Archive for talent

Three Things You Won’t Have to Say


A hot dog stand

What happened after graduation when talent development took a back seat in the home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get your child to graduate from home with a 10,000 hour talent and you won’t have to say one of these three dreadful attaboys:

  •  I’m just grateful he has a job.
  • Bless his heart, he’s trying.
  • At least he’s not doing drugs.
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Practice the Art of Stealth in Your Child’s Talent Development

Rapunzel's tower guarded by acres of blackberr...

Stealth: practice this art of social prudence when getting your child started on his talent.


There is also  room for practicing the art of stealth, or social prudence, in your child’s talent development. By stealth, I mean avoid putting on display your child’s awkward and early attempts at mastering his talent and do not invite the admiration of friends and relatives. Many well-meaning friends and relatives have the popular, but false view, that any talent worth pursuing must spring full-blown out of your child’s first training of his art or science and, if it doesn’t, you should not pursue it all. This negativity could potentially discourage your child (and you) at too early a stage when you are still mapping out the big talent plan for your child’s life. So word to the wise: until the time is ripe, practice the art of stealth.

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Share How to Move Forward Even in the Face of Unknown


Talk specifically to your child about your personal strategy for developing his talent and explain the whys and hows of your thinking. Taking the time to explain out-loud your reasoning is a great way to model for him thinking patterns on how to plan for the future, even in the face of many unknowns. Sometimes talk with a big picture view of things, other times with just the near future in mind. If he is still very young, he will tend to not ask much, but just light up with excitement knowing that you are that interested in the details of his near and distant future. If he is older, you are going to see his commitment and decision making powers rev up because he knows his own father acts and moves forward even in the face of many unknown variables.

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With Fire in Your Belly or Just Sort-of-Wanting It?


Do you sort-of-want it? or do you really want it? We are warned in the Bible about approaching God in matters that require wisdom with a half-baked desire to figure it out. We are told that God wants to give us wisdom, but we are also told that He will just as soon withhold it from us if we are timid about this whole affair of getting understanding. In short, He wants us to want wisdom like we really mean it. So if you are looking for wisdom on how to develop talent in your child’s life, are you REALLY wanting it with fire in your belly?

Head Down, Pencil Up

“Head down, pencil up” will get you into trouble as a parent planning for the future of your child if you don’t periodically look up to reassess how the market and culture is changing. Dan Miller, author of “48 Days to the Work You Love“,  in one of his recent podcasts, describes a situation where a high level executive was suddenly let go after 26 years of employment in the same field. What was sad, is that even though the changes in the market place were obvious, he had not taken the time to lift his head up from the day to day of his work to see how changes would affect his career. He had made no plans of his own to deal with the change and now he is really out of time. Don’t do the same to your child – lift up your head today and start implementing those curriculum changes ASAP.

Market Niche for Your Child’s Talent

FORTIS Flieger Chronograph

Looking for an amazing 30-day crash course online that happens to be free? Find a money making niche for your child’s talent (Photo credit: gus27 on Wikipedia)

For the last seven years, “the 30 Day Challenge” has been a free yearly online course that walks you through discovering your business niche that allows you to sell from home over the Internet. The lead host, Ed Dale, is an amazing presenter and the materials are presented in such way that high-school aged students can easily follow along. Why do I recommend that you as a parent sign-up? It will open up your eyes to the amazing opportunities that appear when you have a method for uncovering niches for your child’s talent. This information is online, up-to-date, free and cannot be found even in University classes.

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Is Your Child Blogging Correctly?

fail at blogging.jpg

Imagine you are a river guide on the California Sacramento River. You are considering choosing between one of two teenagers, George and Nathan, to come along as paid part-time help in exchange for being able to study the river up-close.

Who of the two would you choose?

You don’t owe any favors to their parents, so to make up your mind, you take a quick look at their blog using your Smart Phone. So far, so good. They are both building their portfolio online via a blog so that others like you can get a much better feel for their true accomplishments and their drive to succeed.  That’s when you notice that each has a VERY different style of writing about their interest.

One has obviously read up on the river and reported back the many scientific facts as discovered by experts. The other instead writes about specific interactions he has had on the river and what he is doing.

You browse their blogs and find the following two sample posts:

George writes: I read up on river on Wikipedia and here is what I found in my research: “The Sacramento River is an important river of Northern and Central California in the United States. The state’s largest river by discharge, it rises in the Klamath Mountains and flows south for over 400 miles (640 km) before reaching Suisun Bay, an arm of San Francisco Bay, and thence thePacific Ocean. The Sacramento drains an area of about 27,500 square miles (71,000 km2) in the northern half of the state, mostly within a region bounded by the Coast Ranges and Sierra Nevada known as the Sacramento Valley. Its extensive watershed also reaches to the volcanic plateaus of Northeastern California. Historically, its watershed has reached farther, as far north as south-central Oregon where the now, primarily, endorheic(closed) Goose Lake rarely experiences southerly outflow into the Pit River, the most northerly tributary of the Sacramento.”

