Little Snowflake

Know Thy Inner Little Snowflake: Find Out What Makes You The Most Valuable to Others

One thing that the many non-millennials of the world make fun of millennials for is the fact we believe that we’re all pretty “little snowflakes”.

Well, truth is, we are.

But not in the way that we think we deserve a special life. Because in that respect, we don’t deserve anything. Sorry, but there are no participation trophies in real life.

We and everyone else in the world is a ”precious little snowflake” because we all have a uniqueness to us.

We have passions and interests not everyone else has.

(If you believe otherwise, then maybe you’re looking forward to the day that 1984 is a reality.)

To be a true creative, you’ll need to figure out what those are in order to be the most valuable to others. You need to find out what makes you, you.

You’ll need to become more self aware.

In this post, I’ll give you some pointers in how you can find out how you’re different from your peers so you share what you’re about to others a bit easier!

My Journey to Finding Out What I’m Interested In

I’ve always been someone who makes friends on the web rather easily. In fact, oddly enough, for many millennials, it’s almost easier to make friends online, than it is in person.

The first friends that I made online were through a chat forum with my original ISP. Every day after school, we’d hop onto the chat, and people would just go about discussing their days.

I quickly came to find out that I had a lot of interests in common with people who didn’t go to my school. Today I’d even go as far as saying I simply didn’t fit at my high school.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but was a proto-millennial.

My classmates were more Gen X influenced. Even today when I talk to many of them, I realize that they’re not readily accustomed to the web and technology as I and younger millennials are. For many of them, they’re technology immigrants. They only utilize it when they have to.

That said, I realized what sets me apart from my peers in this regard.

I excel at understanding entrepreneurial tech and love to show others how to use it in a way that will help multiply their business results.

Have Conviction in What You’re Doing

As a creator, you don’t really want to pursue anything unless you strongly believe that it needs to exist, or what you’re discussing is an important topic.

Just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean that doing that something professionally is a good match for you.

Take, for example, when I was teaching algebra for a couple of years.

Could I do it? Sure! I love to teach.
Could I teach it? Yeah.
Did I have a believe that those who I was teaching it to needed to know it? Possibly.
Did I really envision myself teaching algebra for a prolonged period of time? Nope!!

Also, when other folks start finding out what you’re about, you don’t want to be changing your focus.

You want to be known as the guy or gal who helps ________ do  ______ so that others can ________.

If you’re bouncing around from thing to thing and those topics aren’t connected, then people aren’t really going to understand what you’re all about. This might mean that you lose in opportunity, and potential fans and/or clients down the road.


Show That Belief through Passion and Energy

This goes off the last one a bit, but you’ll need to be pumped each time you have the opportunity to share or do something involved with whatever it is that you like discussing. An easy way to find out what pumps you up is finding out what you naturally talk and learn about in your free time.

When I was making those friends on the web, we’d discuss all kinds of geeky things. From games to computers, and even science. We’d also chat about all the crap that we had to deal with in school. Even back then, I can see the seeds of what I’m discussing with you here via New Inceptions.

When you’re thrilled to discuss a topic with other people, it shows. For one, you likely won’t know when to stop going on about the topic. (Been there, done that – still do it.) And two, they’ll probably get energetic from the conversation just because you are. Even if tomorrow they need another kick of your motivation. But hey, you’ll be glad to share it, right?
Give Your Perspective on Other’s Results, Content, and Role Modeling through your own Experiences
Whatever is important to you, chances are there’s going to be other people you learned it from. Whether you’re into cars, video games, sports, fitness, etc., there’s other people who are already doing what you’re going to be doing – just maybe not exactly how you want to do your version.

First, your small difference in how you do things is what’s going to separate you from them. And secondly, you can use those differences to discuss your perspective on what they’re talking about.

I’ve mentioned so many people in this blog that I’ve learned things from over the years. What sets me apart from Pat Flynn and SPI, for example, is that on my show, I have co-hosts. Or the fact that my guests are easy to relate to for beginners. Or, perhaps it’s the fact that I have a more academic background than he does.

Point being, you can talk the same topics as other people, but let who you are guide the actual conversation.

Surround Yourself with People You Want to Be Like

Ok, so this one is fairly simple. You’ve heard that you’re the average of the 5 (or 10) people you’re around the most? Yeah, other people are going to judge you based on who you surround yourself with.

