Tired of working your hands to the bone and just coming out even or slightly behind? There are ways you can work less and make more money, and the solution is called passive income. In the corporate world, you can’t make yourself irreplaceable, as irreplaceable people don’t get promoted. When you’re promoted, if you’re lucky, you’ll be making more money and you’ll be working less. Until you’re in a position where you can involve yourself in the work that directly generates income, you won’t get far.

With passive income, you don’t have to do any extra work yet you make more money. Sounds good, right? From owning real estate to network marketing, passive income opportunities abound. If you have a dream of retiring with a large nest egg but want to start working less now, you’ll have to think up ways to generate streams of income that don’t necessarily require your direct involvement. You can do this in a number of ways.

Residual Income

This is income received over time as a result of one-time work. Insurance agents who earn a commission whenever a customer renews a policy…direct sales reps who earn commissions when their customers place a re-order on a monthly basis…a marketing consultant who writes a workbook and then re-formats into an e-book online…photographers who get a royalty on their stock photos…these are all examples of residual income. You don’t have to really do anything to make this money; it happens automatically.

Leveraged Income

This is income that requires the work of others to contribute to your income. E-book authors selling their product through an affiliate who does the promotion…franchising a business idea to start-ups…contractors who profit from work done by their sub-contractors…direct sales reps who make money from the work done by their downline…these are all examples of leveraged income. You don’t have to do any work to generate income, but others around you do.

Active Leveraged Income

You’ll have to directly participate in this kind of income generation; however, you get a boost by getting others to help you. In general, active leveraged income uses a one-time event, such as a seminar, concert, conference, convention or dance recital. If you can get 500 people to your event and charge $25 per person, you’re making $12,500 for a one or two hour event. It’s a one-time fee that will cover your staffing, speaker and facility costs, still allowing for a pretty decent rate of return for you.

Don’t confuse passive income with sitting back on the couch and not doing anything. You still need to put time and sometimes money into the initial effort. Bankrate says it take a massive amount of effort to put out a good product. It can’t be trash; it has to be something so awesome that everyone wants it. Building a strong platform at the outset is important, as is marketing your product. Once you hit that plateau, you can start cashing in on your efforts.

Investing in the stock market is a classic example of passive income. You have to do the work initially to make the money, but once the stock takes off and makes money, you have to do very little work to keep that next egg growing. Just be smart about what advice you take from your stock broker. Get in touch with a stock fraud lawyer if you suspect you’ve been taken for a ride by your broker.