You were not born to just go to work, pay bills, and die. In fact, if you’re an average British employee, you can’t even afford to.

The 9-5 job! It will help you buy a house and give you money for holidays and fun and you can save for anything you want then retire, get a pension and travel the world! This is the lifestyle module we were taught was the aspirational symbol of financial stability, respectability and success!

When I started my first job at nineteen, I remember cycling into work and looking over the horizon at the traffic jam ahead. And already I felt low. Already a job felt like a chore. Like somebody else in charge of my time and money. Like school. But I was told that to not feel happy and grateful about a job was ‘immature, irresponsible and unrealistic’.

Fast forward twenty five years, intermittent jobs and own businesses and I decided to see whether in fact, in Britain today, employment really does deliver the financial security, disposable income, holidays and comfortable retirement it promised.

Job for Life – In 2019 the average Briton won’t stay in a job longer than five years. The reason is salary increases are maximum 3% per year. The only way to get a significant salary increase is changing jobs. Nowdays even workers in jobs with high income and high savings worry the link between hard work and fair pay is broken. Only 20% think their pay reflects their efforts. Fewer than half of employees (44%) feel they have progressed in their careers over the last five years with only 40% feeling they have good opportunities to progress in future. Many routine jobs are at high risk of automation. Add to that the ease and speed of restructuring and a management that favours quick fix and cheaper hiring staff already skilled and trained by another company and firing staff instead of investing in their skills and long term development and you have employees living in near constant fear of losing their job.

Financial Freedom – In 2019 cars and houses are sold to us as ‘assets’ but in reality, an asset is something that helps generate cash or add value. We are taking out credit – ie long term debt with interest – that has to be repaid. In addition studies show that in 1992 the average house price in Britain was £70,000 with the average house buyer salary being £24,000. By 2016 the average house price had risen to £300,000 and the salary of the average buyer £63,000.
The average working Briton has only about a month’s worth of savings to maintain their living expenses, if their income suddenly stopped and while the average University Graduate is expecting to earn a higher wage, they embark on their career saddled with a £50,000 debt.

Lifestyle – UK Labour Market statistics released suggest that employment is at an all time high, but this is not quite in the way we would imagine. There are now nearly 1 million people on zero-hour contracts and 1.7 million in temporary work. A record 4.8 million are self employed and another 1.8 million in Britains’s gig economy. The Flexi-workers love their job, 83% reporting job satisfaction. However as many of these are redundant ‘second careerers’, they value autonomy as security over a job and earn less than £21,000 per year.
Only one group out of seven employment type groups of workers in Britain has the lifestyle we were told a having a job would provide. They are successful at adapting to automation, and the most likely group to value new technology. They report high job security, high autonomy and high fulfilment. What is the average job that can fulfil the promises offered by every job? Director of an IT services business!

Retirement – In Britain today we are expected to live much longer – in fact, if we retire at 65 we will spend more years in retirement than we did working. While Gen Z admits they won’t even be able to own a home to have minimised living costs by retirement, the biggest concern for the baby boomer generation today is outliving their pension/savings.

Economic insecurity has become the “new normal” in the UK with at least 70% of the UK’s working population “chronically broke”, according to the Royal Society of Arts.“Economic insecurity now stretches right throughout our labour market, including within jobs that appear safe on the surface. Wider economic trends suggest workers are worse off as real wages fall and in-work poverty rises. With Brexit in play/limbo Britain’s GDP has decreased £20.6 billion since the referendum.

According to a report by the Social Metrics Commission (SMC) 14.2 million Britons are living in poverty, of which 8.3 million are of working age and 4.5 million are children dependent on workers. It’s the biggest rise in poverty in forty years.

The number of homeless people in Britain is soaring by more than 1,000 a month, and reached a total of 320,000 in the first quarter of 2019, according to research released by homelessness charity Shelter.

Why is nobody talking about generating other income streams (and I don’t mean just adding another part time job to our already time filled working life). I mean Passive Income streams?

Chances are if you’re reading this, you’ve seen the tv show Friends. Jennifer Aniston received a ‘salary’ for each episode of lines learned, acting and filming. Fast forward to Friends ending and without having to lift a finger, Jennifer Aniston receives a cool $20 million per year in passive income from it. How? First it started with DVD sales, then the syndication to other channels and landing on Netflix. Simply put, the replays.

