. Which is very cool, because funds are often being generated while I sleep, travel, or am doing other things.

So a lot of people often ask, “How can I build a passive income business too?

Well, the real answer (which not everyone always wants to hear) comes down to your audience. What type of a readership or fan base have you built? Have you developed a relationship with a growing number of people who are interested in your topic and your voice?

That’s exactly how I did it.

Sure, I put automated systems in place and I got my books into the online distribution system. But those things alone wouldn’t have amounted to much at all.

I believe what allows me to benefit from passive income is the years I put in creating content in many forms: hundreds of articles, blog posts, podcasts, video clips, interviews, and more. (For example, here’s an article that dates back to 1994.)

Recently this funny idea struck me, which leads to the point of this post.

All of these things that I have written and recorded over the years act as little magnets that attract my ideal type of readers.

The more stuff I put out, the more people discover me, the more awareness is created about what I do, and on and on.

And what’s really cool is that all of this awareness building activity continues without any extra effort on my part.

Don’t get me wrong. I continue to create new content on a regular basis. It’s part of what I do as a writer, author and teacher.

But the things I created last month, last year, or even 10 or 15 years ago, are out there working for me. My readers and my business continue to benefit from all the things I’ve shared online over the years, even though I may have long forgotten about them.

So instead of passive income, I think of it as my “passive inspiration stream.”

And here’s the amazing thing …

With all of the books I have in circulation, combined with the thousands of web pages online that contain my writings, recordings or references to my work … I truly believe that during any given minute, someone somewhere on the planet is consuming my content – 24/7/365.

It might be a guy in Montana reading one of my books, a girl in the U.K. reading one of my blog posts, a fellow in Australia listening to a podcast, or a women in Russia watching a YouTube video clip.

This takes place whether I’m sleeping or exercising or spending time with my family. That’s an awesome feeling, and it’s something I’ve had to work hard at for many years to earn.

The lesson for you …

Wanting to build a business that delivers a passive income stream is great. But what you need to focus on first is building your Passive Inspiration Stream.

What seeds are you planting today? What value are you creating for your ideal readers?

What “topic magnets” are you leaving behind that will help the right people discover you – both today and for months and years to come?


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Amen. I have to cut back on this gigging if I’m ever going to get ahead!

  2. Anna says:

    The idea that there’s always someone consuming your content is beautiful.

    I think it’s important to not only plant seeds but also to make sure that they don’t die. In the past I often created new projects which I killed off when they didn’t show enough results. Today I leave almost everything online so my content can keep bringing value to other people.

  3. Bob Baker says:

    Anna, That’s a fantastic perspective to take. Keep creating, keep sharing!

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