If you were a young boy that grew up from a poor family, at some point in your life you probably asked this question, “where was my dad when his mates were getting rich?” Of course, you may not have had the courage to ask your dad this question to his face. That would be disrespectful. You probably, ask him indirect questions like, “what was it like in your 20s and 30s?”
As grownups, we can say it’s unfair and mischievous for kids to ask this question; it shows lack of gratitude for the man who brought you into this world and made all the sacrifices to give you a chance at life. But I think it’s critical for kids and even adults to ask this question from a place of genuine curiosity, because it can lead to a lifetime of wisdom by observation; just like how Robert Kiyosaki got to write Rich Dad Poor Dad.
Regardless, there are two things I want to get across from this:
- Asking this question is critical for kids who find themselves less opportune by virtue of their family of birth, as long as it doesn’t lead to resentment and disrespect for ones parents.
- What goes around comes around. And this is where I want to get to.
You see, you and I are living through the most prosperous times in human history. Wealth inequality may be getting wider, but more people have been lifted out of poverty; and more into prosperity than any other time in history of mankind. We both have the chance to redeem the image we thought we were deprived off by birth. Because your own kids are going to read about this time and ask you what part you played in it. Yes, what goes around comes around. In future, your own kids may be courageous enough to ask you, “Dad, what were you doing when your mates where changing the world?” What excuse will you give them?
If you want to have good stories to tell your kids when they read about how the world changed in our time, you need to understand and take advantage of the unfolding and limitless opportunities that are available today. Let’s look at how you can achieve this. Before we continue, be sure to subscribe to After School TV for more insightful videos like this.
The Need to Have an open mind to new ideas
Every time a significant change happens in the way the world works, the people who get along faster are those who can see and adapt to the new possibilities that arise from the change. To increase your chance of prospering in the technological future, you need to be open-minded about what is possible today.
Few years ago, the idea of managing a hotel business without having any property, or being a transport company without any vehicles would seem ridiculous. Today, we have different variations of Uber and Airbnb transforming the entire hotel and transport industries. Just early 2020, many organizations and people would consider remote work and learning online as something that will take years to become mainstream. That changed quickly within few months.
The offline and online world continue to diffuse into each other, as countless new opportunities open up. Right in front of us is a future enhanced by technology, full of new opportunities. What may seem like a ridiculous idea today may be the next big innovation. You can’t afford to be closed minded. Else you may just wake up one day to find that you have been left behind.
Break the Norm
Apple created the iPod, a device that added 1,000 songs in your pocket. It was a remarkable commercial success recording millions in sales within a short time. But they broke away from this success by launching the iPhone and iPad which became the cornerstone products of the company. Google started as a search engine, but have spread into other terrains offering software; phones, TV, laptops – and they are now pioneers in other areas like augmented reality and driverless cars.
The lesson here is to never be satisfied and comfortable in your today’s success. Be encouraged to stay innovative. Even when things are stable and smooth, don’t be afraid to throw yourself into something new. Those that get too comfortable with their success soon have nothing to celebrate; or worst, they get pushed out by the hungry innovator.
It is not enough to accept the radical change of the way things works. To stay on top of your game, you need to break your established standards and practices; and open yourself to new possibilities. You cannot afford to passively wait for change to affect you. It has to be an active process. You have to stretch beyond the safety and comfort of the everyday acceptable approach of doing things. Even if your standard practices appear to be working, you need to challenge your ideas, routines and systems, and push the boundaries of what you believe you can do.
Strike Partnerships and collaborate
One common denominator among pioneers in the internet revolution is partnership and collaboration. You often here about supposed competitors, collaborating to tackle industry challenges. Microsoft partnered with Oracle to link up their cloud services. BMW teamed up with Jaguar to develop future electric cars. Volkswagen and Ford Motors are working together to build commercial electric vans. A study by KPMG found that the vast majority of well-established companies preferred to collaborate rather than compete. If these industry leaders prefer to team up to tackle challenges, what chance do you have working alone?
If you have an innovative idea in the health sector, for example, you have to deal with a lot of legal, bureaucratic and professional standard challenges. It is hard to think outside the box in the healthcare sector because the generally accepted belief is that health should be the responsibility of hospitals and doctors. However, telemedicine companies have challenged this by providing online and telephone medical advice through collaborations with traditional institutions and professionals. You have a higher chance at success when you see more potential partners rather than more competitors in the marketplace.
Seek to make a difference
A recent study by The Intelligent Group asked young people to name the most important characteristics of a brand they would consider buying from; 61 percent answered ‘alignment with a social cause’; 71 percent answered ‘alignment to environmental causes’; and 71 percent answered ‘ethical practices’.
Increasingly, the line between business and charity or ethical cause has been blurred. Many entrepreneurs are aiming not only to make money but also to make a difference. In fact, there is now a variety of investment groups, dedicated to supporting businesses that contribute to social change. Well meaning entrepreneurs can take advantage of this growing wave of customers and funding sources, by designing businesses that are concerned about social causes. It could be a fundamental part of the business, such as providing solar-powered electricity in rural areas; 0r donating part of the business profit to a cause. You probably noticed how companies were donating relief funds during the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s one way to go about it and a good story to tell your kids. It brings a sense of fulfillment knowing that you are not just working to make profit; you are actually making a difference in people’s life. That’s priceless.
Stay informed about Government regulations
Getting on the wrong side of the law is an easy way to lose a good part of what you have worked all your life to build. For example, Uber have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on lawsuits since its establishment. If the company didn’t have the financial muscle, they would have been out of business.
On the other hand, staying on the right side and taking advantage of the law can be a source of wealth. As the internet becomes an integral part of our lives, one of the most important roles of government is cybernetic regulation, which involves much more than preventing identity theft, data leaks and ensuring user privacy. Governments are also great clients with huge budgets to spend on innovative technologies and applications. Lucrative contracts are out there for innovative companies that meet certain corporate requirements. Again, you may find that partnership with other parties can make the contracting process more favorable.
You and I are living through the most prosperous times in human history. Your kids are going to read about this time in the future and ask you what part you played in it. You have the opportunity to create an amazing life. There are plenty of opportunities to thrive today and in the future. But you have to keep an open mind and be ready to adapt, collaborate and innovate. If you found this video helpful, like and share it with someone. If you are yet to subscribe to After School TV, now is a good time to hit the subscribe button. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!