What Nature Teaches Us About Passive Income

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When it comes to understanding complex concepts, there’s no better tool than a good analogy. Human beings love analogies just like we love stories—our brains are hard-wired that way. Analogies help us remember better, they can fuel our imaginations, and they can help us visualize our dreams.

The purpose of this blog is very simple: how to enjoy a better quality of life through passive income. But sometimes, the full potential of a passive income can be difficult to grasp. So, to that end, sit back and let nature be your teacher with these two great analogies.

Streams

Passive income streams. 
When I first heard these three words uttered together, it instantly conjured up an image in my head. I was transported to a lush field of flowers, planted in a bed of vivid green grass. I could hear the chirping of birds and the gentle babble of water as it flowed through a gap between the trees. Makes you feel kind of nice, doesn’t it?

Now imagine, if you will, that that vivid field is your life, lush with fulfillment and joy, being nourished and supported by the nutrient-producing waters of a stream of income. But wait – now it appears there are multiple streams providing equally nutrient-rich water. As life goes on, and depending on the season, one stream may have a greater flow and another one a lighter flow.

But despite the alternating changes in individual water levels, that lush field remains nourished, because the number of streams provide a net flow that is both consistent and reliable.

By now, you see where this is going (and why this analogy is used all the time). Passive streams of income are a continuously flowing water source that, once you’ve figured out how to harness them, will continue to provide for you. However, if you are dependent on a single source of water, circumstances outside of yourself (like someone building a dam upstream) can cause your entire field to wither. You’re left vulnerable by only having one source. With multiple streams, you can lean more heavily on one when others seem to dry up. 

TREES

Imagine someone gave you a handful of fruit seeds. As long as they’re not apple seeds, you could probably eat them and enjoy a nice little snack. However; instead of eating them right away, perhaps you decide to plant them. As the days, weeks, and months go by, you nourish and care for them. At first, it seems like nothing’s happening. You wonder if you’re wasting your time out there in the hot sun, lugging water over to the ground only to see it soak up and disappear.

You do this for day after day for weeks, and then something appears, seemingly overnight: a small seedling. You feel encouraged, so you keep doing what you’re doing, and you see the seedlings continue to grow. It may take months or years, but someday that tiny seed becomes a fruit-producing tree.

The next thing you know, that tree is positively burdened with fruit. You pluck one from its branches to taste it. . . and it’s delicious. In fact, your whole family gets to enjoy the harvest.

When you reach the center of your hard-grown fruit, what do you find? More seeds. So, you decide to plant those as well. You continue the cycle and eventually, you have a forest of fruit trees producing enough to last you and your family the entire year round. In fact, the bounty is so great, you’re able to go beyond your own family and share the fruit with others.
The same is true of passive income. All the work seems to happen up front. You invest your time and money, and at first it might seem like nothing is happening. Others already popped the seeds in their mouth and had a nice snack, while you’ve waited patiently and put in the work. Slowly, you begin to notice some growth in your monthly income. It may be small, but you’re encouraged. You continue to work at it. Eventually, things begin to compound, and next thing you know, it has made a substantial impact in your life.

Ultimately, after a good amount of time, all the hard work that you put in up front begins to pay off. Not in small amounts—oh, no. In truckloads. You’re able to live off of this income and it becomes a generational bounty. You’re able to not only enjoy life more fully, but to give to other more fully as well.

FINAL THOUGHTS

These analogies are two of the best, because they show exactly how beneficial passive income can be. There are times when you wonder if the work was worth it, or when it seems like a stream is drying up. The important thing is that you rely on multiple streams, be very patient, and ultimately, know that the reward is coming.

Heard any other good passive income analogies? I want to hear them!

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