Millennials are being called a whole bunch of things nowadays: entitled, lazy, self-absorbed. Some companies go as far as saying they are useless -- ouch, right? It’s because these companies are trying to manage versus lead. Their traditional ways of motivating are simply ineffective and no longer work. Everyone has their own opinion about millennials, but despite all their negative labels and stigmas, millennials truly are game changers, and I have proof.
First, I am a millennial; I have succeeded as a millennial; and I have personally trained tens of thousands of millennials over the past 10+ years. I know from experience that if you get to know them, figure out what drives them, hit their “hot buttons” and genuinely believe in them, they will shock you. They refuse to settle unlike older generations. They will go the extra mile and then some if it’s something they are passionate about. Millennials are flat out ambitious and want to make an impact on this world, but will quickly rebel if you try to control them or limit their creative genius.
Times are rapidly changing. When you dig deep into society's current state, you’ll quickly realize that millennials have unlimited potential. They are on the brink of starting one of the most influential movements this world has ever seen. Get ready for the takeover.
Here are four undeniable truths that will make millennials the most influential generation of all-time.
1. Settling is not an option.
You call us lazy, I call us selective. You call us entitled, I call us worthy. You call us self-absorbed, I call us passionate. You call us uncontrollable, I call us relentless.
We play to win, and in order to win at the highest level, you must dream at the highest level. Millennials never stop dreaming. Millennials know they will never be too young or too old to dream big. They know that you can’t get wealthy with low standards, and they understand that life organizes around the standards you set for yourself.
The amount of people who hate on millennials because they don't want to take the traditional route is undeserved and illogical. Parents don’t want to see their kids stressed or struggling so they push them away from entrepreneurship. News flash: nothing great in this World comes without risk. If all you want to do is pay the bills and be risk averse then that is all you will ever achieve. Millennials understand the necessity of some risk and are comfortable with uncertainty. They know they only have one shot at life and they could not be more motivated to the craft the exact life they want to live. They ask themselves questions like: “why not?” and “what do I have to lose?” According to the Kauffman Foundation, 54% either want to start a business or already have started one.
2. Value legacy over currency.
What’s the best thing you could offer a millennial to get him to choose your company vs. the competition? If you guessed a higher income, you’re mistaken. 45% of Millennials will choose workplace flexibility over pay, and 89% of millennials would prefer to choose when and where they work rather than being placed in a 9-to-5 position. [Odesk] Nothing is better proof than Evan Spiegel walking away from Facebook’s 3 billion dollar offer at age 23.
We are not only capable, but would prefer to dig below the busy surface of our daily lives and refocus on our core values. Once uncovered, those values help refocus our attention on our legacy. Money cannot shake this deep desire. Millennials repeat this process for all facets of their lives allowing them to maintain their steadfast focus on what is truly important to them. They are able to craft an authentic and strong identity based on their own, rather than on someone else’s, understanding of what is important - their legacy.
3. The 'BS meter.'
Millennials epitomize self-discipline when they fully believe in something. They know when to say “no”, and they are rarely hoodwinked or tricked. Treat millennials like investors in your business. You must be as transparent and honest as possible throughout the entire recruiting and hiring process. Leaders lose trust and respect quickly when they aren't executing what they are promoting or living what they are preaching. Seventy five percent of the reason why millennials quit is because of their managers, not the job. Millennials have acute “BS meters” and inauthenticity doesn’t set well with them.
The masses operate from a fear and scarcity-based consciousness whereas we follow and trust our instincts and rarely second-guess. We question everything. By our very nature, we’ve replaced standard gullible traits with being savvy and incredulous about everything. Whether it is something we’ve read, heard, or witnessed, our instincts instruct us to always consider the source and be suspicious of anything that sounds too good to be true or goes against our core values.
4. Masters of technology.
I don’t think anybody will argue that technology is changing the way we work. According to Time Magazine, by 2025, three out of every four workers globally will be millennials. People in their twenties are thinking, designing, creating and building things that impact everyone in the world, and changing the way we communicate and work. This wasn’t possible 20 years ago, but with evolving technology and global connectedness, it’s become the norm. Days of the most tenured and grey haired employee being CEO are long gone. It has been replaced by twenty and thirty year olds, such as founders and co-founders Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Evan Spiegel of Snapchat, Kevin Systrom of Instagram, Ben Silberman and Evan Sharp of Pinterest and Kayvon Beykpour of Periscope.
Further, the mindset of today’s millennials has elevated the importance of social media and technology, and is transforming the way we live and work. It’s adapt or adjust in the new economy, and those who don’t quickly become the next Blockbuster.
If you aren’t a millennial but want to learn how to work with and motivate them, stop expecting them to be like you, stop expecting them to be like your generation, and instead of judging them get to know them and appreciate their differences. The millennial generation will produce more entrepreneurs and billionaires than any other generation because entrepreneurship is a form of expression and art.
Entrepreneurship enables you to be exactly who you are meant to be and who you want to be. It lets you inspire others to get behind a vision bigger than themselves. It also allows you to give back in a way you never thought possible. It allows you to avoid the most dangerous risk of all, the risk of spending the rest of your life not doing what you want.
Entrepreneurship will test you unlike anything else in life. You will fail. You will suffer. It will require every single ounce of grit, determination and emotion to succeed. Millennials know it will be difficult and embrace it head-on. The innate ability of millennials to embrace and appreciate this will change the world. Entrepreneurship is life's single greatest test. More importantly, entrepreneurship both sets in motion and writes your legacy. This is why you must prepare and acknowledge that the Millennial Takeover is here to stay.