Amazing article Jim. Jammed packed with great information and inspiration for a finance blogger looking to find ways to diversify income streams. Building up your capital, achieved through saving more than you earn as you described, will open doors to a lot of activities in the future. The name of the game is putting your savings to work to turn expenses and idle cash into income producing assets. It isn’t easy when you are starting from $0, but through discipline and time you will eventually be able to achieve your goals and begin using the methods you described to diversify your income streams.
I’m looking at accepting a professor job. It’ll be more than a 50% pay cut. But I’ll have the same life you describe – endless summers and an entire month every winter to ski. I’m thinking in the end, eventually, I might even end up wealthier in more ways than one. Happy people tend to be the most successful. I have no desire to diversify. Dividend stocks allude me. CDs seem like a good choice for older people, but I have time on my hands and real estate knowledge, so I’m sticking with what I know, despite the fact that most people will tell me it is foolish and I should diversify.
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Great ideas here, and thanks for the link! I’m definitely interested in learning about using an Ebay store, although I’ve heard they are not as effective as they used to be. One interesting problem that arises though is with online work, that is, work performed via the internet. If one does not reside in one’s home country while doing it it might be considered illegal (so check on all those tax implications).
One thing I’ve realized is this: It’s FAR easier to work for an employer than it is to develop durable passive income streams for the average person. Why? Because working for an employer in a place that “needs” you means that it’s possible to show up and give a 50% effort. You can show up, put in your time, go home, have a beer, watch TV, and rinse and repeat all without REALLY having to put in the effort.

Agriculture is an important part of the Indian economy. At around 1,530,000 square kilometres (590,000 sq mi), India has the second-largest amount of arable land, after the US, with 52% of total land under cultivation. Although the total land area of the country is only slightly more than one third of China or the US, India's arable land is marginally smaller than that of the US, and marginally larger than that of China. However, agricultural output lags far behind its potential.[367] The low productivity in India is a result of several factors. According to the World Bank, India's large agricultural subsidies are distorting what farmers grow and hampering productivity-enhancing investment. Over-regulation of agriculture has increased costs, price risks and uncertainty, and governmental intervention in labour, land, and credit are hurting the market. Infrastructure such as rural roads, electricity, ports, food storage, retail markets and services remain inadequate.[368] The average size of land holdings is very small, with 70% of holdings being less than one hectare (2.5 acres) in size.[369] Irrigation facilities are inadequate, as revealed by the fact that only 46% of the total cultivable land was irrigated as of 2016,[158] resulting in farmers still being dependent on rainfall, specifically the monsoon season, which is often inconsistent and unevenly distributed across the country.[370] In an effort to bring an additional two crore hectares (20 million hectares; 50 million acres) of land under irrigation, various schemes have been attempted, including the Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Programme (AIBP) which was provided ₹80,000 crore (₹800 billion) in the union budget.[371] Farming incomes are also hampered by lack of food storage and distribution infrastructure; a third of India's agricultural production is lost from spoilage.[249]
I also like the distinctions you make about the illusion of influence. I have control over most of my investments (real estate related) and have 10% in passive index funds. But I think as I continue to diversify, I like putting it into the two buckets of (1) I control (2) no control (stock market). I like that clarity. The illusion of control does add stress and hassle that detract from enjoying your life. Not worth extra returns to me.
For a person working for a wage, their source of income is their job, or their labor (aka their time that they sell to someone). But you can own a house, and rent it out, and when your renters pay you renter every month, the source of that income check is your rental property, or your house. It would just be called rental income. If you have money in the bank in an account that pays interest, those interest payments are another source of income. We can say the source is interest payments, or we can identify the asset that is generating rent, and say your money in the bank that is generating “rent” (aka interest) is your source of income.