Google

Archive for October 2014

Update on My 16 Year Old Son’s Talent Journey


Watch my son’s latest video produced to bring specific value through the use of his aerial videography talent. Also, below is an update on my oldest son’s 10,000 hour journey to amazing talent:

This past week, my son Jonathan Jr. was able to take his talent development into a slightly new direction. This is consistent with our family strategy of remaining flexible to opportunities while building on the skills already acquired. This talent journey started a few years ago when our son was enlisted to help us in our family business by taking product photos for our website. He also interested himself in some of the business mechanics of the home business. We encouraged it wherever he was capable of contributing or understanding.

From simple photo taking projects, he grew into learning how to do small videos of my wife doing her product explanations and editing them for brevity. This again was part of a strategy of understanding that our own family environment had advantages he could learn to use for his own benefit. Keep in mind that my son’s original personal interests only played one part in this successful talent building strategy. The other parts are found in the family’s environment and are identified and released by his parents.

The next phase of his talent discovery and development process came when he met a family friend of mine who let him fly his new quadcopter drone with a small camera mounted under its belly. That’s when he realized that he could marry his burgeoning videography with the new affordable flying drones. The feedback he was getting was that there was room for him to bring value to a market that was not yet crowded. When he compared that opportunity to that of becoming a wedding photographer (a typical destination for those with digital cameras and aspirations of going professional), he realized that the wedding market was already very well served. There were would be little room for him in that venue long-term and he would have to beg and scrape for a living. But with the appearance of drones, he realized that this was an opportunity that he should not pass up. It was the classic case of “luck” coming to those who are prepared.

As he started approaching real estate agents to do some basic aerial shots of houses they had for sell or rent, he realized that he enjoyed to talking to grown adult men in the context of business. This in turn caused me to suggest he tap into the expertise of another family friend who was quite the successful salesperson in the insurance industry. That he did. With a few hours of advice and consulting (such as “don’t charge by the hour, but by the project”), Jonathan picked up some better techniques for pitching his service to interested parties. Soon he was engaged in weekly paying “gigs” that involved filming not only housing property, but also undeveloped commercial property. Each time he finished his project and handed off the finished video to the customer, he would also add it to his website. This built up his website as a living portfolio of his work. That public documentation in turn opened up more deals for him. From real estate aerial filming, it now seems to be jumping into some new opportunities involving documenting engineering projects from the air. This, at least, so far seems to leading him into a possible niche. We don’t know for sure, but opportunities and the dollar value that his customers are willing to pay him will be signposts to which way he should grow his talent.

What did we do right and should you do? As his parents, we did not panic ourselves into forcing a career name onto a growing and emerging talent. This allowed us to actively encourage him to pursue opportunities that we previously had never heard about. Because of this parental flexibility, our son is able to explore a growing field involving the application of new technology. And yet, I still don’t think that my son is yet ready to define himself with a career name, because his opportunities are still growing. For now, I’m okay if he says “aerial videographer”, but I doubt that is his end destination. This should be the same with your young person: have a focus, but expect that this focus is simply a building block to hoist him up to get to new and more exciting opportunities, as of yet unknown.

What are some of the discussions I’m having with him now? We have recently been talking about how he probably needs to get himself declared into a C-corporation, so he can position himself with tax advantages and flexibility in future partnering deals. He’s not making enough money yet that it matters, but we want to position him in the best spot possible for future growth. I picked up the phone and talked to an entrepreneur friend who is recommending we look at incorporating in the state of Wyoming because (among other reasons) it is only $50 filing per year vs. the $800 filing fee per year in California. Maybe Wyoming incorporation is an affordable option for him.

We are also talking about how much pleasure and success he is getting at pitching his service to others. This means he might want to think about how he can concentrate on getting new business. To do so he would have to job out the editing of the raw footage he is now doing by himself through the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service.  This in turn would mean he would have to start documenting the “recipe” he would want a contractor to follow so that it meets his customers’ needs. These are all conversations now, but our conversations will often lead to meaningful action in the months to come. I take all these conversations as serious, or more seriously, than his ability to memorize the history dates of a Western Civilization course. (By the way, we love and highly recommend the Western Civilization course by Tom Woods of the RonPaulCurriculum.com). We know that no one will hire Jonathan to give his opinions on history any time soon, but we are fairly certain that he will be amply rewarded as a young man if he delivers faithfully on his service to others through his talent.

Would you like to read the guide on how to create opportunities like that for your own student? Check out my e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.”

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

Activities Out of Your Comfort Zone

Today, I read this devastating insight made by another man inside a closed discussion forum that I belong to.

This is what he basically said:

“because many mothers control the homeschool content, even in the latter years of the boys under their roof, they tend to choose activities that train their sons to become good household managers, involving lots of nurturing and lots of household chores. The moms see it as their goal to finally train up a young man to be the kind of household helpers that they wish their husbands were. Those moms seem to not at all be worried and oblivious to the fact that their sons are not being groomed to actually lead and provide financially for a family”

Do no let gender confusion creep into your decision making process for your son. Yes, it is nice that he is making his bed, but is that going to be an appropriate substitute for his future wife when he doesn’t have the unmitigated drive to get on the phone and sell his services for cash? The age of twelve is a good age to start getting him on the path to putting himself out there to get outside jobs done. Those jobs might be brain-based jobs and not necessarily manual labor jobs. Start in small ways and build up. Get your husband involved for brainstorming real young man activities so that you can groom him to be able to look other adult men in the eyes. Those activities will be out of your comfort zone. That is good. Your son is not growing up to be a mother.

