The Truth About Passive Income

by | Jan 24, 2024 | Podcast

We’ve all heard about the glorious benefits of making “passive income.” Making sales while you sleep, are on vacation, or playing with your kids. It sounds almost too good to be true in our chronically overworked, underpaid world. Except real people are doing it with their businesses, and it IS totally possible for you. But there’s more to the story with passive income that not enough people talk about. In this episode, I’m going to break down the truth about passive income.

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Hey, hey there, friends, Welcome back to the Flow Business Podcast. I’m Shawn, your host, and this is your place to build a business that complements your life, not complicates it. Today, the big, huge focus is this big, huge, trendy topic of passive income. It’s all the rage, everyone has it, everyone wants it. How could you not? Making money while you don’t have to work that hard or you don’t have to do anything, or you’re on vacation or you’re hanging out with your family sounds almost too good to be true, except there’s so many people doing it that it is actually true and it is actually possible. But there are some things that need to be considered, some things that need to be talked about, maybe a curtain or a veil lifted on this whole idea of passive income, and that is the goal of this episode. Coming from someone who has had a passive income business for the past what seven, eight years now I want to make sure that all of the bases are covered, so that you know what it means truly to make passive income. So let me start all of this by saying that when I use the term passive income, I’m doing so basically in air quotes every single time, and it comes with the knowledge that that’s really just the buzzword that’s kind of going on right now. That’s really been picking up steam and you know everyone’s talking about, but that’s really all it is is this buzz term, which we’ll talk about in a second, but I will keep using that term. I will keep saying passive income, just to make it easy, just to make it very clear what we’re actually talking about and what we’re doing, because I think at this point most people know what it means or what the whole concept is of having passive income specifically in an online business. And if you don’t, let me just give you a quick definition. This is really my definition. It’s a type of business model where you make sales without actively making that sale, so you’re not actively involved in that transaction at that moment. So in the world of, like online coaching and practitioners and experts, that typically comes from a sale of a digital course, a signature program, a membership, a paid masterclass, an ebook. I’ve done a whole episode on like I think it was 10 passive income ideas. All of those are things that you could potentially sell without being actively involved in that transaction. So not having to be at your computer, not being on sales call, not being actively involved with that person making the purchase at that time. So, again, in this online business space, that would be someone visiting your sales page for whatever that thing is and signing up for that thing at any time, any time of the day, 24, seven, 365, that is an option. Okay, so that’s what passive income means in this space. The second thing I want to talk about right at the beginning is that this conversation is not at all to deter you from creating passive income in your business. That is not the point of what we are doing here. That’s not the point of this conversation or the overall goal by any means. I want you to. It is amazing to have a passive income business. It’s been one of the best things that I’ve done for my business and in my life. It truly is the life changing. It is a big deal, it is possible and it’s helpful for a lot of people in being able to balance work and business and life and all that stuff, and that is the whole goal of everything I do is to be able to have a business that complements my life and not complicates it, and I want the same for you. So I want you to do this. Okay, let me just say that from the start and I have basically all of my programs everything I teach guides you in the process of making this your reality. So let’s get that out of the way right now. But we do need to have this conversation only so that you know what to expect. I want to create some realistic expectations for you, because I don’t feel like enough people are. There are a ton of people talking about passive income, a ton of coaches who can help you create it, create this business model, and that’s all great and they probably all do a really great job at that. But there needs to be more conversations on what is required before you dive into that, so that you know, so that you have these realistic expectations. So that’s what this episode is all about. All right, so let’s get into it First things first. Passive income isn’t passive at all. It’s not what you think. I think it’s been so kind of like over glorified, overused in the business space and in the digital marketing space to the degree that people who don’t even have a business, they don’t know anything about the world of online business, they’re coming to me and saying I want passive income without really even knowing what that means. So that just shows how widespread this is and, like I said, over glorified, and I think that’s because it’s a great marketing strategy for people who teach marketing strategies. To be able to make money while not working, to make money while doing other things. That is, honestly, just really easy marketing. And it’s not false marketing either. It’s true. Those people who are saying that are doing that and they have helped others do that. So it’s not fake, it’s not false, it’s not lying or anything like that, but it is part of their overall marketing strategy that works. It is something that is very desirable for all humans on the planet. Pretty much. To have passive income, especially in this place where a lot of the world is right now that’s