we have scores of street smart people that are in it with a shout, contributing large percentages to the economic growth activities. Quite a number of these are not book smart people. For the record, I am not against being book smart.
Whenever someone is given an opportunity to go to school and study, in the set up of the world, that person has boundless possibilities available to them. The only problem is that we have been producing hordes of book smart people that we are literally chocking with them.
Isn’t that a good thing? I would rather people be book smart than not. Therefore, it is a good thing. However, what is missing is the capacity for people to be street smart. To be book smart is not necessarily having the ability to be street smart. That’s a fact.
What the world needs today is people who are street smart, and whether or not they are book smart is not the issue. In other words, there could be more prospects for people who are street smart than for those who are just book smart.
If you wanted to test this statement, you will have to look at statistics. There are hundreds of thousands of people who are book smart in many economies but those people are not directly contributing to the growth of the same economies. Why? Because they do not have jobs.
In the same economies, we have scores of street smart people that have found one way or another to be productive in the informal sector and in the start-up world. They have been forced to make do with something and in the process, they have been taught to be street smart.
If you asked me to choose between mentoring my children to be street smart and exposing them to a school system so that they are book smart, I will choose street smart children. Of course, you and I know that both are critical. Both are needed.
The question we need to answer is this: Are we raising street smart children deliberately or have we relegated that process to the school system, thinking that the school system will help us raise street smart children? I do not think that there is enough focus and emphasis in the school system to raise street smart children.
That is why we have to do it ourselves. I believe that there are a few pillars here and there that can help us achieve our goal of raising street smart children. We have discussed a number here:
Whenever that phrase is mentioned, people think of belts, suits, ties, and jackets. We have to get out of that thought pattern very fast. In raising street smart children, personal branding is at the core of it all. Why? Because personal branding helps to focus on problem-solving and value addition.
In creating a personal brand, you know that you are a solution provider, a hero, or a deliverer. You cannot be all that if you do not know who you are and what strengths you have. You cannot have a personal brand if you are not passionate about something.
If you wanted to see a street smart person, you are looking at someone who is focused on delivering value to a specific niche. In so doing, they are increasingly becoming an expert at it. They are earning trust as they increase their finesse at it. To be street smart is not to meddle at anything and everything.
Personal branding, therefore, helps a person to identify themselves, identify their audience, and also identify their villain or nemesis. A villain is not necessarily a person. It could be a thing, culture, or anything that causes trouble to your audience. In learning to be street smart, personal branding comes in handy in a mighty way.
It is possible to have or to create a personal brand without necessarily being book smart. A lot of people with great talent have done that. However, it is possible to create a stellar personal brand when you are book smart. Being book smart is an advantage in that you have skills that you can add to your brand.
In this day and age, the world is no longer operating just on book smartness. The world needs people who are street smart. In fact, many people will forge ahead in life because of their personal brands and not because of their academic certificates.
Therefore, once you have acquired your necessary academic certificates, it is time to learn to become street smart. One of the ways to do that is to create a compelling personal brand. That has already been discussed in this blog here.
In summary, a street smart person knows themselves, knows their audience, knows their villain, and goes after that villain with the passion in order to deliver their audience. In turn, they get rewarded for being a hero.