5 Ways to Get Paid Multiple Times for the Same Work

When most people think about making money, they only think in terms of a job. You go to work, you get paid, and maybe—if you have a little surplus—you invest for retirement.

5 Ways to Get Paid Multiple Times for the Same Work

Photo Courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/GreenStock

If you follow this paradigm, you can succeed financially, but it is much more difficult. In fact, most people who take this approach end up living paycheck-to-paycheck and don’t have enough saved for retirement.

There’s a better way.

If you are going to get ahead financially, you need to understand—and fully appreciate—the difference between active and passive income. Most likely, this is not a new distinction for you, but it is an important one.

Active income is what you already know and understand. It’s what you get when someone hires you to do a job. You do the work; you get paid. But only once. In other words, the income is non-recurring.

In my world, this includes public speaking, hosting conferences, one-on-one coaching, and consulting. I do the work in exchange for a fee. I am essentially trading my time for a one-time payment. Currently, about 20 percent of my income is active income.

Passive income is just the opposite. It is what happens when customers pay you over and over again for the same work—work you only did once. In other words, it is recurring.

For me, this includes book royalties, affiliate commissions, course sales, and monthly membership fees. I am trading my time for an ongoing revenue stream. Currently, about 80 percent of my income is passive.

By the way, if you want to get technical, there is really no such thing as passive income. I still have to occasionally refresh the product, adjust the marketing, provide customer support, etc. It’s just a lot less work than active income.

When I launched out on my own two years ago this month, my goal was to create multiple streams of income. Or to be more precise, multiple streams of passive income. Currently, I have nine streams of income; six of them are passive. (I plan to write about these in another post.)

The key to financial success is to figure out how to transform your active income into passive income.

The good news is you can do this even if you have a job. In fact, it is imperative you do so if you are going to move beyond being Just Over Broke (J.O.B.) and get ahead financially.

Here are five ways you can move from producing active income to producing passive income:

  1. Could you turn your expertise into a product? Yes, you are an expert. There are things you know or know how to do that you take for granted. You assume every one knows what you know. They don’t. Other people would happily pay you for your knowledge. This is what I did with my Writing a Winning Book Proposal e-books.
  2. Could you turn a series of blog posts or podcasts into an e-book or book? People will pay for the convenience of having your content all in one place. Plus, you can incorporate insights you get from reader feedback and take the content to the next level. This is what I did with my Platform book. My blog was my “content lab.”
  3. Could you turn your coaching or consulting into products? When you find yourself providing the same advice over and over again, it’s a candidate for turning it into a product or series of products. This is what I did with my Get Published Course and Platform University. I have a dozen more products like this on the drawing board.
  4. Could you turn a speech into a product? You can record it on video or even audio then turn that into a CD, DVD, or online file you sell. You can add additional value (both perceived and real) by including a transcript and a study guide. This is what I did with my Why Now Is the Best Time Ever to Be an Author video. I plan to also do this with my Platform speech and a few others.
  5. Could you turn a live event into an online training experience? Obviously, you will need to start by recording the event. Then you can turn it into modules with workbooks, transcripts, or other ancillary material and deliver it via a platform like Kajabi.com. This is what my team is doing right now with our SCORRE, Launch, and Platform conferences.

The reason passive income is better is because it scales. It works while you are doing something else—like sleeping! You are not limited by your available time.

While I still do both, I am always thinking about how I can turn my active income opportunities into passive ones, so I can get paid multiple times for the same work. How about you?

Question: What opportunities do you have to turn active income into passive ones? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Want to launch your own blog or upgrade to self-hosted WordPress? Watch my free, twenty-minute screencast. I show you exactly how to do it. You don’t need any technical knowledge. Click here to get started.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic. If in doubt, read My Comments Policy.

  • Sally Altobelli

    Thanks Michael! I am a young marketing professional just getting started and this post really helped put things in perspective for me as I start planning out my career.

    I am new to your tribe and I just love all the awesome resources you have available. Thanks again for all of your great content. :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Sally. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

  • Fernando

    You’re always giving us fantastic ideas to improve.

