• The Passive Income Life

    Quoc here:

    Most of you guys have read the story of how my buddy Michael and I started Free the Apps and how much it has grown recently. It’s been an exciting two years since we’ve launched and I must say that I am very fortunate and thankful for all of our success.

    Since taking the plunge and quitting my job, I’ve been living off passive income for a little over a year now. I work about five to ten hours a week and wanted to give you guys some insight into what I’ve been doing with the rest of my free time.


    One of the first things I noticed after quitting my day job is that I actually have time for breakfast. Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day but how many of us actually take time to eat a full breakfast everyday? My breakfast used to be me sipping on a cup of tea or coffee while starting the day’s work reading my emails. Now I can take the time to cook myself some eggs, make some toast and actually enjoy my most important meal of the day.


    I found it difficult to fill my days at first. I had gotten used to working 8-10 hours a day so I was a little bored and restless at times. Initially, I spent most of my time going to the gym and running errands. It’s really nice getting stuff done during the day because everyone is at work and there are no lines anywhere, finding parking is easy, and it ends up saving you even more time to do other things.

    With all this free time I thought what better way to spend it than to learn something new. Not being very disciplined to learn on my own I found people to guide me. I started taking guitar lessons, got a Mandarin tutor, and even found a personal trainer to push me and give me a good routine at the gym. The most exciting activity that I took up however was flying. I took an introductory flight that I bought from Groupon and I got hooked. I found a great private pilot instructor and started taking lessons 3 to 4 times a week. The best experience was flying myself solo from San Diego to Big Bear Mountain with my snowboard in the back, meeting a couple friends on the mountain for a couple hours and then flying myself back. Scary, exhilarating and nerve-wracking but totally worth it.

    Flying to Big Bear

    Solo flight to Big Bear Mountain


    About 6 months after I quit my job, my dad was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. He’s never smoked a day in his life, rarely drank alcohol and always watched what he ate, so he was just unlucky. His treatment required him to go to radiation 5 days a week. Without any daily obligations, I was the only one in my family free to take him to treatment everyday. I also started spending a lot more time at my parents house to keep him company during the whole ordeal. It was easy for me to work from my laptop and be there for him at the same time.

    This is one of the instances where I truly appreciated the free time I had gained from passive income. My mom had work, my siblings were in school and if I wasn’t on passive income we would have had to take turns skipping work and school to help care for my dad. This in turn could have affected work and school performance and would have caused even more stress and worry on top of what we were already dealing with. Everything worked out though and I’m glad to say that the treatment went well and he’s been cancer free for over a year now.

    Travel and Charity

    Since December 25, 2010 I’ve been traveling around Southeast Asia with my buddy Richard Lee exploring, meeting new people and volunteering with non-profit organizations when given the opportunity. We spent a month in the Philippines, a month in Taiwan, and now we’re currently in Vietnam where we’ll be spending the rest of the time until August this year.

    Volunteering in the different countries I’ve been traveling to have really given me a different perspective on life and a new purpose to travel aside from leisure and relaxation. It does take a big commitment to volunteer your time so being on passive income definitely allows me to be here all year. If you’ve ever thought about volunteering or going on a mission I would definitely recommend it. There are many different organizations doing amazing things around the world and a lot of the time the missions only run 1 or 2 weeks long. Next, I’ll give a quick summary of the different organizations and missions I’ve helped out with this past year.

    Medical Mission Outreach

    Medical Missions Outreach is a group from Ashland, Ohio that’s doing great things in many different parts of the world. They go on many missions each year that take a group of doctors, optometrists, pharmacists and volunteers to help those that don’t have access to or can’t afford proper healthcare. Pastor Bradley who runs the the program is a really great and down to earth guy. He works so hard getting the missions together and it shows with just how organized and smoothly things ran.

    We recently spent a week in January with Medical Missions Outreach on their mission in the Philippines where we saw over 2,649 patients! Richard is a 4th year medical student and at UCSD so he gets hands on experience helping patients during these missions, but don’t be turned off if you’re not in a medical related field like me. There is a lot of non-medical related help that is needed. Check out some pictures below.

    Baby Dorothy

    Baby Dorothy

    Dr. Lee

    Dr. Richard Lee

    The Group

    The Group

    Project Vietnam

    This organization has it’s hand in many projects throughout Vietnam including medical missions, summer camps, and training and collaborative projects. Since I’m already in Vietnam I will be able to not only participate but also help with many preparations for the 2011 Summer Service Camp. Other projects that I might be a part of are developing a neonatal database for the Danang pediatric department and help with a bridge building project in a small province of Vietnam.

