A Non-IT Engineer and The Quest For Online Passive Income

Non-IT engineer and quest for online passive income

When engineers start getting entrepreneurial, you know there’s going to be spreadsheets, planning and building things.

This is my first ever blog post. One of many to come, as I educate myself (and hopefully you too) in the world of online passive income streams.

A little bit about me. My name is Jay.  That’s me on the deck of the Ceona (alas poor yoric) Amazon.

Jay on deck

Yep, I’m an engineer.  But note that I didn’t study software engineering or in any field related to the internet or web technology.  So when I talk about engineers in this post (and generally throughout the blog), I’m referring to engineers and people like you and me, who don’t have a technology background by education – but are willing to learn and apply the educational skills we do have to the online business world.

For 18 years, I worked in the oil and gas industry. I had it pretty sweet, making great coin, travelling the world and also dabbling in internet startups on the side.

But the oil industry can be cruel mistresses… yes, yes it can…

The tumbling oil price resulted in hundreds of thousands of oil jobs being lost. I was just another unlucky casualty when the company I was working for went bust… along with all my plans.

Being made redundant sucks – and not getting paid for 2 months of work sucked even worse.

Thankfully though, with a bit of hustle and the support of my gorgeous fiancee (now wife), we were able to keep things afloat.

Hustling on the side when you’re working a full-time job was fun. Hustling when your livelihood depended on it, was invigorating!

I expected to be in a state of panic. But desperation gave me focus. And focus gave me productivity. When you can see that you’re making progress, you just want to keep on going.

I had to focus. I had to keep things moving. I was accountable. I needed to make ends meet. I needed to work out what I was going to do, then do it.

I devoured everything I could find on digital marketing. I taught myself basic web development. I applied my engineering project management skills to do product management for a mobile app. I worked on internet startups and mobile apps.  I did whatever needed to be done.  I didn’t care that it had nothing to do with oil and gas.

At the top of my hitlist though, was online passive income.  Put your hands up if you’ve read “Four Hour Work Week”.  It’s a book written by Tim Ferriss that talks about how to create your own income generating ‘muse’ business that allows you to escape your desk job.


That was the freedom I was chasing. An income that wasn’t tied to a location and didn’t need me to work hours for cash.

(You can put your hands down now)

To me, passive income means that I’m not directly trading my time for money. With an online business that’s open 24/7 – I can be earning money even when I’m not working.

Now that really excites me!

At this stage, I want to make one thing very clear. I’m no expert, or guru, and if it ever looks like I’m pretending to be one, then please give me a punch in the guts.

What I do know, though, is how to find solutions, plan and execute. As an engineer, that’s what I’ve always done.

Engineers are natural problem solvers. That’s what we do. That’s why I know you’ve already got all the know-how that you need to be a successful entrepreneur.

The thing is, it’s not the lack of knowledge that will stop you. It’s your own mindset.

Many engineers worry about not having transferrable skills. I know they’re referring to specialist skills that can get them employed in another engineering industry.  But as engineers, you’re taught to learn. So what if you applied that ability to create something for yourself rather than work for someone else?

But as engineers, you’re taught to learn.  So what if you applied that ability to create something for yourself rather than work for someone else?

Often, when I talk to engineers about being entrepreneurial, I’ll get responses like:

  • “I have no time to start a business.”
  • “I don’t have any ideas or skills create something”
  • “I can’t do it – it’s just not in my character to start a business”

Yes, someone actually told me, it’s not in their character. WTF?!

But I get it. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. Most of my friends and family don’t get it. It’s safer to work for your money. You can blame someone else when things go wrong.

It’s frustrating for me because I feel like they’re all missing out. But at the same time, I just have to accept that most people just want to stick with what they know.

So let’s get one very clear. Let’s not pretend that this isn’t going to be hard work. It’s risky. Being an entrepreneur is hard. But since when was anything worthwhile easy?

There are no guarantees in life… except when you don’t try.

Keep this in mind though. You’re not the first person to do this, and you certainly won’t be the last. The benefit of coming in now is that people have already made all the mistakes. Learn and avoid those mistakes. Then seek out the tried and tested formulas and processes out there that you can copy.

The challenge is to figure out what works and what doesn’t for you and your business. Do your research, evaluate, test, plan, then execute. Sound like an engineering project?

I write about online passive income businesses and marketing because it fascinates me. I hope that one day, it will allow me to achieve my personal and financial goals – namely to support my family and maintain our lifestyle without relying on a 9-to-5 job.

Everyone will have different goals and aspirations – but to achieve those goals, you typically need time and money. Online passive income gives you both, on the caveat that you invest the time upfront to build something worthwhile.

So this blog for you, Entrepreneurial Engineer. Because I know that of all the educated people out there, engineers are more capable than most, of being entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, engineers are also inherently the most risk-averse.

My risk-averse nature continually keeps me in check, but I know that it should not dominate the decisions that I make.

Engineering decisions should be unbiased and made based on the evaluation of risk versus outcomes. Entrepreneurial decisions should be exactly the same.spock-disregard-emotion-acquire-logic

I don’t have time or finances for egos and emotional decisions anymore.

My decisions are now based on logic and data, collected from research and little income experiments.

I want to give you the information that I collect so that you can make your own decisions and engineer your own passive income.

if there’s something that you need to overcome to get started, or just have some questions about creating an online business, then leave a comment below – I’d love to be able to help.

Thanks for joining me on this ride. Destination unknown, but keep calm… there are plenty of engineers here.




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