How a College Student Transformed a $4,000 Bill Into $40,000 Profit a Month

For the month of February, we’re talking all about college student entrepreneurs. Our 4-part series looks at four very different businesses started by studentpreneurs and the key takeaways that can help you in your business. Questions? Suggestions? Want us to feature your business? Drop us a line! anna [at] atxwebdesigns [dot] com.

Who: Zaid Al-Quraishy

What: Online Courses

Where: University College Dublin

The Problem: He wanted to grow his online business.

The Solution: He started selling his online courses on Udemy.

Zaid Al-Quraishy was a college student and entrepreneur when, one day, his car broke down. Repairing it would cost $4,000. Though his online business had generated enough money for him to buy the car, it wasn’t enough to allow him to repair it. He was stuck.

Al-Quraishy is an “ethical hacker”. He isn’t out to take down websites, steal money, or otherwise harm people through the web. Mostly his courses teach how to test security of certain technologies and protect against malicious attacks.

Through his own website, he offered ethical hacking courses for Arabic speakers. He had an archive of videos and materials that had been supporting his student expenses. When his car broke down, a friend suggested he try offering his courses on Udemy. The only catch was: they would have to be in English.

So, he translated his courses and the supplementary materials into English. Then, made more even courses to put on Udemy. What could have been an enormous hassle turned out to be a lucrative opportunity.

He currently offers 8 courses that range in price from $10 to almost $200.

The best part is: he doesn’t have to run any of it. Udemy allows him to not only offer his courses to a (much) wider audience but in showing reviews, ratings, and numbers of students, also does a good chunk of the marketing for him.

He’s had over 130,000 students (and at a minimum of $10 per class, we’d say he’s done all right). Side Hustle School reports he brings in $40,000 per month (all right, indeed).

Top 3 Lessons and Takeaways:

1. Do Your Best, Outsource the Rest. Al-Quraishy grew his business by focusing on his strengths, creating great courses, and outsourcing the rest. Now instead of spending time and energy on the technical aspects of delivering the courses, on marketing and customer service, he can focus on building and improving his courses.

2. Capitalize on What you Know. Al-Quraishy knew all about hacking and was able to package his knowledge in a way that was accessible to others. You don’t have to take a class or learn a new skill to start a business. What are you already good at? What do you already know a lot about? Start there. Then, go back and read #1.

3. Make Passive Income. It’s what every entrepreneur aims for, but not everyone can make money in their sleep. Al-Quraishy’s business was already generating passive income, and he scaled up in a major way by migrating to Udemy (and outsourced a lot of the hassle). If you’re already making passive income, how can you increase efficiency (like adopting a new system or platform) to maximize your profit?

Anna Ray