Tony shared the very informative and opinionated article Generation Screwed by Michael Hobbes. This is my response to that article. Read that one first. This is a 2-part article focused on helping millennials find solutions to their generational issues. Part 1 is “Developing your Life Mission Statement (LMS)”. Part 2 will be “The Easy way to lifelong sales success for Millennials”.
Find a profession and not a job
I think that a lot of millennials can find fulfillment in finding a profession, not a job. There is a huge difference. The difference is that a profession wakes you up in the morning and a job leads you to hit the snooze button. A profession consumes your thoughts and a job consumes your happiness. Professions provide a lifelong revenue stream, jobs come and go. Become an EXPERT at what you love and never work a day in your life.
What is your Life Mission Statement (LMS):
1. Develop your Life Mission Statement (LMS). What wakes you up in the morning, what do you want your legacy to be? Some want to end hunger, some want to bring others together, some want to spread love to others. This LMS is your elevator pitch to all. It defines who you are. It should be a few words to a few sentences. I developed my LMS a little later in life at age 33 (I am 46 now). Mine is “to help people achieve their goals and dreams”. I get tremendous satisfaction helping others do bigger things, and I found out I am pretty good at it. A LMS puts failures in perspective. It provides purpose to take a step forward after you get knocked 5 steps back. Your LMS provides a purpose for life that is unstoppable by external forces. This force is inside of you and already created. Once you find it then it can’t be destroyed. It will always “Be”, i.e. much like the First Law of Energy. You must learn how to tap into it and a LMS will help you do that.
2. Interview 40 ultra successful people: At age 32 I had a great job in the financial service world (and I mean great job 6 figure salary, bonuses, $100k expense account, great boss, great training, etc.) for a wonderful company who really took care of their employees. But I did not feel fulfilled. I did what I usually do when I need help: I asked the most successful people I know for their advice. I interviewed 40 of the most successful people I knew and asked them “hey you know me, I am thinking about a career change, what do you think I would be good at”. I then did something that is hard to do, I shut up and took notes. For the next 30 minutes, this successful person would talk about what made them successful and what they thought would make me successful. Most people in this world want to lift others up and that’s what these people did for me. I filled an entire composition book with their wisdom that was designed just for me. I did all of this while I was gainfully employed by my current employer during my spare time. This was the foundation of the development of my LMS
3. Analyze the data and find themes: After a few months, themes started to emerge. I wanted to help people; I wanted to always meet interesting and successful people; I wanted to grow a business that could provide for my family. I then wrote out my LMS in my composition book “I want to help people achieve their goals and dreams”. And under the LMS I had 8 attributes of the perfect profession.
4. Doors open up wide and close quickly once you have the focus of a LMS: Once I had the blueprint of the LMS it was easy to cross-check various ideas that came my way. And I had a lot of ideas too. I had 40 people who I interviewed passing along ideas, businesses and other people I should talk to. I didn’t waste my time on ideas that did not fit my LMS. One idea was to start a fish farm. In 2003 this idea was not really mainstream. I immediately said no to a follow-up meeting as I felt I was not helping people achieve their goals and dreams, even though the idea was a great idea-it just wasn’t for me. Another idea was to start an insurance agency that focused on making sure individuals and families were protected and educated – ding ding. This was the idea that stuck and then I took 12 months to develop in the evening and weekends while I was still crushing it at my then-current job.
5. Beta test it! Write up a business plan with a proforma: Here is the most overlooked step. Steps 1-4 above sound great but you don’t write a full business plan and run the numbers. Being an expert in something is great but you have to figure out how to do it and how to pay the bills. This applies to starting a company or even starting a job within your profession. You should put down on paper how you will do it.
I realize that the chips are stacked against the Millennial generation. But that doesn’t mean that you still can’t win. There are many people out there who want to see you succeed. I challenge you to take a step back and put a LMS together, talk to successful people, put a plan in place then test the plan before implementing. I know you will be successful with this type of purposeful planning.