5 Reasons I Quit My Job to Build Passive Income Businesses

My life felt like this jigsaw puzzle — something was missing.

After many months of soul-searching, I finally decided to quit my job to build passive income businesses and design my dream lifestyle.

1. What Direction Is Your Inner Compass Pointing?

Lucky for Jack, his magical compass always points to what his heart desires.

Life is like sailing the high seas — if you don’t have a good compass, you’ll just drift to wherever the wind takes you.

2. What is the True Currency of Life?

Life is like this hourglass, except you can’t turn it over and reset the time.

I’ve slowly come to appreciate that time is the true currency of life.

  • You’ve spent the best years of your life slaving away at your career and moving up the corporate ladder
  • Your relationship with your spouse could be on thin ice as you’ve been “absent” for the past 2 decades
  • You’ve had little time for your kids (if you had kids at all) as they grew up
  • Your health ain’t as great as it once was after years of neglect and 12-hour work days, not to mention the additional stress of taking on more responsibilities as you became increasingly senior in your career, and
  • Let’s face it — you’re probably not going to retire early when you’re at the peak of your career — the allure of more money, achievement, and power is simply too enticing to resist, so you might as well work a few extra years even if you don’t need to anymore…
  • What we do,
  • Where we do it,
  • When we do it,
  • Who we do it with, and
  • How we do it (yes, I know it’s not a W)
  • If you could control where you worked, you could relocate to anywhere in the world. You could be experiencing new countries, living in low cost regions (think Thailand), or maybe move to Florida because you’re tired of 6 months of winter every year. You could also live outside the downtown core and save money on rent or mortgage payments. All these options allow you to create your dream lifestyle earlier without costing a fortune.
  • If you could control when you worked, you could take advantage of all the discounts that airlines, hotels, and other places offer during off-peak seasons. Planes fly every single day of the year but when do most people travel? During the busiest holiday seasons, when tickets are the most expensive. Even having some flexibility over what days of the week you work can provide convenience and savings. Rather than compete for dinner reservations and movie theatre seats on the weekend, do both on a weekday when it’s less crowded and possibly cheaper.

3. Can I Build a Passive Income Business?

Passive income is like planting an apple tree — it takes a lot of upfront work that will eventually bear fruit.
  • Demand: I checked the level of demand for this topic using a free tool called Keywords Everywhere to pull search volume from Google
  • Competition: I checked the level of competition for this topic using tools like SEM Rush and KW Finder
  • Passive Income 101 and 3 Passive Income Models (YouTube) by Pat Flynn — both are great introductions to understanding passive income.
  • Pat’s First Online Business — an in-depth look at Pat’s first online business, an exam prep website for professionals in the architecture industry. Be sure to read his follow-up posts on what worked well and what didn’t work well in his first business.
  • The 4 Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris — an excellent book that covers not just passive income but also introduces ideas about lifestyle design, automation, and how we can live a truly fulfilling life. I found this book very refreshing and candid — Tim does not shy from “tellin’ ya like it is”.

4. What’s the Worst Case Scenario?

The fear of the unknown can paralyze us from making major decisions.
  • I was not going in the direction that my inner compass was pointing
  • I was trading almost all my time for money, which left little for the most important things in life, and
  • I was convinced that I could build a successful passive income business by serving my audience really, really well
  • I spend 2–3 years experimenting with different passive income businesses that ultimately don’t make any money
  • At which time, I can either try to return to my old job, look for another corporate job in finance, or do an MBA to “reset” my career
  • When interviewers ask me what I’ve been doing during this time, I’ll have plenty of examples to highlight the experiences and skills that I learned while building and running my own business
  • And best of all, I’ll still travel for several months either way

5. Listen to Your Intuition

You don’t need to visit any forests to find your intuition — it’s always been there, you just need to listen.

The final and most important reason — I listened to my intuition and trusted my instincts.

Final Words

Appendix: Resources



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Tom Qiao

Passive Income Entrepreneur Building Niche Online Businesses