Archive for strategy – Page 2

Arrival of the DJI Phantom Drone

My 15, soon to be, 16 year old son Jonathan jr. has been very excited about the new tool he just acquired from his work savings: a DJI Phantom drone with GoPro3 camera. Why am I sharing this with you? To encourage you with an excellent example of how to be flexible in the development of talent in the life of your older child. Because, remember that if you try to fully identify your child’s talent early on, it is likely too crowded already for your son or daughter to bring significant extra value to others.

There are several skills being deliberately developed in my oldest son’s life, some of them heavily tied to our family’s business so he can develop business acumen.

One of those skills he uses in the business involves basic photography as we have had to use a good camera for taking product shots and take short videos for my wife to promote our business. From there, we gradually called on him to do more and more of the advanced product shots. By frequently working with the camera, he gradually got comfortable enough to want to do several short fun films on his own, using neighborhood friends as an experiment. It made him quickly realize that though the filming was good experience, it was not easy to get many young people to work consistently together. This prompted him to read up on professional storyboarding and to have a plan for filming each scene instead of leaving too many things to chance. He was also was becoming aware that shooting clever films was not sufficient in itself to bring value to others beyond his immediate circle of friends. His desire for wanting to fulfill some market value for others grew with it.

Next he met a distant family friend who happened to have a camera drone in his possession. This family friend showed him some of the possibilities of areal photography. This greatly piqued my son’s curiosity to the potential to film interesting video that adults would also find very attractive. He quickly became an even bigger follower on YouTube and Instagram of a new crop of videographers who were using drones for commercial shots. In addition to this, I agreed to a monthly subscription of Adobe Creative. That subscription is giving him full access to all the graphic and video editing software that he could possibly use at this stage of his talent growth. Additionally, as part of his normal homework assignment, he has to create at the end of each of his daily Western Civilization lectures, a graphic capturing the summary and intent of the lecturer’s purpose. This daily and consistent output has built up his confidence that he could handle editing the video footage from a drone. This motivated him to work work extra hard this past fall in order to save up money to buy a drone for himself. Now he has it! And he filmed his first test video for what he could do to showcase real estate that is for sale. Perhaps there is some space in that market into which he can bring value to others and he is going to explore the possibility. Day after day, he has been getting up early or going out in the evening to test the capabilities of his tool.

What I hope others will see in the recount of this example, is that they can also imitate this flexibility in order to start skills now that don’t fall within a the scope of a textbook or store-bought curriculum.

Following the principles in the guide “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent“, here are some actions my son took to get him where he currently is:

  • he used an asset that our family already had: a high end digital camera
  • he practiced simple photography skills by providing value to our home business: through product shots and talking head videos. This gave us, as parents, the emotional desire to keep seeing him spend time getting good in this area, because the home business is important to our specific household.
  • he combined his video and graphic editing into his normal school time: this reinforced his learning of otherwise dry material and it built up his ability to manipulate software editing tools for graphics and video.
  • this motivated him to follow closely over the Internet and start chatting directly with professionals using a new technology that is opening up a new, uncrowded market into which a young person has space to potentially make videos that others will pay him handsomely for.

Your Call to Action: If your son or daughter has followed an interesting talent development path of his own, using the changing environment of his assets and your family’s people connections, please email me your story so I can share it with others.



College Is Not Job Training

random pic from instrument training flights. i...

Find out first if your child’s talent can benefit from a college certificate. It may be that to be an overwhelming success in his field of talent, your child needs to travel swiftly down a very different path.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest Post by Levi Heiple:

College is not job training, it’s a certification program.

I went to college with the faulty assumption that many others my age have. Namely, that the path to success was to go to college, pick a major, get a degree, and then a job offer would soon follow.

College is not a direct path to a job.

You have to create your path to a job. The degree shows potential employers that you made a good investment with your time.

Undoubtedly, having a college degree is better than not having one. But the question is, “at what cost?” For some people, college is not a good investment.

