Multithreaded Income Podcast

Live from Codemash 2024!  In this episode, Kevin Griffin from Multithreaded Income delves into building multiple income streams as a developer or IT professional. He discusses his experiences and insights, touching on freelancing, creating online courses, writing books, and developing digital products while addressing concerns and considerations such as setting rates, marketing strategies, avoiding conflicts with employment contracts, and balancing work and personal life. Join in the discussion at Multi-threaded Income's Discord community and don't miss out on future episodes of this valuable resource for aspiring entrepreneur developers.

Creators & Guests

Kevin Griffin
♥ Family. Microsoft MVP. Consultant/Trainer focused on #dotnet #aspnetcore #web #azure. VP at @dotnetfdn @revconf Mastodon: - He/Him

What is Multithreaded Income Podcast?

In the "Multithreaded Income Podcast," host Kevin Griffin navigates the nuanced landscape of generating multiple income streams as a technologist. Aimed at professionals who wish to diversify their revenue while maintaining a focus on technology, this podcast dives deep into unconventional strategies, untapped opportunities, and actionable advice.

Kevin Griffin: It's time for the
multi threaded income podcast.

We're like insurance for a
turbulent tech landscape.

I'm your host, Kevin Griffin.

Join me as I chat with people all around
the industry who are using their skills

to build multiple threads of income.

Let us support you in your career
by joining our discord at mti.

to slash discord.

Now let's get started.

Hey everyone.

This is Kevin from multithreaded income.

Uh, thanks for watching.

Thanks for listening.


Particular episode is the recording of
a talk I did at the code mash conference

in Sandusky, Ohio in January, 2024.

Uh, it's my first time giving this
particular talk and we go over a

lot of the points that I consider
the multi-threaded income tenants.

And we talk about a lot of
different things that you could do

to build a multithreaded income.

And it was a really good audience,
a lot of great questions.

I had to cut out a couple little
technical snafoos along the way, but

overall, I think a really good talk.

And if you have a conference
where you'd like me to come

present, Multithreaded income.

I would love to do that.

Just reach out.

And enjoy.

All right.

Hi everyone.

Hey, I'm glad you're hope
everyone's having a good code mash.

Thank you for not leaving because
of the impending storm that

we're all about to get, um, make
sure you're in the right place.

Multithreaded income.

How developers can
achieve parallel success.

I'm not taking credit for this.

I was totally jet GPT workshopping
with me a bunch of different ideas.

Let's start with a story.

Uh, this is a building, not
the Bayport Credit Union.

This used to be the home of Symantec.

Um, if you've ever heard
of Norton Antivirus, Norton

Security, any of that stuff, yeah.

Uh, when I graduated from college
in 2006, Uh, my first job out of

college was working for Symantec,
and we were in this building.

And, they owned the entire building.

And I remember getting that job
and going, yes, I made it big.

I got a big business I'm working for.

And I went to work at this office
and I worked on a part of the Norton

security suite called decomposer.

Now, without going into details, what
decomposer decomposer would do is

anytime you had a container file, so
like zip files or any file that contain

other files are little bit of it.

With uncompressed or pull the files
out of those container files so

security could go do its own work.

Um, I have some really cool stories
about that, but not for today.

Uh, so one day I walked in the work and
they called an all hands meeting and they

said, all right, everyone downstairs,
the entire building, not a normal.

Wait, they would have all hands at
least once a month just to say, here's

what's going on in the business and.

You know, introduce someone
new or whatever random stuff

that big businesses do.

So we all went downstairs and
there was a group of folks and we

were visited by the corporate vice
president of, you know, whatever,

because all these businesses have vice
presidents that do all this nothing.

And so we had the vice president
who came and said, well, you're all

doing a great job, but we like money.

So we're closing this entire building
and that means like 90 percent of

you are losing your jobs today.

You don't come back tomorrow.

And the other 10 percent we're
going to give like three months out.

You're going to lose your jobs.

And then there's this like 1
percent sliver that can move

to Santa Barbara, California.

If you'd like to keep your job.

Now I'm from Virginia.

This building is in Newport News,
Virginia, which is absolutely

nowhere near Santa Barbara.

And I've only been with the
company for three months, so I go

into my severance, and I'm like,
you're gonna keep me on, right?

I'm a crucial employee, and
they're like, no, no, here's

your check, have a nice day.

And they, they let me go home.

Uh, so that was the first kind of
inkling I had, luckily early in

my career, that there's absolutely
no such thing as job security.

Like, no matter where you are
in your career, there's no

such thing as job security.

Um, there are some companies that are
better than others, but there's absolutely

no such thing as job security if you don't
take anything else away from this, there's

absolutely no such thing as job security.

So hi, everyone.

My name is Kevin Griffin.

I am mostly a developer entrepreneur.

I do all kinds of different things.

Just a short list of things
I've done in my career.

I have.

I've done everything that we
are going to talk about today.

And then some, and I position
myself with people who do these

sorts of things every day.

Um, and I want to talk to you about not
just my experiences, but the experiences

of friends and colleagues of mine to
try to inspire you to go out and do

something that's slightly different
from what your day job might be.

So I am the host of the multi
threaded income podcast, mti.

to slash podcast.

I would love for you to go
listen to some of these episodes.

Don't start at one.

One is a horrible episode because it
was the first episode, but we're, I just

recorded episode 27, uh, the other day,
like, we're getting up there and we're

talking to some fascinating people with
a lot of really interesting stories.

Um, so I really encourage you to go
listen to the podcast after this session.

Like, don't listen to it now.

Um, uh, we also have a discord.

So nti.

to slash discord.

If you want to.

