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Why Millennials Aren’t Eating Their Wheaties
by Glenn Shepard
Aug 9, 2016

Category:  Management


Miami, FL Aug 23

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Ask Glenn

Dear Glenn,

      I’m a 34-year-old single father of 4, so everything I do I have to take into consideration how my decisions not only affect my life but also the life of my children.
     I’ve always been good at fixing things, be it a $2 million dollar piece of equipment or a $200 DeWalt chop saw. I enjoy what I do…not so much my job. I mean everyone has bad days but here lately they are the norm not the exception.
     The reason for the increase in bad days I think has to do with the fact that the older I get the more I have a nagging itch in the back of my mind….I am meant to do something more?
     Here lately it has consumed my thoughts, it keeps me awake at night, and it has completely taken over my life.
     Two problems, I have no idea what IT is and how do I find it without putting the welfare of my children in jeopardy?
     Any suggestions you have for me would be greatly appreciated.

Andy in Iowa

Dear Andy,

     Read “No More Dreaded Mondays” and “48 Days to the Work You Love” by Dan Miller.
     You’re obviously a smart guy and a good Dad, and I have no doubt you’ll find the answers to your questions with Dan’s help.

- Glenn in Nashville, TN
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Managers constantly ask why young people entering the workforce today don’t have the work ethic previous generations had.

The answer is simple.

Life has gotten so easy that kids today are lazier than ever. Here’s proof:

Exhibit A: Chores
A Braun Research survey found that 82% of parents had to do chores when they were kids, but only 28% make their kids do chores.

Exhibit B: Cereal
A recent Mintel survey found that nearly 40% of Millennials don’t eat cereal because they have to clean the spoon and bowl afterward.

Exhibit C: Coffee
In his 1991 song “Better Class of Losers”, Randy Travis sang “I need friends who buy their coffee beans already ground”. Not only has that yuppie trend of grinding coffee beans gone the way of VCR’s, but coffee pots themselves aren’t far behind. According to a survey by Euromonitor, sales of coffee pods grew by over 138,000% from 2004 and 2014. (Confession: We’ve owned 2 Keurig’s.)

As much as we criticize younger generations, we can’t blame them for any of this because we did it to them. They’ve been so shielded from everything by helicopter parents that they’re not prepared for the dog-eat-dog rat race where everyone doesn’t get a trophy.

One of my favorite writers, Lee Pitts, summed it up like this:

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

It’s hard to appreciate anything when everything comes so easily.

So what’s the solution? That’s what employers, parents, and sociologists everywhere are trying to figure out.

To Your Success,

Glenn Shepard

P.S. The passage from Lee Pitts is from his book “People Who Live at the End of Dirt Roads”, which I highly recommend.

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