How we earned over $43,000 in 2018 with passion projects
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One of the most surprising things about early retirement has been, strangely enough, the ability to earn income by doing things that we enjoy. Once we added up the numbers, we earned way more than we ever imagined possible before quitting the rat race at 35.
And ladies and gentlemen, I present to you our very first passion project income statement. I've never before published these numbers, but in the interest of transparency and full disclosure, I'm spillin' the beans.
At the beginning of 2018, I had labeled it "The Year of the Hustle".
I believe that I've accomplished that goal. Through a combination of consulting work, web projects and display ads / affiliates, we managed to pull in more than $43,000 by doing things that actually make us happy.
We earned $43,000 with passion projects
Here is how the numbers break down.
Passion ProjectEarningsConsulting (IT help, Videography, Writing)$15,250Online / Web (Blogs, display ads, etc)$15,980Products (RV course, Etsy store, etc)$8,895Affiliates$3,111Sum total$43,236
I'm a big fan of consulting work in early retirement. It gives us the freedom to pick and choose the type of work that we do, when we want to do it.
As most of you know, I manage the operational side of Rockstar Finance. I also provide general IT support online, which is something that I can do from anywhere.
As digital nomads, that part is critical.
I also accepted a video gig from one of my former CEOs in the technology sector. He now runs a media company and employed my services filming B-Roll in Wyoming. It was a fun project, and we were able to do that work among our regular traveling schedule, which made it nice.
I also do a lot of online work. After 20 years of running web sites, this blog is the first blog that I've ever monetized in those two decades.
We also run a monetized YouTube channel at A Streamin' Life that now has nearly 12,000 subscribers. Together, those two entities generated almost $15,000 in income during 2018, way more than I had imagined was possible when we started them. Our little YouTube channel has grown into a full-sized adult!
This year, we released a major new product: Our course that takes the stress out of RV trip planning. It's called How To Plan An Epic RV Adventure, and it generated nearly $8,400 since its release last fall.
Also, I run a small-ish Etsy store with some of my photography and related projects, and I also published an E-book that teaches how to start your very own personal finance blog. A little over $500 came from those.
Our affiliate income rounds out our passion projects. We're an affiliate for Michelle's incredibly popular course, Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing.
Personal Capital accounted for another $1,900 and our Amazon affiliate account kicked in a little over $1,100.
All in all, 2018 was a great year. We traveled the country in our 30' Airstream travel trailer and enjoyed [almost] every minute of it. Through our passion projects, we pulled in cash flow - easily enough to account for our expenses during a normal year.
Lastly, thanks so much for your readership. Honestly, you good people are the primary reason why I keep doing this.
Loves to everyone.