Have you ever heard the saying, “If you’re not growing, you’re dying?” It’s true for many things in business and life, yet so many enter an online project planning to put together a “money-making machine” and then step back to let it run itself. Passive income, right?

Not only do most business models end up being much more hands-on than the entrepreneur first anticipated, but there are plenty of good reasons why you should continue expanding the knowledge of your business and industry even after your initial income goals are met.

Study
Source: flickr.com/photos/jmsmith000/

Here are some to think about.

1. It Only Gets Better

Are you really satisifed with hitting the baseline potential of your business?

The more you learn about your industry of choice, the better you get at serving your customers, even if you never branch out or expand your offerings. Learning more gives you the opportunity to work from a place of knowing what you do inside and out, so you can continually refine your processes and your offering.

If you step outside of your business and sit back, content to let it run itself, a distance begins to grow. And at that point, it’s very likely the systems you set up will deteriorate.

2. Industries Constantly Change

No industry is static, and this is especially true online. Researchers, scientists, and trendsetters are constantly adding to the wealth of knowledge pertaining to any niche you can think of. New technologies are introduced. Trends come and go.

If you don’t constantly keep your finger on the pulse of your industry, it changes without you, and you won’t have a chance to keep up because you won’t even see these changes coming. Suddenly you’ll be left in the dust, only realizing what happened when your revenue streams drop out from underneath you.

3. People Recognize Authority

Constantly learning makes you an authority, and people recognize this authority when they hear you speak on your subject or read the material on your website. They hear you talking about the latest changes, their latest needs, or what’s going on in the news, and they can tell you know what you’re talking about.

Authority is at the root of credibility, and credibility sells. When you know your niche in and out, people trust you. When people trust you, they feel comfortable giving you their money.

Authority
Source: flickr.com/photos/ukinitaly/

4. More Confidence

Confidence also sells, and there’s nothing like being confident that you know what you’re talking about. When you do create new material for your website or marketing campaigns, your “voice” rings with assurance.

5. Greater Peace of Mind

Have you ever tried making money off an online business idea and had that little doubt in the back of your mind – not only a lack of confidence in your own expertise but the nagging feeling that you might be doing something unethical? Let’s face it, when you pretend you know what you’re talking about to get people’s money, you are being unethical.

Staying well-versed about your industry takes this nagging doubt away and can eliminate instances of inethical conduct. Of course, even experts can and will be wrong at times, but you don’t have to second-guess yourself all the time because you know you’re speaking from a place of good, well-researched intention.

And then when it turns out that you’re wrong about something, you can readjust your stance and communicate your new knowledge with your audience.

6. Spot New Opportunities

Changing markets and evolving technologies also bring plenty of new opportunities to create new streams of income for your business. If you don’t stay immersed in the current markets, you won’t see these changes coming either, and that means you’re leaving a ton of income on the table.

If you’re happy with what you’re making and don’t want to continually expand your empire, perhaps the additional effort doesn’t seem worth it. But what if knowing about one single trend could double your income with little effort?
Is immersing yourself in industry research and only acting when you spot these gold nuggets that much of a sacrifice?

7. Stay Ahead of Competition

Maybe sleeping at the wheel will be enough to get where you’re going for now…if everyone else does the same.
But I’m willing to bet that a lot of your competitors are hungrier than you are and constantly seeking out ways to set themselves ahead. If you’re not paying attention, the day will come when someone who stays on the ball comes in and takes your customers away from you. Eventually, someone will offer something better, faster, more complete, or more in line with current realities.

Don’t force yourself to play catch-up or watch your business die when this happens. Pay attention now!

Does That Mean I Can’t Ever Rest?!

Look, I completely understand the desire to have a hands-off business that makes money while you sleep, and contrary to the above, it is possible to an extent. But it doesn’t take much to read industry magazines, spend free time on industry forums, and read the latest books to stay abreast of changes and maintain your competitive edge as needed.
You don’t have to be the hare to stay ahead – define what works and then be the tortoise instead.

Tortoise and Hare
Source: flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Once your systems are in place, step away from it and just engage in active study, which can be as little as an hour or two a day reading or watching videos by niche experts. Don’t feel obligated to act on everything you read. Just soak it in, and then, periodically, when something demands attention or passion strikes, you can step back in and upgrade your so-called money-making machine.

That’s not so much to ask, is it? Even a real estate investor has to keep their eye on real estate trends and look for new opportunities or warning signs. Even stock investors have to watch the market.

While having a largely passive income is possible, turning your back on it completely is just asking for trouble…