Getting Paid to Fish?

The sun gleamed bright on the relatively still water of the Snake River. My line was draped over the starboard side of the aluminum watercraft. I was reclined in the seat-a big smile on my face. The smile was not due to the exceptional fishing.  I had only had a few bites. Rather, it had just dawned on me that 1. It was Wednesday morning; 2. I was fishing with a good friend; and 3. I was getting paid to fish!

No, my ‘job’ was not a fishing guide. I was a real estate appraiser. Yes, my office was open and no, I was not there.

Some call it ‘Vicarious Work.’ Others title it ‘Residual Income,’ but the concept is the same…find a way to make money whether or not you are actually working. Robert kiyosaki calls it being a ‘business owner,’ and he is a strong advocate of it (See Cashflow Quadrant). I am also an advocate of it. In my mind, it is the only way to live. Residual income allows you to focus your time on improving your current business, starting a new one, or…well…fish!

In a nutshell, the principle entails building up your business to the point that others (employees) are doing your work for less money than you are being paid. In other words, if you make $50 an hour (after expenses) and you can hire personnel to do the same work for $10 per hour, you are a ‘Business Owner.’

I know what you are saying, “That’s a great concept for a store owner or a restauranteur, but I am a real estate appraiser. I have to do the work. That is just the way it works.” Well, yes and no. Certainly, you must do your own inspections (unless your client will allow another) and the technical side of the appraisal report, but there is a lot more that goes into an appraisal that can (and SHOULD) be done by others. Some of this work must be disclosed (CLICK HERE for more), but much of it does not.

Furthermore, what about training or hiring other appraisers to work for your ‘Firm?’ They can utilize their own names and individual licenses, but do so under the umbrella of your business name. Naturally, the numbers you see on Home Page of website do not come exclusively from my own labor.

However you decide to do it, my advice is that you do it! Set your goal and then work out the details as to how you might get to that goal. In my case, it took about 3 years from start to finish. The finish line found me on the river, catching rainbow trout, and being paid to do it.

Now, go create some value!


Dustin Harris is a multi-business owner, but he made his fortune as a self-employed, residential real estate appraiser. He has been appraising for nearly two decades. He is the owner and President of Appraisal Precision and Consulting Group, Inc., and is a popular author, speaker and mentor. He owns and operates The Appraiser Coach ( where he personally consults and mentors other appraisers helping them to also run successful appraisal companies and increase their net worth.  He is also the Founder and President of Your Appraisal Office ( which implements some of the systems he has developed to help lower costs and free up time for real estate business owners.   He and his wife reside in Idaho with their four children. This article may be reproduced and distributed only in its entirety without permission from the author.

1 thought on “Getting Paid to Fish?”

  1. I would love to make money for doing nothing, but my interest is being paid to fish for monsters. $20 an hour and documented every step along the way. Sounds exciting right. Think about it. I have no skills in much but fishing is what I know. Ty

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