Ask questions and you want to hang out
with the community of folks who are doing

everything that we're going to talk about
today and if you just need inspiration,

this is the place to go do it because
this is just a, an open, safe group of

folks who want to help you succeed because
we've learned throughout our entire

careers were better as a team is like this
isn't just go off and do your own thing.

This is work with other people
who are doing this sort of work.

Uh, the agenda for today just, uh.

Kind of set things up.

I want to talk about what I mean by
multi threaded income, the just general

tenants of it, because we try to make
it into a program per se, not really

just a funny phrase, uh, we want to
talk about different ways that we can

make money and there's more to it than
just the money aspect of it, of course.

And hopefully I touch on those points,
but specifically we're going to talk

about moonlighting, doing side gigs,
being an independent consultant.

We're going to talk about maybe
building your own course on a

variety of different topics.

We'll talk about writing a book, if
that's a thing you feel inclined to do.

And then we'll talk about products
like, uh, software products.

If you want to develop your own
desktop app that does something.

Or you want to build a SAS
that does something else.

Those, that's what we mean by products.

Then lastly, just depending on
time, I want to have a conversation

about ethics and time management.

Which is an important conversation to
have when we're talking about This sort

of not working my day job type things.

All right, so big disclaimer.

I am not an accountant.

I am not a lawyer.

I am none of those things.

I am everything else I talked
about a little bit earlier.

I have a lot of experiences and there's
a lot of cases where I would tell you.

I don't know the answer to that question.

You need to talk to someone a
little bit more vetted than I am.

But that's what the discord is for.

So if you have questions afterwards
that I'm not able to answer,

let's go to Discord and let's
continue this conversation.

So first, what is multi threaded income?

Multi threaded income is absolutely
not a give rich quick scheme.

It's very easy for someone to
come in and say, Follow my process

and you'll get rich quickly.

No, because I'm not rich.

I'm better off than I think
I was 15, 20 years ago.

But I'm not rich by any means.

I'm trying to become better.

I'm trying to become comfortable.

I use the term financial freedom
a lot, financial independence.

I don't want to be tied down to
the thing I'm doing every day.

I want to be able to enjoy
life with my wife and my kids.

That's the type of life I'm going after.

It's not about being Elon Musk,
whatever your opinions of him are.

But, like, I don't need, I
mean, don't get me wrong.

I would love to have his amount
of money, like there's a lot of

problems I could solve with that
much money, but that's not my goal.

My goal is just to be free to
do what I want to with my time.

So, uh, so multi threat income is
basically looking at your skill set and

assuming you're all developers or I.


technologies of some type in here,
you have a particular set of skills.

I really should put a taken image in here.

Uh, thought for future
Kevin at a taken slide.

We want to take our particular
set of skills and we are now using

those probably for our day job.

You go to work every day.

You trade your time and your skills
for money and usually for some sort of

benefits you get, you get some value
for your time that you're giving, but

you're constantly giving your time in
exchange for money and when multi threaded

income says, well, that's awesome.

If you love working your day job, you
love the team that you're working with.

Continue doing that.

Like, I'm not like anti job.

I want you to start thinking about
taking your same set of skills

and applying it in different ways.

So maybe you want to set up some sort
of moonlighting that you do to build

up other skills that you can later take
on to your day job or to a new day job.

Uh, you might want to create a
course if you're really passionate

about teaching or wanting to just
explain what you do to others in a

way that might make sense to someone.

Of course, is a great way to do that.

Your own products.

Maybe you're sitting there working
and you're like, I really wish I

had a tool that did X, Y and Z.

It would make my day job so much easier.

Why don't you just go build that tool?

We'll talk about that.

Finally, you have your, you have books
like I, not the huge, huge advocate

for books because I think books are
not how most people learn nowadays, but

there's still a good number of folks
who enjoy reading a book or referencing

a book to learn a topic or a set of
topics, so we'll talk about that.

Primarily, multithreaded
income is insurance.

So I told the story about going and
getting kind of my quote, dream job

out of college, and three months
later I got let go from that job.

Now, so many people, when you
get laid off, you go through

the various degrees of,

Denial, guilt, um, and
then eventually acceptance.

What you don't want to do during that
time is then have to immediately start

panicking to find the next new job.

Because depending on your financial
situation, you might just take

whatever you get coming in next.

Like, oh, someone is
offering to just pay me.

I'm there.

I'm going to take that.

Multi entitled income.

I want to say.

Let's start building other forms of
income that you could potentially fall

back to in case you ever lost your day
job or you decide, you know, we've had

this case on the podcast more than once.

Who has a bad manager?

Your bad managers in the room
with you just blink twice.

All right, well, I think you can relate.

There's bad managers.

There's bad team members and
just a simple management change.

Can drastically decrease how happy a team
is that you might be happy today, but next

quarter you might not be happy anymore.

Wanted to be nice.

If you could have other income streams
or threads that you could rely on,

go, well, maybe I'm going to quit
this job and go look for another job.

That's what we mean by insurance.

It's ensuring yourself against anything
that might possibly happen in the future.

Let's assume the job goes away, you're
stuck, and we want to start building

up these other threads of income
to potentially protect ourselves

from the case of losing the job.

So first, we're going to start with
freelancing, and I'm going to try

attack these all kind of the same
way, answer a couple common questions.

I'll give a moment or two for specific
questions from you all, and then

we'll move on to the next topic.

Uh, so freelancing moonlighting is
basically the idea that you're working

your day job, but in your free time,
you're off time, you're working on other

projects for other people, for money.

And the number one question I get from
anyone when approaching the subject is

where do you find your first clients,
which there's a variety of different ways.

The first thing you really need
to accept if you're becoming

a freelancer or a moonlighter.

