By John Sonmez February 8, 2018

I Wanna Teach Programming… But I’m An Amateur

If you're a regular viewer of this channel, you've probably heard me talking a lot about creating your YouTube Channel and all of that.

However, whenever I say that, I receive questions from people asking me “but how am I supposed to start a YouTube Channel? I'm an amateur. There are a lot of channels better than mine”.

Indeed. There are… And there will always be. What should you do when there are a lot of channels and people doing better than you? Should you just give up? Hell no!

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: This is from Booligoosh from Code The Web. I'm actually going to give his thing. I'll plug his blog a little bit since he's written this question a long time ago, probably. “I run a web development tutorial blog at codetheweb.blog.” It's a pretty good name. “I'm thinking of advertising learn to code websites like Codeacademy or a code school as they would be a good fit for my audience. Their problem is they tried to teach people programming as well and I'm worried that by advertising them readers will use those websites instead. Is it better for the long term not to advertise, but to build up a dedicated audience instead of losing people? Will I even lose people? What do you think?”

Okay. Obviously, you can guess what I think because I just advertised someone else's blog on here. Am I worried about competition? There's a couple of things to think about here. First of all, let's start at the higher-level principle, which is this principle of having an abundance or scarcity mindset. I've talked about this. I think I have a video on the abundance mindset or scarcity mindset. You can check that out, but I'll give the quick overview of this.

People either fall into one of these two categories generally, which means if you have an abundance mindset, you're like, “Hey, there's enough grapes for everyone.” I don’t know why I said grapes, but just go with me, all right? “There's enough grapes for everyone. Let's just have a fucking grape orgy and we'll just all eat grapes. It will be fun. It doesn’t matter how many grapes you eat. I can eat as many grapes as I want. We have some kind of grape paradise going on here.” The scarcity is one that's like, “Yeah. I don’t want to tell you where the grape tree is—the grape vine, the grape vine, the grape tree—the grape tree is because I'm not sure if there's enough grapes in the vine for me. What if you tell your buddies and then there's just not enough grapes. I'm going to secretly eat these grapes over here. Hopefully, no one sees when I sneak away to eat my grapes.” I got this kind of grape stain on my face and my shirt. “Have you've been eating grapes, Joe?” “No. I don’t know where there's any grapes. I don’t know what you're talking about.” The scarcity mindset is basically thinking that there's not enough grapes for everyone. You got to be careful and you got to guard your grapes carefully.

There's a couple of things here. One is that you need to have the abundance mindset because, one, is that how fun is it to live in the scarcity mindset? How fun is it to like be hiding your grape eating habits from other people so they don’t know about your secret grapes? It's not fun. It's not a good way to live. It's just not pleasurable at all. It's much more fun to have a grape orgy. It's much more fun to just have everybody happy, there's plenty of grapes for everyone to go around and to have that mindset. When you have an abundance mindset, you'll find that there's plenty of grapes. When you have the scarcity, you'll find that there's not plenty of grapes.

From a mindset perspective, having the abundance mindset is a lot more effective and a lot more powerful, and is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I can tell you that there's plenty to go around. There's plenty—especially in this space. If you think about it, if you're a small blogger, if you're starting up, if you're starting a small company, if you're not Apple and Google now—see, this is the thing. Arguably, Apple and Google, they are actually competitors and let's say in the mobile phone market because if Apple gets more of a share of the mobile phone users, Google has to lose some. There's really no—I mean there's new players coming in the market so they can both capitalize on that, but they're actually battling percentages head to head.

If you have a blog—let's just say Simple Programmer because I'm bigger than you. Do I have any kind of percentage of the developer market? Is it even 0.1%? No. Okay. I don’t even have 0.1%. If you ask a thousand developers who the fuck Simple Programmer is, 999 of them are going to say, “I have no idea,” and one of them will say, “He's the man. This guy is fucking awesome. You got to watch his videos.” That's how it is.