    The Good Samaritans

    This group also has a very well organized 2 week summer medical mission every year sometime between June – August. They come out with a big team of doctors, surgeons, dentists and volunteers to help the underprivileged areas of Vietnam.

    This group also runs the Vietnam Emergency Medicine Project where they send a team of doctors, nurses and volunteers to Vietnam every year to hold a training conference to teach the doctors of Vietnam new topics in emergency medicine. This has a huge effect on the Vietnamese community because the doctors are then able to take what they’ve learned to not only better treat the patients of Vietnam but also teach what they’ve learned to other doctors as well. Last month I spent a week helping out with the 2011 conference. I was able to put my technical skills to good use as I was in charge of recording the audio from the lectures onto the powerpoint slides so that doctors will be able to listen to the lectures with the slides for future learning.

    Vinacapital Foundation

    VinaCapital Foundation’s mission is to empower the children and youth of Vietnam by providing opportunities for growth through health and education projects. Recently celebrating their 2000th child saved through heart surgeries this organization is doing a lot of great work in Vietnam.

    The biggest project that I’m helping Vinacapital Foundation with right now is the redesign and overhaul of their website. I must thank Matt Mickiewicz and 99designs for making a big donation and hooking us up with a great design package for the website. With a lot of good submissions we’re really excited to get the new website up.


    Celebrating 2000 Children Saved

    The 2000th Child

    The 2000th Child

    Giving back

    Anyone can give back and volunteer their time. Don’t be discouraged by thinking you have nothing to offer. I was able to help during the medical missions by organizing supplies and medications, facilitating and directing people where to go and I even got to take patient’s temperatures and blood pressures. Working directly for the organizations, I was able to put my technical skills to good use. Non-profit organizations are no different than regular companies with everyday needs. There are tons of opportunities all around the world for you to help out and give back a little.

    So that’s what I’ve been up to the past year or so. I’ve been very fortunate with all of my success so now I’m just traveling the world and giving back whenever I can.


    Posted by admin on May 09, 2011 in Uncategorized View Comments
    • Khoi

      Good work! Keep it up.

    • Tiffany

      Hey anh,
      Just want to say I’m soo very proud of knowing you and what you have accomplished!


    • Mike

      Livin the dream!! Congrats man!

    • Rich

      We’re all immensely proud of you buddy :) I’m lucky and proud to call you one of my closest friends. I wouldn’t want to share our travel experience with anyone else. Let’s finish up strong!

    • Moon

      Very selfless and inspiring man. Great to see great people doing even greater things.

    • Andrew

      come back! i miss you guys =(

    • Uyen

      It’s about time you stopped being selfish and started helping others out. JK! You guys are awesome! Keep up the good work!

    • Kevin Velasco

      It is extremely inspiring that you volunteer and do charity work on your travels. I think it’s important to note that we don’t have to wait until we achieve the passive income lifestyle to volunteer or do charity work. We can participate with giving now (with projects such as Kiva) as we work towards our ideal lifestyle full of abundance! Keep it up!

    • Alex | Perfecting Dad

      Very very nice. I hope to be one of you within the next couple of years.

    • Ralph Kooi

      Awesome post! Really like the breakfast item (I love food) and really those small changes that can make such an impact.

    • Grace Yeoul Kim

      Love it! Now I know what you are up to :) Great news about your dad!! Yay!! =)

    • hu?

      way to go man…this sounds awesome!

    • Steve

      Awesome…!! These are the stories that keep me going..BRAVO

    • Thanh Vuong

      like yr post and so proud of u too.

    • Mien

       Awesome, Quoc! So proud of you and what you’ve been doing! :) But….can you come back soon? We need you over here!

    • Bradley

       What a great article Quoc!  We loved having you in the Philippines team, and hope to have you and Richard back again!  Keep up the great work, and please be safe!  Oh, and btw, I’m still excited about those apps we talked about!  Take care man!

    • M-sho

      : ) awesome job lil bro.

    • Sevans12

      Hi Biggie!! Sorry I am just getting around to reading this now! I’m so proud and amazed by all your achievements. I can’t tell you enough how much I admire all that you’re doing and am truly inspired by your hard work, modest attitude, and selflessness. I’m so lucky to have you in my life and can’t wait till you come back so we can hang out as one big happy family again! Keep us updated!! <3

    • passive income

      I’ve heard that the key to true wealth is through passive income

    • Joe Monaghan

      Excellent story, you deserve everything you have . There are not too many out there that gives up their precious time to help others.

    • Jignesh

      A Perfect example of how to live a good and purposfull life

    • Lex

      A Perfect example of a purpose driven life!

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