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Should You Search Deep Jungles for Unique Talent Opportunities ?

When you think of finding a talent for your child, what is the first type of image that pops into mind?

That image will be the image of some of kind of talent that is very fixed and easily recognizable right now by millions of other people. “Concert piano”, “football player”, “actor”, etc. Those are skillsets that are indeed talents when performed by the top people in that field, but there is a catch to trying to pursue the kind of talent for which an easy image pops into mind. The catch is that it is normally very difficult to get into the top echelons of those popularly recognized talents because your son will be competing for the same space with thousands, maybe even millions of other people, following the exact same traditional route.

A much easier way to approach the search for a suitable talent for your son would be to look at developing a skillset that is rather unique and not casually reproducible by other people. That approach opens the doors to some really interesting possibilities for your young person. And by a unique skillset, I do not mean unique in the sense of searching for some obscure skill that can only be found in deep, dark Peruvian jungles, but unique rather in the sense of a unique combination of your family’s advantages and opportunities. Ideally, that would mean combining something of your son’s interests, something of your academic goals for him, something from your environmental advantages, and something from your family’s identity.

Since hardly no one else has your son’s identical combination of advantages, you have an opportunity to create something that will not be easily duplicated by others. That is the better strategy. There is a place in the sun for him.

Podcast Episode: Experimenting with Talent Building on My Nine Year Old

Can you start talent development at a much younger age than age twelve?

In a conversation with my wife I talk about how my experiment in talent development with my nine year old son is coming along. It can be done, but you have to weigh the cost in time of starting at such an early age versus waiting for a what I think is the more normal age of twelve. This is part of the 10,000 hours journey with developing a different talent in each of my children and my documentation of what works and doesn’t work. I think it works if you start younger than age twelve, but it is not a recommended strategy for everyone.

Your call-to-action: see if you can identify in any of your children who are younger than age twelve one ability and one family advantage that you could start putting together to begin developing a talent.