Help your kids answer this question: “where will my income be coming from, and will those people care whether or not I have a college degree?”

If you are not sure, look at successful people in your child’s field of interest. Visit their websites. See if they put an emphasis on their educational background. If they don’t, then their credibility obviously doesn’t rest on their educational background.

If successful people in the field are emphasizing their degrees, what were their majors? Is it a bachelor degree? Master? PhD?

By asking these questions before sending your children to college, you can save a lot of grief and wasted time and money.


About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at You can find his professional website at  You can find his web design service at


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1 + 1 = 3: How to Compound Your Child’s Talents for Maximum Benefit

flying a paraglider tandem with the Synergy pa...

In a talent-led life, your child will combine his skills for maximum leverage.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest Post by Levi Heiple:

Most people do not just have one talent.

For the person who has only one talent, life is simple; it’s obvious what he should do.

Most people, however, have to prioritize. Which talent can your child make a living with? Or better yet, how can your child combine their talents to make a living?

You don’t want your child to have an uphill battle his whole life. Help him find the ones that will be the most lucrative, and ones that comes most easily. This does not mean he won’t have to work hard at it, but it does mean that as he works hard at it, his success will grow exponentially.

You will not know which talent is the most lucrative until you help your child make a complete inventory of his abilities.

The ideal career would be one where all or most of his talents can reinforce each other. This is a concept known as “synergy”–the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts.

Here’s an example inventory I did for myself. These were either skills or areas of interest that made a lot of intuitive sense to me and that I greatly enjoyed studying.

  • Instructional design
  • Technical writing
  • E-learning
  • Practical applications of information technology
  • Copywriting
  • Marketing
  • Business start-ups

I realized that I could get the more leverage out of each of these skills by combining them. It would make more sense for me to start a lot of “mini-businesses” based around my specialized technical knowledge and skills rather than to pursue a traditional career path in just one skill. I could use my technical writing skills to document the work processes and outsource the work.

I knew that probably half-of my business ideas would fail, but I didn’t mind because I love starting new businesses and improving my marketing skills. I just need two or three of them to work to make a living and I can keep building on the successes.

The point is that you have to take an inventory of all your child’s talents and figure out how you can combine them in a lucrative way. Some talents might not earn them a living. I still enjoy playing music, but I do it as a leisurely evening activity to unwind. I have no desire to try to make a living at it.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at You can find his professional website at  You can find his web design service at

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How to Quickly Find the Top Books in Your Field

English: Photograph of author Roy F. Chandler ...

Does your child have his prioritized list of specialty books picked out? Use the Book Blitz Method (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In this article I will show you how you can quickly build a reading list based on trusted sources and instantly find out which books are the most influential in your field.

So you had a few books recommended to you by someone you trust. You read them. You greatly enjoyed them and learned a lot. You want to learn more about that particular niche. But how do you go about finding the top books?

Read on to learn a quick and easy way to remember all the books you want to read, find related books, and prioritize your reading based on which books are most prominent in your defined niche.

Step 1 – Get a Recommendation from a Trusted Source

Starting with a trusted source is the key to making this system work. You have to know where to start so that you’re not just reading “best-sellers.”

Read all the books suggested by your trusted source.

Step 2 – Find Related Books

Go to and find one of the books you just read. Click on the book’s page.

Look for the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section. This will serve as a list of follow up books.

Step 3 – Add the Books to Your Reading List

Log on to If you don’t already have an account, create one.

Search for one of the related books from the above step. To save time, just type in the author’s last name and a keyword from the title. Press Enter.

Click on the “Want to Read” button next to the title.

Repeat this process for every title from the page.

Step 4 – Find the Most Prominent Books

Your reading list will grow large very quickly when you follow the trail of related books. One way to prioritize is to find the books on your list that are most widely read. This will often indicate which books are most authoritative in the field.

Click on “My Books.”

Then click “to-read” from the side panel.

Click on “shelf settings.” Check “num ratings.” Sort by descending. Click “save current settings.”


