Every time I hear people state so emphatically, "Millennials are such a lazy and entitled bunch," I literally pause and play back my academic and professional career to date in my head--from studying hard in high school to earn a much-needed partial scholarship to the University of Houston because I knew my fellow immigrant parents couldn't pay for my college education; to running for SGA President while in undergrad and struggling to balance those immense responsibilities of governing as a student and keeping my GPA from declining; to pledging Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc while pursuing the former endeavor; to fulfilling 1,700 hours of community service in DC public schools as a tutor, mentor and role model for inner city schoolchildren immediately after graduation; to working an entry-level job for two years all the while pursuing network marketing business opportunities part-time to earn extra income and help fulfill my family's dreams of attaining that elusive American Dream; to publishing multiple books in pursuit of that same goal; to daring to travel to the ends of the earth to pursue a global MBA and develop myself professionally and personally--and honestly, I'm insulted and offended by the hasty generalization and presumptuous condescension of that insinuation about my generation.
My point is not to bare my resume on social media because I know many of my peers who've also achieved much in their own right and some who've achieved even much more than me in their relatively young tenure on earth while facing and overcoming adversity. My point is to iterate that everyone--regardless of their generation--experiences their fair share of hardships while navigating varying economic conditions and societal and cultural realities. So, it's grossly unfair to be labeled one way or another, or for your intelligence, capabilities, successes, and contributions to the world to be disparaged, belittled or disrespected simply because people hold you only to the standard of their own (generational) frame of reference.
Ultimately, it takes a sincere attempt to understand the realities that shape frames of reference that differ from our own for us to cease and desist from fanning the flames of divisiveness with such prevalent myopic rhetoric as, "Millennials are (insert popular negative stereotype)." And that's precisely what I'd encourage members of the generations that have preceded us to do. In the same vein, as we millennials evolve, so, too will we have to challenge ourselves to acknowledge, understand and come to respect the different frame of reference the next generation will possess as they come of age so to speak. Remember, to be old is not necessarily to be wise, just as to be young is not necessarily to be dumb.
In conclusion, Enrich My Brand is a digital marketing agency founded by a millennial, largely run by millennials, and with millennials as our primary target audience. We take great pride in this brand positioning because we recognize the sheer size, rapid growth rate, and increasing purchasing power of this demographic. We also recognize that while (relatively) young, our place in society and the opportunity before us to have a significant immediate impact on the world around us are legitimate. In my personal view, now more than ever, it is incumbent on millennials to step up like the generations before us and usher in a new wave of creativity and innovation so as to foster further societal growth and development in global business, entrepreneurship, leadership, and public policy. Godspeed, my friends.
Kenny, Chief Wordsmith