overworked, underpaid, needs to figure out something else. So it is very desirable. It’s very enticing, it stops the scroll, it gets attention. It’s one of those things when you have that promise of making money while you sleep, while you’re on vacation, while you’re taking care of your kids, while you’re hanging out with your family, and all of that is true and you can show it and you can show proof and you can show others who are doing it. It’s super appealing, but what isn’t discussed nearly enough is what it takes to get to that point. The setup, the strategy, the time, the money, the content, the analyzing, the tweaking, the failure, the retrying, the failure again, the trying again it’s a lot. It’s not one of those things where you can just click a button and you start making passive income, and I know people know that. I know that it’s obvious that it’s not going to just happen right away or just with the click of a button, but I don’t think enough people know how much work is involved on the back end to have yourself making money while you sleep and listen. I drank the Kool-Aid too. I’ve talked about passive income in the past without really considering the effects that that may be having on people who don’t know what that really means. So now I’m here to right my wrong and to really make sure you understand what that means and what it entails and that it isn’t actually passive at all. And, like I said, I’m saying this from a place of having a successful passive income business and wanting to help you create a successful passive income business. But I want to do so honestly and with integrity and with those realistic expectations set. Let’s kind of take it to the very basic, bare bones level and talk about the definition of passive, which is accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance. So that’s the actual definition of passive, which, if you put it in with this context, it doesn’t make sense at all. So I don’t know why we started using that term passive income because it doesn’t fit. It’s not at all what is happening. And, yeah, while I may not be sitting at my computer or on a sales call or logged on every time I make a sale, my entire business is built on making that sale. My week revolves around making that sale. So there’s a lot of work. Basically, everything I do is to make that sale. And if you didn’t listen to the last episode, please go back it’s a week in my life as a business owner so that you can hear how this all works behind the scenes. Because if you did listen, then you know that every day, what I’m working on, the main goal, is working on something that will get that sale. Even though, yes, the whole system of turning that prospect for lack of a better word into a sale has been set up to work automatically on autopilot, 24, seven, 365, always happening, I still have the main goal, really the only goal to even get that prospect, to even have people pay attention, to have people want to be a part of that whole system, to even have people want to consume my free stuff. That is my job, that is what is going on all the time for me in my business, and that is the case for everyone who has a passive income business and they may or may not show you. Be honest, talk about what’s going on behind the scenes for them to create that passive income, like the time and energy they spend showing up on social media. The time and energy they spend creating podcast episodes or YouTube videos or writing blog posts. The time and energy they spend perfecting the SEO of those blog posts so that it’s being shown to people. The time and energy they spend writing emails so many emails. Writing them takes some time. The time and energy they spend creating freebies to grow their email list. The time and energy they spend on customer service. The money they spend on ads. The money they spend on a team to help them do all of that. Because it’s a lot. There’s a lot going on. Now I will say that because these sales come in at any time, all day, every day around the clock. I do have a much more flexible schedule. I can do this work whenever I want, but it is still active work. So using the word passive income that is created by a whole bunch of action steps before that doesn’t really hit. It doesn’t really make sense. And so if you are someone who wants to make passive income, just know that it isn’t a situation where you can create this course or this program or this masterclass or this membership or whatever, post it on your website, link to it in your social media profile and then go about your life while the sales come pouring in. There is work involved. It’s just a different kind of work than you may have ever done, than you may be doing now, than you maybe thought was required of being in business. It’s just different. It’s definitely way more flexible. It’s, on your own terms, it’s a lot more fun even. But that whole list of all the possible things that you could be spending your time and energy on and money on to create that passive income. Just remember that and consider that and don’t let it scare you Again. Go back and listen to last week’s episode, because you’ll see that my business is very flowy, very peaceful, very simple. I work probably about five to six hours a day when I want super flexible and that work. So those five to six hours a day are doing those things that I just mentioned to get the sale, to get the prospect, to get the interest, to attract an audience, and then that audience can then become paying clients when they’re ready. So that is your role, which brings me to my next big, huge point, which is that passive income requires exceptional marketing. Exceptional, I don’t use that word often, I am using it here. It requires exceptional marketing. People who bring in passive income do so because they are excellent marketers. They have mastered the concept of marketing and that’s a big shift in how you see and look and feel and operate your business. It’s a shift in the actual physical running of your business. It’s a shift in the mindset around your business. It’s a shift in how you spend your