Guarantee Your Son’s Motivation

How would you like to guarantee your son’ motivation to learn by using your family’s strengths? Yes, you can do that.

I do not want you to hope your son develops real motivation. I want you to guarantee it.

First, you need to figure out what your family’s strength is. What is your family’s identity and your family’s drive? If you don’t know what I mean, think of what others would probably describe your family as being in this world and think of how others would describe what your family is best known for. That is your family strength. You might have that ONE THING that sets you apart or it might be several things merging together. It might be beautifully simple or it might be beautifully complex. Either way, you can harness your family’s energy to give your son that lift to the next level.

No two families will have quite the same identity, so you must engage your mind around understanding what it is that makes your family stand-out. Are you that family that lives and eats in the mechanical world on weekends and in the evenings, fixing cars and sharing tailgate food with other families at car rallies? Or are you that family that swims in the world of hospitality for your church and in having visiting guests from foreign countries share your daily meals? Those are both identities and strengths that can be harnessed to boost your son’s motivation to work and learn hard.

By the way, that kind of motivation fire will not be found in the back of your son’s textbook or in the eyes of his super-smart tutor. But it can be found within your family, if you know how to identify that energy and then know how to harness it to your son’s benefit. To be clear: your family’s current identity is not your son’s future identity – but, and this is an amazing insight, it is your family’s current energy flowing out of that identity that can be used to super-charge your son’s own motivation to excel.

I can tell you how to do it through my coaching e-course “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.”  Don’t hope for motivation – guarantee it.

How to Handle Social Media

Moms driving into a large city is the same kind of danger and opportunity that faces young people when they bring themselves into the wide world of social media.

Mothers can drive themselves into the city to go meet up with friends at restaurants, shop for bargains for the family, and take their children to activities without being mugged, run-over, or assaulted. How is that possible? That is because they are going into the city with a purpose, meeting up with safe friends, and avoiding unsavory dangerous parts of town. Rarely does a mother feel the temptation to get out and go for a walk in a gang-infested part of a town and try to strike up a conversation with someone who has underwear hanging out over their pants. (if you are a mother and you do you feel that temptation, chances are you are not reading this blog anyway).

It is the same with young people on social media. If they engage in communities on the Internet around a particular purpose, there is little danger. The more they engage with the right people and communities early on, with some helpful pointers from parents on how to avoid the danger spots of the Internet, the more they will instinctively recognize good, healthy, and productive environments. They will correctly “socialize” themselves into the right environment. This is the same kind of guidance as you give when you are teaching them to drive on their own.

This is how you should approach the Internet when giving guidance to young people. Older teenagers need to start shopping, taking care of errands, and communicating with people in their talent world on the Internet, just as they would in real life. Just as in real life, you can set Internet curfews, off limits parts of the Internet world, and give instructions about not having certain friends not being allowed to just hang out with you. If you start the guidance when they are still young, they will be ready to handle the Internet all on their own when they are eighteen.

Gradually, Not Immediately

Building talent in children requires a belief in the parents that it is the sweat, and the focus, and the attention to the skills involved in a talent that will gradually, not immediately, ignite the fire within each person.

Imagine if you approached teaching the skill of reading or the ability to do math in the same manner as the typical person manages the talent discovery process in their young student. “Here son, here’s a college textbook on calculus. Browse through it over the weekend. If it clicks with you and you can solve a few of the problems on your own, then it’s a good sign that we have found your true talent. We can sign you up for the introductory algebra class at that point. If not, that’s okay; we can skip algebra and not waste any more time on math. We’ll keep looking for a talent for you.”

If talent discovery is managed in that same manner, then the child is doomed from the outset at having no real talent in their life, just hobbies that look like talent. And if you ask your child to wander from extra-curricular activity to extra-curricular activity in the hopes of finding their calling in life, then they will be body-snatched into long-term worthless group sports that will do nothing to change their lives.

Instead, become engaged as a parent in the talent discovery process. Find first one thing, then find several things that can be weaved together from their already rich environment into something unique for their future. A personal interest is just one thing and not enough to build a meaningful talent. They need several things and they need your broad vision to put those several things together. They absolutely cannot see all their options at their own young age of twelve, but you can. They need your experienced imagination and they need your boundary setting authority to say ‘yes’ to real opportunities and to say ‘no’ to irrelevant activities.

Full-cover-100-hours-talent-guide

What Started Me on Talent for My Children

This is what I noticed in the lives of many young people post high-school that first got me launched into organizing our homeschool for maximum talent productivity in each of our children:

  • ill-equipped to take on the marketplace
  • career frustration
  • years of delayed marriage
  • the joy of working snuffed out

But do not worry: you can reverse engineer those problems back to a solution. You do not have to be a deer in the headlight paralyzed for the lack of a plan. And the answer is creating a custom talent that starts in the very early teens. Are you doing that now for your son or daughter?

If the above list of frustrations is not what you have experienced in your own young adult life, then you do not need my help. You are probably going to give the right guidance to your own children. However, if you experienced those problems or you or your spouse are still experiencing those career problems, then please STOP your children going down the same educational path you took for career fulfillment.

If you are following the crowds, then there is high likelihood that you are inadvertently regressing your son or daughter through your curriculum to a composite average of academic skills. If your child is already 18, then yes, there is probably nothing you can do now for him except to beg him to not have as short of a vision and planning mentality as you have had in your youth.

If your young student is still in his or her early teens, then it is not too late. I will help you. I will help you to mine out the gold that is in your unique environment and family situation. That gold can be hammered into a long-term mind-boggling talent.

Read the rest of the article I wrote on this subject for Amy Roberts on her site at RaisingArrows.net

full-cover-blog-to-your-talent-230x300