Remote bookkeeping side hustle? (really?? How much can you make per hour?)

Resources

  1. Free website tool to promote your virtual bookkeeping business http://nigelchua.com/wealthyaffiliate
  2. Online Payment (paypal.com, payoneer.com)
  3. Accept crypto payments, create account here https://nigelchua.com/crypto
  4. Hire freelancers to design your logo and namecards here https://nigelchua.com/fiverr

Bookkeepers are very, very important professionals in any businesses (even personal lives too, if you take your money seriously).

They

  • make sure your revenues and expenses are tracked carefully
  • bank statements are reconciled and tallies
  • any outstanding amounts are chased after
  • can even do payrolls and more

…but that being said, one of my biggest weakness…is that I cant stand to do bookkeeping and accounting.

I know cos I’ve been paying for remote and virtual book keeping ever since I started my first business, waaaaaaaaay back in 2008. I remember the first month of me futilely trying to do the accounts. It was so difficult, stressful and I dont know how many hairs I pulled out of my head in frustration.

More than 48 hours but still doesn’t tally or makes sense, whimpering, sad noises.

And our accountant sorted out in just 1 business hour lol – very obviously my lack of attention to details works against me. And knowing fellow entrepreneurs like myself, I assure you that bookkeeping will never, ever go out of fashion (you were right, dad, too bad I just suck at bookkeeping lol)

We still pay for bookkeepers and accountants till today.

Why virtual bookkeeper?

First, as I mentioned above – it’s a freaking necessity.

All businesses need to make sure their accounts and books are in order, if not they may be in for a nasty surprise if they’re not clear what’s happening with their numbers eg if they need to do more sales, cut back more unnecessary spending etc.

Secondly, it is behind the scenes and very important role.

Not everyone wants to be CEOs, directors or sales – there are much important responsibilities and things to do such as accounts and bookkeeping and finance that is very important too. Like how I do well in face-to-face, marketing, sales and management, there are others who just shine when it comes to numbers (not me lol.

Third: Remote!

This work can be done from anywhere – your hometown, during your travels, visiting friends and loved ones, or even as you care for sick loved ones.

How to start

No license required

I was surprised when I found out about this, and of course, most employers prefer someone who has formal education eg having a diploma or degree in accounting.

But there are many entrepreneurs like myself who would pay a bookkeeper if the bookkeeper is professional, accurate, efficient and well priced. Having good attitude goes a long way too.

If you want to be a virtual book keeper, you can

Formal studies

This is like going for college and universities for that diploma, degree or masters in accounting.

This is the most formal and long-route to becoming a bookkeeper, and it can take you years to graduate and come out to work as a bookkeeper. Usually a professional bookkeeper.

However, there is another path, which is simpler and quicker:

Self learning

Like attending courses and getting certificates in accounting.

You can do these online or in institutions in your town typically.

Your first virtual bookkeeping client

First, get your basic marketing stuff ready

You dont need more than 7 days (I did say basic eh), just

  • name cards with your name, contact and services
  • website with more details
  • bank account

Then, reach out to your direct network

This is calling and speaking personally to people you directly know, such as

  • First tier: close family
  • Second tier: extended family
  • Third tier: friends
  • Fourth tier: colleagues
  • Fifth tier: social media

Practice sharing what you do eg:

Hey NAME, I’m starting a virtual book keeping service business. I help businesses with book keeping, accounting, monthly and quarterly reporting and even payroll. If you know someone who may benefit from my services, please refer them to me. Thank you so much.

Notice I didn’t market, promote or sell directly – it’s an indirect sale, and I find it works better by not turning people off and when others refer others, word of mouth is even more powerful.

Paid networking?

Consider joining paid networking events and memberships as well for you to get steady referrals and leads.

An example of paid networking is BNI (business networking initiative) which costed me something like $500 per year (weekly gatherings also incur food and beverage costs) and the interesting thing is that the members of the group will refer specifically to someone within that group.

eg if they meet someone who needs your virtual bookkeeping service, they will connect you up

Of course there are more admin stuff involved including one-to-one meeting with each other, larger meet ups, admin duties etc (think of it like a business club).