time. So if you want passive income, you need to mentally, physically and emotionally give yourself a new title. Sure, you’re a coach, you’re a nutritionist, you’re a therapist and, yeah, you’re also a business owner, an entrepreneur, a CEO, and you are a marketer. You are a marketer. Your business and your ability to create passive income resides in how quickly and how fully you embrace your role as a marketer. For me, I so remember exactly when it was that I embraced the fact that if I wanted to have a successful business, I needed to be a marketer, because that does not come easy to me. It was not something I was doing naturally when I started my business. It was a process, and I’ve told this story a couple times before, so you may have heard it but I went through four launches of four different programs with zero sales and this was back 2015-ish and could not make a sale for the life of me, even though they were great programs. It was things people wanted, things people needed. I had a little bit of an audience, mainly just like acquaintances and people on my personal Facebook page, but still enough when you’re selling nutrition and or fitness things that people in that group would have been interested in. But I sucked at marketing them like terrible, awful, and so, of course, no one signed up, and it was after that fourth failure that I had this like intuitive, like big intuitive hit of like oh my gosh, I have to market this, I have to learn how to become a marketer, and for me, it started with learning, messaging, what that meant, how it even worked, what I needed to do, what I needed to say, how I could really truly connect with my audience, with these people that I know would want a fitness program or a detox or whatever it was that I was selling. But I wasn’t connecting until I did that marketing work and I really just had to embrace that role and it was a little bit of a challenge because, like I said, not coming naturally, not something that feels all that comfortable to me, but it was something I was committed to learning and doing and growing in because of the business I wanted. I don’t think in today’s world, with the I don’t want to say saturation, but let’s just say crowdedness of the online business space, the coaching business space, all everything the health business space, the wellness business space, all of it, it’s crowded and I don’t think it is possible anymore to have a successful business if you are not a exceptional marketer, not a good marketer, not an okay marketer, not a like, sometimes good, sometimes I fall off the face of the planet marketer, a solid, exceptional marketer. And especially if you want a passive income business because, think about it, you are asking someone to buy a service, to buy something digital, something, site, unseen, something they can’t feel, taste, touch, hold in their hands, something that perhaps doesn’t have any direct connection with you, something that may be coming from a complete stranger. It’s just a big ask when you really think about everything that goes into the decision of the buyer, of the person on the other end, and how scary that can be. There can be a lot of resistance for them. There’s going to be a lot of resistance for them and you’re really asking them to do something that might be uncomfortable. How can you make them comfortable? That is your job, that is your role is to just make them feel comfortable. Let them know they’re in the right place, help them make their decision one way or the other, even if it’s no, help them make that decision. Be there to ask questions and to get support and to make sure that they are really ready to make that decision. So that requires clearly, confidently, communicating who it’s for, who it’s not for, what it will do, what it won’t do, where they’re at right now, where they will get to by the end. So the transformation involved, the value of that transformation and how much more it is than the price point and why. Just really diving in to those aspects, to the messaging of your work. That is the backbone of solid marketing, not mediocre marketing, not inconsistent marketing. Like I said, solid marketing and I know that this is where things get super uncomfy for a lot of you You’re, like me, not natural marketers it doesn’t come easy, it doesn’t come naturally. It feels kinda like, especially when you’re first doing it it feels off, it feels weird in your body. And this is where I come in to help you find that marketing strategy that works for you and find the messaging that feels good for you and resonates with your people, because it doesn’t have to feel that way and it shouldn’t feel that way. And it’s not creepy, it’s not sleazy, it’s not salesy, it’s not pushy, it’s not annoying, it’s none of those things that we typically think of. Typically it comes from mind when we hear the word marketing it’s not that, that’s not what we’re doing. And it doesn’t have to be uncomfortable for you. It can feel really natural, it can feel fun, it can be really great to just connect with people in this way. And if you’re feeling that lack of connection in your business, if people aren’t responding to things you post or to emails you send, or if it’s like crickets, when you do put out a paid offer, it’s just because you’re marketing and it is really fun to improve that and then see how that brings in these amazing conversations, these amazing connections and these people that feel really connected to you because you’ve done that work. It’s just it’s such a different world than what I think. I mean I’m coming from like I was in marketing. I was in business school in like the early 2000s. So it’s just a whole different world than what I learned about marketing in business school and that may be the case for you. I want to show you a different way, so that’s why I’m here. That’s what we’re going to do here on the podcast. That’s what we talk about. That’s why I’ve created the programs that I have to show you another way and to make it a way that feels really good for you, which also means that feels good for your people. But it’s also