How to Enjoy and Use the Benefits of Teaching
by Chris King
wise person once told me that if I wanted to learn something, I should
teach it. Stephen Covey, one of my favorite gurus, also suggests that
the way to internalize an idea, habit/ principle is to share it with someone
else. I was reminded of this idea just this week as I read a past March
issue of the makes-you-really-think magazine, Fast Company.
Rubin in her article "The Trouble with Mentors" writes,
"Advice is overrated. Before you learn what others know, you need
to learn what you know
I've found that the worthwhile things in
life I taught myself
Find someone whom you can mentor on the subject
that you want to master. You will learn quickly and indelibly." How
true! In this article I will share ways to learn (and also market yourself)
Determine what you know that others would be interested in learning.
Being a free agent, independent professional, and freelancer teaches one,
as you know by now, how to accomplish and excel in many areas. My career,
which I call a "Portfolio Career" consists of a whole variety
of careers, and even if I haven't pursued some of those careers recently,
I know a lot about them. Last year in February I read about a company
that was looking for people to write e-books about "Dream Jobs"
so I proposed a couple of ideas, and now have two books at the Dream
Jobs to Go website, How to Get Started as a Professional Storyteller
and How to Get Started as a Fitness Instructor.
happened because of this endeavor is that I learned more than I could
ever imagine learning about two of my present careers - the books
involved interviewing others in these professions and also visiting useful
websites. Other benefits have been some income (slow but sure) and great
exposure. Remember, writing any type of book produces credibility for
Once you have determined what you could teach to others, what are some
of the other ways to go about it?
Investigate Continuing Education opportunities. Almost every community
has a recreational department, a community services department and/or
a community college that offers adult/youth community education classes.
These range from practical, how-to classes, to motivational/inspirational
sessions, to physical fitness, Tarot card reading, and on and on. Ask
for sample brochures to check out what and what types of classes are being
offered, and then make a proposal for something you know about or have
experienced that is not listed.
if a class doesn't attract enough people it will be cancelled,
but all you have lost is teaching that class. However, you have gained
exposure as an expert in that area by being listed and have learned about
a topic that doesn't appeal to a large number of people. This is good
for a writer and/or speaker to know, but it might also be the way it is
Usually, teaching Continuing Education classes doesn't pay a huge amount
for the time invested, but there are many other benefits. I have been
teaching them for years and the following are some of the tangibles I
- A thorough
understanding of my topics. By structuring a class and creating
handouts, I have learned the ins and outs of what works and what doesn't.
I am always working on improving the sessions, so I constantly read
and learn lots about my subjects.
and free marketing for my freelancing. The people who attend my
classes do marketing for me by telling others about what I do. I have
received speaking engagements, storytelling workshops and referrals
all because of the classes I teach.
When I have done a good job, the students are pleased and start using
what they have learned and/or been motivated to learn. The best part
is when I see one of them later on the street and they grab me to say,
"I took you class ___ years ago. It changed my life!" WOW!
what you know on the Internet. There are an incredible number of opportunities
- and they are increasing daily - for information sharing over the Internet.
What if you don't feel that you are a writer? Well, we all need to work
on our communication skills, so taking on a website/column for a publisher
will give you the practice you need to learn how and increase your skills.
For example, a site like this one you are visiting, was originally hosted
by a publisher that provided a portal for information sites.
you are willing to put in some time writing for and maintaining a site,
you will not only learn so much more about your chosen field, you will
also learn the ins and outs of HTML (a lot easier than you would fathom),
graphics, web advertising, and much, much more. Besides maintaining the
three information sites I started with the original publisher(you will
find all three here), I write two other weekly columns. And, I will guarantee
that you will learn a great deal more than you will ever teach to others.
I could go on and on about all of the wonderful people I have met through
my teaching avenues and all of the skills and knowledge I have accumulated.
But, at this point I will just say, "Try it! You'll like it!"
A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Handling a Portfolio Career,
is in the works! I will be in touch with former subscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and to all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test. Watch for the announcement.
We never sell names
and/or e-mail addresses, and if you ever wish to "opt-out" that's
Contact Chris King
or at: 36250 Lakeshore Blvd.
Eastlake, Ohio 44095
Phone: (440) 918-1313
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