Seeking Residual Income, Real Estate Investor Stumbles Into the Information Age

What’s all the hype about residual income? Well, there are only so many hours in a day to work, 24 to be exact, and if you derive all of your income from just those hours then you have to work a lot of hours or have a very high paying wage in order to be monetarily successful. But if you can create some income streams that you don’t have to work on daily, weekly or maybe even monthly then you are leveraging your time as well as your money. A common example of this is putting your earnings into the stock market and letting the market do the heavy lifting to increase your wealth. But of late, the stock market isn’t such a great bet so many folks are looking for alternate sources of residual income. I have a stock portfolio but I don’t have much to show for this income stream.

A few examples of some other streams of income would be another popular investment vehicle-real estate. Why is real estate so popular? Because, with rental properties, single family homes or commercial, you have someone else paying off your mortgage while you are hopefully gaining some appreciation. Once the mortgage is paid off you will have a nice stream of income and if you want to sell you will also have the appreciation. Or you can refinance and pull out some of your appreciation. The challenge with real estate right now is that everyone has an appetite for it, especially the big dogs, who have been waiting for this market, so it’s hard to get in the game. I’ve done this too and have a few properties so this residual income stream is going for me but it’s not enough to live on.

Another example of creating a passive stream of income would be to buy a business, put people in place to run the business and collect the profits. The types of businesses out there are limitless. Some great cash flow businesses are car washes, laundry mats, and self-storage facilities, to name a few. I had an antique store but it wasn’t passive because I was there 7 days a week and when I tried to put someone else in my place so that I could go create another stream of income, it practically broke me because “I had to be there” for that business to be successful. Better to have a car wash.

Owning a business with an agency structure is also lucrative. Insurance companies and real estate agencies for example have one broker with sales agents below them that do the heavy lifting (earning) and the owner of the agency gets the lion’s share of the profits. Corporations operate this way and so do Multi Level Marketing companies (MLMs). I have an MLM agency where everybody is winning. This adds to my multiple streams of income.

Still another form of passive residual income is to invent something. It’s possible to receive residual income from a patent. Similarly, it’s possible to earn residual income from being a rock star, a movie star or TV commercial actor. Every time your song gets played or your commercial is aired you get a residual paycheck. Sing or act once, get paid many. So go for that if that’s your talent or better yet make it one of your streams. Having at least three streams of income is the best way to protect yourself and your cash flow. I haven’t patented anything nor written a published song or a book – yet! Or maybe I’ll do commercials… I’m still working on this income stream.

If you’d like to explore these more, Robert Kiyosaki talks about all these at length in his Rich Dad, Poor Dad series which I highly recommend.

These are all examples of traditional methods of residual income streams that have a long history of producing wealth for many people. But we live in a new economy that offers some new opportunities. Our brave new world is called the Information Age. Do you know how many people are combing the internet for solutions? In North America alone it’s over 340 million users! It’s the virtual library where you can go and get your answer to any question from how to cook a turkey to how to solve a quadratic equation.

What does residual income look like in the Information Age? It’s called affiliate marketing. It’s where I take my favorite topics (for me it’s real estate, personal finances & personal growth but you can choose your specialty), my information, and share about it with my online friends by blogging and I monetize my efforts here and there by sharing resources that my audience has an interest in.

Who are my friends? Not just folks from my local real estate club, but folks who have found me online because I’m talking about what they have an interest in. The question is: How did these people find me? That’s the million dollar question. When I had my nice little website for real estate professionals they never did find me. I worked hard to put together a website that would help my local friends figure out what’s important when working as a real estate investor, where to go for info, and what system to use, etc. I handed out a thousand business cards with my web address at local events and still I was an unknown other than a regular face at the events. Talk about frustrating.

Being tired of living in obscurity & poverty, I found a group who could help me take my information to the people who wanted to see it-a vast, online community that uses Google and other resources to search for topics of their interest. No, I’m not going to recommend Google AdWords. I did that, spending lots of money and getting nowhere but further in debt. Until I met up with this group, I was swimming upstream, struggling to find the right avenues of information distribution and burning out quickly. But I’m cruising down stream, with the flow now, as I have an easy to use system for getting the word out about myself. iDuplicate showed me exactly where and how to place myself in communities that have an interest in what I am doing. Now I have an audience that values my knowledge and resources.

What is the residual income part to blogging and the other activities of iDuplicate? Like acting or patents, write once, reach many. Because of iDuplicate, I now know the second half of the equation to being successful which is “reach many”, except now they come to me! Thanks to iDuplicate, I now have residual income sourced by the Information Age.

Megan McGinnis is a California Real Estate Investor and Financial Strategist who is committed to helping people understand what is going on in this economy. Visit her blog for additional content. Get Connected!

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