If other people are considered gurus in their field of expertise and you hung around them, would you automatically be considered a guru as well? Maybe.

If you were hanging out with bikers in a bar somewhere and some saw you there – would they consider you a biker? It’s very likely.

You’re the company you keep, internally and externally.


Synthesize and Deliver Your Own Product or Services

Once you start expanding on the ideas of people in your field and you’re getting the chance to network with people you admire and want to make part of your network, wouldn’t it make sense to actually walk the walk?

For us in the online information world, that product comes in the form of content. Whether it’s free like this blog post, or it’s a premium course, content is a product.

As a creator, you need to have your own product or services to deliver and/or offer as well.



If you’re just starting out in your own business or project, people might question your credibility because your new. The way that most people deal with this is through leveraging their experience.

For example, maybe you’re just starting out as a woodworker like David Picciuto and you want to make a name for yourself. What he did was rely on his knowledge he obtained from his marketing years to help him develop his platform on YouTube. Maybe you don’t have a marketing background, but you might know someone that does and you can have them make videos of your work. They get noticed as the videographer, you get noticed as the woodworker.


Be Current

This one is pretty simple. No one wants old information unless it’s timeless information. But even then, you need to look like you’re keeping with the times. If your site looks wonky and unprofessional, then people are going to get that impression of you, the owner.

If your branding looks like it’s something straight from 2007 – then people are going to think that it’s from an old site OR they’re going to think you’re just not with the times.

Obviously this has more ramifications in some industries more than others.

Being current in fashion is going to be much more important than say here with fundamental business advice.

Make Yourself Readily Available

Here’s the other thing. Make sure you actually respond to comments, emails, and posts from your followers. If you don’t engage, they won’t either. And if they’re not engaging, how do you even know they’re there?

Also, be sure to post in as many places as you can. Pat used to have a piece of advice to “be everywhere”. He still might say that, but you can only be in so many places. Choose the a few that you can readily post to (blogging, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) and stick with those.

Followers Do Count – Sorta

There’s two schools of thought on whether the number of followers actually count when it comes to social media.

When it comes to actual sales, no, they don’t count. According to Dustin Stout and many others, engagement is what you’re looking for.

However, if you’re looking to bring in more followers, then perhaps it does count. You can’t have engagement without having followers in the first place, right? Would you rather follow and/or pay attention to someone who has 100 followers or 1000?


Action Steps

So there you go. A few ways that you can start working on today that will help you boost your appeal to potential new clients.

Differentiating yourself can make all the difference in the online space.

Are there any methods that I forgot? Let me know below if you can think of any!



For you deep thinkers, I’ll leave you with this TEDx talk of Julian Baggini:

David Picciuto Podcast

AoL 032: Making It as a Full-Time Online Woodworker with David Picciuto

There are multiple ways to make money online. Most people know of information entrepreneurs. These are your Thought Leaders, your Teachers, and your Mediapreneurs. Others might think of software makers – called engineers. Or even more, you might think of someone who has a store and sells other’s items – these are Retailers. These are all part of the 10 Archetypes.

One type that I didn’t know too much about was The Maker. How does someone that makes a living producing crafts get online besides selling their physical goods online?

That’s where today’s guest, David Picciuto, has been able to make the connection. He makes YouTube videos showing how to make stuff!

Rather fascinating guy that I’m glad I got to know more about him and his craft.

In this chat, we go into how he got into woodworking as an online business, explore his successful YouTube channel and podcast, and why he believes it’s necessary to diversify your brand online.

If you love working with your hands and have been wondering what might be a good idea for an online business, this talk is just for you. (If you’re like me and have other ideas, you’ll get plenty out of this talk too. David is actually a lot like many of us when he first began!!)


  • How David stumbled into woodworking as a business.
  • Where his creative flair came from.
  • One way to get through the imposter’s syndrome.
  • When he realized he had to “grow up” and get something other than a job at Target.
  • How he knew it was time to strike it out on his own from a great job as a developer/designer.
  • How he makes an income doing YouTube videos.
  • Why he changed the name of his business from Drunken Woodworker to MakeSomething.TV.
  • What lead David to write his Bandsaw Box book.
  • What David does with all the products he makes on his show.
  • Why it’s important to diversify your brand online.
  • How and why he has such nice looking videos.
  • How the podcast ended up coming together.
  • What he is or is not looking forward to in the future!
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Ask Me Whatever #3

How to Price Your Work:

Checking Out David’s Shop – MTV Cribs Style:

Making It Podcast: $2000 to Start Over

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcherSoundcloud, and/or Google Play Music. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


mind of an entrepreneur

AoL 030: The Importance of Having the Mind of an Entrepreneur with Joe Albano

The economy changed as we knew it in 2008 after the recession hit. It made jobs much harder to find. No longer was just a resume going to cut it – especially if you wanted a job that paid more than minimum wage.

