Millennials, this post is for you my friends. Sorry baby boomers, I’ll write more for you at a later time.
And for the record, I’m going with the general consensus that if you were born between the years of 1980 (& slightly earlier) and 2000 (& slightly later) that you’ve been labeled a millennial. Maybe you think you’re a Gen Xer and maybe you think you’re a Gen Yer.
And yes, the label “millennial” is lame. I know.
But none of that matters. It’s not the point of this post!
This post is to explain why you working people (as in the ones NOT desperately trying to retire) are in full control of the world.
Maybe you’re 42 or maybe you’re 22 – this post is for you.
Without getting too much into a social commentary (I promise I want to make this super useful for you), the baby boomers have run the world for over 5 decades now.
Many of the political and social challenges that you see today are due to them. Really. You can pin it almost entirely on them.
It’s our turn now though.
JUST SAY “NO” TO BAD PHILOSOPHY
However, in order to avoid the same mistakes the boomers made, we need to reevaluate the overarching philosophy they’ve shoved down our throats for so many years…
That philosophy is this:
“Get good grades so that you can get into a good college so that you can get a good job so that you can make good money so that you can be happy.”
Or something like that.
In fact, in most cases, it just tapers off after “get a good job”.
It looks more like, “get good grades so that you can get into a good college so that you can get a good job so that… wait, what’s the point of all this again? To be happy or something?”
Here’s the challenge – most boomers aren’t truly walking the walk.
And this is what gives millennials a HUGE advantage right now. It boils down to one word – perspective.
You can see the consequences of previous thinking.
Are your parents who went to college retiring with a ton of money in the bank? Did they work at one job their entire life and retire with a pension and gold watch?
In fact, according an article in the USA Today/Motley Fool, “Fifty percent of baby boomers have $100,000 or less saved for retirement” and “25% of baby boomer workers have already taken money out of their retirement accounts for non-retirement expenses. What’s more, 36% think they’ll need to pull money out of their retirement accounts for non-retirement expenses in the future.”
Wait… What? That’s insane!
But wasn’t it the baby boomers preaching “go to school, get a good job, yada, yada, yada”? How’s that working out for them? Not. So. Well.
I know. Super harsh, right?
But then look at it from a different perspective – for those of us lumped into the Gen X/Millennial generations, we will have to pay the consequences of their actions.
As in, we will have to literally pay cash money for their mistakes. That even includes paying for their retirement. In fact, I have friends who already are.
Perspective is the advantage we have now. If we act quickly, we can avoid the mistakes the boomers made and live much more enjoyable lives.
WHAT DOES WORK?
The obvious question is does the college, job, retirement thing really work?
The evidence kind of says no. I mean we already know the boomers aren’t retiring anytime soon.
But what about college?
Well, when you have kids coming out of school owing $80,000 for a degree in Communications, that’s kind of a problem. And then when they can’t get hired, it’s an even bigger problem.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-college at all. I’m very much pro-college… for the right career. If you’re going into law, medicine, and maybe engineering, then you need to go to school.
For everyone else, just get started already! The information is all out there. You can literally google it.
And what about jobs? Do they work?
Look around. Is anyone you know that works at a job making a ton of money? And if so, do they have a ton a time? If so, cool. They’re in the minority.
For most people, they’ll never quite make enough money at a job and they’ll never consider themselves truly happy.
And a final question to consider, why would you even think about going down the same path that literally hundreds of millions have gone done seeking happiness only to come up empty handed?
It just doesn’t make sense.
AN ALTERNATIVE, SMARTER PLAN
Why not do something different?
The good grades/college/good job model has largely gone the way of the dodo. As a society, we just haven’t replaced it with a new clear path.
You know you need to take control of your own finances. But what does that look like?
You could try to raise enough money to buy a franchise. You could work at a startup. You could build a traditional brick and mortar business.
You could do any of those for sure. Most of them are way better than working at a job. But they all have a number of challenges that are what keep most people scared into just having a job instead.
Might I offer a humble suggestion?
Start a lifestyle business!
I’m a HUGE fan of lifestyle businesses. I’ve had one myself for the last 7 years. Among other things, it’s helped me to
- Provide for my family well – I’ve made a nice chunk of change over the years
- Live abroad in cool places we’ve always wanted to see and experience
- Have all the time freedom I want (the kind I dreamed about in my former cubicle-dwelling existence)
- Help others do the same
Most of all, having my own lifestyle business has helped me to be happy. Like really, blissfully happy. I get to live in paradise together with my family and basically do what I want.
Naturally, seeking happiness is kind of a cool thing. This is why I like sharing this with others. This is why I preach this stuff from where I live on my little island in the Caribbean!
I’ve found a cool path. Maybe it will work for you too!
WHAT IS A LIFESTYLE BUSINESS?
What is a lifestyle business you ask? Well check out my own little definition (oh yeah, I’m quoting myself!):
A lifestyle business is something that:
- you can start quickly, like today
- you can start with little to no startup capital (no bank loans or investors needed!)
- is profitable quickly – making money within 30 days or less
- is infinitely scalable – can be as big or as small as you want it
- has very little risk or downside
- is easily outsourced – you get a team to do the actual work for you
- allows you to take as much time off as you want – you never have to retire
- is easy to start while you still have a full time job
- lines up with your own personal values
With the above benefits in mind, I don’t know why more people would NOT start a lifestyle business.
If you’re looking to make a change, like a forget-everything-society-has-taught you change, then you can start with starting your own lifestyle business.
It’s the first step towards freedom. Make your own money, independent from a job, and then everything else will fall into place.
MILLENNIALS HAVE A HUGE ADVANTAGE OVER ANY OTHER GENERATION
If you’re reading this, my Google Analytics tells me that over 50% of you are doing it on either a phone or a tablet. That’s something no other generation has ever had – technology.
What I do with my own business (online marketing agency) wasn’t even a thing until not too long ago! Technology, and the freedom it gives us, is a HUGE advantage.
Plus, we know how to use it…
Also, you have time on your side. The average millennial is in his/her 30’s. So imagine starting a business, and within a couple of years, it’s giving you more money than you need. You still have the rest of your life to enjoy it!
Closely related to that is health. You’re in the prime of your life! You’ve got more energy right now than you ever will. You might as well use it working on your own freedom.
And like I mentioned, you’ve got perspective. You’ve seen what hasn’t worked for past generations. It’s time to apply what does work. And there’s never been a better time in history to do so.
YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO HUSTLE
It will take work. It will take hustle. It’s MUCH harder than simply commuting back and forth to a job that’s for sure!
But the payoff is that much greater. The payoff is freedom.
Of course, if you need some help with the whole lifestyle business thing, I know of a handy little course called “The 60-Day Entrepreneur: Your Step-by-Step Guide To Creating a Profitable Lifestyle Business Fast!”.