Lake Tahoe, Squaw Valley USA

Like many of you, I’ve been on this passive/semi-passive income building journey for quite a while now. I love the blogosphere because most of us like to write, and we’re all looking to see if we can develop a fun side or main income stream to buttress our financial situation.

In my latest passive income report, I finally realized that I’ve been seriously neglecting one key financial asset: my Lake Tahoe vacation property! It’s weird, because for the previous two passive income reports, I thought I was doing everything possible to boost my passive income.

I occasionally advertised the vacation property on Craigslist to supplement the existing efforts of the hotel property management company. But I stopped after about several months because it became tedious.

Then I fired the hotel property management company after six years and went with a new property management company that charged half the commission. The risk was that since they are an outside property management company, volume would decrease. But they guaranteed me a minimal amount of income to switch, so I wasn’t too worried unless they welched on their promise. I decided not to help them market my property due to the guarantee and due to my desire to focus on my consulting and online business.

Now that the annual guarantee income period is over, it’s best to help them, help me beyond just advertising on Craigslist and e-mailing my friends. I could write an in-depth post full of pictures about The Resort At Squaw Creek to rank for the terms “lake tahoe vacation property rental, Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, Resort At Squaw Creek” and link back to my property management company! If that post could sit on the front page of a Google search for years, then voila! An extra $500 – $1,500 a month in income could very easily be generated

So that is exactly what I did. I finally wrote a 1,550 word post about the best vacation property rental in Lake Tahoe on November 7, 2014. But what I should have done was write that post five years earlier when I first started Financial Samurai! Doh. 


Because I didn’t publish a post five years ago about my rental property in Lake Tahoe, I seriously missed out on $30,000 – $60,000 in lost revenue. But perhaps I’m being too harsh on myself because the property was originally managed by the hotel, which randomly assigned rooms once someone called in to book or reserved online. In other words, you couldn’t choose to rent my specific units. Rental income depended solely on the hotel’s overall volume.

Only after I switched property managers in 2013 was I able to point people directly to my units to rent so I wouldn’t have to manage the booking, collecting, and canceling. OK, so maybe I lost out on $5,000 – $12,000 in lost revenue instead. But still, that’s money lost due to blind focus and inaction.

I’ve been thinking to myself why I didn’t put two and two together? It seems so obvious now to leverage Financial Samurai and all online platforms to help market a lagging asset that is worth a decent percentage of my net worth. Here are three reasons I’ve come up with.

1) One track mind. 2014 is the year where I joined Personal Capital, a digital wealth management company in San Francisco as a part-time consultant. They’ve got an excellent affiliate program that I recommend all bloggers who write about wealth management, investing, and retirement to sign up. I’ve been going into the office two or three times a week since January and working another 8-25 hours more a week outside of the office. My contract is only for 25 hours a week, but I try and over-deliver all the time. My focus on being an excellent consultant not only took my attention away from developing my Lake Tahoe rental property income, it also made me neglect many other online income opportunities in the P2P, credit card, and travel space. If I wasn’t a consultant, I’m pretty sure I would have spent lots more time trying to make revenue with what I’ve got.

2) Inability to recognize opportunity. I think we’re just dumb or blind sometimes. We need someone else to help see what we are missing. No matter how many times I review a post for grammatical mistakes, someone will always find one. I was just happy with Financial Samurai’s growth all year that I didn’t realize it was a strong enough locomotive train to add more containers to it. I strongly suggest asking your relatives and friends what more you can be doing with what you have.

3) Purchased a new home. From April – October I’ve been overwhelmed with the purchase and remodeling of my new home in San Francisco. I already spent a lot of time bidding on other properties and losing. So I decided to change strategies and buy a fixer. That of course entails a lot of sweat equity, cash flow, and frustration. I’ve come a long way since purchasing in June, but I’ve still got to build a bathroom, a couple decks, and landscape the back yard. Going through the SF permit process is painful. Housing stress really took up so much of my time that I didn’t have any time left over for my other properties. I’m definitely done with buying anything else for at least 10 years. At least I wrote a beefy post on Golden Gate Heights being the best area to buy in San Francisco after I had secured my purchase!


We can’t always be running at 100%. But I bet if we take a step back and reflect on what’s being neglected, we can do a much better job in maximizing our resources. The key is to not try and do everything because you’ll end up not doing anything. I told myself I’d start a podcast in 2014, and I finally did this Fall. I still don’t know how to record a fancy musical intro and outro, and I don’t plan to learn until I get more time. I just want to get “good enough” out there in order to build momentum.

I have a calendar reminder to write at least one post every two weeks on because this site has a fantastic link profile that can help with some key words I’m looking to rank for. If I stay consistent, that’s at least 24 links a year from pointing back to Financial Samurai in a completely natural way. Every little bit helps and I encourage every Yakezie Member to utilize to help build their presence online as well.

We’re so often caught up in the blog-specific things such as Adsense placement, posting frequency, subscriber building, design, social media, etc that we forget we might have other assets that could be promoted with our respective websites. You can use your site to market your piano lessons, handyman work, or new invention. There’s so much you can do once you’ve built a solid platform!


I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom, learn how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes like this one. 

Leverage the 3+ billion internet users and build your brand online. There are professional bloggers now who make way more than bankers, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs while having much more fun, much more freedom, and doing less work. Get started. You never know where the journey will take you!

Updated for 2017 and beyond.