2008 was also the year that Pat Flynn lost his job and started his long journey to making SPI what it is today. Personally, I’m glad that he made that decision because without him, there would be one less voice out there promoting entrepreneurship – especially lifestyle entrepreneurship and passive income.

I graduated grad school a year later in 2009. The only jobs I knew at the time were internships and teaching in grad school. That’s why, when I got out, I was sort of lost. I knew I what I didn’t want (to be in a large corporation or a dead end job), but I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted.

It eventually occurred to me within a month or so after graduation that I wanted to get my career started with a startup because I had gotten my focus in Entrepreneurship.

That eventually happened (a couple of times) and now I’m finally doing what I went to grad school for! 🙂

However, not everyone can make that transition as easy as many of us millennials can. There are some people that are still struggling with making the transition from the plan they had before the recession. Some lost all their retirement and are forced to do menial jobs to get by. Others have just kept pushing along in a job that might no longer be providing for them at a level they were used to.

Even I questioned what was going through people’s heads when they couldn’t see the writing on the wall when I started networking in late 2009 and early 2010. Why not just start their own thing instead of waiting for someone to give them something better?

That’s also what this session’s guest, Dr. Joe Albano, thought when he started running into people who were trying to run a business with the thought process of an employee. They were waiting for their business to be given to them. Long story short, he ended up switching the focus of working with large businesses to small and medium sized ones just because he knew how much of an impact he and his company could make if he helped from the ground up.

In this discussion, we chat about that passion about working with small businesses, what it takes to make a successful startup, what’s the difference between an employee mindset and entrepreneurial one, and why new entrepreneurs don’t need advice as much as they need support.

If you’re the type of entrepreneur who’s struggling to find success with your business, or just want to know why your peers don’t understand why you’d want to pursue a business in the first place, I think that this chat will help you straighten a few things out.


  • How Joe’s older brother played an influence in Joe being interested in starting his own business.
  • Why he feels that, as a Baby Boomer, it was a good decision to embrace entrepreneurship early in his career.
  • Why he made the transition from working with big companies to working with small to medium sized businesses.
  • Why he loves helping people look more at the human side of companies vs the management side.
  • What Joe’s definition of an entrepreneur really is.
  • Why he believes that the employee mindset no longer works in today’s world.
  • What’s the first steps he recommends for your new startup.
  • What Joe suggests to those who are running out of time to do all the different jobs to get their business started.
  • Why he believes that many new entrepreneurs need less advice and more support.
  • What Joe’s capacity is when working with college students.
  • An update in what happened career-wise to one of our early hosts, Jonathan Ridge.
  • Why it’s important that you learn to manage your own career.
  • …and MUCH more.

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Become an Entrepreneur by a guy that’s new to me by the name of Aleksander Vitkin

How to be an Entrepreneur by The School of Life

A Day in The Life of an Entrepreneur by Aleksander Vitkin

Career Advice on Becoming an Entrepreneur by Richard Branson

The Top 10 Mistakes of Entrepreneurs by Guy Kawasaki:

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


AoL 007: Personal Branding: Not Just for Business Owners with Ryan Rhoten

When was the last time you cared about what you looked like? If you’re like most people, probably this morning before you headed off to the office. The image that you give of yourself is highly important. It’s all about first impressions, right?

So you know you should be aware of how you’re making a first impression in the real world. But what does the internet say about you? Have you done a search on yourself recently to see what comes up? If you have, and you didn’t like the results, how can you change that?

That’s where our guest, Ryan Rhoten, comes into play. Not so long ago, Ryan didn’t think about his online persona either. In fact, it wasn’t until he didn’t get a promotion that he wondered what what was going on. Soon, though, he realized that he didn’t look so good on the web. In fact, there were other Ryan Rhotens on the web… one of which that wasn’t too flattering.