Just out of the gate and you have
no prior experience doing it is

you're probably going to work for a
lower rate than you normally would

on the outside and I am completely
transparent with rates and stuff.

If you were to hire me today to
do an independent consulting task,

depending on how they were looking at
roughly between two and 250 an hour.

But if I was coming on as
a moonlighter, moonlighter.

A more reasonable expectation
is like between 50 and 80 an

hour for software developer to,
to work through a set of tasks.

And that's mostly because I don't have
a proven track record of delivering

projects and being, being successful.

Um, you can go back to your day job
and say, say, look at my day job.

I've done all these things, but you
really have to build up that trust

as the independent consultant, as the
freelancer, as the moonlighter before

you can start commanding higher rates.

And eventually you can.

First big place you could
probably look are things like

Upwork and People Per Hour.

They're, they're freelancer marketplaces.

And you can go there and you can say
these are the set of skills I have.

And there's constantly folks
going to these services looking

for freelancers to, to do things.

It might be as simple as I need
someone to write an Excel macro

that does some calculations for
me just to save me some time.

Um, you and I both know that's
probably a couple hours worth of

work if you know what you're doing.

If you don't know what you're
doing, it's a couple hours of work

plus some googling and chat GPT.

Um, but what they're looking
is just for someone other than

them to come do that work.

You fit in nicely there.

Uh, my good friend, Brett Fisher,
uh, he is episodes three, four.

I actually don't remember
which he got his start as.

Uh, consultant, moonlighting from Upwork.

Eventually built a portfolio
of successful projects.

He took a lot of those relationships
from Upwork, moved them off Upwork,

and he doubled, he tripled his rate.

So he started at a lower rate, but
eventually moved up to the higher rates.

And all while he was
working his full time job.

There's other ways you can do this.

Uh, just asking your network
is probably the best way.

And that can be a little iffy if you
are working the full time job, so going

out to LinkedIn or going out to Twitter
or wherever your social is and saying,

Hey, I'm looking for some side work.

Is anyone need a programmer
for 10, 15, 20 hours a week?

That's probably the place
you'll get the most success.

95 percent of the work I've had
is because of word of mouth.

It's people who know me and
know the work I've done.

Um, the other 5 percent are random
folks who have seen articles and

content I've put out on the internet.

So that's, that's kind of the gambit.

No one's coming to you for work
unless they already know who you

are in some way, shape, or form.

Or they know someone who knows you.

Like, network is really important.

There's a third case, which
I think is fascinating.

Episode we released this week,
um, with, uh, Kaylee Hamray.

She found freelancing clients by going
to her local chamber of commerce.

Looking at the list of all the
businesses and just cold spamming

them, saying, Hi, my name's Kaylee.

I do X, Y and Z.

Are you looking for anyone to help
you with websites or whatever?

And she's actually gotten a good
amount of work just from doing that.

So never underestimate the power of spam.

Like it's worse.

Uh, I've already touched on this
a little bit, but this next big

question is how much do I charge?

And it really depends.

And you should be charging anything.

A common misconception I hear
from a lot of people that talk

about freelancing is you should be
prepared to do some work for free.

I think that's a horrible move,
but you are a skilled professional.

There is nothing that you should
be doing for free unless, I mean,

there's always, it depends, right?

If you're helping a dog shelter
get a new web page up, maybe do

that for free and then you have
something that you can show off.

But if there's a business that is
making money and they're not willing

to pay you money for your skills,
they're probably not worth your time.

They wouldn't be a good
client to begin with.

I've never had a good client that
hasn't already been willing to pay me.

Then you get into the negotiation.

Well, how much do you charge
when you charge something?

Depends on how often
you're going to charge.

Uh, I don't really do hourly work anymore.

The smallest amount of work I will
charge is based off a week, uh, and

then more likely I want to charge a
month of my time or a monthly retainer.

If you're going to work with me, you're
going to pay a minimum of 5, 000,

and that's a very large number, and
actually, depending on the business,

that's a, that's a small number, like,
that's like, oh, I will gladly pay

you 5, 000, and There's a variety of
work I'll do for that amount of money.

Uh, my largest retainer
is 23, 000 a month.

Um, that, that's a good time right there.

And, but that's safe, secure
money that I know is coming in.

And I go and I do the work.

And also at the same time, I'm
not taking other retainer clients.

So, uh, I'm really dedicating my time to
one, maybe two things in that given month.

But you could do weekly, you
could do monthly charging, you

could also do project rates.

I'm not against charging for just
a project, but make sure you're not

underestimating your time on something.

If you think it's going to take 5 hours
to do the work, charge like it's 15.

And, best case scenario,
you get it done in 5.

Worst case scenario,
you get it done in 15.

So, either way, you should
win in all these situations.

Uh, the last big question, really, I
get for freelancing is incorporating.


United States citizens here
probably maybe doesn't matter.

We're based in the U.



Most likely your customers
are based in the U.


as well.

Do you incorporate?

The answer is it depends.

I think if we're only
talking a maybe 500, 600.

It's not really worth
your time incorporating.

I don't talk about incorporating a list.

We're talking thousands of dollars.

And this is where my I'm
not an account hack goes on.

There are very specific reasons why
you want to incorporate around taxes.

It has to do not just with
federal taxes, but also state and

county taxes, wherever you are.

But by not incorporating and taking
thousands of dollars from non W 2 income,

you could potentially be liable for up to
15 percent more in taxes than you normally

would be if you weren't incorporated.

So that is a conversation, that's a
much longer conversation than for this.

Uh, that same Topic goes for everything
else that we're talking about when I

talk about courses and I talk about books
and I talk about products, I don't talk

about incorporation until it's making
decent enough money where it matters.

