Make Money Teaching English

You go into work, day and day out unsatisfied with your living. The salary is good, but you feel like a slave: you are constantly looking over your shoulder to ensure you do not say the wrong thing. The office politics are out of control, and you are not sure who you can trust when you feel the need to vent about your superiors, which you want to do often. You find yourself looking through job postings often, trying decide if you leave this place of corporate slavery and subject yourself to a possibly less soul crushing organization.

This type of thinking is very common among people drudging through a 9- 5 job. It becomes hard to look forward to new horizons, when the small amount of control you had over your life was been relinquished to your employer who holds a salary over your head. This has pushed many people to look for less conventional types of work, especially online businesses to break from the day-to-day grind of corporate life.

With all the different ways to start working online , it is hard to figure out which ones are legitimate, and which are scams. Since beginning my online journey I have discovered one type of online business that is real and in demand – teaching languages.

I have been teaching English online with various customers and companies for over three years, and have been doing it as a full time business for 6 months, with no signs of slowing down.

The fastest way to start teaching English online is by using established websites and companies. There are freelance websites, such as italki.com, and verbaling. There are also many Asian based companies that hire teacher as contractors, and provide teaching materials, however the pay will be capped, and negotiated or stipulated in a 6 month to 1 year contract. On the freelance platforms you can charge what ever you want, and can make changes freely.

If you are thinking about getting started, and do not have a plethora of English Teaching experience, I recommend starting with one of the more prominent Asian/ Chinese based companies: such as DadaAbc, VIPkid, 51talk, Hujiang, Magic Ears, or USKid -these companies will provide the customers and lesson materials so you can learn how to teach, or just improve your skills.

In order to get started with these companies, you’ll usually need a certificate, such as a CELTA, TEFL, or TESOL certificate, which can be obtained through any company that provides a certification. They also like to see prior teaching experience, or a degree, but these are not always required if you have some type of teaching certificate.

While getting started it’s extremely important to be patient, as you will likely have very few customers for the first few months on any platform, so do not quit your day job until you have a substantial savings, or you’ve already started making money from teaching. As you build up a reputation and teaching experience on a platform, I highly recommend adding at least one other platform, this will make you more resilient to changes in the market and within companies.

Different platforms may cater to different customers. Some companies focus on child-hood to adolescent education, others teach all ages, and some primarily serve adults. Keep this in mind as you look for companies to work with.

While teaching English online as a full-time business is not for everyone, some of the benefits are that you manage your own schedule, and you are interacting with people. I typically schedule my lesson times two weeks in advance, some platform require that, but you can also take vacation( on some platforms) whenever you want, you just need to give them a heads up. However, since you only get paid when you are teaching, remember that non- work time does not add to your income.

Teaching English online can be a great opportunity, but as with any freelance, contract, or entrepreneurial venture, you should prepare for the risks involved.

How To Get Stronger

I perform many exercises to stay functionally healthy for Taekwon-do competitions, and to improve my overall health. When I’m not training on the mats, you can find me at the gym hitting a mixture of weights and high intensity interval cardio. While training for national and world competitions over the past few years, I have made some big changes to my lifts to improve strength, and explosiveness. This has resulted in a much stronger dead lift and bench press.


While listening to a Joe Rogan Podcast from 2016, I heard about a style of lifting that some power lifters use, I believe it’s called the conjugate method, and is heavily practiced at West Side Barbell, and developed by a power lifter named Louie Simmons. He has many lifting credentials to his record, and the records of people that train at his gym. After listening to the podcast, I decided to start incorporating his strength training methods to improve my explosiveness, and overall strength and power. I gravitate towards these power lifting methods because they focus on increasing power, not muscle mass, so I can get stronger without getting too big for my fighting weight.

As a light weight fighter, someone who fights at 138 lbs, but walks around between 145 – 150 lbs, I was very interested in improving my strength without packing on too much mass through traditional body-building style workouts. Since using some of Louie Simmons methods for training, and some additional research, I have increased my bench press from 180 lbs to over 200 lbs, and I can dead-lift 330 lbs. I understand my numbers are not record setting, but for guy of my frame, and the type of activities I do, this is significant. I bench press and dead-lift about once a week, so I do not spend a lot of time on these exercises, but have gotten some good results. I will go through the exercises that I believe have helped me the most.

Kettle bell swings, I love doing kettle bell swings. Kettle bell swings are known to engaged many important muscles in the posterior chain, such as your back, glutes, hamstrings, and smaller stabilizer muscles from your arms down to your calves. I usually do kettle bell swings with heavy weight on my leg and back days. It is great for improving lower back, and overall core strength.

