It worries me when I hear a (budding?) entrepreneur use words like "reliable" and "consistent" and "income". Entrepreneurs know there are no such guarantees on the road to potential success.
As well your statement "may take time" also indicates that it's just a matter of time. In many (dare I even say MOST) cases your big idea will flat out fail. Sure, some people get lucky and hit it big on their first outing... But the wise ones know that luck was a HUGE factor. And they hold no such expectations for future endeavors to succeed or pan out that quickly.
I say none of this to discourage you. On the contrary - these things are the reasons why being an entrepreneur is so amazing.
-Most people fear failure and as such will avoid even trying.
-Most people give up after their one big idea doesn't start cash-flowing immediately.
-Most people have an aversion to risk so they take the path of (seeming) least resistance.
Entrepreneurs aren't "most people".
Entrepreneurs embrace risk. They do everything they can to MITIGATE that risk - but they also know that "sure things" are for suckers.
Entrepreneurs move forward with confidence and passion but also do so knowing that there are no guarantees. They may have to hold down a "j-o-b" while pursuing their vision. It might takes years. They may spend nights and weekends toiling away. But they do so knowingly and willingly.
The answer to your question - how to do it - is just to DO IT. Start taking action today.
In my opinion - a better question to ask is "What can I do to increase the probability of turning my idea into a business - a profitable reality - one that creates value for the marketplace while kicking off profits to me, the owner?"
Find a great mentor or coach and then just go for it.
I sincerely wish you the best of luck!
I agree with every Dave said. I would like to add add a 4 step strategy that I have used myself and with my clients.
1. Come up with a month budget. Get very clear on what you need number [$] to make to be able to manage you responsibilities while you work on the big idea.
2. Come up with 4 services that you can teach or provide that you know come really easy for you. It would be ideal if those services were in alignment with your big idea. Sometimes that is not the case so if it isn't no biggie]. Create a google doc or simple wordpress site that outlines that service.
3. Set up a PayPal account so that you will be able to take payments online.
4. Make list of 10 - 20 people who have good relationships with [including friends and family] that you can provide those services for. Make spreadsheet with all of their contact info. Send a pitch letter to them describing your services and how long it will take you to deliver the service to them.
Follow up periodically with any one who didn't reply or purchase. Your main goal is every month to make that number you listed in step number 1. I can help you set something like this up if you like. Let me know.
One of the ways I advise entrepreneurial folks to grow the income they need for making their ideas executable, profitable and sustainable is to invest in a program to teach them trading in the finance markets (equities, debt, commodities and currencies) This provides an income hedge as well as a great education in how businesses work, are built, bought and sold. I've seen my clients gain financial security with just a few hours each week freeing up their time and freeing them from worry that obstructs the realization of their product, service or cause.
Anyone who tells you there are 'push-button' ways to generate are lying. There are at least two viable ways to get reliable, consistent revenue streams and grow them into a full-time size income: 1.) become an expert on something (anything where people are raising their hands and saying "I need help and I will pay to get it), grow an audience by giving away some of that info for free and then charging them for premium content around that 'something' and 2.) (a faster method) selling physical products online (specifically on Amazon, as a 3rd party merchant), which you can get started for under $50 and sell easily accessible and inexpensive (or free) inventory that's around you today.