  • http://flatcreek.com/ Allen Fuller

    Michael, I always appreciate your practical direction and unique perspective based on your own success. I’ve been a consultant for 9 years and am just now launching my platform for political entrepreneurs at http://www.rootshq.com. What’s ironic is that as I’ve started blogging more, it has generated more leads for the active consulting stream. Which is nice to keep the lights on short-term, but it also feels like it’s distracting me from the primary objective of creating products. How do you balance that transition of pushing new leads towards the product instead of the lucrative — albeit non-recurring and all-consuming — consulting revenue stream?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your kind words. I have a couple of thoughts on this. First, I would get really connected to why creating products is important for future. Write down the reasons in a bulleted list.
      Then write down a specific goal for what you want to create. I don’t recommend working on more than one product at a time. An old Chinese proverb says, “Man who chases two rabbits catches neither.”
      Then I would schedule the time. What gets on our calendars is usually what gets done. Thanks again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dayo.adewoye Dayo Adewoye

    Thanks a lot for the advice, Michael.

  • http://warriormen.com/ Glen Evans

    Mr. Hyatt, this information is literally worth thousands to anyone who pursues it, and you gave it up for free. Thanks.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

      It is Glen. How are you going to use it?

      • http://warriormen.com/ Glen Evans

        Hi Joe. I have a member site and information products for a niche subject, but since “meeting” Michael through his Platform book, I am launching a new website aimed at men who want to protect their families physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I just started writing a new book, and plan to write many more.

    • http://theordainedbarista.com/ Barry Hill

      Glen….ain’t that the truth! Let me add that the stuff on Platform University is worth 100X the membership fee!

      • http://warriormen.com/ Glen Evans

        Hi Barry, Platform U is where I am headed next. I want to make sure I have time to consume the content. One thing Michael has done for me is drill past the guru types out there, and focus on a few who can help me achieve my goals. I really enjoy his approach.

      • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

        Thanks for that, Barry!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    Michael, there are a few areas I can turn the active income to passive.

    I can turn my previous blog posts into a book of some sort. I can begin releasing audio products based around previous created content. There’s all sorts of ways and I’m excited as I take the steps forward to uncover them.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      Awesome, Joe. YOu can definitely do that.

    • Jim Martin

      I have actually been thinking the same thing since I read this post. Hearing you express this encourages me as well. Thanks.

  • Rashaan Mateen

    I’m striving everyday to be just like you when I grow up

  • http://www.thadthoughts.com/ Thad Puckett

    Great post. The line that hit me the most is that passive income scales. You don’t. But the fruits of your labors do or at least can. Thanks for a stimulating read.

  • http://www.personal-success-factors.com/ steveborgman

    I’m sure we all have our opinions about Robert Allen, the infomercial guru who wrote the popular book, Multiple Streams of Income. I have to say, though, that he transformed my mindset about money, and I’ve been working on the same types of things you mentioned since I read that book a few years ago. It just makes sense to offer value in more than just a one to one transaction; in addition, we can share value on a scaled basis in this manner.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I read that book too. It was huge;y helpful to me.

  • Jck R. Nicholas, Jr.


    Thanks for this post. It’s right on point. After retiring from Naval & Civil Service 24+ years ago, I started writing articles for magazines focused on my area of expertise (maintenance & reliability). I also prepared professional papers for conferences with those themes (which also got me admission without having to pay a fee). I found one could be converted to the other with additions, deletions and proper formatting. Ultimately there were enough to form a book. Now, after some keynote speeches, many articles, papers, and workshops (live and on the web) there are nine books in print. Workshop presentations under my publisher’s sponsorship have been recorded and DVD products produced. All of these yield semi-passive income (royalties). The products are also are my advertising. I say semi-passive because you need to periodically update to add new material in order to keep the royalty stream running.

    • Jim Martin

      Wow! What a wonderful example of the point that Michael is addressing regarding passive income. It is very helpful to hear how you did this after your retirement. Your willingness to explain in detail what you did really helps to clarify even more what Michael is saying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aileen.r.price Aileen Rodriguez Price

    Michael, I love this idea. I’ve been considering furthering the resources I already have, and your blog has encouraged me to pursue it. You’ve given me new hope that the opportunities abound! The reality is that when you already have a starting point, the task becoming less overwhelming since you’ve already done your homework. All those years of teaching Sunday school and planning lessons will come in handy :). Blessings.

  • http://www.leavingconformitycoaching.com/ Randy Crane

    I’m sure I have even more than I’ve already recognized, and this post has started the wheels turning on some new ideas.

