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👩‍🏫Teaching Others, Teaching Yourself

One way to get an independent source of income is by teaching others. This can take a lot of different forms: e-mail courses, video courses, in-person teaching, workshops (live or online), and so on. They differ in how well they scale. In general, if a method does not require your presence for each participant, it scales well.

For example: one on one teaching sessions require your presence for each of the participants. Group workshops or in-person courses also require your presence, but you're helping an entire group at a time. Video courses, e-mail courses, and other online forms of self-paced teaching do not require your presence for any of the participants. They do require careful preparation, though.

If you create learning material that scales well, it means you have just made a passive income source for yourself. All this without having to buy a property or real-estate. The only investment is your time in creating the content and in promoting it. If you learn how to create and promote well enough, you should have an income that exceeds that of rent you will get from real-estate. What's more important is that you also invest a lot less to get this asset. Sound cool, right?

There are three main challenges in creating your own income stream this way.
  1. You need to have a teachable skill
  2. You need to understand how to create content
  3. You need to know how to promote it
I have some good news. The first challenge does not concern you. You already have teachable skills, you might not be aware of it. Recently, two different clients asked me for consultations in Google Calendar and Asana. Both are products I use daily. In case of Google Calendar, I've used it since 2005 at least. Point is: I can't imagine living without it; it's such an essential tool for me. If I wasn't asked about it, I wouldn't even consider teaching something as obvious as that!

Sure, it was obvious to me, but it was not obvious to my client. That's how I learned that many things we know and take for granted may be the knowledge others want to learn. Do an experiment: aks a few of your friends what they would want to learn from you. This may suggest a strong skill you can teach others. This will be your foundation.

Even if you are just beginning a journey, your insight may be relevant to others. I saw a lot of material about learning programming written by people who started learning how to program a few months back. Their point of view may be better suited to the beginners than the point of view of someone who's been in the field for a few decades.

The second challenge is a bit more tricky. Which type of materials is the best? eBook? E-mail course? Video? Audio? It all depends on you. What's the primary type of content you consume? If it's video, you might have a better intuition about creating a great video. If you read a lot, written content could be a better fit.

You won't make it perfect the first time around, so it's crucial to practice and experiment. Before launching an e-mail course, you can write an article (or even a Tweet!) about the topic and see how your audience reacts. This way, you'll learn how to improve, before you invest your time into creating the entire content.

Finally comes the third challenge. It's the hardest of them all (at least for a lot of people I know). If you don't have an audience or a strong network, it may help to jump on an existing platform. Education is a hot topic and there is a lot of platforms focused on educational content. Some examples include Highbrow, Listenable, Skillshare, Avocado Audio. This way, the platform owners will promote your content for you, which takes the burden off your shoulders.

My tech courses are hosted on Pluralsight. It's a platform dedicated to professional growth and I love the quality of their content! I plan to launch self-hosted courses as well. First, I need to finish my other big project (the book!).

Would you like to give making money off your passion a try? Hit reply and share your thoughts!

📚 Reading



I want to highlight  "The Checklist Manifesto" by Atul Gawande. For such a boring title, it starts enormously exciting. The stories of death, near-death, and subsequent revival from various operating rooms got me really hooked! Before I hit the middle of the book, I'd learned about:
  • the intricacies of surgeons' jobs
  • the miracle revival of a 3-year-old girl drowned in cold water in Austria; the girl has been technically dead for an hour or two
  • how the construction workers make sure the buildings won't collapse and serve their purpose
  • the emergency response to hurricane and flood damage by both public and private sectors
  • how world-class chefs make sure their restaurant serves meals of the highest quality
As with "Why We Sleep?" this is one of the books I had to consume in small portions a time. Not that it's boring (even though the title is far from exciting)—quite the opposite. There's so much information that I had to process it before getting to the next part.

And here's one quote that made me laugh:

"He tried the usual surgical approach to remedy this—yelling at everyone to get their act together."

🎵 Music

This time another interpretation of a popular motif. This time, it's a figure of La Llorona. In folklore, La Llorona is a crying woman mourning the death of her children.

The movie "Coco" featured this motif. Below is a version of Olivia Ruiz.
Olivia Ruiz "La Llorona"
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Copyright © 2020 Piotr Gaczkowski, All rights reserved.

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