Daniel Anderson is a 26-year veteran of public school teaching. For the past 18 years, I've side gigged as a real estate agent. In that time I have closed over 600 transactions, been a 5-star award winner each of the last three years, and routinely finish in the top 10 percent for sales volume among Portland, OR realtors.
His real estate success has allowed him a second side gig as an author and speaker in the last two years.
What is your side gig? I'm a part-time real estate agent.
Tell us a little about your work. As a realtor I work from home, my car, and my backpack during my lunch break. Real estate is an on-demand job that means I work a great deal when I'm not in school.
What led you to working outside the classroom? After my third child was born it became pretty clear that my income as a teacher wasn't really going to keep pace with my financial needs — especially in Portland, Oregon which becomes less affordable by the day.
What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do? Be ready to give up some of your “me” time. To be a first-rate, professional realtor requires some sacrifice. In my life if it isn't family, school, faith, or real estate, it probably doesn't happen.
What's the biggest mistake you've made and what did you learn? As a realtor my biggest mistake was not making sure I had every detail dialed in before accepting an offer. I didn't take the time to fully check a contract and consequently my client suffered.
If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be? Save more money! I'm still giving myself that advice every day.
If your FUTURE self in 20 years could look back at where you are today, what advice might the Future You offer the Current You? I think my future self would probably say to me today to be sure to carve out enough time for family. I'm in period of sacrifice until my own children get out of college, but after that it may be time to refocus a bit.
Which resources do you rely on the most? For my personal life I lean heavily on my faith life — church, prayer, and reading. As a realtor my big resource is my clients. I rely on them to establish my agenda and priorities as a realtor. But in both my personal and professional life I rely on my wife to help keep me grounded.
When are you the happiest? That's a good one. I'm very happy when a lesson at school goes extremely well. The joy of good teaching is pretty tough to beat. I'm equally happy as well when I see the fruits of my real estate labor pay off with my family and being able to give charitably to causes I support.
Do you have a favorite quote or expression? “There's the easy way and there's the right way.”
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try? I think I've hit the mark with my life. I love teaching and real estate has allowed me to passionately pursue teaching without the financial strain. I've said this a thousand times if I've said it once, “I get paid to do something (teaching) that I would certainly do for free.”
What are the 2-3 most important work-related purchases you've made in the last year? A new laptop has been a big plus for me both as a realtor and school teacher. Also purchasing a Spotify account has been a big plus as well. Being able to have first-rate music at my disposal makes all the hours in the car enjoyable.
Anything else you'd like to share with other teachers who want to follow in your footsteps? Don't let caution stop you. Even if you fail at a substantial task it will be, if nothing else, an opportunity for growth. I recently published a book and while sales have been good they aren't what I was hoping for. Amidst this disappointment, I see how much I've grown as writer, communicator, and person. If you are a teacher contemplating a side gig, you should do it. You'll likely not regret it.
And, don't forget to check out Daniel's other side gig, published author!
This teacher profile is part of SimpleK12's Extra Teacher Income series, where we interview educators about the things they're doing outside of the classroom, for both enjoyment and also a little bit of cash. To read more in this series go here, or to suggest your own story and a possible profile, go here.
If you have any questions for Daniel, or anything else related to this topic (and there will be more extra teacher income profiles and stories coming soon), please leave them below in the Comments.
For a different extra teacher income story, check on what Heather Brandon (blogging and educational consulting) is up to.
Or, follow along with full-time college prof, Dustin York, and his many side gigs.
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