Aging Baby Boomers with a lot to offer Millennials often lament, “We’re just too old to be taken seriously” by the Millennials. Sure, Boomers had to adopt technology as a second language and sure Millennials were born with an extra brain, the smartphone, in their hand. It is true Boomers are leaving Millennials a compromised environment, huge debt, and ongoing wars. And surely times and the economy have changed substantially since “their day.”
But there are many critical lessons Boomers have learned, mostly the hard way, that are timeless. These lessons are not “retro” but classic, and will be true for centuries to come. Millennials will have to learn these lessons themselves eventually, or, if they are smart, they can save themselves the time, money, and pain by learning from the Boomers while they are still around.
Why not get a big head start today and learn classic truisms that are understood by those with more experience in business and human behavior?
Part of the Boomers’ legacy is invaluable to Millennials trying to establish themselves in the business world. Millennial success is critical to the future economy. Here are three key areas where Millennials should seek advice from Boomers:
- How to be Resourceful. Many Millennials think that you just come up with a business plan, get it funded, and voila! Instant millionaire! Any successful Boomer will tell you that the business plan takes an immediate back seat to the cash flow plan as soon as you open your doors! Also the idea that funding somehow allows a “burn rate” that presumably extends the runway long enough to achieve that positive cash flow is fraught with hubris and a quickly approaching cliff! Boomers who have made it will confess that they typically had to develop a positive cash flow quickly to survive.
- How to Build Strategic Alliances. The concept that assumes that with enough money you can pay all your bills regardless of poor sales is also a classic fantasy, but somehow has become very popular. Successful Boomers will tell you that no matter how much money you have, you still need to develop strategic alliances. These are the businesses you will work with and depend upon for your essential goods and services. As you become successful, they become successful. There are ways to get your creditors to extend your credit, thereby reducing your need for cash, and successful Boomers know how it is done.
- How to Create Sustainable Growth. So many Millennial businesses today go out of business because they didn’t get their act together before they took their show on the road. By the time they find out what is truly required to grow, they areout of money. Boomers who have faced this problem of growing too quickly will tell you to start small, make your mistakes in a small, manageable place, and make the fixes. They will advise Millennials that truly sustainable growth is knowing the real cost of sales.
Not every Baby Boomer has had the business experience and success to earn the credibility to be thought leaders in entrepreneurship. But the ones who have actually done it, and who are willing to take the time to share the lessons they’ve learned, are well worth listening to. They are giving the Millennials a legacy and a gift. Millennials can tell them about technology and Boomers can tell them how to use it best. Cool tools are great, but actually making money with them is better. Why not get the best of both generations working for you? Don’t throw the Baby Boomers out with the bath!
Who We Are
Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.
Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.
They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.
Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.
To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.