Have you always dreamed of going freelance and working from home? Rich Armstrong, one of our top teachers, works from home and travels the world thanks to his success on Skillshare. We caught up with Rich to hear how teaching on Skillshare propelled his creative career forward.
Rich has always been drawn to creative work and studied multimedia design at a branding school in South Africa. His interest in design led him learn coding. “I started coding because I had all these ideas I wanted to bring to life, but I didn’t know anyone who could help me – so I taught myself.” Rich’s passion for the intersection of coding and design grew over time. “I wanted to bridge the gap between designers, coders and animators in the company I worked for at the time – so I started teaching anyone who wanted to learn. We would come in early and I’d give them homework.”
After learning about Skillshare’s monthly Teach Challenge, Rich decided it was time to share his skills on a larger scale. “I was tired of people looking over my shoulder while I was coding and exclaiming that I was a genius, or that they couldn’t believe I understood all of that. I knew it was easy once you understood it (a good indicator that you can teach something), and all it needed was some good explanation (another good indicator).”
Teaching on Skillshare has impacted Rich in a variety of ways. “The biggest benefit I’ve found with teaching is that I’ve returned to this super creative state of mind I had when I was studying – I get to experiment, learn new things, and have fun, without the restrictions of a client or boss hanging over my head.” His earnings in particular gave him the freedom to work remotely and travel the world.
“My Skillshare earnings have enabled my wife and I to start our own studio, move to Amsterdam, and travel the world. I’m incredibly grateful I get paid to do what I love and help people through teaching on Skillshare – it’s hard to find all 3 in 1 activity!”
If you are working towards a full-time freelance career, Rich recommends taking small steps at first. “If you'd like to work remotely read Remote by the guys at 37 Signals, and either try picking up freelance work before quitting your job, or get your boss to allow you to work a few days a week, or month, at home (even if it's a trial). Remote work is a real thing now, and it's cheaper than office work, and way more productive.”
Rich has taught almost 7K students on Skillshare, earning him an average of $900 per month. Skillshare continues to play an even larger role in Rich’s monthly income. “I’ve started to see teaching on Skillshare as my primary ‘thing’. I now spend 3-4 hours of my day doing something teaching-related, and fill the rest with client work, research, and more teaching stuff if I can. Working remotely and at home has given us the flexibility to work at times that are best for us (sometimes at 4am, other times at 10pm).”
His advice for aspiring teachers? “Teach something you love and are good at. If you love something but aren’t good at it yet, get good at it and then teach it. You don’t have to be the best at something before you teach it. Passion and enthusiasm are the most important things about teaching!”
Pursue your creative passions from anywhere in the world. Join our monthly Teach Challenge to get started today!