The other big reason you might want to
incorporate is because of legalities

and just the corporate veil of security,
which is kind of a miss misnomer.

Some people say, well, you
shouldn't incorporate because.

If you were ever get sued by the person
that you're working for, they're suing

the corporation or they're suing your LLC.

And that's right, except the
laws have changed enough where

you could still be liable as the
sole owner of that corporation.

There's a lot of details and I'd be happy
to talk to, to you more about it either

in the discord or outside the doors.

So, all right, before I move on,
any other like general questions

around freelancing, moonlighting?

Yes, sir.

Is there?

So the question is, is there a magic
formula to figure out what your hourly

rate should be kind of dictated by what
you might be making now at your day job?

My answer is probably there's a lot
of people out there will tell you.

Oh, here's my magic formula for
determining your hourly rate.

Nine times out of 10.

They are a digit off what you
should be charging yourself.

If I went through any of those calculators
right now, they would probably say,

Kevin, you should be charging 60 an
hour, but I don't charge 60 an hour.

I charge way more than 60 an hour.

My general rule formula for it
is what do you want to get paid?

Like what amount of money makes
it worth your time to do the work

and work backwards from there?

Because if you follow a formula, it's
going to come to a number and it's

going to be a low number and then
maybe take that number and double it.

Call that Kevin's formula.

Um, like just always, and never be
afraid to raise your rate, um, ever

because you're always going to find
someone who's willing to pay it.

Um, so, so no, there's
not a magic formula.

There are people that will
say there are magic formulas.

I usually just go with what's
the market going to bear.

I could find plenty of like outsourced,
um, moonlighting gigs right now for

60 to 80 without any questions asked.

Uh, if you want to start there, that's,
I think that's a great starting point.

I would aim to go a little bit higher,
so at least 100 an hour, maybe more.

It also depends, like everything,
where your customers are

based, where you're based.

Uh, my friends who consult from and
live in LA, they don't charge the rates

of someone who lives in Southern Ohio.

Uh, it's just, they're different
markets, different needs.

Although So, eventually you can get to
the point where you're charging the LA

rates no matter where you're living.

Um, so, I hope that answers your question.

To, maybe to a degree.

A lot of the formulas are the
take, take what you're getting

paid now, like, reduce that to an
hourly rate, and multiply it by 1.


Or, it's usually people trying to
sell books and, and stuff like that.

That's why I never, I
never talk about rates.

I just talk about what you want to make
my first rate when I went out on my own

was 60 an hour and I did that gig and then
the next day I'm like, I'm going to bump

this up to 80 an hour or 75 an hour and I
did that gig and then next day I'm like,

I'm going to try 100 an hour on for size

and then I just kept
gradually going up from there.

Um, so no.

Maybe that's an important point.

Your first rate should not
be the rate you stay at.

You should always increase your rate with
every new client, um, until eventually,

eventually, if you ever get to like
500 an hour lawyer rates, like, I

mean, that's not a bad problem to have.

Um, but that first initial rate,
I wouldn't try to use a formula.

I would just pick a number, a nice
big round number, uh, that you're

comfortable with a straight face
going in asking someone to pay you.

Uh, because the clients that
you eventually want to pay you a

hundred or plus more, uh, dollars
an hour aren't going to Fiverr.

Upwork, you're funding them
through other networking means.

Um, the, in the Fiverr, Upwork
community, you're also not just

competing with like people in this room.

You are competing with folks in
India and in much lower places where.

Say 10, 20 an hour goes much farther
there than it does here in the States.

Um, it's why it's a good place to start
is not a place you, I see a lot of

people staying for a long period of time.

Um, awesome.

All right.

I'll take one more question.

Actually, I'll take you one, two.


So the, the question is, you've, how
do you do the time, the time work

and life management of it all to,
like, it's a good amount of money.

Hopefully you get to a good
amount of money coming in.

How do you deal with that when you have
baseball games and stuff like that?

Uh, the rule I come back to and I'll say
later is I never sacrifice family time.

Um, anything I do after
quote work hour hours is it.

Very specifically, because I can, instead
of watching TV or YouTube or playing

video games, I might go off and work
on a project for a little bit of time.

Um, when I was younger,
I didn't have any kids.

I am much more ample free
time than I do today.

Now I have three kids, so my life
today is I might work an extra

hour in the day into the day.

But other than that, it's family time
for the rest and I will never sacrifice

family time for the work because it goes
down to no one's ever going to remember

you for the extra work that you did,
but your kids will remember the time

that you weren't at their game, that
you weren't at the thing that they were

doing, and they will definitely remember
the time that you were always up in your

office or off working on other projects.

I never sacrifice that.

So great question.

Yes, yeah., The question is, how do you
differentiate yourself from a say a 10

an hour person doing potentially the same
work as someone charging say 150 an hour?

Uh, the real answer is I'm not doing 20.

I'm doing 150 work.

Uh, so to get to those higher rates,
I have to think about businesses

and engagements differently than I
was when I was charging 50 an hour,

um, and even or less in those cases,
you're kind of a button in a seat.

You're just doing a work.

You're told, please do X, Y and Z.

And at my rate is more.

All right.

Why do you want to do X, Y and Z?

All right.

That might not be the best
way to solve this problem.

Let's talk about processes.

I understand business way
more than I did 15 years ago.

Um, okay.

I understand systems way
better than I did 15 years ago.

I have gone in and fixed so many systems
developed by 20 an hour contractors

and actually working on some code
this week by that type of person

going, well, what were they thinking?

Well, because they are not at that
level of thinking, I don't want

to use the word maturity because
it's not a maturity issue, it's

just a, um, it's a context issue.

