My First $1,000

My old friend Auren Hoffman has tagged me with yet another blog tag–this time, it’s to tell the story of your first $1,000.

Alas, my story won’t be as interesting as Auren’s tale of baseball card trading.

You see, I was down in Baja California when I felt a strange hand tugging on my stainless steel harness….

Nah, just kidding.

I actually made my first $1,000 (not counting various scholarships and the like) as–brace yourself–a teacher.

In my final year at Stanford, I became a teacher of public speaking in the School of Engineering’s Technical Communications Program. The TCP is an unusual but extremely successful program in which student teachers (mostly liberal arts undergrads) teach a graduate-level course (doing all the work including final exams and grading with essentially no faculty supervision) to Engineering grad students and Stanford business school students.

As an added bonus, since I started school young, I was 19 when I started teaching the course.

In the end, I loved the experience, and ironically enough, teaching the class helped me take my public speaking to the next level. (The less kind would say that it simply made me even more verbose than before!) When you’re a 19-year-old teaching a class of 50 graduate students, you grow up fast!

At the munificent sum of $10 per hour (back then, this was real money–several of my fellow teachers actually made a living after graduation from this program) I made roughly $200 per week.

I would like to return to teaching someday (hopefully at a higher salary!) but I’m afraid it will have to wait a few more years. I’ve still got a few more companies in me yet!

3 thoughts on “My First $1,000

  1. this is great Chris. more people should explore the power of teaching.

  2. It’s hard to imagine a kid getting all the way to college before making their first $1K. No jobs at Pizza Hut, delivering newspapers, etc?

    I got mine doing interstate furniture hauling with my uncle in high school; it convinced me that “working for a living” was not for me and I’d best get my butt into college 🙂

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