Click on the “num ratings” column to sort by that field.

Your books are now prioritized by prominence.

Step 5 – Pick Your Books

Scroll through your sorted book list and pick out the ones that meet your criteria. For example, you could pick out all the books related to theology.



You can use the rankings to help prioritize your reading schedule. Since the list sorts automatically, you can add as many books as you want and still know which ones are the most widely read.


You can apply this method to any niche. Have your child ask for some book recommendations from an expert in his talent area. He can obtain this information from a online forum, a personal contact, or even by directly writing to an established expert. Most experts are more than willing to help a young novice get on the right educational track. Once your child has those first few books, he can begin a lifelong pursuit of learning and development through reading.

About Levi Heiple

Levi Heiple is a writer/entrepreneur who specializes in electronic training and support systems. He connected with Jonathan Harris after being asked tutor his son, Caleb. You can sign up for Levi’s free weekly tip on “reading for innovation” at You can find his professional website at  You can find his web design service at

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Your Child Will Do Better Than You

Father with child

Don’t make your child retrace the same educational path you took if you want him to outperform you in his adult life  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you believe that your child will indeed DO BETTER than you in his or her adult life?

If so, then would you also agree that in order to do significantly better than you, your child MUST NOT retrace your same educational path?

Think for a moment the implications of the hope you carry: if your child has the same reading list, and has the same math classes, the same history courses, etc. then it stands to follow that your child will not be able to rise above your own current accomplishments if he starts his adult life with the stock knowledge and experience you had. Your child’s knowledge and experience would not be different enough to change his life that much more than yours. So this means you need to take a hard cold look at somehow making your child’s experience significantly different enough to yours for your hope to become a reality.

Pop Quiz:

Is your child’s educational content different enough to be better than the content you learned as a child?

Are your child’s learning methods and techniques better than the ones you used as a child?

Is your child apportioning his time between different subjects in a much more judicious way than the way you did it as a child?

Is the strategy for choosing one set of classes over another set different enough from the one your parents used in determining what you should study?

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Weigh Each Course for Talent Building

Scales of Justice Brisbane Courts-1=

Weigh in the balance as to whether that course will help your child’s talent more or less than the other course your child could take (Photo credit: Sheba_Also)

When I look at the 10,000 hour talents I am encouraging my children to develop, I don’t think in terms of the name of a career I am trying to get them into. Rather I think in terms of gradually adding skill after skill onto maybe a traditionally labeled career, yes, but I keep going until the end result is something very unique. So when I am getting my children started on some new courses, as for example from the RonPaulCurriculum website, I don’t just grab whatever is available to fill up my sons daily schedule. I weigh the time commitment of an otherwise well-taught course in the light of whether or not it can help my child build his talent faster or better. This includes supporting skills – so for my son Nicholas, even though he has a plate full of talent building hours right now, I did sign him up for one of the online math classes by Benjamin Richards as I see it as a supporting skill for his programming talent.

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Name Ten Things to Learn to Do

Moeraki Boulders

What are those ten things he can learn do this coming year that will allow your child to connect with experts? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are ten things your child could learn to do in the following year that would demonstrate to an expert that your child is serious about his talent? If you can name those ten things, you will be able to identify the next actions your child need to take to make them happen. Instead of randomly engaging in one or another task, your child will be able to pave the way to connecting with more advanced individuals in his field. To help you find out what those ten things would be in your field of talent, start asking the experts directly. And a very good place to find willing experts to respond to such questions would be in dedicated self-help Internet forums.

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Jump In Already!


Jump-in or walk-in already! It might be cold at first, but soon a talent-filled life will refresh your child’s soul. (Photo credit: urbanpringle)

Do you jump in like an exploding bomb or do you prefer to gingerly work your way in to the cool, refreshing water of the swimming pool? Really, it doesn’t matter what your style of entry is. But enter your child, you must, into a life of refreshing change that builds talent early in his life. You can go all-in by giving everything over to talent building first and then figure out later how you can accommodate the more traditional school obligations. Or you can start by changing just the first hour of your child’s school day so that it incorporates some talent building and then gradually work your way up to changing the rest of the hours over to some more talent building.