They just haven't.

Tried to think that deeply.

Their problems have been just
go and solve the problem.

Get out and that's not how I roll.

I go into everything better.

Try to leave it better than how I left it.

That's how I continue to keep
the same clients over and over

again at the rates that I charge.

Um, and that's how I get recommended for
other projects at the rates that I charge.

It's because you know, if
I come in, I'm not people.

Business owners have an idea
of the problem that they have.

They just don't know a solution to it.


So being able to combine the problem
space and the solution space together,

um, that's what they're paying you for.

So, great question.

All right, let's move on.

Uh, let's let's talk about courses.

Next, um, courses are
exactly what they say.

You take a topic or a set of topics
and you teach people how to do it.

There's mostly video courses.

That's folks used to do
this, but it's really nice.

It's low entry for anyone
in here to get started.

That big question is what do I do?

Of course on.

It's mostly folks is
imposter syndrome kicking in.

I'm not qualified to talk about anything.

And I use the same answer to this
question as I do for people who

are interested in doing talks.

So if you've thought about doing a talk
at a, at a Codemash or a local event,

how do you come up with that topic?

You don't feel like
you're qualified to do it.

There have been a number
of talks I've done.


Things I've talked about where I
didn't feel qualified to talk about it.

But what I've learned is I am
knowledgeable about a lot of different

things and a lot of different things.

I feel like an imposter when when
talking about it, but there's

A person out there that you can
teach and you don't realize it.

I'll give you an example.

It's not a course, but my first or
second set of talks when I started

presenting professionally was on jQuery.

Yay, which, you know, jQuery never dies.

The apocalypse is gonna come.

We're gonna have cockroaches,
Twinkie, and jQuery.

Like, that's, that's all
we're gonna have left.

Uh, so I did a jQuery talk, and my
imposter syndrome was super high.

Like, I, there are so many better
speakers talking about this topic.

And I went and I did the talk.

And the year later, I came back to
the same conference, and someone

came up to me and said, Hey, Kevin.

I didn't get a chance to talk to you, but,
uh, I took your jQuery session last year.

Uh, you were the one who
actually explained it to me

in a way that I understood.

And I was able to go back to work, and we
started doing jQuery all over the place.

And now, it's all jQuery.

Like, our success is because of
how you presented the information.

Now, my ego was like, woo!

Like, yeah, I was feeling good after that.

No one could bring me down.

But courses are the same way.

You might have a way of teaching a topic
or showing, um, a set of topics in a

way that someone understands better
than they learn from somewhere else.

And it's really intimidating if you, like,
there's a number of folks here at this

conference who have done courses, done a
lot of courses, very professional courses.

Sometimes they're a little
boring or obtuse or confusing.

They use big words.

I don't like big words.

Who likes big words?

I use small words.

It's also personality driven.

Like, uh, I try to use, uh, I try to
be animated a little bit in my courses.

Because I find people learn
from that better than someone

just telling you about how ASP.

NET Core does X, Y, and Z.

There's a difference.

And that's, and that's
something that can be learned.

Like, you can just go into any
topic, you can teach yourself

to be a better presenter.

Um, so what are you doing now?

All my courses come from the topics
that I do daily or potentially things

that I want to learn more about.

I know what you're saying, Kevin,
why would you teach a topic that you

don't know anything of anything about?

It's because I want to learn
more about those topics.

So that's kind of how I start and
don't ever worry that there's someone

else teaching that information.

There's room for plenty of
competitors in these spaces.

So let's say, assuming you decide to
host a course, uh, where do you host it?

And there's a variety of
different ways to do this too.

Uh, the first and way I'd probably
recommend folks get started

are on different, uh, hosting
platforms like Udemy or Skillshare.

I have two Udemy courses right now.

And it's basically a marketplace of
people looking to learn something quickly.

At a fairly low cost, uh, you still get a
hundred percent control over your content.

That's a really nice thing about Udemy.

I have the content up there.

I'm basically giving Udemy a lease to it.

So they can, they can sell it.

And if I ever decide I want to take
that course and put it somewhere else,

I am fully allowed to do that legally.

Like, they don't own my content.

You do get a lower rate per person.

So if someone buys my course for
ten dollars, Depending on how they

got to the course, I might get 2
of that, or I might get 8 of that.

It really depends.

Uh, the other way are
things like Pluralsight.

Uh, I did work for Wintelec now, uh,
a long, long time ago, which is a, I

would call them a competitor, but that's
really giving them too much, um, status.

And I say that because I haven't got a
royalty check from them in like two years.

So, you know, you draw
your own conclusions.

Um, it's also a super outdated topic.

Um, but, so when to
like now on Pluralsight?

Pluralsight's kind of the,
the elephant in the room that

everyone tries to compete with.

But, you know, there's downsides to that.

You don't own the content
that you give to Pluralsight.

You also get very little flexibility
over the content you're creating.

Pluralsight's not going to
invite you to build an ASP.

NET Core Masterclass.

And it has nothing to do that
you're not able to present it.

It's that they have proven
celebrity people that they are

going to let do that course.

You're going to get how to integrate ASP.

NET and Go on a mainframe.

Like, yeah.

That's the course they want
you to do because they like

to have it in their catalog.

And you're low enough on the totem
pole that you get to do that topic.

Now you could do these topics and build
up some stature and eventually you get

the topics that you want to do, but you're
not going to get that out of the gate.

That's why I really like Udemy.

Uh, these are my two courses on Udemy.

This brings up, now just being
transparent, I get about four

or five hundred dollars a
month from these two courses.

And I haven't touched these
courses in I haven't touched

single or mastery since last year.

No, that's a bad, bad thing to say.