That means—In fact, it won't even be one. Maybe one in 10,000, I don’t know. I don’t know what it—It doesn’t matter though because there's not enough competition there. If I gained someone that's following my blog that's watching my videos, it doesn’t mean that they're not going to follow and watch yours. You see what I'm saying? You don’t have to be threatened and we need to cooperate at this level. In fact, I would say even at the higher levels, cooperation is going to trump competition for the most part. When you get way up there to the Apple level where you're a multibillion dollar company, then yes. Let's not cooperate necessarily. I don’t know. It might even still be a good strategy, but then I can see you viewing your competition with somewhat of a scarcity mindset, maybe. In that case, worried about there not being grapes for everyone. That I can see. At this level, at the level that we're playing at, at the level that you're playing at if you're watching this and even that I'm playing at, it's nothing. There's no competition. I'm going to consider everyone in this space to be my friend. Well, maybe they're not going to consider me to be their friend because a lot of people don't like what I say, but I don’t care. It doesn’t matter. They're not my competition.

If you have a blog, if you're talking about programming, if you have a YouTube video and you're talking about self-development and personal development, you're a fitness YouTuber, whatever, we're all friends. If you're an RSD person, we're all friends. We're good. We're not competing. We're just helping each other, because if I send you people and you send me people and they—there's plenty of people, first of all, and there's plenty of time. Just because someone buys your shit or read your blog doesn’t mean they're not going to read my blog or watch my videos. You see what I'm saying?

That's the mindset that you have to have. You don’t have to worry about this stuff, unless you have a real clear indicator, if you're in a very small market selling something and there's another competitor and you can actually measure the market share in tens of percentages, if you can actually measure in tens of percentages, now you've got a competition environment. Up until then, the world is wide and open and you should have this abundance mindset and you shouldn’t worry. You shouldn’t worry about sharing things.

Again, on this channel, what kind of secrets do I keep? I tell you everything. I don’t hide anything from you. I want to help you as much in your life as possible, even though you might say, “Oh, John. You should kind of keep your secrets and only sell those in your courses.” No. I sell the courses in addition. In fact, the Complete Software Developer's Career Guide which I have right here, did you know that this entire book is free on my blog? Did you know that you can read every chapter from this book?

Now, I added some stuff in the print version added some “Hey, John” sections and obviously fixed a lot of—revised some of the chapters and stuff, and in the audio version I added some extra stuff. Generally, the general book itself, I released it chapter by chapter for free on my blog. Why? Because I don’t have that scarcity mindset. I have the abundance mindset because I believe that even though you have this available on my blog, even though I'm making it free, you'll pay for it because you want to support, because you want to support Simple Programmer, because you want to have a nice hard back or soft back version or you want to have a nice version on your Kindle that’s organized for you. It's worth paying me five bucks or 20 bucks for the print version because I'm giving you value.

If I'm giving you value and you're giving people value, don’t worry. Don’t worry about competitors. Don’t worry about giving all your secrets. Just give, give, give and give people as much value as possible and that's going to give you success in life. Even if it doesn’t which it will, I promise you. It's going to make you feel better. It's so much better than being like, “Man, I got to protect my grapes,” like you don’t want to live your whole life trying to fucking protect your grapes. Give everyone your grapes. It doesn’t mean you don’t charge for things. It doesn’t mean you don’t make money. It doesn’t mean you don’t run the business, but it means that you don’t worry. You don’t worry about competitors. You don’t worry about giving away your secrets. Instead, you just do what's going to be most valuable for your customer. That's how you build a real audience. That's how you build the real following.

That's what I've learned about business and it's so much of a better way to live. Even if it's not the most—you might say, “Well, that's not the most effective way to run a business.” It's so much of a more pleasant way to live and you just have to believe in karma. If you do the right thing, if you treat people right, if you do good in your business and you still got to have some business sense, that's going to be the biggest benefit.

That's all I got for you today. If you like this video, make sure you click the Subscribe button below. Click the bell so you don’t miss any videos. I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."