Starbucks Taipei 101 is a must-see If you’re going for a visit to see Taipei 101 which I highly recommend. It offers the some of the best views of Taipei for the lowest cost. The best views for free are at the elephant mountain hike, which I’ll cover on the future post. You’ll need to make an advance appointment to do so. You can watch the video to get the phone number and they understand english.
It is easy to get there. You can take the MRT underground subway and closest station is Taipei 101 World Trade Center on the new red line. The red line was installed around September 2013 so you’re in luck.
The verdict: It is a bit of a hassle to get there, but armed with this information and if you’re already going to visit Taipei 101 this is a must do.
For the price of a coffee and food you can get amazing views and skip competing with the crowds trying to go to the viewing platform.
While you’re in this area here are some ideas of what to do.
Eat at the Xinyi food court in the basement level for good cheap eats
Try the Xiao long Bao at the Din Tai Fung by the same MRT exit 4. It’s probably the biggest and busiest of the Din Tai Fung branches in Taipei so be prepared.
Jason’s market place is nearby which is the closest thing Taipei has to wholefoods. You can grab a nice ipa beer and drink it while you wait.
Visit the ATT4Fun area. There are more places to eat, watch movies, and drink.
Go for a visit to Elephant Mountain for a hike and the best views of Taipei.
Before I start my 1st passive income report lets explain what passive income is. In my words it is a product that you take time to produce and sell on the Internet through a platform like your blog website or Amazon. If the products are digital like an e-book or a video clip you spend time upfront to create it and once you’ve put it on-line the one product can be sold to more than one customer. Because it is digital you don’t have to worry about shipping a tangible product. Payment is automated through paypal. Your products can also reach a global audience. Imagine being at starbucks. You have a starbucks employee that may be paid $15 an hour. I may be at the same starbucks doing work on my laptop At the end of the day I will have a finished digital product that can earn me revenue while I’m doing other things for no set end date. The starbucks employee may earn $90US for their 6 hours of work. The irony is that we are both working at the same location just doing different work.
Some examples of my products
I’ve been inspired by Internet Entrepreneurs Patt Flynn and John Dumas who have posted their detailed income reports on their blogs. By doing do they have inspired me and provided lessons through their successes and failures. I’ve taken some inspiration and information from them and tried to adapt them to my niche of travel, video, sharing, and inspiration. They have taken the idea of passive income that has been popularized by Tim Ferris and successfully executed the idea with a blueprint.
Although I started this entrepreneurial journey in May 2011 I made many mistakes and spent a lot of money up until now. During my time in Taiwan I have been experimenting with different business models in an attempt to see what works.
Let’s get right to it.
Timeline January 2014 – June 2014
I’m contacted by a company in Singapore to pay me an upfront fee of $500 US to organize my video collection and host it on their website
I manage to organize my collection and spend several months figuring out an efficient process to thousands of my video clips on stock footage sites like Pond5.com and shutterstock.com.
It was a lot of hard work to organize the footage and catelogue it, but It was starting to see sales of $20 to 60$ US come in, which was encouragement for me to continue to go forward. This was starting to become my foundation passive income stream. While I’ve not reached the point where I can completely rely on my passive income this month I feel that I’ve built a foundation and have a path to focus on efforts on that I believe I can reach my goal of being financial independent in Taiwan in the next month or two. I was teaching English in Taiwan the past 4 months, which helped supplement my income while I was building up these income streams.
I want to make American money while I’m abroad in Taiwan learning chinese and to travel more in the heart of Asia.
I currently have 2467 video clips and 120 pending video clips pending curator approval. I have just completed a trip to Japan and expect my total clips to be around 2900 after they are approved.
October’s payout will be $ 167.50 US compared to September’s payout of $279.50 US. Payout’s are on the 15th of the following month.
July 2014 $167
August 2014 $292
Sept 2014 $207 US
Total $666 US
Monthly Average $222 US
Although the number fluctuates my focus will be to get the Japan footage up there as soon as I can. My footage collection for this year has been entirely from Taiwan. I will try to be creative and film footage from within Taipei to save on costs. The good thing is that there is always something to film in Taipei. There doesn’t appear to be any particular pattern to hone in on. However, I did sell one of my first gopro driving tours in Hawaii. I have driving tours in Vancouver, New Zealand, and South Africa that have no been uploaded so this is another strategy to focus on.
if you are interested in seeing my pond5 global video library currently over 3000 video clips please click on the link below. I do get a referral commission if you purchase, but it is free to browse my video collection
In October the pay out will be $226.29 US. I have 1890 video clips and 76 waiting for review. Assuming they are all approved I will have 1996 video clips before Japan’s batch. Shutterstock has a higher rejection rates. Too bad I didn’t keep track of how many approved video clips I’ve had on-line as there has definitely been a correlation with my payout’s and the number of video clips I have on-line.