You can’t live in Britain and do your Christmas shopping without hearing ‘So here it is Merry Chrsitmas, everybody’s having fun! Look to the future…now it’s only just begu-u-un!’ Slade wrote the song and released it in 1973 when it went to number one. They did live performances on television and on tour. Obviously they got paid at the time, but did you know that since then every year to date they have earned £500,000 a year in royalties? Passive income. From the replays.

Now we know what it is, how can the average person, working a job and with a salary, with little to no savings, probably some debt and only a bit of free time, create passive income?

Make YouTube Videos – have a subject matter close to your heart? Have a transformation story to share that you feel might help others? With our generations Y and Z wanting to have more meaningful impact for others as well as a passion for what they do, many are already doing this! Whether it be sharing their compelling stories of inter-abled relationships, tv and movie reviews or gender transitions, Gens Y and Z have harnessed technology to reach out and connect with and assist, or educate, others.

Even lawyers and doctors can now be found creating YouTube videos to impart valuable professional information or reactions to tv and film versions of their professions! You can create a compelling video on literally any topic you choose or that means something to you and once it is complete share it on several social media sites. While a good bit of work goes into creating, sharing and promoting videos, repeated shares and views can generate a passive income!

Freelance your Passion – Is your passion photography? Photograph sales websites such as Shutterstock could buy yours! They offer either a flat fee or percentage of sales per photograph and the same photograph could sell over and over, generating a passive income!

Write an e-book – On literally anything. It’s a lot of work upfront but whether you market it on your own website and social media or affiliate with websites related to the same field it could generate a passive income for years to come.

Sell your own products on the internet – if you set up your own dedicated website you can sell literally anything you want. Your videos, your services, your own made items! While it’s not entirely passive in income, it is a time saver.

Start a blog – start talking about anything that means something to you and that could be of value to others. Or, if you’re not sure where to start, buy a blog that is already generating income. You can get a feel for its history or reinvigorate it with new content! Either way it’s a means to passive income!

Create an online course – feel like you could teach something constructively? Cooking? Gardening? How to use a computer? Interview technique? ANYTHING you are passionate about and could help others learn? Perhaps something you discovered by trial and error that could save others time! Create a course and market it online. This really is the gift that keeps on giving because once the upfront work is done, anybody around the world could be doing your course (and earning you passive income) while you sleep!

Become a referral source – Make a list of small business providers that you use on a regular basis and feel you can recommend to others without reservation. Contact the owners and see if they have cash referral offers. Your accountant, landscaper, electrician, plumber, carpet cleaning services etc. Keep a list of these businesses, and be ready to refer them to your friends, family and coworkers. You can earn a fee on each referral just from talking to people. Don’t overlook referral programs at work. If your company offers a referral bonus for either new employees or for new customers, then why not get paid for something you would do anyway?

Join a Network Marketing company – A good Network Marketing company has a vision beyond transactional sales and, in general, superior products. The business structure is already in place as is the development programme to move your mindset from that of employee to business owner. The price is minimal as opposed to the capital needed for a traditional and it’s also more likely to turn a profit in far less than the five years a traditional business usually requires. 80% of women who earn $100,000 or more per year in the US do so through network marketing and achieved it on a part time basis! Again, with technology you can take your home based business both local and global and, if coachable, can generate significant passive income!

We have been taught by those in jobs that we must do the same, but what do those on passive income say?

“If you don’t learn to make money while you sleep you will work until you die.” – Warren Buffett

Remember, the average job of the person who can afford to buy a house and save in Britain today and the reason? IT Services Director because of automation and technology!

In a world where we have made technology a priority in our day to day lives, why would we not put it to good use? It doesn’t matter your age, background, education level, gender, nor culture. Get to grips with using your smartphone – it has a global reach and you can make money!

I’m not suggesting chuck in your job and leap into the new arena. I am not suggesting that if you love your job you need to find another career. I am not saying that you will unfailingly earn Slade proportion passive income! But if you recognise yourself in the details of Britain’s employees today, what could an extra few hundred pounds a month do for you? What if you really could do what you love or what you would do anyway? What if in doing that on a part time basis alongside your job, you built a full time (or even more!) passive income?

I think that sounds pretty mature, responsible and realistic.


One thought on “You were not born to just go to work, pay bills, and die. In fact, if you’re an average British employee, you can’t even afford to.

  1. Great article Rachel. It was very informative on the various options that are available to make addition income. Thanks for sharing!


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