Estimated read time: 3 mins, 57 secs
It’s been said many times that the only thing that’s constant is change. Your favorite TV show will be canceled one day and replaced with something you probably won’t like. The way you dressed 20 years ago might look a little ridiculous today. Your parents’ generation didn’t quite understand yours and you probably have a lot of reservations about those that came after you.
There’s a perfectly good explanation for why this happens: younger generations, Millennials or Generation Y mostly, just want different lives than their parents. They like different things. They have different values. They’d rather brunch it with $14 avocado toast than budget for a home purchase. They experience the world around them in a way that few others really understand.
And why shouldn’t they? The world they grew up in, the world they’re attuned to, is a vastly different place than the one we’re currently living in. It’s a world that businesses—especially those of the previous generations—spend billions every year trying to understand.
They are curious, ambitious, ready to disrupt the system and ready to make a better world for themselves and for others. That’s why the direct sales industry needs to take notice of the wealth of talent this generation brings to the table—and, in the process, learn from them.
NO TO THE STATUS QUO
When it comes to work, they’re challenging the status quo and questioning things like: the commute to and from an office, the rigid 9-to-5 schedule, the cubicle environment and the isolated culture with limited human interaction. They want flexibility. They want control over their time. They want to manage their workflow. They want to draw inspiration from the world around them. They want experiences over things. They want avocado toast at 10:30 a.m. and IPAs at 4:00 p.m.
The infamous avocado toast story from “60 Minutes” gave the impression that Millennials and Gen Y are overly indulgent, entitled and self-absorbed, with little understanding of personal finance and saving. What they really are is representative of the same kind of change that anyone who enters the network marketing industry later in life seeks: an end to the 40-hour-per-week prison sentence that we voluntarily entered into because we grew up with older generations telling us that this is how success is done.
Why should someone else dictate your hours? If you’re getting the job done, why do you need to sit around? If you’re working hard and delivering, but the guy in the cube next to you slacks off, why are you both earning the same amount? All valid questions—and all things you’ve probably touted as a benefit of direct sales.
A BREATH OF FRESH AIR
It’s time to start listening to the younger generations. Success doesn’t happen on someone else’s time and to someone else’s benefit. Success happens on your time when you take chances, and by challenging societal norms.
Gen Y doesn’t want to commute to a bland office building to watch a clock. They want to get their job done and take control of their time. They were raised in one of the most volatile periods of our recent history, and many watched the savings their parents slaved years to acquire disappear in a flash. They keenly remember their own worries during the housing crisis and currently face mountains of student loan debt. They aren’t about to repeat history. Or as they’d say, “We’re not about that life.” They’re looking for the alternative path, but one where they still feel supported by like-minded folks on the same path.
Millennials are open to new opportunities of all kinds—both personal and professional. They’ve grown up learning that new ideas and technologies are like oxygen. These tools, behaviors and skills are second nature to them. They’re eager to look at things in new ways, and in some instances, they put the rest of us to shame when it comes to personal (and professional) development.
WE HAVE A BETTER WAY
Think about what LIMU has to offer in that regard. There’s no office to go to, unless you count your kitchen table. Or coffee shop countertop. Or driver’s seat of your car. You’re not working for anyone’s benefit but your own. You can commit as many hours per week as you want and you pick when they happen. It’s the precise arrangement that the new generation of entrepreneurs idealizes and it’s been here all this time. A lot of people maybe didn’t see it because they’ve been listening to the wrong people all this time.
Maybe it’s time to stop listening to them and start listening to those who grew up carving their own paths, those who asked “Why?” when presented with the status quo. You might have been born a little too early to join Generation Y, but it’s never too late to join “Generation Why Not?”
The next time you see a young adult snapping a selfie or snacking on avocado toast, don’t roll your eyes: open your eyes to the possibility of a new mindset. The world has changed; we should all do the same.