I've also read The 4-hour work week and dreamed about relaxing on a tropical island while the money pours in... but the truth is that it's actually a lot of hard work to get to that stage.
The biggest myth surrounding passive income is that it's a "set and forget" strategy. The truth is that it does actually take a lot of work, up-front to get that ball rolling.
Nacie's article weighs up whether passive income is all it's cracked up to be.
Too many people read "four hours" and think that passive income is the *easy* path to success... far from it. You'll most likely get far more up-front cash coming in via a traditional entrepreneurial route. Sure, some superstars will hit it lucky up-front and be an immediate smash, but for most of us working-joes, "passive" is all about building over the long-term; and keep in mind that it will take a long-term effort to get a full-on passive cashflow. In the meantime, you'll probably have to start with a more traditional business or job until your passive streams grow enough to be sustaining.
Have a look at what Steve says if you want to know the real consequences of trying to take the easy route when launching your own business.
Now, don't take all this to mean that "4 hours" is all a lie. As far as I'm aware, it never states that you can make money with no effort at all - or that you'll even make more money that way than the traditional routes... It's quite clear that it's handbook about really useful ways of simplifying and delegating as many parts of your business as possible. The main point being that you are building a "maintenance free" business, rather than a "totally effortless" business.
It's definitely true that people *can* make passive income work this way. Just keep in mind that it won't happen overnight and it's won't happen with absolutely no effort at all.
Anybody here have experiences with putting into practice what they found in "four hours" or any other version of a passive income stream? How did it work out for you?