Uh, since I think it was
early 2023, I touched it.

I did some updates, uh,
building background services.

I think I touched a couple months
ago, but these are still bringing

in a good amount of money.

Like I don't do anything on them.

They just bring in reoccurring income.

That's a great question.

Uh, so the question was, is there
anything on me to keep these maintained?

No, there's a lot of authors who
push them up, never touch them again.

Now there are, there's some algorithm.

I'm talking you to me specific.

There's some algorithm where if you go
and make an update, say every month, it

keeps you higher up in the search results.

Um, there's some psychology to
when people buy these courses.

If you type SignalR into
Udemy, I'm one of 10 courses.

I have the best seller mark,
so I get higher up on the rank.

I'm also the most recently updated
course, so that helps a little bit too.

I'm also the highest rated course,
so that helps a lot as well.

The biggest thing that really
contributes to the success of

courses, especially in development,
is being a native English speaker,

enunciating and projecting my voice.

And also, my videos have me in the frame.

It's not voice behind
slides or voice behind code.

So when you're going through
one of my courses, it's as if

I'm pairing right next to you.

Um, which I think makes a big difference.

When you're looking at some
of the other courses, it's

someone talking behind slides.

And a lot of times, not
native English speaker.

Still speaking fine English, but heavily
accented, difficult to understand, and

because a lot of the audience is U.


based primarily, it makes a difference
just in how you present yourself.

Now, that said, there are plenty of course
developers in India, Pakistan, Singapore,

they still speak amazing English,
probably better English than I do.

Like, their English is gooder.

But they do the voice behind the
slides, and I think some people

love that, like that personality
of, hey, I'm learning from a person.

I'm not just learning from a voiceover
slides, but yeah, if I had more ample free

time, I would do more updates to this.

I'm also trying to get more courses
into the portfolio because there's

a whole marketing strategy of I can
take similar mastery students and more

easily get them over to my other courses
and just keep Incrementing my income,

uh, month over month, over month.

That's a great question.

When you, uh, so the question
was, do you control the prices?

You do.

You, they let you select price tiers.

And when you sign up for Udemy, you
could say, only sell my course for 80.

And that is a mistake.

The, and not because of 80.

You're Mastery easily should be an hour.

Uh, I'm sorry.

Uh, usually it should be
a hundred to 200 course.

Like there's a lot of content in there.

Well presented.

However, by telling you to me that
it can control the price is also

going to advertise your course.

It's going to put you into
sales, things like black Friday.

It's going to promote you.

I got a Facebook ad for my course
one day without like knowing that

they were going to promote me.

My wife and my friends got Facebook
ads for my course, and it was

awesome, and I got a ton of sales
that month when that happened.

So that's the biggest
reason you let Udemy do it.

If you tell Udemy, only sell
it for my price, nothing else,

they're never going to promote you.

And I'd like to also say they
probably knock you down in

the search results as well.

Um, no Udemy for 80 courses.

They only go to Udemy
for the 10 to 15 courses.

And the last big question is, do I
really need any special equipment?

No, you need a machine
that you can record on.

And I would say a good microphone
and a good microphone is maybe

50 to 80 to get started with.

Uh, I've seen some people
record off their phones.

Like phones have really good mics in them.

You could put in a pair of air
pods and record your course.

And it's going to be better
audio than I could have gotten.

Um, five years ago with top
of the line audio equipment.

Uh, things like OBS for
recording your screen, recording

your slides, that's all free.

I'm recording the slides
right now with OBS.

And, I mean, that's all
free available stuff.

I don't need to do anything fancy with it.

You don't really need fancy equipment.

You just need to start with something,
and you probably have everything

you already need to get started.

You just need a topic.

Design the curriculum, that's
a whole other topic by itself.

But, I feel like courses are a
great way for folks to get started.


Uh, just for the sake of time, let's also
tack on the conversation about books.


Are really, I like courses
more than I like books.

I think books, technical books,
are kind of boring and obtuse.

But they work for some people.

And that might be a reason
enough to try to do a book.

Uh, what do you do a book about?

It's just like courses.

Pick the thing that
you're passionate about.

A lot of the tech books I see
out there try to be these master.

How do you combine technology
A with technology B?

How do you do Angular with ASP.

NET Core?

How do you do React with Vue,
uh, or I'm sorry, React with, uh,

Go, and everything in between.

Uh, you know, to be sure, some
of the best books I've ever

gotten have been self published.

They've just been independent
authors who said, I want to talk

about a topic, but a traditional
publisher won't publish my book.

And it's just like Pluralsight.

You have to convince them that you're
the person to talk about something.

And get them to take a
risk on you to publish it.

Then it goes to the next
question is, Do you use a

publisher or do you self publish?

Uh, we have two topics
of this on the podcast.

The, the one, the one is
with, uh, Alvin Ashcraft.

He's only done published books
with, uh, uh, publishers.

And he's had good success from it.

And, The big thing with books is
you don't do it for the money, you

do it for all the other reasons
that you would publish a book.

But, he's had good success with it.

Uh, Matt Eland, which, Matt's
not in this room, is he?


So, Matt's at the conference,
he's in Codemash somewhere,

he's one of the speakers.

But Matt had a published book
through a publisher, had a second

book he wanted to do, and started
shipping it to, or, shipping it

around to different publishers.

Because it was a topic he wanted,
he wasn't sure if a publisher

was going to take his book idea.

And his worst case was, he
was going to self publish it.

And I feel like in this economy, in this
industry, self publishing is a really good

way to go just to get something out there.

If you self publish a book, you can get
an ISDN, so you can be in the Library

of Congress, which is super official.

And So you have that book, and now
you can call yourself the author.

