Lockdown. Crisis. Work From Home. Layoffs. Unemployment. These are all very familiar terms right now as the world reels from the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The average worker is panicking because they fully understand how fragile their employment situation actually is. Just the slightest rocking of the world economic boat can send millions of people into instant unemployment. And no one knows how long they’ll be suffering without a paycheck, or even if they will have jobs and companies to return to once the crisis has passed.
There are already tens of thousands of articles on the web discussing ways to make the Work From Home (WFH) time period less stressful or more productive. I’m not here to provide another of those lists. I am here though to discuss the one thing that you can do to not only begin the process of helping your current situation, but to also mitigate similar situations in the future.
It’s time for you to start your own side gig.
By having a side gig, you can begin to make a few extra bucks fairly quickly. How quickly depends upon a number of factors, but theoretically, you could start making your first few bucks within a week. In other cases, the first dollars to come trickling in may take a month or two or more. But as time goes on, those first few bucks can eventually become significant extra cash. It could even conceivably lead to turning your side gig into your main gig. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start from the beginning.
First, let’s be clear. Everyone who works already, and has access to a computer and internet service can have a side gig that they can do from home in their spare time. Everyone. Even you. There are probably 100 side gigs you can start but I’ll only be focusing on one. Feel free to investigate other possibilities if this doesn’t feel right for you.
The WFH gig I want to discuss with you is one that can universally apply to everyone wanting to do a side gig. What is it?
Teach People A Skill That You Already Have
Yes, you have skills. If you’ve been working at a job – any job – you have skills. In fact, you very likely have many more skills than you use on your job. Any of those skills are teachable, and some of them can also be profitable if you create courses to teach others what you know.
- Maybe you are a bookkeeper or accountant? There are all kinds of things you can teach people who don’t have the skills they need to manage their finances or who don’t know how to use popular accounting software.
- Maybe you are a construction worker? Imagine all the courses you could teach to help people DIY all the things they want and need.
- Maybe you are a retail store clerk? I bet you have sales skills or persuasion skills or patience skills that could be useful to teach. Or perhaps you know everything there is to know about the products you sell. Maybe you sell auto parts and can explain how to replace brakes pads, or how to get the most mileage out of your car without having to repair it.
- Maybe what you do in your free time is teachable? Do you paint? Draw? Play tennis? Workout? Shoot hoops? Any of your passions might translate into an educational course.
- Maybe you know how to sew? Teach others how to sew masks for our healthcare workers during this crisis. I’d recommend giving away that course for free, and then you can also offer paid courses for sewing other things, such as cool clothing, costumes, even furniture covers, pet clothing, etc.
Whatever you do at your day job, you have teachable skills. Whatever you do in your free time, you have teachable skills.Donna Cavalier, Online Entrepreneur
Turn your teachable skills into a side gig within one week. Let’s see how.
In the old days (early 2000’s), launching a course online was difficult and expensive to develop. That is no longer the case. In fact, it’s just the opposite. You can create an online course very quickly, very easily and super cheaply – in fact, you can do it for “mostly free”. I say mostly because it does cost a few bucks to buy a domain name (about $10/year) and host a website (somewhere between $5 – $20/month). And there may be a few other miscellaneous but very small expenses depending upon your particular situation. But the bulk of the materials you will need can be gotten either for free, or for very small sums of cash. And we all know that right now during this crisis, free or cheap is super important!
There are many ways to do this, and many tools you could choose. I’ll only give you one path to take, as it is the one I think is the most beneficial right now.
The tools you’ll use:
- WordPress (Free, self-hosted only. Do not sign up at wordpress.com. You will need to purchase a domain name and hosting plan, as described above. You can see what I recommend for getting your domain name and see my reviews for good hosting here. If you need help with this, let me know).
- Elementor (free version is fine, but go for the Pro version if you can swing the $49 cost).
- LifterLMS (this is the core platform that will enable you to build your online course. You can use the free plugin and later if you decide you want extra functionality, you can purchase optional addons, but it is absolutely not necessary to pay anything in order to build a course, and get paid to teach people what you know).
That’s it. Sure, there may be several other tools you’ll end up using for your specific situation, but you can get by with just these.
I recommend taking this free quickstart course that takes you through the entire process of creating a demo course. It only takes about 20 minutes to watch, and you’ll be experiencing an actual online course, in the same way your students would experience a course you’ll create. You’ll see how easy it is to do, and you’ll know exactly what it’s like to take a course as well.
I hope this helps you get started with creating your own side gig. In these nerve-wracking times, an additional source of income would be very welcome. Now may be the most perfect time to get that going.
I'd be happy to have a quick email chat with you about your idea, for free, no strings attached. I've been through this myself. Back in 2001, I had to quit my job to take care of my mom who was dying from lung cancer. To try and make ends meet, I started doing side gigs on the web. Back then, I didn't know much about the web, and there weren't any of these awesome tools to make things easy. Needless to say, I floundered around for quite a while, and it took a long time for me to find some success, but eventually I did. After all these years of working from home, I have a ton of experience, and I've gone through it all - including a whole lot of failures. Just contact me if you have a question, or feel free to chat with the LifterLMS folks as well. They really understand their product and the process like no one else.
Best of luck with your side gig. I believe you can do this! I hope you find a way to believe in yourself!