On Helping Other People

Life PreserverA very common objection that I hear that keeps people from teaching others is that the person feels that they aren’t “expert” enough to teach someone else. Any while I don’t doubt that the person lacks the credentials to be an “expert”, they do have some life experience to share.

The way I heard it described the other day on The Podcast Answer Man (link to episode) was that it is more about where each person is in their life. As an adult, I don’t see a 6th grader as having a wealth of knowledge. However, to a 4th grader, the 6th grader has a lot of valuable answers and experience to share.

All of you have at least a “6th grade level knowledge” about something. Go out and be a hero to someone who is at that 5th grade level or below. As long as you are honest about where you’re at and what your story is, you aren’t a fraud or a phony. Everyone is a beginner at some point. There is nothing wrong with an “advanced beginner” or higher turning around and helping those on the trail behind them.

Excuses are a crutch. If you feel compelled to help others, just do it. Start a blog, start a podcast, speak at user groups… whatever gets you excited. Your content won’t be for everyone, but – NEWS FLASH – no content pleases everyone. If someone is too advanced for your content, then they aren’t in your core audience. As long as you didn’t promise an advanced session, don’t worry about it.

Now go create!

2 comments On Helping Other People

Matt Jones says:

“However, to a 4th grader, the 6th grader has a lot of valuable answers and experience to share.”

Even more importantly, that 6th grader still remembers what it was like to *be* a 4th grader.

Pete says:

Matt, I totally agree. Sometimes, after being in a technology for so long, you forget what it is like to be “new”. People just having gone through it are much more likely to be empathetic and to remember what the pain points are. Thanks for the comment!

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