Which Work Model Fits You?

Posted by in Career Success | 4 comments

Typically, after we find our passion we don’t automatically begin to make money working in our passion.

So what do you do when you’ve found your passion but you’re not sure how to apply it?

Deciding Which Door to Choose 2Creative Commons License Vic via Compfight

It can be difficult to determine how to begin the process of doing work you love because there can be confusion about how your passion fits into one of the available work models.

The first step to working in your passions is to understand the four ways to make money.

In his book Rich Dad, Poor Dad (affiliate link) Robert Kiyosaki outlines what he calls the Cashflow Quadrant.

The Cashflow Quadrant represents the four ways income is generated.

He says the four ways income is generated are:



Business Owner


When we apply this idea to work models you can determine how you want to make money doing what you love to do.

Employee Work Model

If you want a traditional job with a set rate of pay and employer sponsored benefits then this work model may be what you’re looking for.

Self-Employed Work Model

Someone who wants to “be their own boss” might choose this work model. Those who are self-employed do not like having their income be dependent on other people. They want to sell their services directly to the customer or client and reap the financial rewards of doing so.

Business Owner Model

You may think, “I thought being self-employed was being a business owner.” Yes, that can be true. However, the difference is what would happen if the business owner or self-employed person took a year long vacation.

If the self-employed person took a year-long vacation they would likely return to the business with no income being generated unless they started providing a service again.

If the business owner took a year-long vacation they could return to find their business continuing to generate income without them.

So what’s the difference?

A self-employed person creates a job for themselves that provides linear income. In other words, they create income that is dependent on the person providing a service.

A business owner creates a system to provide passive income that does not require direct effort from the business owner. Often the business owner hires others to operate the system.

Think of the difference between a self-employed doctor and the owner of a fast food restaurant chain.

The doctor must see patients in order to create income.

If the doctor takes a week off the doctor does not produce income.

The owner of a fast food restaurant chain has a system for making food that other people operate.

If the fast food owner takes a vacation their business continues to generate income for them even while they’re gone.

Investor Work Model

Investors make money by investing money.

They do not have to provide a service or product to customers because their money is making more money.

So which work model fits what you want to do?

You can likely apply your passion in at least three of the four work models.

Choose the work model that fits your design and your interests.

There are a number of resources and books available to help you succeed in each area.

Then create a plan to begin working in that model.

Stay true to your passion, enjoy the journey, and I’m confident you can do work you enjoy.


Question: Which work model fits what you want to do?

  • I read this book several years ago. It was a great reminder of the difference between self-employed and business owner. Thanks for the recap, Adam!

    • Thanks Nick. Yes, it’s a good book and it does a great job of explaining how to generate money as well as what a healthy attitude toward money should be.

  • The E-myth Demystified by Gerber really opened my eyes on this topic, Adam. Love what you are doing here…keep on going!

    • I’ve heard a lot about that book Tom. It’s one of those books on my long term reading list. Thanks for the encouragement!