In an ideal world, everyone would be financially free and living an abundant life. Everyone would have success in creating passive income streams and retire at a young age. All of us would be able to spend time doing what we love and live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this scenario only happens to a minority few in the world. Why is that so? In this post, I am going to share some mental barriers of achieving success in making passive income streams work. Let’s get started.
Lack of Awareness
Maybe the number one reason why few people ever achieve financial freedom is because they don’t know the methods to obtain that. Some say ignorance is bliss. My opinion is that being ignorant of developing your financial IQ can prove detrimental to you and your family’s financial circumstance in the future when you grow old and have no work to support yourself. You may become a burden to your spouse or your children when you don’t have sufficient savings to get by your retirement years. With the advent of the Internet, more and more people are being educated about creating passive income for themselves and/or their families thankfully. Maybe the reason for not being aware of such passive income methods is because in our forefathers’ generation, one can afford to rely on your company to take care of you for the rest of your retirement years in the form of a pension. There was little motivation to venture the less travelled path and create passive income. But we know in today’s generation, that is a thing of the past.
Another reason why people do not intend to create passive income streams is because of their skepticism of it. They may have heard of it but due to nobody in their circle of family and friends has tried it before (and become successful), they become skeptical of its success and fear it might be a scam. While there are always a few black sheep in any industry (even in a traditional job, you may be unlucky enough to work for a boss who doesn’t pay your wages on time or not at all), being overly-skeptical is actually an excuse to remain status quo. It’s the fear of change that affects this type of people. With rapid advances in AI and technology, jobs that our parents traditional gear us for like accountants, accounts assistant, waiters and lawyers would soon be obsolete. We need to be adaptive to change and not be intimidated by it. This applies to all aspect of life and not just personal finance alone.
Perceived High Risk of Failure
Some people do not start creating passive income streams because they think they would not succeed in doing so. How many times have you heard the following comments when it comes to creating passive income?
“If success (in creating passive income streams) were so easy, why don’t we see more people doing it? Why don’t we see the government recommending it to its citizens?”
“Creating passive income is such a difficult task that only very talented or special people can be successful in it.”
“I am just an average man on the street. I don’t have any special skills to be successful (in creating passive income streams).”
“I heard a friend (or neighbour or co-worker) lost xxx amount of money in that venture. Better safe than sorry!”
While it is true that there is some element of risk in business or investments, there are many successful businessmen (or women) that have good risk management practices in their businesses. Instead of learning from the failures, why not choose to learn from the successful? More importantly, how you self-talk to yourself is crucial in setting a right attitude towards financial abundance. A business guru can coach you to bring all the benefits of a certain method of passive income stream to fruition but if you constantly reject the opportunity to learn from him or her, even if your parents or friends are successful in it, your mind will give negative self-talk to negate their success. Instead of thinking, “If they can be successful, I can too!”, a negative person may think,”Well, that was pure luck.” or “Financial success only happens to other people but not me.”
In my opinion, nothing in this world is risk-free. In a traditional job, many people invest in their educational degree to prepare them for work. And work is active income. You don’t get paid when you fall ill and you could be dismissed for reasons not within your control and it may not be a fair dismissal. Even if you are lucky and have saved a significant amount of money for retirement, the annuity that you rely on for retirement payments is subject to credit risk of the insurance company. Theoretically speaking, no one knows when which insurance company will go bust at any time.
With that being said, I am not encouraging people to be reckless and take unnecessary risks. There is got to be a a balance between taking a calculated risk and gambling your life savings away.
Lack of Capital
Another common mental block for people who do not start creating passive income streams is their finances. This group of people look at businesses with billion dollar market capitalization (commonly listed in their country stock market exchange) and assume that they need that level of capital to start a small business, which they obviously don’t have.
While it is true that these kind of businesses listed in the stock exchange need thousands of dollars to start, there are also small businesses of affordable means to the average man on the street. In my one of my previous posts, some examples are thrift store flipping, affiliate marketing, dropshipping and domain flipping. There are 4 ways to raise funds for business capital. They are:
- Save more
- Earn more
- Find a less capital-intensive business
- Raise third party funds from crowdfunding
If you are interested in a capital-intensive business but don’t have deep pockets to fund it, crowdfunding is one option you can choose to raise capital from. For books on how to raise capital for your start-up, you can click this blog post.
A lot of people are busy these days, so another excuse to not create a passive income stream is because they have no time. The solution: prioritise making passive income above other less important things. An unknown person once said, ” The best time to make time for something is when you have no time.” If you want something bad enough, you’ll make it happen. If you don’t want something, all the best advice and coaching in the world can’t help you. Before I end this post, I would like to leave you with a quote from Napoleon Hill:
“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
How much desire do you have in creating passive income streams? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!