Core work! Do not neglect the core. I do a variety of core exercises, from the previously mentioned kettle-bell swings, all manner of planks, and a few more.

The farmers walk. I have recently been working on a single arm, and double arm farmers walk, and have noticed big results. The farmers walk strengthens your legs, core( must stabilize yourself constantly), and all the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back related to carrying heavy shit by your sides. My grip strength has dramatically increased, and my posture feels and looks better. A benefit from increased grip strength is that it will help with all your lifts that require to you grab and hold weight, such as dead lifts, bench press, rows, skull crushers, tricep extensions, etc… Since incorporating a heavy farmers walk, I have more control over the bar when I am handling it, which allows me to engage other muscles more appropriately. For example, when doing heavy dead lifts, I do not need to devote as much focus and energy on simply holding the damn bar, I can focus on good form, and engaging the correct muscles. The same goes for my bench press and rows, I do not need to use as much energy to simply hold the weight, it has been a game changer for my lifts, and I absolutely feel the difference.

So if your interested in improving your bench press and dead lift, add the farmers walk, and kettle bell swings to your workout. Make sure to do research on the proper form for each exercise.

Take A Minute To Smell The Roses

I have been pushing myself hard throughout the last three to four years, and when I say “hard”, I’m referring to running and helping run multiple small businesses, while competing in international Taekwon-do competitions, and trying to have some sort of a social life, all at the same time.

Naturally I am a laid-back guy. My personality tends towards hanging out, cracking jokes, and conversation, and only through being pushed by dad,  years of self-directed discipline, and experience have I learned the benefits of getting shit done, and staying active. Though I began to notice a shift in my personality as engaged more with the entrepreneurial life-style. While I was moving into the entrepreneurial and small business space, I began to believe I wasn’t so laid-back after all.  I would frequently get angry towards my business partner, and lose my cool when dealing with contractor’s mistakes and unreasonable customer complaints.

While this was happening, I failed to appreciate how much stress my body and mind were under: the drastic rise in heart rate when difficult customers called(multiple times a day), my face flushed and mind racing while solving problems and driving routes simultaneously, my mind completely fatigued after working fifteen hours to solve problems, train new drivers, work on another business, then force myself into the gym. My lifestyle was grinding me into the ground. This “work-life balance” had me in its grip a little too consistently from 2015 – 2018, then I made the move to get out of one business and focus on another.

For the last few months I have moved on from the most stressful business, and focused on my online business, which is all me, and very little stress comparatively. Since transitioning I’ve learned how redlining my system totally changed me. I thought that maybe I wasn’t capable of dealing with stress and uncertainty, I thought I was too weak, I might have been at times. However, I think the biggest problem was the chronic high-level physical, and mental stress, combined with low amounts sleep and recovery. I would sleep four to five hours a night, and that was frequently broken up into two naps.

Since focusing on my online business, I have seen my personality come back. I’m more jovial, and outgoing. I’m also better at dealing with bullshit problems by acknowledging them as bullshit, such as benign family drama. Whereas I used to get overly analytical and emotional over trivial matters, I am now better able to shift my perspective, and realize when things aren’t important. My ability to discern the bullshit has also been bolstered by listening and reading Seneca’s Letters, where he encourages the reader and practitioner of philosophy to think about death to better prepare for death, and live a better life.

I’m focusing on this now because of  Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. While listening to the audio version, he discusses the nature of complaining, and how one should not complain when engaging in tasks, as it’s a dishonorable way to act. This go me thinking about my own struggles and how under chronic levels of stress I would often complain. Then I remembered what I learned after reading and listening to Anti Fragile by Nassim Taleb. The human body functions well under variability and stress( up to a point), given that there is time to recover. In this case, the body will recover stronger than it was before. This can also be said for mental stress as well: when you experience random, but not chronic foreseen events, you are forced to adapt and overcome. As long as the stress does not kill you, and you have time to recover, you should benefit in the long-term. I realized that my over-reactions, negative mood, and high anxiety  were not necessarily a result of inherent weakness, but likely caused by chronic high-level stress without sufficient time to recover.

If my situation sounds familiar to you: you’re over worked, not sleeping enough, your mind is racing into the future, you feel you are spiraling into insanity, then I suggest taking a small break from your ambition (make sure you can feed yourself and family), and evaluate your priorities. Be thankful for what you have, as I am re-learning to do, and set noble goals. I can’t spell out what a noble goal is, but I believe it something you would be proud to pursue if you died tomorrow, at least that’s how I’m visualizing it. For me, the highest priorities are freedom, meaningful relationships, and health. I’m currently working to ensure my financial ambitions are subservient to these priorities.