Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of Lessons for Hannah! In November of 2016, we introduced a new format that we are putting alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of Lessons for Hannah, I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives. Lessons for Hannah are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I have learned which I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives.
Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
Ok, so here goes…this week’s Lesson for Hannah.
Hannah, you are such an amazing young lady and you have such amazing opportunity ahead of you in your life. I was recently asked what I would tell a college graduating class if I were to give a commencement speech. There is so much that I probably would be speaking for hours, but there are a few things that I think are really important and that you need to understand to help you in your life.
First, the world is changing rapidly. More rapidly that most have ever seen. At least it feels that way, but I am sure at the turn of the 1900’s when the industrial revolution was starting to take off and people were moving from horses to the first cars and seeing man in flight for the first time, they probably felt this same way. Things are relative. The difference I see at this time is that the change we are experiencing is coming from technology and not just technology, but technology that is becoming as smart as or smarter than we are. This is different than what we have seen throughout history. In most major revolutions of growth and innovation, tools have been created to help aid us in creating a better life. For example, assembly lines made it easier to build a car and make them less expensive. But, in our current situation, what we are creating leaves a window for the creation, the technology itself, to not only aid us, but possibly become part of us, and because of its level if intelligence and capability, it has a chance to turn against us.
Now, I don’t want to get all Skynet here (We’ll watch the movie when you are a little older). But, what I do want you to understand is that the world you know now, will be drastically different by the time you will go out on your own. Consider this. As I tell you this, you are 5 years old and you are used to getting in the car and driving with mommy and daddy, but by the time you are old enough to drive, 16 years old, you may never need to have a driver’s license because the car will self-drive and take care of you. Just hop in and tell it where you want to go. You may never have to learn to drive, but I’ll teach you anyway.
Then, about 6-8 years after that, you’ll be graduating what is college today. But honestly, I don’t know if you will ever need to go to college by that time. The choice will be up to you. What I mean is that the skill sets in this new world will be different. Getting a business degree may not do much for you in a world where much is automated or artificial intelligence runs things and is smarter than most humans. You would need to go to school to learn to be a doctor or something like that…but even then, think about what technology will be able to do with medicine in 20 years. We already have robots performing surgery and their capabilities grow every day.
From what I see though, there are some skills, both hard and soft that you and all of the kids your age will need.
First, the soft skills. There are certain things that AI and machines cannot replace. The first is emotional intelligence and critical thinking. Learning to control your mind, your thoughts, and harness the power of your subconscious to help you succeed and be resourceful will always be needed. Second, you will have to know how to sell. Whether it is selling your business, yourself, or an idea, you will have to understand how people buy and how they make decisions. You will need the experience of reading people, understanding body language, voice inflection, tone, and what it means…and then how to recognize this and use it create the best outcomes. Some of this is empathy, but it is also a quick wit. Another soft skill is resourcefulness. You mother and I will teach you to never be helpless, to find a way or figure it out. To ask “How can it be done,” instead of just saying it can’t. We will challenge you to find new ways of doing things. Lastly, Jim Rohn once said that formal education will make you a living, and self-education will make you a fortune. I believe that statement will be more important than it ever has been for your generation. No matter what in the future, everyone will be an entrepreneur in some way shape of form, even if it is just managing your personal and digital brand. Taking the time to self-educate, learn, and grow yourself will be a massive separator in success.
Now, the hard skills. You will need to understand computers, programming, and how different technologies fit together to create ecosystems. You will need to be well versed in math, science, and economics. You will have to gain a good understanding of the how the world is connected in business, from banking to technology, and finance. You will need to understand how to build systems and lead people. The last point will be very important. I have feeling in a world of convenience where it things are readily available with just a thought, people will seek out leaders and people they can trust more than they do today. Learning how to build teams, create consensus, and give people direction will be highly valued.
Lastly, in a world where technology and things like virtual reality will be able to give people the ability to experience things that they probably never would…albeit, in a virtual way...I believe people will give a lot of value to those that have gone and done true experience and been there and done that in real life. I think this will happen because once someone gets a taste of something, even on a virtual headset, they hunger for the reality of it and will seek those that have actually had the experience to learn from them. Focus on gaining the real experiences of life. Travel, take calculated risks, and let failure come, but learn from it. As I have said to you since you were little, what do we do when we fall? We get back up. And keep getting back up, pushing through. That maybe the most important skill of all. I love you, Daddy.