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It has been a few months since my last update. Life has been exceedingly busy and I have just not been able to find the time to update this blog. However, I really have been encouraged, excited, motivated to share my results through eHow. If you remember, back in March 2010, I joined eHow. I had extremely high hopes for building a credible stream of passive online income. I realized that once again, my daydreaming got in my way, and I quickly learned the reality was not as beautiful and easy as i had once hoped. That was month 1. I wrote 29 articles and earned $5.01 from ad revenue. Those 29 articles took me an average of 30 minutes a piece, so 14.5 hours of writing time equates to $0.35/hour. Not exactly the barn burner I was hoping for. I was not discouraged and had high hopes for Month 2.

Month 2

Articles written = 31. Ad revenue earned = $4.97. Hourly wage = $0.32/hour. Stellar. Blackpedaling.

Month 3

May brought on a strange series of events, where eHow completely changed their guidelines and users were no longer able to submit articles the usual method. There was a completely new service which involved submitting your article to an editor. I tried two articles, both were rejected and I gave up. Articles written = 0. Money earned = $3.82. Hourly wage = $0.19/hour (Even though I did not get any articles published, I spent 20 hours writing and editing the two articles that were eventually rejected…). Massive fail.

Month 4

Completely demoralized. I just spent the last 3 months pinning my future passive income earnings on a big, fat, flop. However, by month’s end a strange thing happened. I earned $5.22. A record month. I did not write a single article, or really think about Ehow that much, except to lament my plight. So I earned $5.22 for doing nothing. Not bad. Nothing to get excited about. But, not bad.

Month 5

Still doing nothing on eHow. Earnings = $10.34. Not bad. Doubled my money from last month. Still doing nothing.

Month 6

Total earnings = $26.41. Hold the phone. You mean to tell me that for not doing a single thing or even spending brain power THINKING about Ehow, my articles have continued to gain ad revenue, and they want to send me a check for $26? I’ll take it.

Month 7

Total earnings = 27.58. Sitting pretty. But I keep telling myself not to get excited. This latest amount was from September 2010, and I have continued to be disinterested with eHow and frustrated over the loss of my passive income stream. Suddenly I realize, that *gasp* I have created a passive income stream. From the misery of my loss, a passive income stream has risen. Granted, still not enough money to be a game changer, but who would not want $27 extra per month. The best thing, every month is gradually getting better.

Month 8

October 2010. I eagerly check my Paypal account and *BOOM* , total earnings = $39.36. I am speechless. That is real money. They just paid me almost $40 to do nothing. I will take and run….to the bank.

With the current earnings from November I have earned $138.45. Total hours invested 50. Hourly wage = $2.77. Still nothing to brag about, but the great thing is that since I am not putting any additional work into this income stream, that hourly figure will only rise. Who knows what it will be in a year from now? Maybe 2? 3?

The moral of this story is that there is an actual way to make money from home in a passive income model. Even though I was only able to write 61 total articles, my earnings have continued to increase each month and I look forward to increased earnings in the future. You can absolutely replicate this same success with a little hard work. Your dream of a home based business is not a dream at all. In fact, your home based business is simply waiting on you to take the plunge and open up shop!

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In my continuing quest to earn a passive income online, I have stumbled across a website that I plan on implementing into my passive income plan.

CashCrate is simply a service that compiles paid trial offers and surveys. You complete offers and surveys, and you earn a small fee for your time.

I went through their introductory program, completed my first 3 offers, and have earned $2.40. This is not a lot of money by any means, but it does go to show that there is money to be made…and quickly. My total time for that first $2.40 was approximately 10 minutes ( on pace for $14.40 an hour).

The beauty of the CashCrate system and the reason I am excited about it, is their referral program. Theoretically, you could never complete a single survey or trial offer and still earn money through their referral program. here is how it works:

For the first 50 referrals you earn 20% of their earnings. That’s right, without lifting a finger, you earn 20% of the money that your referrals are earning. On top of that, for every second level referral (one of your referrals refers someone else) you earn 10% of their earnings.

You can literally build a small army of referrals that may complete a few offers a day, but earn big bucks for you!

The CashCrate referral program also gets better as you increase referrals. When you reach Elite status and have over 500 referrals, you will earn 30% of your referrals earnings, and 20% of your second level referrals.

If you do the math, you have already realized that there is serious earning potential here.

The trick here is obviously going to be getting referrals. The more you get the more you earn. Simple as that. So how do I plan to go about getting referrals?