July $335 US
August $ 134 US
September $239 US
Total $708 US
Monthly Average $236
Combined Monthly Average $475
October Total $393.79
Shutterstock is a slightly better performer for me. I have an efficient process for getting the video clips on-line that I put together in an on-line course on Udemy. The potential in stock footage is I can leverage the existing footage I already have and rely on the stock footage sites to market and sell the video clips. Pond5 and Shutterstock combined have performed the best. I have a collection on Motion elements and a Japanese site Pixta. I haven’t seen a single cent from these sites yet. Given that Pixta is a Japanese site I may put more video clips especially from Japan and see what results I get.
Other sites that I’ve tried, but have given up on for now are Revostock and iStockphoto. I have submitted clips and waiting for a collection at T3media to come on-line shortly. Clipcanvas is another site I have read on other websites as being a strong performer. Their site has been going through upgrades lately and I just recently received an invitation to become a contributor. I plan to get a part of my collection on there to try get a 3rd revenue stock footage stream going.
Combined Pond 5 and Shutterstock deliver $474 US
Another goal is to find a 3rd site that can deliver at least $100US. That would bring a monthly average to $600US. Not a lot by western standards, but good money in Taiwan. My goal seems realistic to me given the size of my high quality collection.
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This month I want to introduce you to 2 free resources for learning Chinese (Mandarin). Both resources are high tech. One is a free app called Chineseskill and another is a podcast from Jenny Zhu. What I love about both of these solutions is that you can learn on the go if you’re on the MRT or just going for a walk.
This app is a high quality education game with the Panda as the mascot. It has practical categories such as food, colors, math. Each category has 3 rounds that you must past to unlock the next category unless you pass the “test out”, which will unlock all the categories for that level. The questions are interesting as they go straight into multiple choice questions. These questions have pictures, chinese characters, and pinyin so you can hear the pronunciation when you touch the pictures. It is really obvious which option it is, but you end up learning because of the combination of picture, sound, pinyin, and chinese characters. I think it is genius that they manage to deliver all this information so simply. They have other question formats that test your listening skills, require you to translate the chinese to english, and even write the chinese for the english. This app is useful for learning some chinese when you have downtime at the MRT or waiting for a friend. I’ve downloaded this for the Iphone on the app store.
This app is useful for learning some chinese when you have downtime at the MRT or waiting for a friend
What you get out of the Jenny’s podcast is that it is entertaining and you get an cultural education from a great team
2) Important Chinese things with Jenny Zhu (Chinesepod podcast)
Jenny Zhu has developed into a household name in the modern Chinese learning world. I discovered that she regularly releases an entertaining cultural show that is both in mandarin and English. Jenny hosts the shot with David Wei, and Fiona Tian. Jenny provides her cheerful personality and has perfected a blend of speaking in Chinese and English. If I recall correctly Jenny spent some time studying in Australia and brings an understanding of Western culture and introduces us to Chinese culture and contrasts the differences on the show. She is entertaining and is not afraid to keep it real and has given me insight into how the Chinese think.
Fiona Tan is an attractive half Taiwanese half Western Mandarin teacher based in Taiwan that came to my attention through Youtube. She used the youtube platform to teach things like ordering bubble tea. She recently joined the Chinesepod team and brings a Western and a Taiwanese perspective on the topics they discuss on the show. The show is interesting as they’ve talked about things such as drug busts in China, Health care, and travel. What you get out of the Jenny’s podcast is that it is entertaining and you get an cultural education from a great team. The webpage for each episode lists the chinese and pinyin used on the show as well as actual podcast, which you can play from the site or download and synch on your iphone using itunes. Good job guys.
So you’ve decided to become an English teacher in Taiwan?
Now that my experience as an English teacher in Taiwan is over I thought I would reflect and pass on some of my hard lessons learned. Some of this stuff I just learned and wasn’t covered in my schools training. I’m there are much more experienced teachers out there, but before I wrote this I did a google search and no-one has written an actual article on this topic. I hope to get the conversation started, and hope others will contribute.
I want to share some of my top personal tips to help you become a better English Teacher in Taiwan. My experience comes from teaching children age 5 – 12 in a cram school setting. As the kids get older they become more mature and you don’t need to administer these techniques as much.
