Here is a short one, but I’ll work out this thought in a lengthier post this week. I see many educators creating content in order to support learners from less favored corners of the earth. They want to make this world a better place.
Though this is an admirable attitude, it also often leads to dead ends and the shut-down of promising projects. The reason: no money comes in.
Again, there are exceptions to this rule with probably the best known one Salman Khan. He isn’t making money from his work, there are no fees and no advertisements. The project is entirely funded by grants and donations.
While this sounds like an ideal case for educators keep in mind that Sal started from a pretty safe position. He used to be a hedge fund manager and had some money in the bank which gave him the runway until he found his revenue model. And if he had not succeeded, getting back to Wallstreet would not have been a problem either.
Most educators or people who want to share their knowledge and ideas don’t have such a war chest and plan B to fall back to. Yet they focus on products that don’t have high chances to generate revenue in the short or mid term.
Hence if you want to change the world or make it a bit better at least you need to have a product (or a couple of products) that provide you with the revenue and allow you to give away (other) things for free. When I started Deutsch Happen almost four years ago I made my income through teaching languages. The YouTube videos started as support for my paying students, I just made them available for everyone out there.
I think, what I want to say is that you don’t need to feel bad that you want / need to make money teaching stuff. In fact the more money you make the better if you really want to give something back to society. Money = peace of mind = more opportunities for altruism.