You'll see in my bio, you know,
Kevin is an author, speaker,

teacher, blah blah blah.

Well, the book I wrote was this.

The Twilio Blueprint.

And I wrote it on a whim.

And it sold Alright.

Transparency, right?

I've made about 4, 000 with this book.

Before I took it off sale.

3, 600 of that was to Twilio.

for a conference.

The other 400 was from friends and
random people I knew on the internet.

Like, this was not a best seller.

No one's, no one's talking
about this book afterwards.

But it was an experiment to see,
could I write, could I design a book?

And the truth was, yeah, I could.

So I sold it as an e book copy.

Now, you can go on Amazon, use their
KDP system, and I could take this book

and get a physical copy of my book.

Uh, David Neal, one of the speakers here,
probably well known amongst you all, has

a book of dad jokes, which is amazing,
and now it's a 50 book, but it's because

it's all full color, but he didn't go
to a publisher, he just made the book,

published it on KDP, and so if you want
a copy of it, you go order his book, it

gets printed on demand and sent to you.

So the, the barrier to entry for.

Self publishing is really low now.

You can take any book and,
and go get it published.

Uh, but do authors even make any money?

Some do.

Like, I don't know, Walter Isaacson
is making a lot of money right now.

He's got a book with a publisher.

Um, Twilio Blueprint didn't
make any money at all.

It was enough for, I don't even
know what I did with money.

I just put it in the bank.

And, but I don't think I would go out
of my way to do another book right now.

I, there are cases, things always change.

I'd probably do a course
before I do another book.

Alright, last topic that I kind of
want to touch on here is products.

So, so the product is the idea of
building, I'm going to talk about digital

products, so software products, whether
you're writing desktop applications, or

you're building some sort of SAS or web
application that you're selling for.

Uh, Years and years ago, I created
one called Windsitter with a friend of

mine, Brett Fisher, who I talked about
earlier and we built a SAS, a software

as a service that would monitor Windows
servers and this was before the cloud

really came, came up big and we made
a couple grand off of Windsitter,

but we had a slew of marketing issues
that we were trying to deal with

and historically just didn't work.

It's difficult to market to
developers and IT professionals.

Uh, and there's a lot of
really good ways to do that.

But eventually we hit a point with
Windsitter where we, we said it

just wasn't worth the time and
effort we were putting into it.

We decided to shut it down.

Um, so Windsitter is not what
you'd call a success story.

It is a more, the reality story
of we all have dumb ideas.

Sometimes you get your
dumb ideas to market.

And sometimes you have to
shut down your dumb ideas.

Nothing wrong with that because
I learned a ton about product and

businesses from building WinCenter.

So I don't regret that time at all.

And I have the coolest graphic that
is still better than 90 percent of

what you see on the internet today.

So we call his, his name
was Joe, Joe the IT admin.

Uh, and that's because the guy
who drew it, his name was Joe.

But I want to give you
some success stories.

Um, uh.

I have a friend, uh, Dave Seia has
this product called Recut, and Dave

was making videos for YouTube and he
was spending the majority of his time

just cutting out, um, white space in
his video just empty, empty space.

He's like, I really wish I just had an
app that no did this, that would just cut

out all the white space and it was before
all the major video apps were doing this.

So he wrote an app that would
cut out the white space.

And you could export it to other programs,
and we do all this really cool stuff.

Talking to a couple other, like,
YouTubers or video creators, people

said, I really would like that.

Can I pay you for a copy?

So he turned it into a business.

And he sells ReCut.

And it's not a subscription, you
just pay one time for the software.

Which is amazing, because
no one does that anymore.

Wouldn't it be great if you could just
pay for something and use it forever?

So ReCut is on that model.

Now Dave makes, I'm not giving any
of Dave's numbers away, but he makes

enough with ReCut where he is happy
he doesn't need to work a day job.

He doesn't need to consult anymore.

He could just live off ReCut, which is
not an insignificant amount of money.

So there is success here
with this sort of thing.

And he's working on improving
ReCut, making it better and better.

Uh, our Podcast is hosted on
a system called Transistor.

I like Transistor because it was created
by another friend of mine, Justin

Jackson, who, uh, is a big advocate
of the startup and product community.

And, I kind of, I remember when Transistor
got started off the ground as an idea.

Can you make podcast hosting better?

At the time, I had a podcast.

It was called Two Frugal
Dudes with my friend Sean.

And we just had so much, so many issues
with our, uh, Lipsyn podcast hosting.

It was like, it would really be nice
if there was a better way to do this.

We ended up shutting
down Two Frugal Dudes.

And when we started the multi threaded
income podcast, I said, well, I'm going to

try Transistor out and see how that goes.

So we signed up to support Justin,
but I still pay him the full amount.

I don't get a friend discount or anything.

But it's a very good piece of software.

And Justin If you go back through the
years, he's recorded his process in

his, they call it build in public.

So they built Transistor in public, and
you know that they started from zero

dollars, originally got those first
couple subscribers, and now, again,

they're in a place where they have
multiple employees, and it's their full

time job, it's just running the system.

They had started as, just as a side gig.

They were working on it out of the
side, eventually went full time on

it, eventually brought on employees.

And now it's a, I'm not going to call
it a juggernaut, but it's becoming

a player in the podcast hosting
space, which I think is really a

testament to, any of us can start with
nothing and build it into something.

Um, and these are way better
applications than WindSitter ever was.

Alright, as I come down to the end of
my time, let's have a quick discussion

of just ethics and time management.

Because I think this is important.

Uh, first question is, is it ethical to do
your work on the side if you have a W 2?

And the answer to that is absolutely
it's ethical, it's your time.

Never let your employer dictate
what you do with your free time.

