To be fair, there’s nothing wrong with living with your parents…but only to a point. We all have to move on, form our own perspectives and outlooks in life. Here are a few of mine.

Some of the points I make might be my own opinions versus casting a stereotypical net over my generation; this is not my intent. Some are more true than others in the grand context, and some are probably pretty varied; some I’m probably cast in the minority.

I want this article to be less of a “no I’m not!” defensive reaction, but rather just a difference in opinion; a difference in reality. I want this to be an insight for other generations, and a rally-cry for my fellow 20–30 somethings.

It seems you hear so much these days about what a millennial is, acts, and thinks like. Entitled. Careless. Selfish. Unmotivated. Lazy.

I’d love any and all discussion on any of these points! Let’s talk about it…

 

01 — We were raised to ignore haters, blanket statistics, and non-dreamers

I remember my Dad’s words growing up. “Buddy boy, don’t you ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something!”. I know this might be rare for some of us, but having parents beat into your head that you’re capable of anything, was everything for me. It gave me the confidence before capability. It was the life-blood and permission I desired to do anything I put my mind to.

To this day, I can’t wrap my head around why anyone thinks they’re important or entitled enough, to push anything but encouragement on a kid. Everyone has different skill-sets, talents, motivations, and insights on what they can and cannot do. Who am I to tell you you’re incapable of doing something? How am I even remotely qualified to say such a thing?? I’m not.

 

02 — We’re a confident (yet insecure) generation

Probably partially due to the first point, sometimes we might come across a bit over-confident. This is probably a mask of wanting to live up to the expectations we place on ourselves (and to make our parents proud).

We’re not birds in the sky who can’t grasp reality, but we definitely tune out the pessimistic crap that so many try to push. It’s sad that so many resort to doubt due to the lack of their own willingness to try something scary. Doubters simply need to step aside, and get out of the way.

 

03 — Not everyone is entitled

A lot of us hate being handed the keys to the kingdom. We want to do things on our own; to prove it to ourselves. So much was available to us growing up, but perspective is everything, and expecting things to simply cater to you is completely ignorant. I don’t expect to gain anything that I’ve not worked my butt off for, and most of my friends are the same.

 

04— Yes, we want to change the world. Don’t you?

It cracks me up when I hear people talk as if something is limited because it’s not been done before. Sadly, I judge people pretty dang hard when I hear that kind of limited foresight and perspective on life.

We live in a time where you can start a business in a matter of hours. You can send money instantly around the world, Skype, or learn about literally anything on the internet. Please don’t place limitations on yourself or other people because you don’t know how it will work to the T. Always push forward for the good of the world and it’s inhabitants. Focusing on others will bring you more success and happiness than simply focusing on yourself.

 

05 — We’re allergic to bullshit

Don’t sell me. Show me your why, rather than the what. Tell me a story, don’t list off a million different product features that will benefit my life. I’ll decide if that’s true, because only I know.

If there’s something I feel my generation gets right, it’s the understanding of seeking out truth. Sometimes we’re mis-informed due to lack of experience (just like anyone), and sometimes it’s merely just an opinion, but the authentic seeking of truth in everything is definitely something we stand for, and the bullshit that this world so often tries to push, swells us up like a bee sting on a sunny day.

 

06— Afraid of commitment? Not even close

This one might be more me, but growing up, I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be married or have kids. I blame this on my parents. Two people couldn’t be more in love, stoked on one another, or supportive of their family. I never settled, and never stopped pursuing that dream. I’m now married to my beautiful bride, and just had my first son. I do however get that because of so many divorces and broken up families, people these days hunt for the perfect spouse (which is setting up everyone for failure) for probably way too long.

On a different issue, I see a lot of articles focused on the fact that resumes and job length don’t par the course so well for millennials. They stuck around 1.5 years at a job rather than 5–15. I’m definitely guilty of this, but let me offer a different perspective…

How many lives do you have to live? Are you happy with a golden handcuffs situation where you treat your spouse like crap because you’re so stressed out (I’ve been there), or would you rather bail out and do something you love that still provides for your family?

People get so caught up on this, and it’s maddening. If there is one thing that HAS changed in so much of the workforce, it’s that passion usually trumps experience. This definitely depends on what you do for a living (a doctor needs experience), but life is so much more than hating your job.

I’ve been 100 times more successful at companies where I’m passionate over the project than a job where I can’t stop glancing at the clock. Let’s not kid ourselves…you have one life to live and work IS NOT the most important part of it. Your time is your biggest asset, and if you can barely get through the day with the people you see more than your wife, it’s probably time for a change. It’ not fair to you, and it’s definitely not fair to the company paying for your time, because they probably aren’t getting what they think they’re paying for either. This is a hard position for a company to be in, but one that a good company culture will foster too.

 

07 — Not all millennials are political fanatics

This one might get me some heat, but living in Portland, Oregon, I’m ashamed at so much of what I’ve seen this year in the wake of protests turned violent, or blocking traffic because a group of people don’t agree with what’s going on with racist remarks, sexism, or stupid things said by someone in politics.

Guess what? I’m not a fan either, but I’m not imposing myself or forcing my opinion on anyone else either. I’ll stick up for anyone being harassed, talked down to, or unfairly treated, but I don’t buy that protesting is the correct avenue. I could be wrong, but I simply don’t see the “a-hah” moment.

I’m not a liberal, and probably not a republican either. Honestly, I think the bipartisan party sheep-following is a joke. CNN and Fox News are both bought and paid for by their respective parties; they don’t even try to hide it. However, bring an argument to me, and we’ll talk about it like consenting adults with intelligent minds. Just please don’t expect me to side with whomever is my party leader, or what my fellow party thinks. It’s a bit lost on this guy, and I’m probably more of an independent than anything. Life is too complex to put people into two main groups. How did that work for people in high-school?

 

08 — The laziness stereotype is tired

There are those who would rather play video games all day, pig out, and put forth a worthless contribution to society. Shame on them. I don’t know very many of those people though. I tend to attract and seek out the opposite in friends. I see a lot more 20–30 year olds putting in work, hours, and pushing themselves towards a better life by their own hands and it’s awesome! You’re either growing, or dying.

 

09— Debt is choking our growth

This is a tough one. We as a generation, for the most part, are not the best with money. There can be a bit of “money grows on trees” clouded-judgement. When applying for colleges, I didn’t think hard enough about the decisions surrounding future student debt. Believe me, this was and is not a fun reality to smack you in the face.

For the last few years, I’ve held healthy 6-figure salaries in my career, and even-so, the debt-to-income ratio barely gets us by, due to the amount of student debt I carry. It’s like paying a mortgage each month without having the house.

However, this is never an excuse, and too often I see people take the path of chasing hand-outs, or giving up all-together. My wife and I had to buckle down, taking on freelance design work, and other entrepreneurial efforts, side income, and diversified avenues to help pay off debt. Never settle for what comes your way…create opportunities, and keep pushing forward.

 

10 — The entrepreneurial spirit is alive

If anyone thinks millennials are lazy, they’re not looking around at the current state of business, technology, design, and brand companies. Whether in the tech industry or not, there is a spirit washing over America these days. Shark Tank has helped spur people towards knowing how to start a business, but it’s easier than ever, and youngsters are putting themselves out there more.

This is only going to continue, and I’m glad to know so many friends who push themselves and their businesses to success because they were willing. We all have to be willing. Nothing worth having is going to be handed to you on a silver platter, so go and take what’s yours.

 


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