Ben Worthington turned a part-time side gig grading essays online into an online course business full-time, all while traveling the globe.
You can find him and his work at the IELTS Podcast site where he provides courses, ebooks, and essay correction, along with links to several great podcast guests.
Your Side Gig?
Correcting essays online, but I then turned this into a full-time business selling online courses.
Tell us a little about your work.
I work from home but move around a lot. In 2017 I was living in Spain, Ukraine, and Hungary. At the time of this interview, I am in the UK for Christmas.
What led you to work outside the classroom?
In my previous job, there wasn’t much space to move up. I could start a whole new physical business from scratch, stay in the teaching position, or develop my side gig.
What advice do you have for other teachers who want to do what you do?
Go for it, aim high, be persistent. Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. I got this from reading Ray Croc’s biography: Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. Calvin Coolidge
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made and what did you learn?
I bought cheap hosting from the start because I didn’t have too much spare cash. I never upgraded because technology isn’t really my skill set or passion. Later this had catastrophic consequences because my site kept crashing, so Google punished me.
If you could go back and give your 20-year old self some advice, what would it be?
Start a business now, don’t wait.
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?
Don’t doubt or berate yourself so much. You are doing well, the race is long and really it’s only with yourself.
Which resources do you rely on the most?
I have two masterminds — which are invaluable. Meditation keeps me focussed and rids me of the monkey mind. I can’t say a specific book, rather a strong habit of reading, and a Kindle is great for this.
When are you the happiest?
After meditation in the countryside.
Do you have a favorite quote or expression?
Ignore the naysayers.
If you had to do it all over again, what would you do, be, or try?
What are the 2-3 most important work-related purchases you’ve made in the last year?
Kindle, Macbook, and some cheap best-selling Panasonic earphones.
You’re being shot at dawn; what’s your last dinner request?
A lump of fried gammon with fried eggs, and for dessert a bag of sweets (the ones loaded with artificial colours and chemicals).
What’s your next goal?
To become an inventor.
What resources would recommend to others?
Brain.fm for meditation. If you read a really good book, get the audio version too, this makes the info seep into the crevices.
Anything else you’d like to share with other teachers who want to follow in your footsteps?
If you are lost, listen to Jim Rohn.
What’s one additional question we should ask and how would you respond?
What are you scared of? Falling behind other family members and business friends. It’s stupid because I know I shouldn’t compare myself, but I do. Silly.
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 Ben 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.