The farmer and the well: a course creators analogy
A farmer sees that many of his neighbors have dug wells on their properties and are getting water from them. This water is nourishing their families, their livestock, and watering their fields. His neighbors are prospering with their wells, so he resolves to dig a well too.
He digs a well on his property, spends a couple of months on the project, but there is no water there.
He asks Facebook what he should do, and gets a number of opinions back:
a) just wait, keep doing what you’re doing, the water will come
b) make another well, right beside the last one
c) move to a new spot on your property, and dig another well
d) buy a property in another state far from where you live and dig a well there
e) you need to do marketing to get water to come to your well
f) pray for rain
g) keep digging, and make it a “masterwell”
h) start a youtube channel
Everyone has a different opinion. So what’s the right answer?
If it was me, before looking out, I’d look in. I’d first ask if I was doing it right. I’d look at my well, and see if it looks like the neighbors wells. I’d ask my neighbors to look at my well. If my neighbors all agree that my well looks well-built, the you can eliminate “I don’t know how to build a well” as a reason. I build good wells.
That leaves “there is no water beneath this spot in the ground” as the answer.
Ultimately, you need to find a quick and easier way of discovering where the water is before you go through the process of digging more wells. For course creators, that probably means creating a YouTube channel, and creating lots of different videos until you find ones that get lots of views.
That’s just me. Pump out more free, quick, easy, content until something you do gets some traction, and go deeper on that and see if the traction follows you. Then when you’ve confirmed that people are dying to learn “X” from you, create a product on X.
Unless you are sure of success, or success doesn’t matter to you and you just enjoy digging wells, find where the water is first. Only then embark on a one-to-two month well-digging project.
Not a perfect analogy of course, because unlike water, students make decisions to which teacher they choose of the many available. But for the purposes of my point, the analogy is fine.
Where’s the water?
If what you’re doing doesn’t seem to be working, figure out how to find where the water is before spending months creating another product in the same spot.