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Failure to Launch


by Glenn Shepard
December 1, 2015
Category:  Management


Cincinnati, OH Dec 2
Amarillo, TX Dec 8
Odessa, TX Dec 10
San Angelo, TX Dec 11
Paducah, KY Dec 15
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When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I had a toy razor and used Dad’s shaving cream to pretend to shave.

I remember using my grandfather’s Cross pen in a coloring book and being told, “This is not a toy!” Fancy pens were for grown-ups, so that’s what I wanted to use.

When I was in my twenties and asked for a Mont Blanc one Christmas, my Dad was overwhelmed with pride. It was like a rite of passage and signaled to him that I had matured sufficiently to appreciate the finer things in life.

Little girls in my generation couldn’t wait to grow up either. They would get into trouble for wearing their mother’s lipstick, shoes and clothes. When a little girl was big enough to get her ears pierced like Mom’s, she had arrived.

We were eager to graduate high school and leave for college. Then we were eager to graduate college and start our lives as adults. I bought my first home at age 22, and then a larger one that same year when I decided that Nashville was where I wanted to stay.

Members of my generation who didn’t attend college also valued independence. Some went straight to work after high school so they could get their own "bachelor pad", while others married and started a family.

No matter what paths we chose, we couldn’t wait to take on the world because we valued independence and self-reliance.

Today there’s an ever-growing population of young adults who are in no hurry to leave home. Sociologists have labeled them as “adult-lescents. This shift in culture served as the plot line of the movie “Failure to Launch”, which portrayed a thirty-something Matthew McConaughey who wouldn’t leave home.

Even those who leave for college aren’t graduating. Four-year degrees now take six to eight years in many states. Lingering has become such a problem that universities are spending millions on programs to entice students to graduate in four years.

And why would they want to leave? Instead of living in crowded dorms, students are living in apartments while running up credit card bills for beer and pizza. USA Today reported that 1 in 5 people who file for bankruptcy are college students.

When hiring a thirty-something today, it’s no longer safe to assume they’re an adult. The first thing I want to know is whether they live with their parents.

When employment is not a necessity to eat, people can quit their jobs on a whim. This is why annual turnover rate for fast food restaurants that employ teenagers is regularly 200 – 300%.

I’ll take a self-supporting 21-year-old who has to work to support themselves over a 35-year-old whose income is all discretionary.

To Your Success,

P.S. For those who want to send nasty emails about how your 35-year-old son is still living in your basement and trying to get his life started, look up the definition of “enabler”.

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