Making Money by Mentoring Minds 🧠

As if being a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder wasn’t enough, I doubled up and became an adjunct professor of Product Management at the University of Maryland, too! But how could I turn up the chance to be a professor at my own alma mater that formed me? And who would have guessed Product Management would be a college subject 🤷🏾‍♂️

Lately, work has been killing me (or should I say work and being a good dad). I don’t understand why I do this to myself Reader. Maybe it’s in my blood. I was born in America, but my blood is Antiguan. And because of that Caribbean blood (remember: “Hey Mon” from In Living Color), I got a bunch of jobs.

I’ve always had more than one job or a side hustle. My side hustles helped me build wealth, gain new skills, and give me much-needed breaks from the day-to-day. Having multiple income streams allows me to invest, save, and give myself flexibility, which is priceless. Teaching won’t make me Dave Chapelle RICH RICH, but the gig is paid and includes a few perks. Plus, I turned my ultimate side hustle, real estate, into a 2-year hiatus in Spain, and now it is my new “main hustle.”

If you’re an expert, put your skills to use (and make some bottle-popping money)!

They say 1,000 hours makes you an expert. So, if you’ve been working in your field for a while, have a degree, and want to make some extra cash, you should consider becoming an adjunct professor or coaching people looking for your expertise. I’m still mastering grading papers (FYI: grading papers is stressful AF), but teaching is fulfilling, and I enjoy it. Also, let’s be real: the job elevates my profile, is great for my resume, and keeps me connected to the next generation of product managers, and I tell you, it has helped my product managing consulting rate like whoa.

Teaching has proven to be one of the best ways for me to give back. It’s also shown me there is a gap between what happens in the classroom and real life. It’s my mission to be the bridge and set my students up for success by connecting what they learn in the classroom to the real world. I basically parade all my personal contacts and connections in my class to show them what a successful tech career can look like (hit me up if you’re interested!).

If you think being a University professor is too much pressure, try teaching at professional or trade schools. Reforge, Product School, and software boot camps are great places to start teaching. Oh, and did I mention my professorship is 100% remote?

Helping Someone Get The Job You Have

Lastly, I’ve offered paid mock interviews for a few years, helping would-be-product managers prep for jobs at Facebook, Google, etc. That led to some one-off career coaching once people got the job.

I did this for free for so long that it felt odd to start getting paid for it. But my time, with all these jobs and two kids, is valuable. So, I ensure I give more value than I take, and everyone wins.

I know there already aren’t enough hours in the day but think about how your expertise can help you earn a little extra and help someone else.

Damien “Molding Young Minds n Sh_” Peters