You’ve got this.
Many teachers wonder how they can start a profitable company or take on a side gig for some extra money. Coming from the education world, learning everything about business can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’ve interviewed quite a few educators who have left the classroom. Many have gone on to create their own companies or start-ups—and they have been highly successful.
What might seem like the impossible is not always the case.
Two key points to remember
Although the path wasn’t easy, I noticed two key similarities among all of my research with founders:
- They had someone who could hold them over financially. Especially during mid-life, this is essential. If you want to start a business, and leave your full time role in the classroom, make sure you have someone to cover your salary for at least two years.
- They were ready to not only think about making a change, but they took action. They read books, learned about business, listened to podcasts, hired a business coach, took classes, and made every minute count toward their new—found goal. They were risk-takers.
Therefore, if you don’t have these two support systems in place and want to start a business, waiting a bit until you have things lined up is a good idea.
As an educator, maybe starting your own business or side gig is something you’ve thought about in the past.
Even if you don’t want to jump all in or the risks are too high, take a look at these seven side gigs so you can bring in a bit of extra revenue each year.
Teaching provides a tremendous experience that can help educators become excellent education consultants—both for the traditional classroom as well as for corporate education.
Educators who have left the classroom typically have two different lenses: one that understands the infrastructure of a school, while the other lens can understand business, product development, marketing, and other parts of the industry. This combination of characteristics and skills are not easy to find, and can help you bring in a lot of extra revenue. Education consulting can also help you build a personal brand—attracting different companies or startups that may need your guidance or advice.
Today, more than ever, we need strong writers who can convey true facts in both the written and spoken word. We need excellent communicators who can get messages across the globe in a way that is honest, easy to understand, and clear.
The demand for strong writers is one of the roles we hope AI will not replace. Writing is one of the most complicated tasks of the brain, and with it comes compassion, emotion, feelings, and curiosity. Great writing can change your life in various ways—from landing some extra spending money to writing full-time for your new income.
Online teacher or tutor
There has been a significant rise in demand for expert teachers and tutors who speak English from the States—most notably in English or ESL for Chinese students. If you are a certified ESL teacher, there are various opportunities to make some extra money through teaching English online. You can look into companies that already offer such a service, or you can even build your own ESL business on the side. There are many online sites where you can find tutoring roles both online and offline.
If you are fluent in two or more languages, you can make money offering translation services. Given the global world we live in today, understanding and speaking two languages is a gift you can give to the public, or can create as a side business make right now. There are many ways that organizations can benefit from this expertise. As the world gets smaller and smaller due to technology, knowing more than one language can be an incredible asset. Research and sign up on some freelance translation sites to see if any jobs come your way.
Coaching or mentoring
There is no question that everyone wants to be a better version of him or herself. Especially in the New Year, most people are looking for a new start, a different look, or simply a life coach who can help them stay on track in a compassionate manner. Every day, teachers coach and mentor their students, so you are quite aware of the approach, strategy and implementation when it comes to coaching or mentoring. You can even become a coach or mentor for new teachers who are joining the profession. The demand for helping new teachers is out there.
Teachers can make for excellent public speakers because they talk and interact with big groups of people of all ages on a daily basis. Every morning, teachers begin their day before a live audience. Becoming a public speaker can improve your communication skills, reach, and you can make a difference in the lives of others with your knowledge. You can always get feedback from your students before you are about to present a speech too, as I’m sure most will be honest.
Choose a topic you are passionate about, sign up for speaker’s gigs, and start earning money while helping others through your words. Becoming a public speaker takes time to build, but you can do it.
Organize summer trips or create summer programs
Everyone knows you must have excellent organizational skills to teach. During the summer, although you may be busy, if you love the outdoors, these options may be a great gig for you. If you like to hike or teach different exercise programs in the summer, you can probably find a group that will pay you to guide them for these type of classes. Quite a number of people want to pick up their backpacks and take off to the countryside to bond with nature in the summer. If you are a nature lover, organizing outdoor events for other hikers or putting a workout group or yoga program together can be a unique way to charge for your talents.
Discover a passion, identify your niche and audience, and provide a solution. In the process, you will be on your way to putting more money in your pocket while doing something extra that you enjoy.