Monetize everything and lose nothing. No, I’m not talking about becoming a pack rat. (Sorry, people, those McDonald’s cups from 1980 are still just trash.) No, what I’m talking about is keeping your knowledge.
I regret losing many ideas and a lot of information from when I was a student that I could have monetized in the form of blog posts, ideas and more. Think about all the learning that takes place around you. You will be leaving that environment soon, and unless you pursue a career in academia, it will all be gone, and you’ll miss it. Take some of it with you.
Instead of selling your textbooks back right away, go through them again. But this time without the inhibition of a curriculum. Look for ideas. Tangible ideas that you can put into practice. You should be able to get at least five from each book. Even if it’s a history book, and everyone knows the only career in history is to teach (*sarcasm), you can still write down five nuggets to act as conversation starters when you’re networking.
How about your notes? Photocopy them and sell ‘em. Every college or university has a retail store that buys and sells notes. Are you a CS major? How about packaging some of your code into a software bundle and selling it or opensourcing for some personal exposure.
The point is, you are surrounded by valuable tangible and intangible assets. Assess them. Relearn from them. Capitalize on them. In journalism school, I built up a database of resources. From sources to story ideas to networking peeps.
One great tool for capitalizing on the intangible assets is Evernote. It’s an application for mobile phones, desktops and browser add-ons. If you use it properly, it becomes an extension of your brain, allowing you to store text, images, videos and audio, all available later for searching.
I’d love to hear some of the things you’ve been able to “keep” or plan on keeping from college that you’ve successfully parlayed into an income stream.
Cody is a Product Manager and Social Media Specialist at ESPN. He manages, conceptualizes and develops many of the social aspects of ESPN.com. He also is Founder and CEO for Gunner Technology, Inc an end-to-end Web strategy company, providing solutions for businesses. Previously, Cody worked as a developer for ESPN.com, building many of the live scoreboards and GameCast applications.