A couple of months ago, I volunteered to teach a module on marketing fundamentals to a class of underprivileged kids. They were in Form 5 (17 years old), and are part of the CyberCare program, supported by Accenture, because they are either orphans, came from single-parent homes or families where the household income is lesser than RM2,500 (90 STEEM).
The session was hard for me, because while I was used to consulting and training adults, I've not done for teens before. Sure, once in a while I give a motivational talk at universities, but hardly ever did the participants' age go below 18.
I had to dumb-down a lot of the contents, which was good because it forced me to refined it further. I have ported some of the contents over to the adult classes, and noticed the effectiveness and response to improve.
At the end of the session, they asked if I was OK to volunteer for a longer, more comprehensive program early 2018. At that time, I wasn't sure if it was the high I get from the session, or just a inner calling, that I just said Yeah, sure!
Little did I know by longer, they meant 9 days. By more comprehensive, they meant digital marketing skills.
You see, Accenture's and CyberCare's vision is to help the kids be sustainable, and obtain bankable skills. Not all of them could afford university, and usually with a SPM (O-Level) certificate, job opportunities are limited. So they thought by giving the kids entrepreneurial skills, they have a better chance of survival, and perhaps, even a chance to triumph in society.
The truth is, building businesses for the past 15 years, I can tell you one thing about entrepreneurship: it ain't easy. When I look at the underpriviledge teens, I knew they will be having a tougher times compared to their peers. Not having a certificate will cut down a lot of employment options, and even if they do get employed, rising through the ranks will be the next big hurdle. They'll probably spend their life putting in the same effort as others, only to see that others get better positions in life just because of a certificate. Over time, it can be disappointing.
I know, because I'm a dropout too.
So as I was planning the digital marketing contents for 9 days program, somewhere between paid ads and landing pages, I asked myself,
"Who am I kidding?"
I had to be realistic. There are entrepreneurs who are currently struggling to make ends meet, digital marketers who can't demand a satisfactory pay, and freelancers who are living one short paycheck to another. They have better experience, better expertise, better network, and they weren't doing that well either. How can the kids compete?
Here lies the problem. Digital marketing, though touted as the skill for the current generation, still generates income at the rate of the previous generation. The world is changing faster than our income generation abilities.
Speed… Exponential growth… Relying on existing and limited resources…
And that was when it hit me. Steemit is the answer.
And I can give you 3 damn good reasons too.
- The teens already know how to write and create content. They wrote essays in school. Sure, they may not be the best writers, but when it comes to Steemit, the barrier to entry is low. They are already posting photos on social media, and we have Steepshot.
- The teens, for once, will be incentivised for their contents. Unlike in school where they write to score better, at Steemit, they will write to earn. It may not be a lot at the start, but it will only get better.
- The teens will be earning the next generation of currencies. Digital earning, analog spending. Steem is currently trading at USD6.50, and looking at past trends, it's gonna go up. The kids will be trained to observe, spend, trade and earn in digital currencies, something the rest of their peers would be clueless about.
So with a new vision, and a bold plan, I told the organisers that I wanted to make a big shift, 3 days before the start of the program. I mean, the teens have got individual laptops on loan, and they have ready internet. All they need now is some guidance, and before you know it, they will be earning Steem by the end of the week!
Since I was pretty much volunteering without any pay (they only cover my Uber fees for the 70km daily trip and a meal), I guess they have to be ok with it. :)
And I have a goal too, a goal I have yet to tell anyone - not the organisers, not the sponsors, not the kids. By the end of 60 days, each of them will have achieve an accumulated income of RM1500 (55 STEEM). It will probably be the greatest sum of money they have ever earned in their lives, and how nice that they started with cryptocurrencies.
I will be documenting their progress, and also the contents I covered daily. It will be as Steemit Posts. Look out for the tag youthep, and if you want to support them, you can give them a nice upvote. That's like a pat on the back of them, and like George Adams once said,
'Encouragement is like oxygen to the soul.'
Thank you in advance for your oxygen.
And if you are keen to have this program implemented in your community, let @bitrocker2020 and I know. We're beta-testing with this group of teens, refining the contents along the way, and would love to have you onboard as part of the team too.
Wish me luck!
Wait, why's Mav posting on Steemit nowadays?
Well, unlike other blogging and social media platform, Steemit is the only platform that allows me to earn cryptocurrency when I engage with it. Yup, one Steem is about USD7, and you, too, can earn Steem Dollars every time you:
- Create content (articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos, photos)
- Upvote (like) other people contents
- Comment on other people's posts
- Have discussions, share opinions etc!
Yup, basically it's the very same thing you're doing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc all along!
The only difference? For once you can earn a nice income on the side!