Today, he helps others figure out what their stance is on the web. He does that by helping them hone their personal brand. Yeah, that same personal brand that many celebrities and business owners have to be aware of.

If you’ve recently been denied an interview or promotion that you thought was a sure thing, then you should listen to what Ryan has to say. Even if you’re a business owner and you’re not exactly sure you know everything about personal branding, you should definitely check this talk out too. It just might mean the difference between you getting that next job or client.


  • How Ryan got started as an online Personal Branding Expert.
  • Why he doesn’t consider himself a “entrepreneur” quite yet.
  • Why it’s important that you go to events when building your brand.
  • What’s an expert exactly and how you can find out what you’re an expert in.
  • What are common practices of recruiters of using social media to find talent for an open position.
  • Why Gen Xers naturally struggle when it comes to their online presence.
  • Some common mistakes people make when developing their personal brand.
  • Why it’s important to do things out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.
  • What a Klout score is.
  • …and much more

Right click here and save-as to download this episode to your computer.



Checklist for building your online presence on LinkedIn.


14-Point Checklist to Dominate Your Personal Brand on Google

Thanks for Listening!

Thanks so much for joining us again this week. Have some feedback you’d like to share? Leave a note in the comment section below!

If you enjoyed this episode, please share it using the social media buttons you see at the top of the post.

Also, please leave an honest review for The AoL Podcast on iTunes! Ratings and reviews are extremely helpful and greatly appreciated! They do matter in the rankings of the show, and we read each and every one of them.

If you have any questions feel free to email them over via the email mentioned in the show or by our contact form.

And finally, don’t forget to subscribe to the show on iTunesStitcher, and/or Podbean. It’s absolutely free to do so.

A huge thank-you to you guys for joining us!


5 Ways to Make Marriages Work

So, a few weeks ago during the middle of the Millennials as Entrepreneurs series, there was a little article that made some waves in my Facebook News Feed. While many friends agreed with it, Maria and I kinda thought it was a little off center.

As we were reading it, it occurred to both of us that the problems that the author, Anthony D’Ambrosio, noticed were superficial problems. That said, I think in general that the problems that many Millennials have are due to much deeper problems. Problems that are going to take some actual time and possibly some self investigation to figure out.

So, here’s my tough love advice in how Millennials (well, really, anyone) can make marriages work. After reading this list, I hope you’ll have better luck in the marriage department!

Statement 1: Sex Becomes Almost Non-existent

My Response: Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

First and foremost, let’s not confuse sex columnists with relationship columnists. They are not one in the same. Sex experts generally run in the same circles as pickup artists and porn stars, while you usually find relationship columnists in circles of people like John Maxwell, Les Brown, or a Gary Chapman. They’re typically not the same people.

Need an example of who you might listen to? Ok. Then let’s take an example that I’m sure you’re familiar with: Dr. Drew Pinsky of Loveline.

Now, Dr. Drew has been in many of our lives since we were growing up. (It’s still hard for me to not think of him AND Adam Carolla hosting the show.) However, he’s not just about sex, even though many of us would think he is. He’s actually a licensed Physician and Surgeon. On top of that he’s been married since 1991 and has a couple of kids. So obviously, you can listen to him as he does have experience.

In contrast, sex educators like Emily Morse and Sandra Daugherty, while they might actually have credentials to talk about sex, you can tell just by listening to their podcasts that they have issues with relationships.

Also, you’ll also notice that in the political spectrum, relationship experts are generally more conservative while sex experts are more liberal.

So make sure you’re getting advice from the right kind of expert here.

Now that we have that ironed out, here’s something else to consider. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages tells you all you need to know about filling up your partner’s love tank. In the article, Anthony says that sex is the “most important part” of a relationship. Well, there’s a type of person that’s like that in Gary’s book. There’s also 4 other types of people who think that the most important part are other things.  One guess is that Anthony and his spouse might not have had matching love languages.

My recommendation? Find a partner who shares the same love language you have so that you don’t have to think about what fuels their fire, so to speak. 

Statement 2: Finances Cripple Us

My Response: Learn How to Live Under Your Means

Having grown up as the only child of a single mom, I’ve kind of always known about the problems of the household. People need to vent at times and frankly who else was she going to tell? Of the many things that my mom could have talked about, the thing that she did talk about the most was finances. I think mainly because she didn’t understand them herself until she was in her late 40’s. Even then, she wasn’t a master. So she made sure that I was interested enough to study them myself. In the end, I learned how to be frugal. Lol, who am I kidding. I might suffer from being a tight wad… but I’d sooner be that than out on the streets.

