The beginning of my financial journey actually took place at an R&R retreat for pastors. Back then, I was focused on growing and building my ministry. One of the pastors asked me what my plans for retirement were. Well, retirement was the furthest thing from my mind! It surprised me when another pastor spoke up and told us that he would be broke in 90 days without his ministry. I believe that was a divine connection that day. God began stirring something new in my heart. I began to learn more about money mastery through growing passive income.
When I returned home from that R&R trip, I began a journey. I was determined to replace all of my salary and benefits with passive income—income I didn’t have to work for. At the time, my salary, benefits, and travel felt like a pretty big paycheck, so that was a significant goal for me to try to reach. But I was determined. So, I set my face like a flint, and here’s how I succeeded.
How to Grow Passive Income
Step 1: Identify Your Goal
To achieve a goal, you must have a compass. The purpose of a compass is to tell you if you’re going in the right direction, and to let you know when you have arrived. In this instance, your compass is the amount of money you want to replace with passive income. When I started my money mastery journey, I wanted to replace my salary as a pastor. Once I achieved that goal, I wanted to become a millionaire. Now, my goals have more to do with how much I can give away and how much I can help others. Your targets will shift throughout your journey as well, but it’s important to identify your first financial target. How much money do you need to make in order to replace your current salary? Write that amount down on a sticky note or a piece of paper, and stick it somewhere you’ll see it repeatedly.
Step 2: Choose Your Path
There are three primary ways to build passive income: real estate, business, and investing in areas such as the stock market. By God’s grace, I caught the real estate market at just the right time in the United States. I have diversified my portfolio since then through owning businesses, franchises, and maintaining a robust stock portfolio. In my opinion, real estate and business are still the best ways to build passive income, but it is still possible to do so in the stock market.
You will have to make the same decision for yourself. Where will you start? Know that you can diversify into other areas as well, but I encourage you to start with just one. Think about what goals you have and how quickly you’d like to get there. How much risk are you willing to bear? These are all determining factors when deciding your initial path.
Step 3: Never Stop Learning
In my line of work, I have met so many people who think they already know everything in their area of expertise. This kind of thinking leads to mistakes and failures. Now, you can always “fail forward”, but wouldn’t it be better to avoid mistakes in the first place? One of the best pieces of advice I can give anyone who is beginning to build passive income is to keep learning. I am constantly learning new things! God always reveals new things and provides me with divine connections. It will be no different for you if you develop the same growth mindset.
I remember the specific day I replaced my salary and benefits with passive income. It was a monumental moment for me! I was sitting in the parking lot in front of a Starbucks, enjoying a Quad Grande Americano—no cream, no sugar. It’s what I call a “man’s man’s drink.” As I was sitting there, I received a call from one of my property managers and my accountant. This particular manager was handling a lot of property at the time, and they told me we had reached my goal. I had replaced all of my income with passive income. Suddenly I felt so free, and on that day, I truly became the master of my money!