going to be up to you to take initiative on learning how to become a marketer. There are tons of books out there, tons of resources, tons of podcasts, blog posts, all kinds of things that you can do to learn how to market and learn even just the basics of marketing and what it truly is and what it truly means, and then using that basic understanding and again chatting with me or listening to the podcast or doing the programs I have to offer to then take that knowledge and move it into a space where it feels comfortable and good for you. But you do have to do it, especially if you want passive income and if you are completely unwilling, unable, not interested, if that sounds absolutely horrendous to you to communicate and connect with your people in a very authentic and real way. If you don’t want to do that, that is fine, that is totally fine. That is a great decision and really something great to know about yourself. But then you have to change your business model. You cannot want passive income and not want to be a marketer. Okay, let me say that again. You cannot want passive income and not want to market what you have to offer on a very regular basis, okay. So just something to consider. Again, we’re talking about these realistic expectations to making passive income. So embrace it, educate yourself on it, enjoy it. It can be really fun. Like I said, having this kind of business model is truly life-changing. It really, really changed my life in so many different ways and continues to do so. But, like I said, that also meant a change in me, in who I Was, in my title and how I was showing up in my business and my role and how I thought of myself, and it was just a complete 180 from not making passive income because I didn’t know how to market myself and it didn’t come naturally and I didn’t want to to then embracing that and understanding the importance of that and just really Doing the work like educating myself, continuing to educate myself over and over every single year Because marketing strategies also change, by the way but making that a big part of my business and what I do and how I see myself and what I’m willing to do. That was required. And as soon as I did that, everything shifted and it’s been that way ever since. That was the one shift I needed to make. So obviously there’s a lot more I could say on this topic. I think we’ll leave it here for now, because this episode is just about setting those realistic expectations. So now that you know that passive income is not passive, you can’t just put something up on your website and Never actively talk about it, actively promote it, actively market it, create a system, a marketing system around it to turn prospects into clients. You can’t Do it without that. There is no such thing as putting something up on your website and people just randomly Finding it and buying it without anything else from you. So please know it’s just a very bad term that we’ve started using way too much. But passive income is not passive and if you want to create that kind of business model, embrace the role of Marketer. You can be a coach, you can be a business owner, but you’re also a marketer and that’s a really big role for you to take on in your business, and I’m here to help you. If you want to start that journey, I’d recommend checking out the messaging magic masterclass. I will link to that in the show notes. That’s really the best place. That’s the most like 101 marketing of Online business, of passive income today. It’s not like marketing 101 of your college. This is marketing 101 of this business space that we’re in as coaches and practitioners. So head over there and grab that. That will be the best place for you to start. and, like I said at the beginning, please know that I Think that you can absolutely take advantage of this. There is still a ton of space for you to create your own passive income business in your industry 100%. But just come at it with these expectations already there, already in place. You already know what you’re going to do, what’s involved and how it works, and that will keep you from getting deterred or hung up, like so many people do, because they have not actually ever heard anyone tell them this. They just like think, oh yeah, I wanna make money in my sleep and they go for it without really understanding what’s involved, and that is what I don’t want for you. Come at it with the right expectations and it’ll be so great for you. It really truly is life changing. So if I can help in any way, please reach out to me. You can message me on Instagram at Shawn Mynar, send me an email whatever you wanna do and we can chat further about your passive income business. And until next time, take care, hey, wait up before you go. Do you wanna know the biggest reason why your business may not flow? Because it’s not in alignment with your personality type. Building the right business for you means knowing your strengths, weaknesses, energetic expression and what’s most important to you, so you can build your business accordingly. Before you spend one more minute working on your business, let’s make sure it’s the right business for you. I’ve created a fun two minute quiz to discover your flow business personality type. With the results of this quiz, you’ll know exactly what to prioritize in your business so you can feel confident, knowing you’re building a business you love. Head over to right now to find out your flow business personality type and once you find that out, hop over to Instagram and let me know what you discover. Again, that’s As always, the link is in the show notes and I’ll see you next time.

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Hey there, I'm Shawn!

I’m obsessed with nitro cold brew, 90% dark chocolate, and helping coaches and practitioners build a business they love. With nothing but a passion for helping others and the desire to never have a boss again, I quit the corporate world and built my own million dollar coaching business over the past decade. Now, I help others do the same.


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