Dreaming in Technicolor

Technicolor: You can use technicolor to describe real or imagined scenes when you want to emphasize that they are very colorful, especially in an exaggerated way

To dream in technicolor one must have some thing worth dreaming about? Right? Given the not so rosy picture(s) down below, what must one do or can do, to be in a position to have big aspirations and even bigger dreams?

Assumed Salaries/Charge-outs By Profession in Pakistan in PKR


Hourly Salary Breakdown in PK – Based on market assumptions

This is a pretty telling sign of where things stand and where we are headed. Not all surgeons and doctors are made the same neither are all software developers, then why try to generalize their salaries in to an average. To give you a snap shot of what you need to do to break the chain of being stuck where you are and explore the options you think you don’t have.

Some thing we value dearly, we protect with 80 US c/h Security. Meaning our lives and our possessions and our loved ones. Yet to protect our selves from the law we are willing to enlist tier one lawyers who may cost around 26$/h. I know not the perfect co-relation on salaries but you get the disparity. Similarly, to increase health outcomes and chances of survival based on the access in say KLI, a person has to a surgeon, translates for the surgeon at $34/h. Again just accept the math as being a good starting position. Next look at what an a sub editor for digital publication makes for example vs a public servant who is starting off at BPS 17. 1$ vs 90 US Cents/h. The irony being that I sourced the numbers from an online publication.

Next we move to our fav category of Software Developers who if they free lance can increase their outcomes to 9$/h leading up to 25$/h whilst their local counterparts if they are lucky to find work will end up between 1$/h to 3$/h.

Given where the population dynamics stand, is it any surprise that our developers no longer want to work for local companies or peg their earnings to PKR? It’s not.

Now comes the exciting bit, given where the cost of labour stands from professional to semi skilled to not, if you don’t find your self between the 8-12$/h comp band and rising the better choice is entrepreneurship. Provided you were smart and have some savings or have a support structure around you that is within that band and can absorb the cost of your being unemployed till you launch. Thus a side hustle till it breaks even is the best way forward. If you were in this band or higher and still want to do it, it only increases your runway and you should go for it.

Next, use the above to judge, where you are likely headed and what that translates in to $ terms for your personal situation. If you are early career and have gotten near double digit growth but still not making the 8-12$/h benchmark then the story 10 yrs out is not any sexier. Rather than slaving away and being miserable its best to have tried and failed vs wishing you did.

An average Master’s degree program or any post-graduate program in Pakistan costs anywhere from 409,000 Pakistan Rupee(s) to 1,230,000 Pakistan Rupee(s) and lasts approximately two years. That is quite an investment in time and money.

You can’t really expect any salary increases during the study period, assuming you already have a job. This increasingly looks like a zero sum game given the lack of jobs and lack of quality education that nurtures graduates to step in to higher potential roles.

We continue to churn out sub-par candidates further the industry is not growing at any considerable pace any way. So where do these grads find work? Likely scenario is unemployment and the other one is being under employed, that is both ineffective for the employer and mental trauma for the employee. Net net, every one looses. So take this money and start some thing instead. Or learn a skill online that you can convert to $ based earn outs even if it is incremental gains. Also incremental gains from profitable businesses or skill based earn outs are outsized in comparison and value to raising cash for $ negative revenue startups with no bottom line.

Your options are to invest in your self. Easier said than done. We have no real executive business coaches or startup coaches that you can go to enhance your outcomes just like one goes to a cardiac surgeon for heart trouble. We need to enhance the outcomes for people who are trying.

Those outcomes wont be helped by members of any MxO(Mutual Admiration Club Officers) or self prescribed public speaking gurus or positive thinkers and or motivational speakers.

This sh*t needs real experiences from the trenches, but unlike surgeons who can flash degrees and credentials the credentials to help some one else’s life/business outcomes cant be encapsulated in a degree alone. Yet the need is real. Even for established businesses to grow to a point where they can dream in technicolor and support growth narratives and better $ hedged comp, every one needs mentoring.

Sadly mentoring like therapy is accepted only by those who are self aware and coachable. The minute you shut off positive criticism or directionality from someone who is at a different station than you in life, you chose to make your professional growth stunted. Choose growth and runway vs limiting your options. Be open. Be critical, be self aware.

Incubators try to do a decent job, local accelerators that charge you to teach you how to pose for a selfie or worse charge you to listen to their American accent typically dispense no real world strategies to enhance any ones outcomes let alone business growth. Choose wisely. Just like you wouldn’t hire a doctor with a fake degree don’t get entrapped by these fast talking types with zero credible personal growth stories or investment $/s that have returned some home-runs if not all. Always speak to their former cohorts, you will sense that your BS detection meter going haywire. The 5 to 10k USD these accelerators want from you, or aid agencies that will give them the money to train u, should you have the cash find a mentor and spend it on one to one time for 100x better outcomes.

Judge, be critical, advice is cheap on the internet. You can ask Google what ever you want. Don’t fall for the posers, you are about to bet your life on making choices that have the ability to impact your your life for good. Choose positive influencers, folks with real world execution and scale grit. Not people who romanticize their personal stories only for standing ovations.

I tell people, you can please a different crowd every night by the same old story but its near impossible to please the same crowd with it every night. Make sure you are authentic enough from the first night to the last night across similar and dis similar audience and with repeat customers. Your DNA never changes but your outlook should. Those who adopt fastest, win over time but maintain their streak the longest.

It’s time you plan ahead to break free of the shackles of being locked in a zero sum employment game in the local context. Hustle on the site if need be, build what you need to till you can break free, but till you tell your self that dreaming in technicolor is possible you will continue to dream in black and white and that my friend(s) is not just good enough for this dog eat dog world.

“Dare to believe in the reality of your assumption
and watch the world play its part
relative to to its fulfillment.”

― Neville Goddard

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