Fees – what to charge?

The easiest is to call 3-5 of your competitors to ask them for their fee structure and services and then you can collate the information and decide.

Generally it falls into 2 categories

Per hour billing

Per hour billing, as its name, is basically billing by the hour.

Sometimes, some businesses wants a once-off so they go by hourly, but most of the time, businesses like mine prefer something more consistent, bringing us to:

Retainer

Retainer model is the same as membership and subscription.

You can tier up your retainer model by number of transactions or by hours (whichever easier for you) and bill your clients based on their needs on a monthly basis.

Lastly, protection

To be safe, I will always recommend bookkeepers to purchase general insurance:

  • general liability insurance
  • professional indemnity insurance

in the event something goes out of whack (mistakes do happen – we’re all human and sometimes we cock up).

Terra Luna UST Algorithmic Stablecoin Crash (6 painful reminders and lessons learnt)

It was a crazy, crazy weekend in crypto when Luna and Terra’s algorithmic stablecoin depegged from $1 and couldn’t keep the massive selldown from happening.

I never held UST or Luna before this meltdown, and I decided to gamble and catch falling knives, thinking that Luna’s CEO will save the day…but alas! I speculated with $6500-ish, and I think strongly believe that amount has gone for good.

I’ve been reading and listening on how so many people lost their entire life savings, some even their family money and it’s just been so heart breaking. Cry and grieve. It’s brutal. Just brutal.

But pick yourself up again, and start over.

For those who are still grieving, take a look at this from thewokesalaryman.

I was mulling over the events (as well as losing of some money), and was reminded of 6 important lessons in crypto investing:

Crypto is volatile AF

I believe crypto is an emerging sector in the S&P and economy, but right now, it’s not yet regulated. So it can be cowboy town with more than 90% shitcoins, rugpulls and scams left right center.

If you wanna enter crypto, please please please:

  • DYOR = do your own research
  • Don’t borrow money you dont have to speculate and gamble (you can win big, yes, but you also can lose big).

Diversify

I dont recommending going balls-deep and all-into crypto.

At most up to 20% of your total networth can be crypto, but even then, I wont put all this into one or two coins. It’d be diversified within crypto to a bunch of coins to spread out risks.

Yes, the rewards may be lower, but the #1 rule of investing is to not lose money.

Take profits** (rule of 2-5X)

This is a very, very important skill, rule and decision you need to learn and execute.

I learnt this when I entered crypto in 2017, doubled my paper gains, and refused to sell. It came crashing down more than 80% of my original amount (profits wiped out as well as principal — cry me).

Multiple similar experiences happened since then, and I learnt that I cannot always sell at highest and neither can I buy at lowest. The best solution for me was the Rule of 2-5X.

The most conservative approach is Rule of 2X, which means that once I double my money, I pull out my original investment. Eg if I invested $100 and it becomes $200, then I need to pull out $100. I can leave the remaining $100 to run and grow as house money. And take the $100 to invest in another. This is the most basic and conservative approach.

What I prefer is rule of 3X, where I can pull out 1.5X and leave another 1.5X to run. This means that I pull out both original invested amount AND profits already. And leave whatever balance to grow more.

Stable, regulated assets

Stable, regulated assets includes stuff like

  • rental properties
  • index funds
  • ETFs / individual stocks

These may not give the crazy growth like crypto, but they aren’t crazy volatile either lol – rental properties can be great for regular cashflow. Index funds are pretty standard returns, and great especially if you have time on your side.

Bitcoin and Ethereum

I think that in the end, whatever I budget for speculation and investment in crypto (say 20% of my networth), a big bulk of that will be in the blue chip of crypto ie Bitcoin and Ethereum.

These two seem to be the gold and silver equivalent, and maintain their value fairly well, despite market volatility and up downs. So if I have $1000 budget for crypto, what I will do is allocate $800 to Bitcoin and Ethereum; and the balance $200 to higher-risk-higher-return speculative crypto projects.

Diversifying and increasing your income is my answer

Learning to earn more income outside your main job continues to be my focus moving forward.

