How Making $1500 a Month on Skillshare Helped Hayden Aube Pursue a Full-Time Freelance Career

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While living in London and working as a web designer, Hayden Aube was mostly thinking about one thing –– how to work on Illustration full-time. “The whole time I was working as a web designer, in the back of my head I knew it wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted to get back to illustration and back to drawing. That’s why I got into design in the first place.”

When he moved back to Toronto, Hayden had enough savings for six months, but he wasn’t sure exactly what he’d do. “I saved up enough to take off half a year and just focus on illustration. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do at first, but I’d used Skillshare for a couple of years and I always knew that I wanted to teach at some point.”

Finding the Teach Challenge provided Hayden the motivation to get started. “Skillshare put out the Teach Challenge with a bonus of $250 for a design class. I thought well, I always wanted to teach a class, and it’s some money that I can make even if the class goes horrible. What’s the worst that could happen?”

The structure of the Teach Challenge was crucial in getting Hayden to publish his first class. “The most helpful thing is the step by step process in the Teach Challenge. There are deadline days, checklists for different points throughout the month, and tips on properly structuring the project. Once teaching became more like a checklist it was much easier.”

@@I saw that I could fully support myself off of Skillshare just out of that payment.@@

Hayden’s first class had about 50 students in it. “The money wasn’t huge at first, but of the 50 students, I had two of them contact me and tell me that they didn’t enjoy the work they were doing but have been motivated by my class to pursue an illustration career themselves. That was crazy! Here were two people who gained so much value from what I considered to be a small class. I knew I had to make another one.”

With his second class, Hayden’s audience expanded. “My second month on Skillshare, I posted another class and received a check for $1500. I thought it was too good to be true. That is when I realized I could really take this platform seriously --it could not only give me the freedom to pursue other things, this could potentially even be a full time thing if I wanted to be. I saw that I could fully support myself off of Skillshare just out of that initial payment.”

The money Hayden earned on Skillshare ended up being crucial in helping him achieve his goal of freelancing full-time and pursuing his illustration career. “Because of what I’m making on Skillshare, I’m not pressured to take jobs because I need the money. I can pick what projects I actually want to do. I can focus on what I’m excited about, and I have time for my personal projects now, too. I’m definitely planning on teaching more.”