▼A Bootstrapper's Approach to Strategic Parenting▼
CAREER, PARENTING, STRATEGY & DEVELOPMENT BLOG PORTABLE
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Developing Highly Employable, Entrepreneurial & Technical Savants
MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS | 2013 EDITION | VOLUME 9
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Not having a family or social safety net and lots of conflict is a common punchline in Black comedy, and my own family offers a cautionary tale. But with good role models and careful forethought, more and more low income families raise children that lift them out of poverty. That's why over a year ago, I went public with my advice to loved ones to encourage the strategic success of their little ones by fostering a love for coding and similar (technical) pursuits that enhance entrepreneurial acuity of the sort that leads to a lifetime of great jobs.
On the one hand, there are those struggling to get by who have neither the means to relocate to a nearby city nor the family or social safety net to execute the sort of strategic parenting involved in placing their kids in ideal environments that guarantee or maximize great job prospects of the very kind required to lift them out of poverty.
On the other hand, there is nothing wrong with trying to give your kid a head start in the jobs market by making him as as multilingual as possible. Nothing wrong with sending your kids to Australia, China, America, Canada, Britain and so forth. The only problem is, there's not much security in a jobs market where everybody is bilingual. Or even multilingual. Where differentiation is hard. And the unemployed, disgruntled and bi/multilingual in many of those economies today accentuate (pun intended) the value and brand depreciation problem.
As Seth Godin correctly points out: “Scarcity is a great thing for those that possess something that's scarce. But when scarcity goes away, you'll need more than that”. And as Technology changes the world, there is a slow leveling of the playing field that should encourage both forward-thinking parents and curious learners alike who happen to be looking for that ideal job or career.
I strongly believe Coding, Information Security and Web Development are indeed the future. And my guess is Ray Kurzweil concurs. I'm not going to not going to harp on the futility or pursuit of college education or the false promise of a legal education/degree both of which are well-documented. Or, the importance of being in the right country...or city. There is enormous competitive advantage in raising kids and developing well-prepared problem solvers who are predisposed to stepping up and taking the creative initiative required to analyze, diagnose, break down and solve complicated and/or intimidating problems. The greatest and hardest lesson my family learned is the idea that all the shortcuts you deliberately take WILL sooner than later shortchange you.
That is why only naive people underestimate the value of developing character and strong work ethic alongside skills development. The corollary of these alone include Leadership Skills that serve as the backbone for the sort of highly entrepreneurial and technical savants America's innovation economy and Israel's (just to name two) is known for. And the above video offers additional proof.
Adding a strong reputation for Honesty and Service, Network and Relationship-Building Skills; Analytics and (all things numerical) to their skills bag as you raise them and emphasizing the importance of backing up their words with consistent action, will help them build and win trust. Moreover, Persuasive Skills honed for Career, Networking, Selling, Innovation and Survival will take them even farther than any amount of trolling on the web, will.
Other assets that will not only build a bevy of transferable skills but prepare and make them multi-disciplined are the tools required in: User Experience, Product Management, Creative Design, Marketing (mainly: Digital and Content Marketing) and Reverse Engineering. Being multi-talented, mind you, is not the same as being a generalist. And the best illustration of this can be found generally in the United States, and Silicon Valley and other such innovation hubs specifically, across the country. Of course, once you leave the States, this asset becomes a liability in countries sometimes advanced but still backward in terms of the HR workforce's acuity in valuing prospects with deep areas of expertise that can be harnessed to solve eclectic, constantly evolving cutting edge challenges.
The HR/“location” problem notwithstanding—and suffice it to say, in many countries, there is racism and a muplicity of discriminatory policies, laws and culture at play—master for yourself or foster Coding, Information Security, Web Development and these other skillsets within your home. Use all the creative imagination you can summon (whatever resources are available in your community or home) to get your kids started. And likely, they'll never be without a job. Also, encourage, challenge or teach them to be good at selling any idea, concept, or tangible item I set their mind to.
I believe self-abuse begins when you settle for mediocrity and relationships/people with no values, core or endgame. So, proudly pursue the boring stuff of hard but meaningful work but be mindful of whose advice influences your family's strategic education and development. Because Authenticity and Competence is the name of the game.
Lastly we know brands reveal to whom the future belong: The Über COOL. The prepared & imaginative. Therefore, if money never starts an idea but it is instead the idea that brings success; if great jobs go to the the most prepared, then what is your next frontier? Individually, or as a family. After all, what is good for the family (in this context) is good for society, and for national economic security. Right?
For now, I, and like-minded bootstrappers concede
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