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).

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

Can Bitcoin price go up to $950K with adoption and government regulation?

Disclaimer: crypto is volatile and there are lots of scams out there – you can make a lot or you can lose a lot (or everything). Do your own research – this is not financial advice. I’m just showing what I’m doing, and I’m taking risks on my end too. I’ve been both right and wrong before, so do your research.

How I started in crypto

I entered crypto speculation in late 2017 when my best friend introduced me to it, and of course I was freaking skeptical when I first saw it. I was very cautious of it being a scam as I hadnt really heard of bitcoin or crypto before that (I’m in the offline physical therapy world).

I pored over whitepapers, got involved with different crypto and blockchain projects.

Of course, I definitely got rugpulled a number of times across different projects (the highest risks are with new projects with lots of hype and fluff and promises of high returns).

At the end of 2018, there was a massive crash (or correction?) as bitcoin went I sat on a paper loss of 80%++ – I was so sad and guilty when I told my wife, but I stayed for both the tech and adoption, which I believe will increase the price.

True enough, in 2021, my speculations in crypto sits currently at 300%+ of my original investment amount, and I’m sensing that it should have another good run as governments and regulations on board and after it gets regulated, the returns should be “normal like financial markets”.

Note #:1 regulations usually means that financial institutions, sovereign/wealth funds, pension plans etc will have more exposure to crypto as a whole.

I chanced upon some videos/articles and wanted to share this with you:

  1. Kevin O’Leary: Crypto Will Be the 12th Sector of the S&P https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSPSRVDN8l4
  2. Kevin O’Leary: 20% of my portfolio is in cryptocurrencies https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqkC_XcxxJg
  3. Kevin O’Leary: Buy The Dip And Chill For 1 Year – They Want To Fool You, Don’t Listen To Them https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKqEOFwTO2A
  4. Kevin O’Leary: This Is Your Last Chance To Become Millionaire – My Most Sincere Advice To You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_cyE10Ljms&t=5s
  5. BlackRock, Fidelity and others to invest $400M in USDC stablecoin issuer Circle https://techcrunch.com/2022/04/12/blackrock-fidelity-and-others-to-invest-400m-in-usdc-stablecoin-issuer-circle/
  6. Coin Gecko https://www.coingecko.com/
  7. 2021 financial market value https://www.statista.com/statistics/421060/global-financial-institutions-assets/

I believe that crypto including bitcoin, ethereum, solana, ripple and other crypto/blockchain projects would be regulated soon enough, and that itself will lead to a global increase of crypto market cap value as a whole.

No dang crystal ball

Of course, I dont have a crystal ball though that’d be nice lol, but I am ready to hodl my crypto speculations for a good 5-10+ years and longer. Why this is the case is as crypto becomes mainstream, it’d become “normal” to have, own and use crypto as methods of making and receiving payment =)

Note #2 I made a mistake – I thought the global financial market is worth 105M (see link #7), but it’s actually closer to $460 trillion in 2021. And I hadnt factored in other types of investments such as real estate.

For reference, crypto market cap April 2022 is $1.9T. That’s a conservative 230X comparatively.

What you can consider

For those who want to dip their toes / speculate into crypto but unsure, you can consider

  1. speculating into the top 10 / 50 / 100 of listed coins on coingecko
  2. ask your employer/side hustle jobs to pay you in crypto/btc
  3. invest into companies that have crypto exposure such as Tesla, MicroStrategy, NVidia etc

Remember, direct crypto speculation can be very volatile though is an emerging asset class – do your research and assume you can lose your invested amounts.

I’ll be holding onto my crypto and 5-10 years plus and equally as important, is to cash out (take out principal invested and profits) regularly – makes me sleep like a baby because my loss-related stress levels go down significantly =)

As Kevin o’Leary said in one of his videos: buy the dip and chill.

One Of My Potential $1K to $370K Shiba Inu Gamble (Robinhood lists Shiba Inu in 2022)

This is not financial advice – I am showing you what I’m doing and you need to do your own research. Do not borrow to speculate, invest or gamble. Crypto is highly volatile and you may lose whatever you put in.

Resources:

So when one of my best buddies sent me an article where Shiba Inu, a popular meme crypto token (#15 in the world at this point of time) is officially listed on Robinhood, a very easy-to-use and popular investment / trading app with more than 22.5 million users, I got really excited for SHIB.

I mean, it was interesting enough then as a community token and the projects they’re doing – but going on Robinhood…is akin to going mainstream.

And that’s a big thing in my opinion.

