Is it time to take the millennial generation more seriously?
Fed up with listening to the same lazy stereotypes thrown around about this generation, Sean Purcell sets out the challenges and opportunities facing millennials, and explains why we are entering The Age of the Millennial.
The millennial generation is rapidly becoming the largest and most influential globally, whether it is in politics, economics, business, or civic society. This requires everyone to begin to explore what it means to be a millennial today. This book looks at politics, economics, business, housing, employment, and relationships all from the perspective of a millennial.
Sean is passionate that your skills, qualities and attributes are exactly what the world needs right now. The book inspires and motivates, as well as encouraging all millennials to proudly identify with the term.
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About the Author
He is also a certified business coach with ActionCOACH, the world's largest business coaching firm, and he works with business owners across the east of England to help them make more money, build better teams and create the lifestyles that they desire.
Read an Excerpt
I woke up late for a lecture on some day of the week, in some month of the term in 2012. I grabbed my books and bag, got up to campus and made it through yet another hard day reading law. Law. A course I knew I wanted to do from an early age. I had always had a passion for the law, especially family law. My family are givers, in the world of medicine; I believe this rubbed off on me and I too wanted to help people who needed it the most.
I digress. Another day went by, and I woke up to a car horn outside my bedroom window. I realised it was my rowing team. I quickly put my rowing gear on, grabbed a gift I’d made for my team and we hit the river. It was race day and I handed out my gift: handmade rowing socks that I’d put together to help my team bond. We were all short for rowers, and usually got ripped for that. Although we didn’t win the race, we did much better than usual – well, that’s what our cox said anyway. What took me most by surprise was being approached by a group of other teams, wanting these handmade socks in their sports colours. This was the point when my life was going to change forever. You might be asking, “Why is this relevant?” You will see how this pleasant mistake led to me launching one of Britain’s fastest-growing clothing brands, as well as becoming a renowned retail entrepreneur in the US and Europe.
As you are about to read in this powerful book, I am a late-phase-millennial. What does this mean? Well, you will find out what this means shortly, but what does it mean for me? I grew up with the internet. My brother hounded me with stories of how different playtime for me was. I am a millennial through and through. I prefer spending my money on experiences rather than physical things. I like to buy nice clothing as opposed to quick fashion clothing. I find it hard to save, as I am easily tempted to spend money with open, unique and transparent brands and companies – the list goes on. But I am your typical late-phase millennial or snowflake. This being said, my work ethic is my religion. The advice I offer my Hive network (a free group of startup entrepreneurs in London that I meet with every month), the transparency of sharing my life, meetings and progress over Instagram stories, my day-to- day activism and the privacy around my charity work – to me, all of this is a need, as opposed to a want.
Like many other millennials, I feel unrepresented in many industries, especially politically. It is why my generation is the generation of builders. We are being left a terrible economy, with terrible poverty records, and all we want to do is make the world a better place, more advanced, with better communications. It is fair to say that if no one is looking to offer, a millennial will build it for themselves. This is why it has been easy to cast judgments about millennials by calling them disruptors or challengers. The fact of the matter is, if you ringfence and ignore an entire generation, they will do it for themselves. And this is why I am proud to be a millennial.
Risking it all, for what? When I took the decision not to go to bar school after my degree, this was one of the scariest things I have ever done in my life. Everyone, including my family, were telling me not to. I did it anyway, after finding an empty shop in my hometown of Bath, Somerset. I put the money I had been saving since I was 14 years old and opened this temporary shop for seven weeks, to test my idea. Rupert and Buckley Clothing Co opened its doors and we got selling. I was learning every step of the way. I was learning about clothing factories, cash register providers, commercial refuse collections: everything you don’t have to worry or even think about as a customer. However, I knew one thing. I was my own boss, and I was the only person who could make this work if I wanted to raise investment, grow the team and grow the company effectively.
What I knew was that I was doing it my own way, a new path untouched. I was risking it. Everyone around me knew I was risking it all. I didn’t have the full support of everyone, and just had to make it work.
What I say, after reading Sean’s wonderful approach of explaining the dynamics of a millennial, and their perspective and outward view, is that it helps shape what kind of founder you want to be. As a millennial, you are already more risk-positive, you already know that you have to be thrifty, be creative and build – while the media and other generations shower our generation with negatives. Take these and turn them into positives for our generation. We are fast becoming the generation with the highest number of self-made millionaires, and soon will have a higher average working salary than any other generation (not including the 1%, of course).
Take what little our generation has been given, put that to the side. Take your bare, innate skill and prepare it, but then prepare for the hardest bit: taking the first step towards risking it, and the lack of support you may get around you, will be your biggest and hardest challenge. I now help mentor 300 startup founders in London, I share advice on my Instagram @jbuckleythorp, and work one-to-one with startup brands; I understand the journey is untold and varied. This can be worrying, but after a while, it will become normal and exciting, and you will realise you don’t have a ‘job’ anymore, but do what you love, which is your subconscious job. I am just as excited to hear about your journey as you are about starting it. Starting with understanding yourself and your generation is great preparation for becoming a better millennial and a better startup founder.
In this book, Sean has captured the essence of what it is to be a millennial and uses his own experiences and those of others to give perspective. This book is a call to arms, and one that is long overdue.
Founder of Rupert and Buckley,
Forbes 30 under 30 Finalist 2019,
Entrepreneur of the Year 2018
Table of Contents
Chapter One: The Age of the Millennial is here
Chapter Two: You haven’t been dealt a great hand
Chapter Three: Each generation has its own uniqueness
Chapter Four: Home ownership is not the only way
Chapter Five: Learning and earning is not a linear process
Chapter Six: Employment isn’t about a job for life
Chapter Seven: Relationships are blurry, messy and late
Chapter Eight: It’s OK if you are not an overnight amazing success
Chapter Nine: Feeling a sense of expectation as a millennial male
Praise for Sean’s coaching
About the author