I talk a lot about passive income here. However, the money one makes from passive income like dividends, YouTube monetization, and ads are mere peanuts in comparison to the income one can make from acquiring a new skill set. Not just any skills, but skills there exists a high demand for. No matter how much you believe it to be the case, you aren’t stuck in your current position or income level. There’s always a way out-another job, another chance to change your path.
Grow your Career and Income with New Skills
Today, more than ever, there are an infinite number of ways to learn new skills online. You don’t have to return to college to get a second degree. You can take online courses or get a free certification that opens up new career possibilities.
During the pandemic, I had a lot of time on my hands (after all, I had lost half of my income and work). I decided I’d spend part of that time taking courses and getting new certifications.
- Google Data Analytics (offered by Coursera)
- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing by Google Digital Garage
- Google Analytics Individual Qualification
- Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification
- Thoughts on Learning New SKills
Companies like Google, Microsoft, Hubspot, and other tech companies offer online certifications. Then there are places like Coursera, Udemy, Skillshare, and others where you can take online courses. Why not take advantage of these opportunities? You can learn at your own pace, even if it’s as little as thirty minutes a day. Subjects include technology, mathematics, data science, databases, software programs, and more.
I’ll share which courses I took and what I think about them.
Google Data Analytics
I took the Google Data Analytics course on Coursera. I did it mainly because I’m interested in investing, pulling data, and I knew all the skills would be useful no matter what I ended up doing with them. In this course, I learned about cleaning data, transforming data, querying a database using SQL, Tableau, and a little bit of R Studio.
During this time, I even went back and studied some of my old statistics notes and audited a free statistics course on Coursera.
Review-This course was good. I liked the parts about cleaning data, SQL, Rstudio; however, I found the section about Tableau to be rather poorly done. If I wanted to really understand this program, I’d have to start from the beginning on my own. I actually did do a few projects in Tableau after the course was over on my own.
I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but this took me about 3.5 months to complete and I believe I spent less than $130 on the course.
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
The Digital Marketing course covers the basics of using social media & a website for marketing. It’s a good bit of material and the course is 40 hours of material. A lot of it I already knew from running my own business. I would classify this as more of a beginner’s course. FREE!
Google Analytics IQ Examination
This is offered through Google’s Analytics Academy classes. You take two classes and then you prepare for the examination. This course clicked with me, maybe because I’ve been using Analytics on my website for years and I love spending time in Google Search Console. This coursework is a bit tougher and you’ll seriously need to study for the exam. With Google Analytics you can discover the demographics of your visitors, which pages they stick around on the most, and more. HIGHLY RECOMMEND! FREE!
Hubspot Inbound Marketing
This is offered through Hubspot for free. I enjoyed this course and learned a great deal. It focused on creating content, how to make your audience aware of your business and nurturing them throughout the conversion process. I also learned about automation. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Like most things, you need to spend time outside of the coursework to truly get it. I found myself using SQL every day for awhile for my own projects with investments. I’ve begun putting the Hubspot material in daily practice as well. Google Analytics I put to use constantly.
While I got a lot out of all of the courses, I also found some areas of work that aren’t for me. I can say, while being attracted to the idea of being a Data Analyst at first, the more I got to know it, the less I wanted to concentrate on it. I can’t see myself spending so much time on cleaning and transforming data. I’m more interested in the research side of things.
I thoroughly enjoy creating content (like these articles), SEO, and seeing real results via Analytics. I like the “scientific” side of experimenting and seeing what gives results. On the other hand, from a digital marketing perspective, I don’t think I’m interested in managing paid ads. I’ve done this a little with my business and it’s not something I enjoyed.
Thoughts on Learning New Skills
I’m sharing this with you, so you understand how my process went. It wasn’t as if I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I started trying things, seeing what clicked, what I was good at, and what interested me. It’s kind of like parents that sign their kids up for multiple sports hoping they find something they love. Think of it as an adventure. I didn’t know I’d love SEO so much until I started doing it.
My Personal Goals
My eventual goal is to move into a new career in SEO or Digital Marketing. At the same time, if I don’t immediately, all of the skills I learned are useful for my current business and projects. I’m already noticing more visitors and revenues from my digital products. I’m fortunately in a position where I don’t have to have a job. My business pays my bills and I have a large emergency fund. I have no intentions of taking any ole job.
I recently created a website to offer my SEO and WordPress services locally. I ranked that website in the top 20 of local SEO within two weeks. If I can round up enough clients as a freelancer, I may stay self-employed and build that into my main business some day. Not sure how it will play out now. I remain confident that the skills I learned via these courses will eventually pay off to greater income one way or the other.
Final Summary on Learning New Skills
Don’t be afraid to take a class or learn something entirely new. You may like it, you may not; however, you are one step closer to finding the next path for you. You are one step closer to increasing your income so that you can then contribute to your passive income investments. The worst that can happen is you find out you don’t like it.
Some background about me: I started off as a chemist (did that for 8 years as that was my degree). Then I became a professional musician who performed at some of the most prestigious music venues in the world. Now I’m thinking of switching careers again 17 years later. Why? I feel like I may have done all I can with music and I’m growing somewhat bored of it all.
I think we often get into this mindset after we’ve been somewhere so long that we HAVE to do it. It becomes part of our identity. It’s not. You can ask for a change of scenery any time my friend!
One of my good friends is in his fifties; he had a nice career as an engineer. Today he is working at a hardware store. He told me the pay wasn’t great, but he loved it. There’s a whole world out there to explore. You’ll probably stumble into a few things; it won’t be a direct path.
Just know that the only limitations you have are mostly those you put on yourself. You’ve got this!