Generation X, those people born roughly between 1965 and 1977, have changed the way America does business. They work differently, buy differently and just generally live differently than previous generations. And with 60 million to 80 million of them (about 34 percent of the work force), they're impossible to ignore. Businesses are willing to spend big bucks to learn what makes this group tick.
Explaining the behavior, translating the language and defining the work styles of his peers has become a full-time occupation for Bruce Tulgan, 33, founder of New Haven, Connecticut, Gen X consulting firm RainmakerThinking Inc. He's also the virtual founding father of the Gen X consulting industry. A former Wall Street lawyer, Tulgan tapped into a need with his book Managing Generation X (W.W. Norton, $19.95), which was first published in 1995 by Merritt Publishing.
"I started getting calls from companies asking me to come and talk about how they could manage their employees," he says, explaining his foray into the consulting business. Tulgan, along with friend Jeff Coombs, 32, now CFO of the company, scraped together $32,000 in savings and money borrowed from their parents to start the company out of their apartment.
Tulgan has since gone on to pen four more books and estimates he's given more than 1,000 talks to companies like J.P. Morgan, Ernst & Young and Subway. The company has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Tulgan now grosses $12,000 per 90-minute talk, for an average of $17,000 per day that he's on the road. As for projected revenue, the company expects to top $2 million this year.