Last Updated on April 28, 2020
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It seems like everybody’s dream these days is to travel the world and make money while they’re sleeping. Sharon has actually done just that. Tons of gems in this one so be prepared for some epic lessons!
My name is Sharon Tseung, founder of Digital Nomad Quest, and back in 2016 I quit my job in Marketing, traveled the world for 2 years, and built multiple passive income streams on my digital nomad journey. I visited Sweden, Romania, Greece, Germany, UK, Portugal, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Hong Kong and many other places!
While nomading, I would frequent cafes to work for a few hours. And when I felt like it, I would walk around the city to immerse myself in the local life. The digital nomad journey allowed me to balance travel and work so that I could live life to the fullest! Because I built passive income streams along the way, I was able to increase my net worth despite my travel expenses.
Now I teach people how to do the same on my blog, YouTube channel, and podcast. I decided to return to the Bay Area and work full-time at a startup (for multiple reasons), but I’m building my brand and passive income streams on the side.
Building 10 Income Streams
I’ve been able to make money through many different income streams. Here are some of the different methods: selling digital downloads on Etsy, apparel through Merch by Amazon, Amazon FBA, affiliate marketing through Amazon associates, course sales, rental property income, selling on Redbubble, Teepublic, Creative Market, advertising on Google Adsense, and selling Kindle books. I talk a bit more about some of the different passive income streams and how they work here. There are many ways to make passive income!
In 2014, I went on a month-long solo Europe trip that inspired me to create freedom to leave and see the world. But I knew the only way I could do that sustainably was to figure out how to work remotely or build passive income. I started studying over 20 books and blogs to figure out how I could so, where I began with real estate investing and branched off to online businesses. I came across a book talking about how to make money online building websites, which ultimately led me to making websites and blogs, which led to alternate passive income methods like Kindle, Etsy, and more. I then found out about the digital nomad life and knew it was something I wanted to pursue!
Sometime around 2015 or 2016, I bought a one-way ticket to Stockholm and knew if I needed to, I could back out of quitting my job to travel. But deep down I knew I wanted to pursue the journey. So, I went on Craigslist and Upwork to first apply for a bunch of remote positions so I could make sure I was financially safe. I ended up taking about 3 part-time remote positions.
At the same time I began working on building up my passive income streams while at home. Just obtaining around $50-100/month through Etsy and Kindle was enough proof for me that this could work out. I also bought 6 months of accommodations and flights so I wouldn’t need to dig into much of my savings during the journey.
While nomading, I ended up being able to transition out of my remote positions and build a decent amount of passive income after a while!
Advice For Diversifying Income
I would start studying different blogs, books, and YouTube videos. There’s great content online! I’d highly recommend checking out my website Digital Nomad Quest where I talk all about how to build passive income through different means. Smart Passive Income by Pat Flynn is also great for learning how to build up your brand and monetize it.
I also have a course on how to make your first $1,000/month on Etsy where I talk about my exact steps to getting to that point. A big mistake I made in the past was not investing in paid education. Free resources are great, but now I buy a lot of courses so that I can progress quickly and not make the same mistakes as others.
Other than that, I would definitely start taking action. I believe you learn a lot from just diving in headfirst.
Easiest Way To Get Started With Passive Income
When it comes to making money online, you could easily make money through apps like CoinOut, Fetch Rewards, Honeygain, and more.
But if you want to build passive income businesses, I’d suggest selling digital downloads on Etsy or custom designs on Merch by Amazon. These are low capital methods to make passive income. Many people get confused on which passive income stream to choose because there are so many of them, so I broke everything down in this toolkit. It evaluates your strengths, passions, amount of capital, and amount of time to determine which business is best for you.
The Side Business With The Best Returns
I would say Merch by Amazon has had extremely high returns because it didn’t really take too much money to start up. It did require a decent amount of time to create designs, but it’s really been one of the most passive of passive income streams because profits are paid out in royalties. You don’t even have to deal with customer support or fulfillment of orders! The way it works is that you can upload designs to Merch by Amazon to print on apparel. And as you put up these listings on Amazon and get sales, Amazon will start printing and fulfilling your orders for you.
Getting Merch By Amazon Off The Ground
I started researching what shirts sold well on Amazon by looking at bestseller rankings of shirts and seeing how much competition each keyword had. Then I would create my own designs on Photoshop for keywords I wanted to rank for, and I would upload them on Merch by Amazon. I would optimize the descriptions and titles to get the shirts selling, and I created a schedule for myself so that I would consistently put up more and more designs for a larger chance of sales.
Lessons Learned From Building Passive Income
The biggest thing I learned with passive income is that if you don’t have some sort of purpose to what you’re doing you’re not going to be fulfilled. Even though I had passive income through selling on different marketplaces, I still felt unfulfilled because I wanted to create something with lasting impact, and I wanted to continue growing my skills. It wasn’t enough just to make money passively.
Now that I’m teaching others how to design their lives through financial freedom, I feel way more fulfilled. Having cashflow is great to create that freedom for yourself. But you need to make sure you have purpose or your “why” to feel happy and fulfilled.
Find Sharon Online
Here are my different links if you want to check me out further! Thank you so much 🙂
- Digital Nomad Quest Website: https://digitalnomadquest.com
- My Etsy Course: https://courses.digitalnomadquest.com/p/the-etsy-entrepreneur
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/sharontseung
- Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-digital-nomad-quest-podcast-with-sharon-tseung/id1465744099?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/sharontseung
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/digitalnomadquest/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharontseung
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