    I’ve already got one book published (a short easy-to-read and highly practical one tying aspects of Disneyland to time management strategies), and I’m working on a larger one due out later this year that is more evangelistic or devotional in nature (it could be used either way). The latter is from my blog (http://www.FaithandtheMagicKingdom.net) that I’ve been working on for a couple of years now.

    I’m in the process of finalizing a 6-part video series that I could easily sell, but I will be giving it away as an opt-in offer.

  • Mich

    Thanks for this post, Michael! Good momentum for me. And through the comments, I see I am in great company. Yes…just keep going…don’t give up… :) I so need focus in what I am doing…

  • Ed

    Energy deregulation – lead others to dream again and succeed.

  • http://twitter.com/JudiHoller Judi Holler

    I launched my blog at http://www.judiholler.com in January and am definately taking your “content lab” advice as I think about a future book!!

  • http://www.fixyoursockets.com/ Shaun Burke

    Hi Michael. I love the way you distinguish between active and passive income – its really putting words on a concept which I always knew was true. As a retired electrician, I have turned my expertise into a product – I’ve just released the 7-Step Guide to Working Sockets which helps homeowners safely get their electric outlets back working again should the power go because of a faulty appliance etc.

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.joshuabfarrell.com/ JB Farrell

    Great post, I love seeing people move from their only income being w-2 income to have other income.

    For those who love their JOB’s and don’t want to move into the types of passive income you mention, their are other passive income opportunities they can research and invest in to earn passive income.

    Such as Real estate, working interest in Oil wells, publicly traded limited partnerships, and several others. If you learn to sow your active income, you can reap passive income.

  • http://www.thepetedesign.com/ Pete R.

    I love how you really shown where your passive income are from. Most blog I read always left that part out for some reason. Thanks for sharing it.

    I’ve also started writing blogs (http://blog.bucketlistly.com) since the beginning of this year every week.

    I was wondering how long it took you from the beginning to this perfect passive income?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com/ Michael Hyatt

      I’ve been at it for nine years. I started trying to monetize my blog in 2009. Thanks.

      • http://www.thepetedesign.com/ Pete R.

        Thanks for the answer! Time to accumulate more experiences and contents. :D

  • Pingback: More Great Resources From This Week 4/12/13 | Designing A Champion Blog

  • Pingback: Top-of-Mind Mondays » JustinWise.net

  • Pingback: 5 Ways to Get Paid Multiple Times for the Same Work | Sharif Khalladi's Blog |

  • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

    I have turned my expertise into a book and am having great success with it. However, what I need to know is how to get that book to a wider audience – where to publicize it. I can only advertise to my Fb, Twitter, etc., fans so much, you know? How do I get word of my product out to potential readers?

  • http://twitter.com/AndreaReindl Andrea Reindl

    Multiple streams of income is the way to create long term stability and wealth. We are blessed that in today’s world each of us has the ability to create many different kinds of income streams and assets. It’s all in how we look at it. Thank you for sharing openly what’s worked for you and offering suggestions on more ways to increase income streams. On a bit of a personal rant (which you touched on) it’s important that people know that passive just means that you aren’t trading time for dollars but rather leveraging some other asset you have. It still requires occasional attention to keep the income streaming in.

  • http://OneBoldMove.com/ Frank Gustafson

    Michael, thanks for your wisdom. I recently sold my company. I read Platform (twice) and am working on putting your advice into action (thank you). I started my blog and am working towards producing a podcast and doing some video interviews, and eventually a book. The goal is to produce valuable, compelling content that will help take entrepreneurs and want-to-be business owners to the next level. Your tools have been immensely valuable and I look forward to creating new streams of passive income. You rock!!

  • Selina Ou

    This post get me start thinking about my financial situations. But from the 5 ways you mentioned, it seems that I could not get any of them at this moment.. All I am doing to it create active income.

  • Tarence Wade

    this info is good and sets the things in perspective for most people.


  • http://TrueFocusMedia.com/ Jeff Long

    Thanks for reposting this on Twitter. One of the three legs of my business is helping companies and individuals turn their knowledge into eLearning products. I love helping, teaching and serving and there are so many industry leaders out there that could easily change from active to passive income with a little help and guidance.

  • yesica

    Learn how to generate thousands of dollars online without
    having technical knowledge in this course will teach you how to generate
    thousands of dollars on autopilot …
    Worth Find out more here: http://howtomakemoneywithgooglesniper.blogspot.com/