There are just so many benefits to building a profitable side hustle, from

  • diversifying from one main income
  • meeting and networking with more people
  • side hustle can be scaled bigger and more profits
  • etc

Earn $1200 monthly teaching swimming (just 4 x 45 minute sessions a week)…or more if you want

So I’ve been sitting in with my kids during their weekly swimming lessons (already 3rd lesson last week), and an idea popped into my head:

“How much does a swim coach earn?”

The gears started to turn in my head, and I created a calculation table (in the video), and I realized that getting paid to teach others to swim is a fairly good and nice lifestyle business.

Upsides

Basic calculations based on my own experience: we pay $75 per 45 minutes for 2 kids. Just 2 sessions a day (1.5 hours) x 20 days a month will yield a swimming instructor $3000 a month.

It’s not bad.

Scratch that – it’s pretty good!

Dont forget the other upsides:

  1. There are so many things in teaching swimming, but the basics is making sure newbies wont drown. And many parents are willing to pay for this
  2. Secondly, there are so many things one can thing, ie there is longevity in teaching swimming. From teaching swimming strokes and techniques, to improving stamina, or speed.
  3. It’s very visual AND social. Other parents will see you teaching kids, and they will enquire – if they like you and the way you teach, more often than not, they’d engage you. Also, parents will refer other parents (we refer all the time too)

Quite a lot of upside to make it easy to grow the business.

Are there risks and expenses?

Of course there are, and they include:

  1. transportation costs
  2. insurance costs
  3. certification costs
  4. cancellation due to weather (can consider indoor pools) or others
  5. advertising and marketing costs
  6. injury risks
  7. there are a lot of competition (but this is okay, as people usually follow and recommend teachers they like anyway)

Is it worth it?

That can be a subjective question, but for me, it’s likely a nice lifestyle business which you can choose to grow if you want to, or keep a limited teaching schedule.

It’s similar to how we physical therapists and hand therapists do house call.

And if you’re very driven, you can grow it by:

  1. growing your personal clientele
  2. hiring other swim coaches
  3. selling products such as floaties, swimwear etc (or price it into your fees as part of advertising)
  4. etc

How to get money to finance your passive income goals (and dreams)

How To Get Money To Finance Your Passive Income Goals

Sometimes when I share my story where I started from zero to build up a 7-figure portfolio, people dismiss and summarize my wealth journey as fluke, that i’m somehow a lucky bastard.
Some think I was born rich because I look rich lol
But bros…I was born in a middle-class-to-poor family, and I have lots of memories of how we grow up pretty broke, some examples:
  • standing at the glass window of KFC and my embarrassed mother shoo-ing us away
  • returning cash gifts to my parents to “recycle” and give back
  • I ate a LOT of bean sprouts and eggs and carbs
  • oh the carbs – we would bulk buy plain biscuits and noodles from MAKRO, no longer around, and had lots of oatmeal, rice, porridge (oats or rice)

I really, really, really worked, learnt, saved, learnt some more to get to where I want to go, this was the typical life I had last 8+ years:

  1. Grind/worked 16-hour days, 7 days a week for 8 years after graduating (still working tho)
  2. Reinvesting every dollar, living very frugally
  3. …whilst people around me go on holidays, parties and buying whatever they liked

Is it easy to build passive income and retire early? Hell no!

It’s bloody tough and hard….if it’s easy, everyone would have lots of money, six pack abs and look forever 16 right (ehehe).
Of course I do it because it’s worth it – to me it means a lot to get streams of passive income as early as you can in life, ideally before 45 – so you can spend the next 45 years of your life playing and doing shit that’s important to you.