I found out in my first week that managing the kids and their behavior was just if not more important than the actual teaching
1. Classroom management – I found out in my first week that managing the kids and their behavior was just if not more important than the actual teaching. Here are some of the techniques I found to be effective to get the kids under control.
The 5 second countdown – just start counting down and watch the kids scramble to not be the last one to their seats. It’s great for getting control back of the class
Reward system – You can issue out individual cards (any pack of cards) to children who exhibit behavior like answering questions or participating well. A variation is to do this on a team basis. You can make two teams on the board and let the kids decide the name of the team. Letting them decide really gets their buy in. They will usually pick something like dinosaurs,snake, or ninja turtles. Draw the picture to represent the team mascot. They love it. As you teach you can reward the teams with points for good behavior. For example the first team to take out their books to the correct page, or who read the best. At the end I tally the points and give the winning team something like 7 stamps. I used to trade cards for fake money which they could then buy candy for. The kids enjoyed this, but its took more time and effort to administer and distracted from my teaching.The losing team will get 2 stamps, and will feel bad for losing. Stamps mean a lot to the kids and it isn’t expensive. You can use ink to refill the stamp.
Punishments – don’t like this, but if you take away their individual cards. You can even take away points away from their team, which will get the other kids on their team on their case. I’ve heard of other teachers threatening to have the students spell a word 15 times. It’s important to follow through.
Last resort intimidation – I’m not a fan of this, but sometimes you may have to bring out your inner terminator to put the fear in certain students. I watched some of the other teachers who would shout loud and bang something on the table to create the effect. You can shout their name really loud, bang the desk with something that will make a loud noise like a metal thermos bug, and you have to cap it off with a mean stare. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds with a serious face and lean on the desk. Again I’m not a fan of this, but I’m putting it our there.
2. Prepare for your lesson in advance – In a cram school it is a noisy and distracting environment with kids running around. I would figure out what my next class and take the materials home with me. I could then prepare in a less noisy environment the day before or well before class to avoid rushing before class.
3. Tools – Have a strong toolkit or tool box. Here is what I think a good tool-kit should have.
Get a good red pen for marking over students mistake, blue pen for general purpose, and pencil for making notes in your notebook.
Post-it notes are handy for making notes so you don’t mark up the text book
Whiteboard markers – The cheap ones lasted less than a week. Get the fat ones that you can refill. They cost about 40nt and 21nt to refill. 2-3 colors are good
You want to have at least 2 decks or cards, some good stamps, and remember to refill your stamps regularly.
There are plenty of stationary stores around Taiwan and these supplies won’t set you back that much.
4. Games. It’s important to have a good set of games to entertain and teach kids with.
Paper, Scissors, Stone (Rock,paper,scissors) – This is what it’s referred to in Taiwan. Use it whenever the students have to practice together to determine who will go first or to settle an argument. If kids have to head have the loser of paper, scissors, stone read the page.
Dice – The dice are probably my most used tool. Here are some uses for it. If a team did something well or an individual on a team participated well. You can reward them by letting someone throw a dice to see how many points their team gets. It students need to practice questions with their friends then you can use give them a dice to determine which question they will practice.
Get a bucket and a ball to play mobile basketball. If they do something well give them a chance to play. I haven’t met a kid that didn’t want to play basketball. If they get it in give them the dice to figure out how many points.
Flashcard guessing – If you use flashcards to tell them on one of the words to stand up. Odd one out if the loser. You can also hide a hard behind yourself and ask what card is behind teacher. Kids of all levels just love to guess.
Spelling relay – Have each team line-up. Each kid can only write one letter then has to hand the market to the person behind them.
Puzzle generator – If you have spare time you can create a crossword puzzle or word search using words they need to learn. This website will generate the puzzle for you. http://www.discoveryeducation.com/free-puzzlemaker/. Great if you need to fill time
Flash games – If you teach math and have a smart board flash games are a creative way to let kids learn and interact. The kids can touch the smart board to move things like coins in a game. Very cool. Here is a great site I used. www.abcya.com
Singing statues or musical chairs – Some kids hate singing, but you can play these games and they won’t want to stop. You can play the song and when you press pause everyone sits down or you play the music and when you pause the music everyone freezes ( you need to freeze as well to sell it to them).
I’m sure that’s just scratching the surface, but I hope that helps. Feel free to leave a comment if you have more tips to share. Thanks to Dan for passing on some of the tips. If you want to to hear more tips for life in Taiwan be sure to sign up to my newsletter.