How to self educate

Last week, while speaking at a rural school, I was asked the question “what resources can you bring to us?"

I was kind of caught off guard by the question. I was there talking to teens about chasing their dreams and giving the lessons I learned along my journey. I brought the resource I had available; myself and my experiences. I offered to help any of the students I could with advice or mentoring in life or business.

As usual, I have had time to reflect on the question and come to one simple realization. The resources available today, are far better than they ever have been. What hasn’t changed is my simple way of thinking or looking for opportunity.

I’m a poor reader and have a hard time comprehending what I have read. I’m aware of this, so I download books from Audible and let someone else read them to me. I have listened to more books in the past 16 months, than I have read in my entire life. These are leadership, business, public speaking, business start-up, the power of positive thinking kind of books. Knowledge that I would have never gained, if I were left to read them myself.

I use YouTube ALL THE TIME to learn new skills. If you want to learn how to do almost anything, there is a video for that. You could literally learn to be a chef or make-up artist with no formal training. Recreate the videos you learned from and have a virtual resume.

Take the videos you just created and build a following across all social media.

What if you took the skills learned on YouTube and the following on Instagram and Facebook to build a clientele? You do the make-up for a 40 something year old about to celebrate her birthday, anniversary, husband’s birthday, or any other reason to celebrate. Charge her $150.00. It sounds like a lot of money, but it’s not. There are plenty of people with that disposable income. Find one a week, then two, then three, and so on. Once you have a large enough customer base offer a "how to" class 4 times a year. Rent out a conference room in a nice hotel and invite 25 ladies at $100.00 or $200.00 each.

So, with five make-over clients a week and four "how to" classes a year you just created a $49,000 a year business with the skills learned for free on YouTube.

There are numerous freelance sites on the internet like Legiit, Fivver, Freelancer, and Upwork to name a few. These sites are a fantastic way to leverage the skills you have gained, likely through hobbies, to make money.

I have used these sites to fill-in where my skills fall short. I don’t like to speak directly to a camera, it’s not natural, looks and feels forced. So, I found a spokesperson to do it for me on a freelance site. I don’t know how to use Adobe Photoshop, when it came time to create a logo, I ran back to a freelance site to find a Photoshop pro and commission them to do the work.

Just today, I found that like Airbnb and Uber, where strangers offer service using their own property, you can take your pets to someone’s home for them to watch after your fur babies. At $40.00 per day, per pet the revenue can add up quickly.

There is still eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace to buy and sell items. Don’t know how to use these sites, or don’t know what sells? Go back to my favorite, YouTube, and let someone teach you for FREE.

There are stories of people selling over a half million dollars a year in used books that they picked up from thrift stores, yard sales, or flea markets.

These are just a few examples of how you can leverage free resources to create a nice income doing something you love and not waiting on some outside force to show up and drop a dream job in your lap.

The easiest way to predict your future is to take control of it, don’t put it in someone else’s hands.

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