Ben Settle’s Gran Torino Story (from a movie) and what the movie taught me

I got an email from Ben Settle, and it summarizes how I began building my wealth and passive income journey. I figured it’s a good sharing story too.
Let me tell you the story told in Ben’s email:
==== Snippet from Ben’s email ====
So the snippet from the “Gran Torino” screenplay.
In the scene the old grouchy main character Walt — played by Clint Eastwood — is talking to the young loner teen Tao who he befriends about the valuable tool set in his garage, and how he got it.
TAO: I can’t afford to buy all this stuff.
WALT: I didn’t buy all this stuff at once, blockhead. I’ve lived here for fifty years. A man stays in one place long enough he tends to attract a decent set of tools.
TAO: Yeah, but…
WALT: Look, kid, I think I know where you’re going with this. You don’t need everything to maintain a house. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
[Walt slaps down THREE items in quick succession.]
WALT: This is for you. Roll of duct tape, can of WD-40, and a pair of vise-grips. Any man who’s worth a shit can do half his household jobs with these three things. In the odd chance that doesn’t work out, you can borrow something.
And so the script goes…
==== End snippet from Ben’s email ====

2 points I picked up from Gran Torino story:

#1 – Start wherever you are, and start now.
Maybe it’s saving and investing $100 a month first. Or less or more, I don’t care.
Just start and keep going.
#2 – Keep it simple basic when you’re starting out
  1. Roll of duct tape = earn more / side hustle
  2. Can of WD-40 = stop buying shit that don’t advance your passive income goals
  3. Pair of vise-grips = investing and reinvesting into safe and reliable defensive assets

You just start where you are

You dont need a million dollars to start the ball rolling.

You dont need the best phones or computers or softwares or people.

Just start where you are and keep going.

I chose to freelance, and increased my base salary by at least 100%.

Entrepreneurship to earn more

So, I mentioned that I have / had some skills right? I’m a trained and license occupational therapist, so I can do related work in nursing homes, house calls etc.

I contacted an agency and secured a freelance job, which within first month increased my take home from $2000 before bonus to $4800 net.

Now before people start mentioning that I’m “luckier than some” because I had these skills and parents that funded my studies, I will agree. And I will add that you start where you are. Some of you will have skills and some dont. Some will have debt and some dont.

Whatever it is, start where you are.

It is waaaaaaay more important that you start and keep going, rather than having perfect line-up in your situation

I had no money when I started, so I spent what I had: time. I read blogs, books from libraries, met people and asked questions. As we earned more, we invested everything into growing the company. I went for classes and bought books and attended seminars on sales, money, management, marketing etc to improve my skills.

Made so many mistakes by upsetting clients or vendors, all the mistakes in the book.

We undercharged so much, and made little.

I was shit at negotiating, fearing that clients wont be happy.

I read and re-read all the marketing blogs and seminar materials I paid for.

And continued serving.

70% were happy, and 30% weren’t.

These got me experience dealing with realities of money, business and clients. It also got word of mouth going. The 70% referred me more clients.

Whenever possible, we took out some money to pay down our home so that we lived without debt.

I continued learning from the lessons and the processes on money, business and clients. I’m still learning and growing today, since I started my first business when I was 20 years old. I’m 40 years old today.

I continued to apply as I learned, and we grew the business more and more, and it was eventually acquired for a tidy 7-figure sum. I took that money and put some in real estate, and somehow, much went into crypto.

I’m going for classes to learn how to build an online business as well as use the money generated from crypto to live on where I pay for taxi, meals, grocery, even my power, water and gas bills!

So on and so forth.

Repeat until done

You may start your passive income and early retirement journey in debt or from zero, but as you stick with it long enough, keeping unnecessary costs low, earning more with side hustling and investing/reinvesting, you will find that your portfolio will grow and compound with time and continued investment.

You dont need to start out with a huge amount.

If you’re like me, starting out from zero, then you only need the retire early equivalent of duct tape, WD40 and vise-grips. My answer and conclusion is to start and keep going. Even if it’s $100 a month. Start there, keep at it. Pickup a side hustle, earn a couple hundred or more and chuck that into Vanguard. As you earn more, invest more and more

Work, save, invest, reinvest.

Do this again and again, over time.

Until you reach your portfolio target and ideal take home from investments.

Then you’re done, and onto the next.

6 Side Hustle Ideas For Single Mums (that you can start within the week)

6 Side Hustle Ideas For Single Mums (that you can start within the week)

Being a single mum is not easy, and I got asked earlier on how single mums can get ahead financially.

Firstly, is to aggressively cut out unnecessary expenses (when money is tight; once we earn more and have more than enough passive income, we can indulge more.) In the beginning, cut out all unnecessary expenses and focus on “core / necessary” stuff, such as basic-level roof over head, food, water, transport etc.