And, I'm gonna go off my hot take here.

Like my employer, like I work for a
variety of different clients, but I'm done

working at 5 o'clock in the afternoon.

Maybe 4.

Maybe two if I feel like it.

Like, it really depends on what
I feel like my time needs to be.

My clients are getting value from me,
but I have complete control over my time.

If they need anything at 8, 9
o'clock in the evening, that's cool.

I am available sometimes,
but there is also a penalty

to be paid when that occurs.

Um, I don't, I, I covered my free time.

That's what I like to say.

Um, I think it's absolutely.

ethical to use your free time in
whatever way, shape or form you want

to, uh, there's this term that was
kind of taking the internet during

COVID of over employment where you're
working two or more full time jobs.

At the time, I don't like that.

I think that I think that's
doing, uh, instead of I still

want you to do your job.

If you have a full time job, do your job.

Well, don't have two
jobs that you do poorly.

Because that's not going to help you
anywhere in your career, is being a

bad employee at two, two businesses.

Um, yeah.

And if you're a bad employee
at one business, that's a

whole different problem.

But, don't, don't do the multiple jobs.

When I talk about multi threaded income,
it's the taking a couple hours in the

evening or on a weekend to do some work.

It's not taking a completely second job.

Now, if you're single, you have
no life, you do you, but I'm

not going to advocate for that.

If you're working a full time
job, there's a couple things you

absolutely need to keep in mind.

Do not use your work equipment for
anything that you're doing on the side.

I've seen, there are
laughs when people do this.

Um, because usually you have
better hardware with your employer

than you might have personally.

Get yourself a personal
laptop, personal something.

Uh, don't do this work on your.

Work machine, and the biggest reason is
that you probably, uh, have some sort

of clause in your employment agreement
that says anything written on your

work equipment is the property of your
employer, and don't even, yeah, don't even

push it, just have a separate machine for
all that work that you're going to do.

Don't use work time if your employer is
expecting you to be productive between

a set number of hours, say 9 to 5.

Don't spend any of that time
to work on side projects.

I mean, it depends.

If you have a flexible enough
job where you could do work at

lunchtime and it's not a big
deal, you know, that's up to you.

I'm more of a play it safe.

Don't get caught working on something
that's not work during the time that your

job thinks that you should be working.

Uh, also, you need to make sure you
don't have a non compete or some sort

of IP agreement with your employer.

This is the big one, because you might
have signed something and not realized it.

A lot of us don't read
the employment agreements.

When we, we're just
happy we're getting paid.

So, you just sign on the dotted line.

They are better today than
they were a long time ago.

They used to be very Very, uh,
restrictive, so you might have a case

where the employer says, Any thought you
have, I don't care if it's during working

hours, I don't care if it's in the shower.

Any thought you have, any napkin you
write a note on belongs to the company.

And, that's a little restrictive.

Just a little.

Um, but it also means that, let's say
you were working on something on the

side, And you try to monetize it, the
employer can come back and say, that

is owned by us, we have the paperwork
to prove it, and you now owe us the

residuals that you made from that product.

Don't put yourself in that position.

Oh, but Kevin, there's a clause where
you could write in all your previous

inventions and your new inventions.

Yeah, that's a lot of effort.

Um, I don't sign on IP agreements
anymore, unless it's non restrictive,

or, it's very narrow to, to a use case.

I will give you the IP for
anything that I write, granted

that, uh, you pay me for it.

So, you're paying me for a very specific
thing that I'm working on, also has to

be in the statement of work, that you
can't just pick and choose what I've

worked on, and get the IP rights to it.

So that's, uh, that's important,
um, Uh, and lastly, and we kinda

touched on this a little bit earlier.

I don't.

I don't agree with sacrificing
your life or your family just

to make a few extra dollars.

If you are working paycheck to
paycheck, absolutely take some of

these ideas and try to run with it,
to just become more financially free.

Give yourself some options.

But, if you're thinking about missing
a baseball game, or whatnot, to

crank out some more code, that is
never going to be worth it, and

I will never advocate for that.

Um, so, that's all I have.

The other thoughts, the biggest place
to start is, all this begins with your

network, so a lot of success in consulting
products, books, courses, whatever, starts

with how social you are, and it doesn't
mean that you're thousands of followers

on Twitter, it just means maybe start
with LinkedIn, uh, there are multiple

people on the Multithreaded Income
podcast that will tell you, start with

LinkedIn, it's not Twitter, it's Twitter.

Thankfully, but it's a good way to kind
of build your network and put out some

content so people know who you are.

People are more inclined to
give money to people that they

know and people that they trust.

And if you can build some sort of
that trust socially, people are

more willing to give you money.

So if you're trying to sell a
course, having a good social

network will give you people who
want to pay you for your course.

Uh, if you want to start
freelancing or moonlighting or

become an independent consultant.

LinkedIn is a great place to go
for those sort of people because

everyone's always looking.

Even in a somewhat down economy of folks
losing their job left and right, there are

still always folks looking on LinkedIn.

Go to LinkedIn.

Like, I won't advocate for anything
other than LinkedIn at this moment.

Um, so again, we have the
multi threaded income podcast.

I would love for you to
listen and get some ideas.

And I would love your feedback
on our Discord if you'd like

to come join the conversation.

But with that Thank you all so
much for hanging out with me today.

I'm happy to answer questions.

You've been listening to the
multi threaded income podcast.

I really hope that this podcast
has been useful for you.

If it has, please take a moment to leave a
review wherever you get your podcast from.

And don't forget the
conversation doesn't stop here.

Join us on our discord at mti.

to slash discord.

I've been your host Kevin Griffin
and we'll see you next week.

Cha ching!