One of the things that Anthony talks about is that he can’t live life because of all the debt he has.

Well. I don’t have debt. Not much, anyway. Hell, I didn’t even have a credit card until a couple of years ago. Why? Cause either a.) I worked my tail off to get what I wanted in college and bought with cash. or b.) mom helped.


However, her helping me didn’t come free. There was a trade off somewhere. Many times my WANTS were put aside for my NEEDS. For example, I’ve never owned a brand new car. Would I like one, sure. Who wouldn’t? But instead at college, I rolled around in my 1983 Oldsmobile Firenza and later my 1995 Chrysler Lebaron. I made the trade of getting a college degree vs having a sporty looking import. (A side note, it’s 2015 and I just scored an awesome 2007 Dodge Magnum. Pretty pimp if I do say so myself. Has the space for the future me but the engine of the now me!)

Another want? To go on vacation. Like, for it to be paid for and not worry about money. As far as vacations go, the last vacation I took was my honeymoon in 2013. Thanks to gifts from my wedding. Before that, the last vacation I had was in 2003 to Las Vegas… where I didn’t play anything more than $50 at the slots? All other trips I’ve taken have been road trips to visit family. Not really vacation.

Don’t judge your life based on other’s high points.

Another thing he mentions is that he sees others having awesome lives. That we’re “forced to see the life everyone else is living.”

I don’t know what kind of life he’s living, but the awesome pictures that I see others posting on Facebook and other social media are more than likely those people’s high points. To judge yourself based on an endless stream of those highs, is really not fair to yourself. So stop it. Seriously. The people who travel all the time? They probably aren’t in a steady relationship unless you see that person too. The person who posts pictures of their family? They probably desperately want some alone time. One thing that has helped me out quite a bit is learning how to curate my news feed. Now all I get are pictures of cats, memes, and political stuff. Totally ok by me!

That said, if you have no idea how finances work, then you’re going to be the victim of your circumstances. Unfortunately, that rarely ends up at an ideal destination. Want to start learning about finance? A great source would be Dave Ramsey’s show and/or podcast. He’ll give you all the tough love you want.

Statement 3:We’re more connected than ever before, but completely disconnected at the same time.

My Response: Put down the controller and go outside, kid.

People who can’t learn to put down their phone or tablet or put down their laptop, apparently were never told to go play outside as a kid. I admit that I am the definition of a gamer and even I know when I’ve had enough. But that’s because I’ve been around technology all my life. I was a geek before it was trendy. I have this clock inside of me that tells me when it’s time to do something productive.

So, first hand, I’ll tell you this: If you want to lose time quickly, stare and interact with a screen that has moving things on it. Time will fly by, I guarantee it. Likewise, as an adult, poking at social media all day isn’t any different. The same synapses are firing in your brain.

Going outside to play makes life slow down as a kid. As an adult, putting down your phone and just being present is what you should be striving towards. Stop worrying about things you can’t control. You’ll drive yourself insane if you do otherwise. Don’t let your social media and technology control you. Learn to control it. Learn to know when enough is enough.

Statement 4: Our desire for attention outweighs our desire to be loved

My Response: There’s an empty hole inside you, dear serial selfie taker.

I have never taken a selfie. Not once. Have I had other take a picture of me? Yes, of course. There’s a difference. In my case, a big difference. I’ve never enjoyed having pictures of me taken – even when I was a kid. I know a part of it was that I didn’t like looking good in pictures – that kind of still lingers to this day. However, I think the biggest thing was that I didn’t like being the focus of attention. I’ve never been interested in being a celebrity.

However, there’s a difference in being a celebrity vs what celebrities have, don’t get me wrong. If I could be a part of the infamous 1%, I would. Even with the media hating on them and people constantly trying to assassinate them or the need of constantly having to worry about million dollar deals on a daily basis, I’d think that would be awesome. Why? Simply because with money does come options to help people in ways that no one person can do otherwise and frankly, who wouldn’t want the ability to have the finer things in life if it was desired?

But outside of being a teacher and speaker, I have no interest in being in front of people. If I am going to be in front of people, I better be adding value to them. 

Statement 5: Social media just invited a few thousand people into bed with you.