But there is only so much one can cut back on, save and be frugal over – there reaches a point where it’s not beneficial to cut back, and can be detrimental. That’s why I always recommend earning more, and the 6 side hustle ideas for single mums are:

#1 and #2: Care.com and SitterCity.com

Where you can sign up as a baby sitter, carer for older people, run a day care and get paid hourly from $12+ per hour

#3 Fiverr.com

Fiverr is a marketplace for those with specific skills such as graphic / logo design, website and wordpress development, writing and editing as well as other skills can be sold to entrepreneurs and other side hustlers.

It’s a marketplace, so you will have competition, but there are many agencies that started out on Fiverr first before growing to become full independent agencies =)

Use my fiverr affiliate link and we both get $100 (http://nigelchua.com/fiverr)

#4 DoorDash

Doordashing is a concept that pays you to pickup and deliver something (usually food) from restaurants and cafes to customers at their homes and offices.

You can control your time and hours, but they’re only found in US, Canada and Melbourne (Australia) at this point in time.

Registration is quick, and I recommend that you schedule doordashing for stuff that’s along your route anyway (monetizing your journey). I’ve heard of people earning $100/day from door dashing too, so it’s viable.

#5 AirBNB

This one can definitely and easily work for people who have unused rooms – rent out your rooms short term with AirBNB or you can get a realtor to help you secure a 1-3 year tenancy, which is nice extra couple of hundreds (or thousands) depending on how many rooms, seasonality and locations.

#6 is negotiating for a pay raise

But it does require some finesse (of course, this applies to those who are currently working).

You need to calculate

  1. how valuable you are to you the company 
  2. how difficult it is to replace you
  3. ask a reasonably increase based on your scope and lastly,
  4. time it well (asking at bad times decreases success rate)

Only this one shouldnt be rushed to be done within the week unless some golden opportunity arise (such as you scoring well for the company eg onboarding good clients, saving clients etc).

The Most Important Lesson McDonald’s Founder Ray Kroc Taught About Becoming Rich

The Business Of Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonald’s

In 1974, Ray Kroc, founder of McDonald’s gave a talk at a MBA class at the University of Texas in Austin.

After the class, the students asked Ray to join them for some drinks, and he said okay, sure.

Between drinks, Ray asked them

What business am I in?”

The students laughed, because they thought Ray was just fooling around messing with them…but he was serious.

No one answered though.

Ray asked again, “what business do you think I’m in?”

The students laughed again, and a brave soul shouted,

Mr Ray, the whole world knows you’re the godfather of the burger business in McDonald’s.

Ray laughed and said – “yes. that’s what most people would think and say about me“.

He stopped and then shared this:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am not in the hamburger business only – my true business is in real estate.”

Lesson #1

Ray then explained that in their business plan, yes, primary front end business was to sell hamburgers, fries and milkshake franchises, but he never lost sight his long term big goal, which was real estate.

That’s why every franchise that was sold, he paid particular attention to the location, reasons being

  • Number 1 reason: he knew that location was a very big factor in the success of each franchise
  • Number 2, his main game is real estate.

So what he did was that he got every person that bought McDonald’s franchise to pay for the land under the franchise for Ray Kroc’s organization.

Lesson #2

Of course these franchisees also made money as franchise owners and business owners – Ray didn’t just take and take.

He made many franchise owners rich in the process, and many of them ended up owning more than one franchise with him.

Today McDonald’s is the single largest owner of real estate in the world. They have real estate at locations at busiest street corners and intersections in the world.

I can already imagine the faces of students, their minds would have been blown upside down left right center.

Blow Mind Mind Blown GIF - Blow Mind Mind Blown Explode - Discover & Share  GIFs

What I learnt from Ray Kroc is to know my big and long term game, and to take step by step moves that bring me closer and closer to my goals. He also made others rich in the process.

What’s your business and game plan?

Are you building a business or having a career without a long term game?

If you hadn’t thought about it, it’s time to think about leveling up your game.

Maybe save more to invest in real estate locally and around the world, and get paid rental income.

