Don’t get sucked in by the ‘trading time for money’ myth

March 10, 2022

Creating so-called passive income products can mean investing more time to earn less money. Learn how to avoid the trading time for money myth.

Janet Murray Courageous Content Podcast Headshot

One of the most outrageous claims I hear from Online Business ‘experts’ is that developing passive income products e.g. online courses can help you stop ‘trading time for money’.

When creating and selling so-called ‘passive income’ products can mean investing more time for less money (at least at first).

In this episode of the Courageous Content Podcast, I share my advice on how not to get sucked in by the ‘trading time for money’ myth.

You can listen to the podcast or read the blog version below.

Here’s what I cover:

Why passive income products can mean trading MORE time for less money

Here’s an example that highlights the ‘myth’ about trading time for money. Last week I delivered a content intensive that was around 8 hours of delivery time (including preparation and follow up). A repeat booking that helped generate a £20k piece of work for the client the previous quarter – which meant it also delivered a lot of impact.

I’d have had to sell 30 of my Launch Content Kit to generate the same income. Which I spent about 3 x the time on (just to create the content and promo content: sales copy, sales page, sales funnel, email marketing campaign)

PLUS contractor costs, including:

  • Web developer
  • Tech VA
  • Designer
  • Inbox Manager (for customer service)

So which product offers a better return on investment for your time: one-to-one or one-to-many?


One-to-one versus one-to-many products (which give the best ROI)?

What the Online ‘Gurus’ typically don’t tell you is this: if you want to replace the income from your one-to-one or done-for-you services, you need to sell a heck of a lot of your digital product.

I share this not to put you off launching a digital product. I love selling one-to-many products, which is why I keep doing it.

But to remind you not to get taken in by all the hype about ‘passive income’.

How to make passive income products work for your business

You can start selling your online course tomorrow – without any of this stuff. You could start generating recurring revenue today– so I’d absolutely encourage you to get started.

But please be realistic in your expectations and don’t put pressure on yourself to be making gazillions from digital products in no time. And don’t get taken in by all the talk online about 6 and 7 figure online businesses.

Because something you don’t hear often from the online coaching industry is this: if you want to replace the income from your 1-2-1 or done-for-you services, you need to sell at scale. And/or charge Premium prices. And people who invest in Premium Priced Services expect Premium Service (and results). Which is difficult to provide – at scale – without additional resources (which means additional costs).

And not only is there a lot more work (and time) involved than many online coaches will have you believe…when you actually do the maths, you may find selling so-called ‘passive income products’ would mean trading more of your time for less money.

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