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Grow Your Child’s Talent Like You Hike a Forest Trail

English: Hikers walking along the in the Larim...

Growing your child’s talent means getting him smart about taking advantage of his unique opportunities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Growing your child’s talent to 10,000 hours of world-class talent is akin to hiking forest trails. At many bifurcation points along the trail you will have to make decisions as to whether to continue to the left or to the right. Some side-paths will only be visible and available to your child because of his unique position in time, place, and in his network of relationships with others. Some clearly marked trails will be overcrowded with lots of other traditional students: noisy and impossible to get around to the front of the crowds blocking your child’s way. In the same way, you should encourage your child to keep moving forward, but to jump onto different side-paths as he sees opportunities that will take him around obstacles and onto unique and less crowded learning paths.

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Too Early for Talent? Interview


English: Playing the game RISK Español: Jugand...

I don’t wait for my young son to stumble into talent on his own, I work with him to aggressively seize some opportunities while dropping others. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is it too early for the talent discovery process with a child who is not yet 12? Check out this interview I did with Wardee Harmon from GNOWFGLINS regarding my 9 year old son Gideon and his beginning talent. Notice how young Gideon is not on his own, wandering the hallways of a library or dumped off at group sports in order to stumble into something that he can call his own. No, his talent development depends on me, his parent, and depends on a number of opportunities that we decide to cultivate or not to cultivate. I am not my son’s passive guardian, but an active planner with him.


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Wedding Rhyme Strategy for Joy Miller’s

Cosplay: Princess Amidala (Star Wars)

What is a Wedding Rhyme Strategy for developing talent? [Costume play: Princess Amidala (Star Wars) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)]

Joy Miller, author of the homeschooling website website, did the crisp graphic design and layout for my ebook workshop “How to Discover and Develop Your Child’s First 100 Hours of Talent.” Because of our conversations on this interesting topic of talent development, she asked me to do a guest post for her personal blog. I happily agreed and here’s what I came up with: “How to Build Talent in Your Child: A Wedding Rhyme Strategy.” Check out the graphics she did for that post too! This is the take-away I wanted parents to get: yes, develop a traditional talent, but make sure your child finds a way to weave with a few other skills to make a real, modern, and valuable talent.

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A 2,000 fold Advantage

A powder snow avalanche

Starting a talent at a young age is like the power of a snow avalanche – your child will accumulate so much knowledge and practice before age 20 that he will sweep away all competitors in his wake (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Part of the power of putting in 10,000 hours of deliberate focus on a talent is that it makes it very hard for those who adopt a talent late in life (such as right after college) to come anywhere close to out-performing those who develop their talent early in their childhood. Consider for example that if a child writes about some aspect of his talent, say WWII history, three times a week from age 10 to age 20, that he would have put in over 2,000 writings well before the average college student has even started on a major that has a similar historical focus. If your child majors in history with a WWII focus, he has already out-thought all the others on that same subject by a 2,000 fold factor! Where others don’t even know they could eventually have a unique voice, your child would come across as amazingly confident, dripping with conceptual and tactical details, and supremely at ease in his already well-developed voice. At that point in time, of all the student portfolios, who do you think a college professor or a prospective employer would rather have a second interview with?

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Dovetail Traditional Learning with Building a Talent for Life


One of my goals as a father is to make sure my children are not doing double the learning effort for the same benefits. Yes, I do want my sons and daughters to learn some of the traditional educational factoids and skills, but I don’t want them to do it at the detriment of building a life-long valuable talent. So the way I have approached this apparent time-dichotomy is to have them dovetail their traditional study hours with a talent building focus. This will not only get them to start building 10,000 hours of deliberate practice towards a world-class level talent, it will also help them absorb more efficiently the traditional knowledge.

Sign-up for my free 10KtoTalent email tips and let’s compare notes.