Whenever I meet persons with expert knowledge that could benefit the wider society, I usually encourage them to find ways to earn by sharing their expertise with others. Too many people who are privy to specialised information tend to keep it to themselves, with the mistaken view that giving away their 'trade secrets' will prevent them from benefiting financially from their work.
Whether you are a craftsman using a lost art form, a teacher using successful training methods, or a nutritionist using natural remedies, if you only focus on serving your individual clients, there will always be a low ceiling on the income you can derive from your knowledge. In fact, when you die, your talent will pass on with you and will not be available to better the world.
If you have essential information that creates value for others, you should be looking for ways to spread your knowledge in a systematic way that will allow you to earn more money. Your income will increase in direct proportion to the number of people you serve, so you need to consider how to get many more persons to benefit from your expertise.
Pass it on to make profit
Let's say that you're a personal coach with a unique exercise procedure that allows your clients to lose weight faster. You could try to get more clients by advertising your success system, but you would only be able to cater to a few extra customers each day. Keeping your knowledge in-house will only give you more physical work and eventually bring diminishing returns.
However, if you wanted to make full use of your techniques, you could look outward and try to get more people using your routine. You could give your system a trademark, hold training sessions for other coaches, and license them to use your procedure. You could also create a training video for sale and spread your knowledge around the world.
Even if you are not self-employed or not currently using some specialised skill to earn money, you can still think about ways in which you could teach what you know to others. The first question to ask yourself is, "What do I know how to do really well?" Then, the next thing to consider is, "Who would pay me for what I know how to do?"
Who wants what you know?
It may surprise you how many things can be turned into income-generating opportunities if you ask and answer these two questions. Years ago, when I was searching online and reading books to find solutions to my own money problems, I would never have dreamed that what I learned about personal finance would one day become my full-time passion and profit centre.
Let's say that your special talent is making some old-time Jamaican recipes with modern twists. Whenever you prepare these items for friends, you get rave reviews. You would like to some day start a small business in the culinary field, but you have a full-time job, two small kids, and lack the financing to get started. How could you still turn your knowledge into money?
If you think hard about the question "Who would pay me for what I know?", you might find some interesting possibilities. Could you enter into a profit-sharing arrangement with an existing bakery to make your unique products? Could you develop a simple cooking radio show and seek sponsorship? Could you train other persons how to bake your special recipes?
Take what you know 'To Di Worl'
In the past, when the ability to share knowledge was limited, it would have been expensive to package your expertise in a format that could be mass- marketed for profit. However, thanks to the wide reach of the Internet, it is now relatively easy for anyone to start earning from teaching others what they know how to do.
In my continuing search for new and innovative earning ideas, I recently discovered two websites that can allow amateurs and experts alike to find a ready medium to share their ideas for extra cash. These sites seem to be fairly new, so I can't speak for the longevity or stability; however, their premise of online teaching is intriguing.
Take a look at www.udemy.com and www.skillshare.com. These sites allow you to sign up free of cost, and offer training courses in whatever area you desire. If you choose to charge for your tutorials, the websites will take a small percentage of your earnings. Using links to social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, you can advertise your sessions to a wide audience.
With the current excitement around 'Brand Jamaica', here are some of my ideas for possible training sessions that anyone can offer:
- Authentic Jamaican Dance Moves
- Jamaican Recipes for World Champions
- How to Speak Jamaican Patois
I would love to hear of any success stories from readers who use these online training websites to earn extra income!
Cherryl is a money coach, business mentor and founder of Financially S.M.A.R.T. Services. Her upcoming book, "The 3 Ms of Money", will reveal all the secrets she learned about financial success. Read more on money and business matters at www.financiallysmartadvice.com and www.entrepreneursinjamaica.com. Email comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.