Too many ideas will stagnate you – decide already!

DEADLINE: April 4, 2015

I’m giving myself four weeks to explore these ideas. Then on April 4th I’ll decide which method is best and take off running. Here’s the game plan:

  • Week 1 – explore the idea of writing a catalog of books on a specific topic
  • Week 2 – explore the idea of teaching courses on a specific topic
  • Week 3 – explore the idea of productizing a specific service
  • Week 4 – set all the exploration aside and let it marinate in my head to determine which idea resonates the most then make a final decision by the end of the week
  • April 4, 2015 – Write a blog post here announcing which direction I’m taking and craft the first items on the task list so I can begin immediately


As I mention in my Big Dream list, my goal is to have financial freedom by creating reliable streams of passive income. I do not want to trade my time for money anymore.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life working an hourly job that relies on me doing actual, physical work in order to earn a salary for the work I perform. It’s going to take a while to achieve this goal – oh, about five years or so, by my estimation.  So in the meantime, I continue to work (remember, I actually like my job!) and figure out how to build the empire on the side.

What is passive income anyway?  Personally, I think of it as:  “Building something once and selling it a thousand times.”  However, I really like the simplicity of Steve Pavlina’s definition:

Passive income is revenue you earn even when you aren’t actively working … revenue with some sense of continuation over time. Another name for passive income is residual income. By contrast active income is money that stops coming to you when you stop working.

Passive income can fall anywhere along a spectrum of no work to lots of work, but generally there are two types of passive income

  • Completely passive – such as writing a book and receiving royalty checks. You’ve done the work once and the product doesn’t need to be maintained in order to continue selling.  (Marketing the product to generate sales is a completely different topic that we’ll chat about another time.)
  • Semi passive – such as real estate investment and rental properties. You receive regular streams of income from renters and most of the time it won’t require much work, but if the toilet breaks you’ll need to rush over and deal with it in the middle of the night.

I’ve been thinking about this for a while (years) and have a bunch of ideas. But it’s time to stop the ideation process and start the “get your butt in gear” process.  I have ideas for days…but here are the top three ideas that seem most realistic to me right now:

  • Write booksI’ve done it once; I can certainly do it again. The plan would be to write a “catalog of books” on a specific topic similar to what Steve Scott has done. Deciding on a topic would be the next big hurdle.
  • Teach – I’ve been told I’m good at this and I certainly enjoy it. The plan would be to create online courses that would be combined with live webinars and maybe some type of consulting or coaching to coordinate with the online stuff – similar to what Amy Porterfield has done. Again, deciding on a topic is the hard part to getting started on this.
  • Productized Service – This is where a service of some sort becomes so systematized that it resembles a product.  It would likely be something in the graphic design arena, since that’s where I am right now with my career. This idea straddles the passive and active income categories – hours of work would still be needed, but value-based pricing would create the level of income that would be in line with passive income. Brian Casel does this really well.

There are more ideas, but as of this writing, I’m officially placing all those other ideas into the “idea file” and letting them hibernate for a while. Any new – likely brilliant – ideas will also be relegated to the idea file.  No more chasing the latest shiny object – it’s time to focus!

One of the big reasons I started this website was to force myself to take action on all these ideas swirling in my head.  I work best when I’m under a deadline and when I’ve made a public declaration of my intention… so that’s exactly what I’m going to do here. It’s time to set a deadline.


Write down your top three brilliant ideas and start exploring them one at a time. Then decide what you will do and begin. Share your plans in the comments below.


Photo by Pam Tremble  |  Bay City State Park, Michigan  |  2012