This Robinhood listing caused a 25% price surge of Shiba Inu globally (which is nice bonus #1 ehehe) and I took a look, Robinhood app is pretty easy to use too, which is again another nice #2 bonus.

How many SHIB tokens can I get with USD 1000?

Current price of SHIB: $0.00002713

With $1000, that’s mean I’d get around 36,859,565.05 SHIB tokens (rounding up to 37 million for simplicity).

$1k to $370K? Really?

It seems that the community of Shiba Inu is trying (or hoping) for Shiba to grow in price with an aim for $0.10 possibly within next 8-10 years

Remember, cryptocurrency is very volatile and risky. My $1000 in Shiba Inu may be worthless by then.

With 36,859,565.05 SHIB, at $0.01, that’d mean $368, 595.65 – a nice multiple if you ask me.

Even if it hits half the target at $0.005, that’s transforming my original $1000 to $184,297.00, which aint that shabby too.

Of course, it’s a long shot, high risk, and possibly doesn’t work out at all, so the $1000 can become totally worthless, and if it does, it doesnt affect me much at all. But if it hits 1c, it’d change my life in a nice and good way =)

Whales Investing Too

🐳🐳 ETH whale “Light” just bought 287,355,928,094 $shib ($6,577,577 USD).

An Ethereum whale by the name of “Light” just invested USD 6.4M (that’s million) to purchase 287B of Shiba Inu tokens. These are not small game playing, and it’s definitely heavy weight players (link to article can be found here).

That’s just ONE Ethereum whale.

What if I told you that there is many, many more Ethereum whales buying and hodling Shiba Inu?

And what if Shiba Inu is their hottest holding?

As more whales started buying SHIB tokens at a large discount, the total USD value of SHIB holdings jumped to $1.19 billion, which put it in first place among all other assets.

Biggest Ethereum “Light” Just Grabbed 287 Billion SHIB as Shiba Inu Dominates Biggest ETH Whales’ Portfolios

Interesting stuff if you ask me.

So that’s one of my gambles on multiplying my money using Shiba Inu crypto token for the mid-term play.

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.

Crypto com USDC Stablecoin Earn Versus Binance USDC Flex Earn – Which is better?

So I wanted to compare between Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn program versus Binance’s flexible USDC earn program (as crypto.com is an upcoming contender to binance), and I found some nice nuggets:

Binance earn flexible USDC program is documented at 1.2% but it’s actually a blended of:

  • First $75,000 USDC : 1.20%
  • Above $75,000 USDC : 0.30%

So if you put $100,000 USDC earn in Binance you will get

  • First $75,000 @ 1.20% pa = $900
  • Next $25,000 @ 0.3% = $75
  • Total = $975 end of 12 months ~ 0.00975%

Compare that to Crypto.com’s flexible USDC earn problem:

Firstly, crypto.com’s earn program is 1.5%, so $100,000 is $1,500 per annum, an easy win comparatively…but we’re not gonna be satisfied with that right?

I speak for myself at least (eheh) – what I want to know i:

how do we earn more on binance and crypto.com earn?

3) If you’re good with USDT, Binance flexible earn documents a 10% per annum…

but it’s a blended percentage of

  • First $2,000 USDT : 10.00%
  • $2,000-$75,000 USDT : 3.00%
  • More than $75,000 USDT : 1.00%

This means that it’s NOT a pure 10%, but a blended, mixed.

A clearer illustration, so $100,000 in binance USDT earn =

  • First $2,000 @ 10% = $200
  • $2,000 – $75,000 ($73,000) @ 3% = $2190
  • Last $25,000 @ 1% = $250
  • Total $2640 ~ 2.64% — much better than a blended 1% of USDC flexible earn in Binance.

Better than crypto.com’s $100K in USDC flex earn too (but USDT versus USDC…different).

How to earn more % USDC on crypto.com

  • Stake more cro (go up in tiers) – but of course this requires more cash (buying CRO coins and getting their higher tier card, the higher the tier the better the rates, but min Obsidian Jade / Indigo will give you best Earn rates)
  • Stake fixed 3-month term (more than USD 30K will be half the rates but the rates are higher anyway)* (This is key).

The best terms are based on 3-month earn program, which can net you up 6% for the first $30,000 and 3% above $30,000.

That’d mean if you put in $100,000 for 3 months with 400 or less CRO staked, your USDC earn rates are:

  • First $30,000 @ 6% = $1,800
  • Next $70,000 @ 6% x 0.5 = $2,100
  • Total $3,900 ~ 3.9%

Let me know what you’re doing with your crypto.com earn.

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.

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.