Or put money in wealth management and get wealth managers to make you more.

Or vanguard and chill, as many fatFIREd individuals put it.

Whatever rocks your boat.

So what’s the business you’re in?

Have a think and let me know in the comments below.

3 Key Lessons From Rich Dad Poor Dad Book That Changed My Personal Finance

In this video I’m going to share with you the three key important lessons that i got from this book.

It’s called Rich Dad Poor Dad, and it’s authored by Robert Kiyosaki.

To me, it is my first book that opened my eyes and mind to the world of personal financial education – my parents never spoke to me about money and I just observed lots of weird money habits of borrowing but never about making more.

This book was so easy to read and understand, and I remember that I’ll pick it up every now and then to re-read it all over again.

Robert Kiyosaki Brief Background

If you read his books, you’d know that Robert is a successful entrepreneur and real estate investor, but he didnt start off that way. Robert’s story is a familiar-sounding rags to riches entrepreneur story.

His father is a school teacher, who didnt learn about money, and continued to go to school to get more degrees to earn more…who lost it all when he tried to enter politics and got smashed out. He then took his hard earn savings and tried his hand in a franchise…and then truly lost it all.

On the other hand, he has a very close friend who has a very very wealthy dad, and Robert soon realized that he could compare the money practices between his friend’s “rich dad” and his own “poor dad”, and that’s how the book came about later.

Robert started by being a fighter pilot in the air force, before going into doing sales at fuji xerox and then saving money into starting his first company: a nylon velcro wallet company in 1970s. It was a hit initially, with a lot of merchandizing deals but it eventually fell apart due to piracy and overseas competition, and he became a bankrupt.

He had a few other business but eventually succeeded in the business of financial education and personal growth. He gave seminars and taught around US and the world, until he published the book Rich Dad Poor Dad, together with the gamification of financial education with his tabletop learning tool, and that’s when his business took off

The 3 Key Lessons I Learnt From Rich Dad Poor Dad

#1 Make Your Money Work Harder For You

As an employee, most of the time, you get paid for your time.

Sometimes a little more.

And that’s pretty much it.

No work = no income.

The rich, on the other hand, though they work hard, they have a purpose and focus, which is to either raise money or provide cashflow to build or buy assets that make more money for them.

#2 Assets Put Money In Your Pockets and Bank Accounts

You got to know the difference between assets and liabilities – assets puts more money into your pocket, liabilities take the money away from you. Robert explains that rich people acquire assets such as investments and securities whereas poor people acquire liabilities such as commitments, obligations and shit that make them poorer.

I thought Robert was kidding…but over the years, this is true even till today. I see people making money for expensive cars and watches but shun away from investing.

Assets are anything that makes more money for you.

This can include

  • stocks which are mainly public listed businesses on stock exchanges
  • venture capital or angel investing
  • cryptocurrency
  • real estate

Let me give you an example, if you buy stock of a good business at the right time, you’re probably gonna make a positive return. Say you put in $1000. After 5 years, if you bought it at a good entry price, your stock would have grown positively and you can sell it for a good profit.

This is fundamental to investing. Put in X amount and get back more than X amount, ideally 2X or more.

See how that works about investing into assets?

Basically you need money, then pick the right investment, enter at good-ish time and do nothing but hold (or hodl?) and watch your money grow. After a while, you then can sell it for a good profit. Of course we’re not gonna just “all-in” into 1 investment right, that’s too risky, that’s why we have to have more than 3-5+ of these, depending on your budget, risk appetite and growth desire.

#3 Reduce Spending As Brutally As Possibly In The Short Term

Expenses are something that you can have more control over as compared to controlling market forces or share price (man if i could control those 2, i’d be a billionaire by now lol ehehe).

Aggressively kill off your unnecessary spendings and debts, and the purpose of this is by doing this, there is 2 very direct benefits

  • you need lesser to retire and become financially independent
  • you free up more money to buy more assets that make more money for you

Thank you for watching The Book That Changed My Financial and Business Life – 3 Key Lessons From Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad

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Your Side Hustle Is Your Biggest Early Retirement Accelerator

I tell this to my family, friends and even employees/contractors all the time: keep your day job BUT start a side hustle during your free time.