  • Promote here at Ascent to Freedom.
  • Include my referral link in my e-mail signature
  • Create free business cards at vista print with my referral link
  • Put up pictures of my earnings checks (once they start rolling in)
  • Create a website dedicated to CashCrate. This will allow me to display banners for CashCrate.

So all in all, I think this can be a very lucrative activity. I will let you know how I am progressing, and if I am actually able to gain any referrals who will earn any money.

Do you have experience with CashCrate?

Do you participate in their referral program?

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What are your goals?

What are your dreams?

Do you want to quit your job and live on passive income?

I know I sure do.

I also know that it seems like a crazy far-fetched dream that I will ever be able to make it there. I posted a while back about finding your number, the amount of monthly income that it will take for you to quit your job, and live life on your own terms. For me, that number is $5000 per month. That may seem like a huge number to some of you and probably a small number to a lot of you, but for me, that’s all I need.

But $5000 per month is still a lot of money!!

That number becomes even bigger, and even more unattainable, when I look at my paltry earnings so far online. I’m not ever gonna make it to $5000 per month making a few dollars a day through ad revenue.

On the flip side, I also just started this experiment less than a month ago. I actually have made money and have a positive cash flow (my expenses are $0 so far, so any cash flow will be positive!).

It really is all about perspective and putting your goals into perspective. If I continue to focus on the $5000 per month goal, I will get discouraged and frustrated along the way, and give up on my dream (I know myself too well, I know I cannot sustain this forever with an unattainable goal).

Have you ever heard of the Debt Snowball? Ever heard of Dave Ramsey? His now famous Debt Snowball plan works because it focuses on psychology not finances. Obviously, he is a financial guru, but he has learned that it is the psychology behind the finances that is the core of the problem. His program teaches you to set a small debt reduction goal, pay off one small amount, then apply that monthly payment to the next amount, pay that off, add the monthly payments together and apply it to the next biggest amount. Financially, this is not the smartest plan, but psychologically, it works! It just makes sense! You set yourself attainable goals, you get encouraged from your success, and you move on to the next goal!

I break my goal into bite sized pieces, I will be able to make it. Say I focus on the first $100 per month goal. This is a big milestone as it is the minimum payout for revenue sharing programs (Google Adsense). Once I reach $100 per month then bump up to $500, then $1000, I will progress on until I really have met my goal.

That may sound a little trivial, but for me I know it works. I imagine that it could work for you too! Breaking down your goals into bite sized pieces will give you the confidence that you need to surge on towards your goals.

Photo by: Dunilo Rizzuti

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This might seem a little off topic of my usual posts but I wanted to see what you thought about this question, and because one of you is probably an expert on this topic and can answer my question definitively. Heres the scenario: My wife is a full-time graphic artist for a company. She is a regular employee (receives a W2) and typically works a standard 40 hour week. She also is able to work from home full-time. She may go into her office one a month for a short meeting, but most months she never leaves the living room. From the beginning, we have felt that her company is taking advantage of her because she has worked more than 40 hours every week and has received no overtime or compensatory pay or time off for the extra hours worked. She has also not been given a sick day policy so it has always been a very vague question of whether she would be able to actually take a paid sick day from her work. And her boss puts insane pressure on her to not take a sick day “because she works from home”. While this is true and she does work in her pajamas, sometimes you just have to take a day off because you are sick.

So that is the scenario. I am really hoping someone has some expertise they can lend to our situation because all the information we can find is very confusing. We have checked out the Department of Labor’s website: http://www.dol.gov/ and they seem to be fairly clear about sick days. The company is not required to pay for sick days, but they are required to give up to 10 weeks off in unpaid time under FMLA. But they are very vague on whether or not an employee can be considered Exempt or Non-Exempt from overtime compensation.

I would love to hear your feedback!

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True Happiness

JD Roth over at Get Rich Slowly wrote a review today about a book entitled “The Happiness Project”. The book chronicles the author Gretchin Rubin’s, journey as she spends an entire year running life experiments and trying to decipher what truly makes her happy.

I find that a lot of the thoughts in this book ring true in my life. I have a goal of supporting myself and my family through a passive income stream with the result of increased happiness. If I did not think that this would bring about more happiness for myself and for my family then why would I go about it in the first place?

I think at some point we all have to wrestle with the question of  “What is it that truly makes you happy?” And I don’t mean a fleeting happiness that is here one day and gone the next, I mean life-sustaining happiness that will carry you through your later years.

This book is inspirational and I highly recommend it as a worthwhile read!

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