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It feels like this controls our lives!

Not everyone is wired the same. Some people do perfectly well punching a clock, working their 9-to-5, and collecting their check at the end of the week. But for some of us that 9-to-5 life feels more like a prison sentence with a chance of parole sometime around the age of 65! Those people look at that “normal” work until retirement plan and think “65! Hell, I will have given away most of my life!” They want out of the weekly grind, but don’t know where to start. Thankfully, we live in the information age, and if you want to start your own business, ideas are literally everywhere!

Now, this site is called Honest PASSIVE Income Reviews. Some of these ideas to start your own business are certainly not passive income models. But it seems only fair to give as comprehensive a list of business ideas as possible. So I’ll start with the ones that are NOT passive, but may be a little more familiar.

“Traditional” Business Ideas

There are an incredible number of opportunities and methods to start your own business. The traditional business models we’ll look at here are the ones that most people are familiar with. And the ones that new entrepreneurs are most comfortable with.

Why are these ideas more comfortable?

Because they are more familiar. They mirror the working structure that is so ingrained in our culture: Do the work, get paid at the end of the week.

Granted, some of these jobs don’t follow that structure exactly. Some are paid before the work begins. Others, when it is finished. Still others in installments as certain “milestones” in the project are met.

Don’t think you have what it takes to start a business? Then let me ask you:

Do you have any particular skill set?

Maybe some area of specialized knowledge?

How about experience in a trade?

If you answered yes to any of these, chances are you can put that to use in starting your own business.


The possibilities are endless!

We’ll look at a few examples for each of those questions.

Let’s Look At Skills First

Maybe you know how to sew. You could start a clothing alterations and repair shop.

Can you draw or paint? Companies are always looking for art to put in their advertising. You could even sell your work online.

Fixing this can be your business!

Are you handy with computers? Open up shop to repair or upgrade computers. Remove viruses. Teach people how to use their software.

You get the idea. These are just a couple of examples. There are countless more. The point is, you can put your skills work. Almost any skill can be turned into a business.

And chances are, if you already do these things, you already have what you need to get started. No investment required.

“But how do I get paid?”

These types of jobs can fall under different payment structures depending on the size and complexity of the work. In some cases, the job may only take an hour or two. You would charge for that type of work either up-front, or on completion. If it is a larger job that will take days or weeks to complete, payments could be made in installments. You would discuss this with your client/customer, and include those details in a contract.

And don’t get nervous when I mention contracts. They really aren’t that hard to deal with. Just write with clear language outlining the work to be done and the amount and timing of the payment, or payments, to be made. It’s that simple.

So let’s move on.

What Kind Of Specialized Knowledge Do You Have?

Think along the lines or bookkeeping, or tax document preparation. This type of knowledge presents you with opportunities to start your own business.

Bookkeepers, for instance, don’t need to be tied to an office working for a single company. Working for yourself, you could build your own client list, with as few or as many clients as you choose. You could work anywhere your computer could go. Take a look at my Bookkeepers Business Launch Review to learn how. This program will teach you everything you need to know about starting your own bookkeeping business. Even if you’ve never done any bookkeeping!

Crunching numbers can be big business!

Tax preparers can make decent money, and do it working only a few months out of the year. I’m not talking about CPA’s. CPA’s require years of education and licensing, and do far more than prepare tax documents. The training to become a tax preparer, however, is quite simple. You’ll learn the different forms. You’ll learn about deductions. You’ll learn the simple math involved. Then you’ll help people file their paperwork. Yes, that is a very simplified version, but you get the idea.

Now you want to know how the pay works, right?

Again, it depends on the type of work. A tax preparer would either have a client come to their office, or go to their clients house. They would prepare the tax forms, and take payment for their services. Easy. Bookkeepers, because of the year round nature of the job, would contract with their clients to maintain their books for the year. Payment intervals would depend on the terms agreed to in the service contract. It could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly… You get it, right? However you and your clients structure the agreement determines when and how you are paid.

Next up, tradesmen (or tradeswomen. Men don’t get a monopoly here!)

Your Trade Is Your Business

Have you ever worked in construction?

How about grounds maintenance?

Facilities maintenance?

These can all be very profitable businesses.

If you have construction experience, you could start your own contracting business. You can start out small as a one-man (or woman!) shop, and only take jobs that you can complete yourself. As your business grows, and you start getting enough calls for bigger jobs that you can support employees, you can hire people on and let them do the majority of the work while you go out and look at more potential jobs.

You can really “Sweep Up” the earnings! Okay, bad pun.

Maybe ground- or facilities maintenance doesn’t sound glamorous, but there is a lot of money to be made cutting grass and scrubbing toilets. A grounds maintenance contract can be very lucrative. If you get a contract maintaining the grounds for a condo association, that one property (depending on where you are) could be a yearly contract for $30-60k. As facilities maintenance, if you look into commercial work like manufacturing plants or warehouses, yearly contracts could easily land between $50-100k. To clean toilets and mop floors! Scrubbing someone else’s porcelain throne doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?!