Your day job is to put a roof over your head, food and drinks on the table and some savings.

Your side hustle?

It will change your financial future and will likely be your biggest early retirement accelerator, waaaaay more than ability to save and be frugal.

Not to mean that ability to save and spend wisely isn’t good, it’s a good start but if you truly want to retire early and be financially independent, then you need to consider starting a side hustle.

Entrepreneurship may sound overwhelming, but to me there’s nothing more exciting than a person who wants to take care of their own financial future, pursue their passions and dreams and start their own business.

There are so many what-ifs around entrepreneurhship that makes business overwhelming, which stops so many would-be entrepreneurs from starting – and that’s why I recommend keeping your day job, your full time job, and dip your toes in the water with a side hustle.

The Long Term Problem Of Inflation and Time

Free inflation Images & Pictures | Royalty-Free | FreeImages

Inflation is eating away the value of our money, and though banks are saying that the national inflation is low, say 2-ish percent…but the real inflation is when you go out to the marketplace and buy stuff for yourself.

United States February 2022 states that the inflation rates are 7.5%, highest since 1982. In Singapore, the petrol prices just went up 3-4x in a span of weeks in March 2022.

And we hadnt even touched on passive investment income and time.

Worse is “stagflation” where cost of living goes up, but wages dont catch up with the increase in costs.

So What Can You Do?

If you want to get out of the rat race, the very rat race that takes up most of your days and energy, then you need to change the way you think about making money in the first place.

After all, that is what that separates entrepreneurs from employees.

Employees tend to associate active work = income, which isn’t wrong. It’s called active income, and the only issue with this is that it’s finite and linked to your time.

Work equals income, no work equals no income.

As an entrepreneur, I dissociate time from earning, and instead, I build systems where I can help both clients and employees / contractors (or technology), whilst making a profit in between. This allows me to scale my business and profits beyond my two hands and my personal energy.

I made the decision a long time ago to not get too upset about how unfair or rigged the system is, and instead, to learn, to adapt and use the very same system to my advantage without hurting anyone.

Side Hustle Ideas

If you’re not sure about what side businesses to start, and this is especially if your true calling isn’t clear, then you can consider being a

  1. Consultant — Being a consultant is suitable for people who love the work they do but not the company. So instead of reinventing the wheel, you take your expertise, experience and skills you already process into part time consulting gigs. I do this with my main physical therapy business. Companies are eager to work with you because you have hands on experience and you may like it cos it’s a low cost start up…maybe all you need is to turn up or work from home with a laptop.
  2. Sales Agent — There are some agency work such as being selling properties (realtor), insurance, watches and cars. There are many other stuff that one can sell, these four examples are pretty common. property or realty agents, or insurance agents and the like, where you can sell other people’s products and get a commission, some are big ticket some are recurring commissions.
  3. Multi-level marketing / Network Marketing — I dont recommend this to start off, but they do provide great sales training…BUT you must do your research. The products must be solid and have strong track record (be careful, many pyramid schemes out there) and commit to growing your business, your business will grow.
  4. Turn your interests and hobbies into cash — There are interests that are monetizable, such as photography, woodworking, heck even knitting! You can build a business in your own community and start off by helping neighbours and people you know. Over time, effort, you will get more word-of-mouth referrals…getting paid to do shit you like. An extension of this is to start an online business sharing tips and information about stuff you care about, from knitting to teaching dog tricks to teaching babies to poop in toilet bowls. Learn how you can build an online business here (affiliate link and free to create account)
  5. Sharing economy — Such as AirBNB (room/home-sharing); Grab/Uber/Lyft for to deliver passengers or food and even parcels.

What You Can Do With The Side Hustle Profits

As you earn more and more in your side hustle, you can consider investing a portion of profits into

  1. dividend paying stocks or rental properties
  2. hiring more employees / contractors to scale your business
  3. creating products to sell and service your clients
  4. quit your job, retire or work part time if you so desire
  5. take more holidays
  6. be more generous with your loved ones and friends
  7. and more

All in all, the most important thing about starting a side hustle…is to give yourself more life and financial options and opportunities in life, that you otherwise wont have if you’re stuck.