Nathan writes: This is the third morning I went down to the landing at 4AM to watch the river guides take off for the day and to help a few of them load up. I asked permission to take pictures and put them on my public Flickr account. I got the email address of one of the river guides and will email him my best picture because he would like to put it on his business website. I was surprised at how early the guides have to get going in the morning and they told me it’s because they have to get to the best fishing holes before the sun gets up too high and the fish at this time of the year are much further upstream. I took some temperature readings of the river and logged it in my field journal and took a sample of the water so I can study the microbes on the microscope at home. I have a picnic cooler to carry it back home so that the microbes don’t die before I can match them up with this special study guide my dad bought for me on the Internet. I have been able to identify about 10 bugs so far and will post my sketches up with their scientific names.

Which one are you likely to want with you and the customers? Which one do you think is the most interesting boy to have along?

Clearly you want your own child blogging from a first-person point of view like Nathan. And at all costs, you want to avoid him sounding like George, who is stating true expert facts, but revealing nothing of his personal engagement with the river.



Common Mistake When Searching for Motivation in Child


A common mistake for parents is to search for talent by looking for an already full-blown motivation in a child’s life. That is a mistake because they will not find one, immediately give up, and falsely conclude their child was born under an “unlucky” star. Instead, the right approach to creating motivation is by introducing him to a simple skill that requires little effort and gives quick satisfaction. At that level, he will easily engage himself with encouragement by his parents. Then keep building his skill levels up until an intrinsic desire of his own starts growing stronger and stronger…and then a full-blown motivation will rage so strongly that all your friend and neighbors will see that your boy is “on fire!”

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Old Fashioned Hobby With New Application

bug of the day

Can your child create a brand new talent by combining an old hobby with a modern application of that hobby? The Pinterest founder did. (Photo credit: urtica)

Did you know that Ben Silbermann, founder of Pinterest, spent his childhood years catching, collecting, and categorizing hundreds of insects, spiders, and beetles? He would pin them on boards and label them. This childhood habit would later become the idea of Pinterest. What does your child spend his time doing now that could turn into a start-up later? Think about how you can combine an old-fashioned hobby with a new cutting edge application, and your child may well be on an exciting path where talent will support him in his adult life.

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How to Have a Job, Career, or Talent

English: In front of the class schedule board ...

Are you preparing your child for a career or a talent? The strategy for each is different and the rewards are not the same (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After graduation, do you want your son to have a job, a career, or a talent?

Here’s how to do it:

For a job – don’t plan for anything and hope he figures it all out after he’s 18.

For a career – suppress his uniqueness, load up on student loans, and have him study real hard following a traditional school curriculum or certified training program. Hope he gets hired by the corporate world so he can fit into the top of the predetermined pay band.

For a talent – start him young and have him keep combining skills in a way that is unusually effective, different, and pleasing to other people. Watch his passion carry through him into old age.

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Talent is Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue

Nurse's uniform

A skill that communicates and projects your child’s talent is a valuable component of your child’s talent development (Photo credit: east_lothian_museums)

A talent should be made of up of not one, but several different skills: something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.

An old recognized skill helps your daughter get started, a new skill that did not exist before helps your child break into the next generation of talent, and a skill borrowed from a completely different field will classify your child as someone with breakthrough insight. Add a skill that showcases and communicates your child’s amazing ability, and she will have a beautiful talent in blue.

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No Talent Allowed


Is it always no-room and no-time allowed for your child’s talent to be developed when you are using your homeschool curriculum? It’s time to high-jack textbooks to make them serve your child.


How much of your curriculum is directly supporting some kind of progress of your child’s talent? Is it 80%, 50%, 20%? If you are using an off-the-shelf standard curriculum, then thousands of hours are draining away into maintaining your child into an “average” child with no room for his talent. But there is good news, you can high-jack your curriculum without having to get permission from anyone. Do you know how to do it?

Two Reasons Why a Talent Blog is Important for Your Child

Typing BlogYour child should start at least one blog related to a skill he is developing for his talent.

There are two reasons why a talent blog is important:

  1. So your child can learn how to talk in his own voice and personality about his talent.
  2. So your child can demonstrate to others that he is personally engaged and not just mechanically reciting back a list of facts.

By the way if your child has started a talent blog, please feel free to post the link below so I can leave him his first few encouraging comments.