My Response: This is actually a continuation of Statement 4…

Ok, so you don’t take selfies. I’ll give you points for that. But why would people feel it necessary to take pictures of their wardrobes? Or during their date? Why? What’s that going to get them? Again… you’re going for bragging rights or least some form of being a celebrity. The last I heard, true celebrities are made the old fashioned way. They’re selected by the powers that be. Just because some people Liked your last Instagram picture, doesn’t make you an insta-celebrity. If you want people to stick around in your life, leave them feeling better than when they came in it. They’ll never forget you.

So, that’s just my 2p…

What about you? Are you or anyone you know struggling with the above problems? Are you guilty of some of these? Is your significant other? How about a friend and their mate? Did you say anything similar to what I’ve said above? In the comments below, I’d like to hear about cases in your life… and if they were a friend, what you told them!

A Look at Today’s “Lost Generation” – Are We Repeating History?

Last week, I completed the 10 part series of why Millennials should strongly consider being entrepreneurs sometime during their career. I strongly believe those who lead this movement are going to be the leaders of not only their own businesses, but the next generation as a whole.

In part 6 of the series, I touched briefly on how many believe that Millennials are the today’s Lost Generation. However, I didn’t spend much time actually defining what the means.

We’ve seen the problem we have today before. In fact, the last generation which was actually referred to the Lost Generation was the generation that came of age during World War 1. In a story involving Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, a garage owner referring to a young mechanic called those who had been through the war as une génération perdue – translating as “a lost generation”. Furthermore he added, “That is what you are. That’s what you all are… all of you young people who served in the war. You are a lost generation.”

Looking back we can understand why he might have said this. The events surrounding the war led to young people realizing that life was going to be rough for them. This belief was backed by many promising young lives being lost as casualties in the war itself. So, of course those who survived are going to be potentially depressed and not care as much about their career and place in life. Obviously, there was probably a lot of undiagnosed PTSD going around.

Furthermore, the world that they learned about from their parents didn’t exist anymore. So naturally they questioned the principles of their parents’ generation. Combine this all together and you get a lack of certainty, direction, and purpose. This led many to search for deeper meanings and truths. Finally leading many American artists and writers to Europe as “wanderers of culture”. Hemingway and Stein were a part of this group.

It sounds to me that the phrase “Lost Generation” was more of truthful description back then. While the comment the shop owner said was probably meant to be an insult, it actually had a lot of truthfulness to it.

The Past Can Help Predict the Future:

In Strauss and Howe’s Generational Theory, there is a noticeable cycle of eras spanning roughly 20 years called turnings. These turnings are caused by generational events which define the turning’s mood.

According to many out there (especially this subreddit on, there are a lot of similarities of the Millennials to the Lost Generation. We’ve both had a war to fight which wasn’t really ours to fight. (Both, many would say, were started for questionable reasons as well.) We’ve both also had to come to terms with a world we weren’t programmed since birth for. The list goes on. To many out there, it’s not a great time to live in.

Young adults everywhere are questioning the whole “Get good grades, go to college, and get a good job to support a happy family” plan. And it makes perfect sense in why they’re doing that. For one, the jobs aren’t there which you need a degree for. And frankly, the end result didn’t really happen for our parents half the time. So why follow their plan if we see it not working?

So yeah, Millennials could be seen as the New Lost Generation. Sure. There’s definitely a case for that.

However, if you really look at the Generational Theory, you’d see that Strauss and Howe believe that Generation X was the most recent Nomad Generation (which is what the Lost Generation was) – not the Millennials. In that same vein of the thought, the GI Generation (aka the Greatest Generation) were those that came after the Lost Generation and took the world by the horns.  This group is who they compare Millennials to. People remember them. Generally we don’t remember the Lost Generation.

Interesting, huh?

Going from Good to Great

So, the summary is this. We are kind of a mixed generation. There are those of us who are caught up in the “I’m a victim of the times I live in” mentality. Those that are Lost. And then there’s those of us who want to be Great. We realize the world could be better, yes, and we’re driven to make it that way again.

So the question is… which one are you? If you consider yourself part of the Great, what are you going to do to make this world better then how you found it? Below let’s talk about what you’re doing and how you’re paying it forward.

Millennials as Entrepreneurs Part 2 of 10: The Power of the Trend Setter

The world of the Millennial is already upon us. It’s really ours for the taking. Those who have realized this have already started doing so.