What keeps you going?

What are your burning passions that keeps you going?

  • Is it for the better future of your loved ones?
  • Is it to give back to the world and society?
  • Is it to prove someone else wrong? And prove yourself right?

Is there even a correct answer to this question?

Everyone’s reasons should be different and unique, though there may be some similarities when we compare as a group or from a broad based perspective.

The reasons may change as seasons in life change.

When I was younger in my tens and twenties, it was to survive.

Then in my 30s, it was to thrive and prove to myself and those that seem to look down on me.

Now, as I’m 40, it’s for my family and myself.

Deep down, I know my reasons are my kids, my loved ones, and I want to show my loved ones a better way of life. That it isn’t just about studying hard, getting a good job, working, buying shit we dont care about, then one day, we die.

Ugh, that’s depressing as heck to me.

I dont want that for me, my loved ones or for you – that’s not a good way.

A better way to a good life is to build a business we care about, ideally an online business that provides passive business income, that can work 24/7, providing good value to clients who love paying us, and yet at the same time, frees up our time to do stuff we love, and more.

A life where we have more control over the time and energy we put in.

Or where we work from.

And more.

Do you know what’s your burning reasons that keep you going?

When does passive income activity become non passive?

A man with his hands covered with mud

This is a great question, actually.

To me, passive income activities become non-passive when there is too much active time taken to generate and manage the activities that generate the passive income; or to manage the passive income itself.

I share much about two general types of passive income, which are:

  1. business passive income, where you build offline and/or online businesses, hire and delegate using processes, technology or people, to earn money for you even when you’re not working in the business (anymore or as much as before)
  2. investment passive income, where you invest your savings into dependable investment vehicles to work harder for you and make more money for you at a % return of investment (ROI)

Is investing passive?

Both aren’t exactly fully passive-passive, for example investment passive income.

Of course, even if you invested into index funds, dividend stocks and REITs, you will still have to

  • view your portfolio and adjust / rebalance your portfolio periodically
  • read and maybe respond to emails from your broker(s) and bankers
  • give instructions

Maybe almost-passive for those who do it that way; but you can also go the extreme end if you decide to read and research investment 12+ hours a day haha!

So if you’re the sort who wants to research a lot and spend more than 4++ hours a day on these activities, technically it’s already part time work.

But of course, if you like it a lot and it’s natural to you…does it count as well?

I leave that for you to decide.

Note: But to reach this level, you’d probably need a good chunk invested (to get $50K dividends a year on 5% ROI, you’d need at least $1M invested).

Good problem once you’re here if you ask me, heh.

Can businesses be truly passive?

For business passive incomes, it’s not as straightforward, because with business, many things can happen from a operational standpoint eg

  • accidents
  • health issues
  • absences
  • PR nightmare
  • vendor issues
  • product issues
  • etc

Anything can happen, anytime…and often without much warning.

Bloody good managers and stable business

If your offline business or online business is fairly stable and profitable, one of the best ways to make it as passive as possible, other than hiring and retaining good workers or freelancers, is to hire a bloody good manager.

Not a bloodthirsty mad bastard, but a bloody good manager.

A bloody good manager is a person that

  • that doesn’t thrive on creating drama/politics and making things go upside down
  • knows what the business needs and how to get it done in a consistent, sustainable basis
  • communicates clearly
  • fair, transparent and open

Yeah, it’s hard to find such good people, and normally I promote internally rather than bring in “external” managers to manage.

The “most” passive income stream?

40 year old me today believes that the close thing to passive passive income ie hands off as hands off can be is either of these 3:

  1. A well-oiled business with clear processes and management where the business has zero reliance on me, and still grows year on year.
  2. Continuously purchase index funds on a regular basis (where the dividends automatically gets banked into your bank account) (this can be for similar investment vehicles such as fixed deposits). This approach is good for most people.
  3. Trust with wealth management*. This is my ultimate end-funnel where all my investments and money go, and a set % portion is carved out for me and my loved ones to live on; and another % portion is to reinvestment to keep growing and counter inflation.