True Talent Jumps Outside Career Labels


Don’t let your 13 your old child say “I want to develop my veterinary skills.” Instead, for example, have your child say “I want to use my microscope to be able to identify all the most common pathogens as found in the cat and dog droppings in our neighborhood and community. I want to recommend to the pet owners the right off-the-shelf pet prescriptions for the specific problems that I find.”

Here’s why you want to avoid traditional career names in discovering your first talent focus:

  • First, you need to stay flexible about what long term career your child might enter into in the future so he can take advantage of a changing market. Your child’s career is most likely not going to be traditional and true talent will tend to jump outside the boundaries of popular career labels.
  • Second, your child will most likely be legally or culturally blocked in trying to do anything really resembling the work description of a traditional career. But if you focus on a specific skill to develop, your child can often get around limitations and start developing right away a a skill that can lay the groundwork for the next level of skills.

She is Drawing, Not Talking Her Way Through History


What if your arts talented daughter could draw through most of her history curriculum, instead of talking and writing her way through it? Wouldn’t that accelerate her talent development?

What do you do with an arts oriented daughter who is having difficulty following a standard history curriculum? Instead of keeping her at a disadvantage, put her talent back in service by having her sketch or trace scenes from that time in history using the many available art history books. Because artists will have specifically focused on important points from that era, it will be easy for your daughter to draw her way through history, rather than primarily talk and write her way through it. Instead of losing time building her talent while she is doing traditional schooling, she is actually gaining ground and learning how paid artists apply their trade to bring value to others.

So That All His Relatives Can Read It and Comment

Pont du Gard

Start your child blogging today about his talent using your history curriculum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Example of how a 12 year old boy could write his first blog post:

  1. Uses his on-going personal interest: his interest is anything related to engineering
  2. Uses his current curriculum topic: Roman History
  3. Reads a Wikipedia summary article on a specific Roman bridge: the Pont-du-Gard Aqueduct
  4. Starts a free blog hosting service:
  5. Writes a 5-sentence summary in his own words about a specific aspect of that Wikipedia article.
  6. Makes a one sentence comment in his post, a hook, that is a personal observation on how it is similar to something he knows about today in modern life.
  7. Creates a blog post title that is copied from one interesting phrase in the blog post.
  8. Presses “publish” on the blog post he just wrote so that all his relatives can read it and comment to encourage him.





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She Got a Degree Instead of a Talent

Emory in autumn

She could have developed a talent, but instead her parents spent  $120,000 on an English Lit degree (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Christine was a very studious homeschooled girl who went to a prestigious college where she studied the classics of literature and got amazing grades. Her parents generously and sacrificially spent $120,000 of their hard earned money for that 4 year university degree. But where is she now? Now she’s stuck working in a small low-paying cafeteria job with no marketable skill. Consider how much happier she would be had her parents bucked conformity and spent instead the $120,000 developing her writing skill and her love of California history to such an extent that she made a generous living writing wildly popular and historically accurate Gold Rush themed scripts for downloadable Murder Mystery Dinner parties.

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Being Short-Changed by a Hobby?

English: Caleb Mendez, youth soccer talent

Be careful of popular cultural hobbies that will rob your child of the time needed to build a real talent of his own (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is your child’s future being short-changed by a hobby?

Are you not expecting that your son’s future will be supported by his current soccer-meets?

Then your child is developing a soccer hobby, not a talent.

Are you not expecting that your son will make a living by swimming for endorsements?

Then your child is developing a swim hobby, not a talent.

Are you not expecting that your daughter’s future will be spent doing gymnastics on bars?

Then your child is developing a gymnastics hobby, not a talent.



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Start Your Child’s Blog with Posterous

To start your child’s first blog today that takes just minutes to set up, I recommend using Posterous. Five of my children currently use Posterous because they can update it from phones, web browsers, and even by email. You can load just pictures too, which is very convenient for younger children when they want to show more than explain or discuss what they are doing. The blog will also allow you to have it titled with the right descriptive you want without having to yet buy a domain name. I recommend your child creates multiple blogs, one for each big skill he is developing as part of his talent.

Wouldn’t it Be Better to Be the Leader?

Miner Spreads His Lunch Out on a Bench in the ...

You can choose to build talent now in your child’s life or you can let society force him to work for others at low wages (Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives)

Working for someone else and being micro-managed by another person can and will pay the basic bills, but wouldn’t it be better to be the leader in a particular field of talent? Get your son or daughter started today on building a unique talent. They can be the ones who rule in a particular sphere of life instead of being forced to work for others at low wages.

Proverbs 12:24

“The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the slack hand will be put to forced labor”

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