How do you get paid with these jobs? Similar to the last two. Let’s break it down.

Smaller jobs could be handled in several ways, depending on what they are. If they are smaller “one-off” jobs, meaning you show up and do the work in a few hours and you’re done, you would most likely charge up front or upon completion. For builders who take on jobs that will last several weeks, it really depends on your comfort level. You could take a deposit up front, and the remainder upon completion. Or wait and take full payment when the job is done. For longer jobs, and the yearly contracts for commercial maintenance, you would again set up your payment structure in your service contract.

How About Passive Income Streams?

Clearly none of those options listed above are passive income. At least not at first. If you build a business big enough, and have enough employees to run all aspects of the business, you can earn a passive income as the business owner. But at the outset, a builder who isn’t pounding nails, or a bookkeeper who isn’t recording numbers, isn’t earning any money.

If your goal in starting your own business is to create something that can make you money even when you are not actively working, these may not be the best options for you. Yes, you can grow these businesses large enough to earn while others do the work for you, but it will take time. Possibly decades. Until then, you will still be “trading time for money”, as the saying goes.

There is another way, though. You can create something that makes money even while you aren’t actively working. These are the passive income streams that so many people desire.

But before we talk about how to build passive income, let’s clear something up.

What, Exactly, Is Passive Income?

Stack of coins
Let the money pile up!

There is a lot of confusion about this term, and a lot of shady “businessmen” taking advantage of that misunderstanding. They do so by promising that you can “Make money while you sleep!” or “Work just a couple hours a week!”

The thing is, these claims are true. You can BUILD something that makes you money while you sleep. You can BUILD something that, in time, you only have to give a couple hours to every week.

What those so-called businessmen and trainers fail to mention is that you first have to put in the work to BUILD IT!

After you put in that initial work, and you just need to maintain it, your business can continue making money by itself. Yes, even when you sleep! That’s the beauty of passive income streams. Your efforts building the business continue paying you for years to come.

There are a number of ways to build passive income. But they are too numerous to cover here. I will go into more options in another article at a later date.

For the purpose of this article, I’m just going to tell you about my favorite way to create a passive income stream. It’s easy to learn, and has very low up-front investment costs.

A Quick Look At Affiliate Marketing

The greatest thing about affiliate marketing is that literally ANYONE can learn it. Yes, anyone can learn to make money online with affiliate marketing.

What is it?

In the simplest of terms, it’s a blog with advertising.

I know, advertising might sound a little intimidating. But it really isn’t. It’s quite simple, actually.

The whole process behind affiliate marketing is pretty simple. Not simple enough to cover in detail here (I’ve rambled enough already!) But you can get a closer look at affiliate marketing here.

The quick and dirty is this:

  • You choose a topic
  • Write posts about it on your blog
  • Get readers to come to your blog
  • Display ads and give readers a reason to click (reviews and recommendations)
  • Make Money!

Yes, that’s a very basic overview. I don’t suggest you just go out and give it a shot. Learn about it first. Get some training.

Which brings up another great advantage of affiliate marketing. It is the only means of developing a passive income that I have found FREE training for. No, ALL of the training isn’t free. But you can start for free. And this isn’t a tease you with pretty sales-pitch videos kind of free trial. Unlike every other program I have seen that you have to pay for up front without any idea of what you are getting yourself into, I have found a training platform that actually starts training you before asking for any money.

You’ll get an idea of what really goes into affiliate marketing.

You’ll get to see what the training is like.

You’ll get to see if it is right for you.

And it won’t cost you a dime to find out.

You can get a look at this program in my Wealthy Affiliate Review.

I love this program, and I think you would too.

There Are Business Ideas Everywhere!

Traditional or online.

Active work or passive income.

The possibilities for starting your own business are endless!

Hobbies. Knowledge. Skills. Trades. Talents.

These are all things that many successful businesses have been built from, and many more still will be built on these same ideas. Why shouldn’t the next one be yours?

All it takes if for you to decide that you are going to do it. Figure out what you’re good at, and how it can benefit others. Because in benefiting others, you build the best business possible.

It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!

As always, thanks for reading, and the best of luck in your journey to financial independence,


If you ever have any questions, you can contact me here.

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  1. Great post! I worked for large companies for 13 years before leaving to start my own business. I’m just learning about the affiliate marketing now. Thanks for sharing your insights.

    1. Running your own business is fun and terrifying all at the same time! I’ve been a self-employed building contractor, landscaper, and fitness coach at one time or another before stepping into the online world. Always a new adventure waiting around the corner.

  2. I also think of starting affiliate marketing and I wonder that I wonder that how soon I can reach my goals? Do you have any knowledge about it?

    1. How quickly you reach your goals depends on too many factors to give a reliable timeframe. The bigger the goal, the longer it will take, naturally. Overall, your timeframe is going to depend considerably on the quality of your content, publishing frequency, engagement, and what type(s) of advertising you are willing to do. At a minimum, expect to work for about 6 months to see enough organic traffic to start making any money.

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