Just look at Chelsea Krost. I didn’t even know she existed until a week or so ago. And what does she do? She talks about the characteristics of Millennials as a whole. Yeah, there’s plenty of us who do this – but wow – she’s been on shows like Good Morning America, Today, and Tyra. I mean, for a person in their early 20’s, she’s doing great!


As it was eluded to in the last post, there are some that will really have a hard time coming to terms of our demands as a generation. Millennials have a completely different value structure than those that came before us.


However, we’re here and we’re creating a lot of change early in our career.


Case in Point? Look at Today’s Fashion


Have you ever actually paid attention to what people are wearing? Like, just looking at what they wear? Is it new? Is it old? Is it something new to look old?


If you’re like most people, you’ve probably thought about it at least once in your life and laughed and said, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!”. And even then we question whether or not we’re behind in fashion.


Personally, I’ve found myself thinking this more and more. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s almost not worth bothering about what you wear.


If you look at what makes Millennial fashion unique… you might think of all kinds of different things. Let’s look at glasses, for example. It would seem that predominant style is thick black frames. However, thin seems to be still in as well. Or heck, you might even see something from the 60’s (You know the ones with the little corners with gems or designs peaking out of the corners? Yeah, I’ve seen those around too!).


Or heck, let’s look at pants. Who would have EVER thought that leggings would come back as hard as they have. Oh man. If you were to tell my early college self that those would be coming back, I would have thought you came to the future with Marty McFly.


And now, not only are high school and college kids wearing them – but their parents who probably wore them originally in the 80’s and 90’s are wearing them again – even after the originally said “Never again!”. Lol.
We’re setting the trend.

Other Successful Industries Have Started Catering to Us


The Baby Boomers, obviously, were the last generation to set the trend. As discussed in the last post, much of what we do today is based on their principles and values. That’s not bad, but it’s not necessarily great either. I would like to believe I have a work ethic similar to what Baby Boomers would expect everyone to have. However, at the same time, I think much of what’s wrong with Washington is that those in power want to keep the lifestyle they’re accustom to and they’ll gladly take money from lobbyists to do so. (Check out Generation Zero about this.)


Millennials – we’re not like that so much. There’s so much of a difference between Baby Boomers and Millennials that I believe right around 2020 – there’s going to be a HUGE shift how everything is run.


Many Industries have already seen the writing on the wall and are totally skipping over Gen Xers and their tastes and going straight to us. A big part of that is because we’re larger than the Gen Xers as a demographic. However, we also have more disposable income as a whole. Most Gen Xers are already in midlife and have to worry about putting houses over their families’ heads. There’s other reasons why they haven’t been counted, and you can refer to this column here for that info.


To survive, major conglomerates will have to change their tune. For example, today, Comcast sells things for convenience. The larger a bundle you have, the more you’ll save for more channels. This caters to the Baby Boomer audience. For the most part, they don’t want to mess with the technology to get their entertainment fix.


On the other hand, if you see what’s been trending in popularity, it’s all about On Demand. Whether that comes from Comcast is up to them. Why? Because us tech savvy Millennials are, (as we explored last post) all about “Me!”. We don’t care if we get our entertainment fix is from Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, etc.


Think about it. Do you think there are more cord cutters in the Millennials or the Baby Boomers? Comcast sticks to simple and possibly outdated tech for the Boomers (who really needs a landline?). At the same time they’re transitioning to On Demand for Millennials. That being said, they better work on that price structure a little more to keep us around!



Mind The Gap


So really, rather or not companies would like to complain about how much we’re different than X’ers and Boomers is not the point. The point is, again, we’re setting the trend. They can’t help but figure out what keeps our interests if they want to survive the big change.


But they’re at a disadvantage. Why? They have to higher millennial consultants, like Chelsea, to tell them how Millennials minds work. You and I, on the other hand… we have the upper hand. We are millennials.


So, in the comments below. I want to know about what kind of trends you’re starting with your friends and other people you have some influence with. Something as simple as a new app you’re using or a new website you’re following that you’ve shared. Then, I want you to think on whether or not they think of you as the source of particular new things in their life.


If you can do that simple exercise, you know that you’re adding value to someone. You are a trend setter.


Also, stay tuned for next week’s post in which we’ll be exploring the reasoning on how there are so many types of potential business out there.