Raise your hand if you are 22-years old, have ever been 22, or maybe if you know someone that might be turning 22 soon.
At 33 years old, I can still vividly remember the way I felt during my early 20s. I was graduating college along with all of my friends. We had big ideas, strong opinions, and a desire to make an immediate impact. I got a job faster than most, because I came from a big family and there wasn’t a lot of room for me to move back in. I also had student loan payments looming so I had to start earning an income quickly!
The Millennial Generation is often misunderstood by older generations (which actually isn’t anything new). EVERY generation tends to be skeptical of the younger generations growing up behind them. The fact is that more than one-in-three American workers today are Millennials (adults ages 18 to 34 in 2015), and this year they surpassed Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce, according to new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.
“What advice would you give to your 22-year old self if you could go back in time?” That question settled on my mind so much that I asked 12 extremely successful real estate professionals across the country to answer it for US.
In 2012 I was honored with a national award by REALTOR Magazine called “30 under 30.” The award chronicles the lives of 30 Realtors under the age of 30 across the US and Canada. As you can imagine, the past winners of this award are highly successful in real estate brokerage and real estate investing. I host a monthly Mastermind call with our alumni group, and the topics in this blog post were unpacked during our most recent conference call.
1. Mentors – Seek and find someone that is willing to guide you. Think of this person as your “Older Brother” or “Older Sister” at the office. I would suggest that this person is the same gender as you. Older generations yearn to share knowledge from experience within their industry, and Millennials lack workplace experience that can only be gained from repeat “at bats.”
2. Coaching – This is DIFFERENT than having a mentor. A mentor is often an unpaid sage that works with you closely in an almost daily capacity. Professional and life coaches are typically fee-based advisors. Invest in life coaches and professional coaches, because they often have a more worldly view than a mentor.
3. Work Hard – You have so much energy and so few distractions. Work harder than everyone around you. Get to work early and stay late. I’m not saying you should do this forever, but it will fast-track your success. You will NEVER get ahead if you continue to offer the world the “minimum effort required.”
4. Personal Finance – Often you are single or dating your significant other from college in your early 20s, so you don’t have a family to support. Avoid the trappings of newly increased income from your first job (a new car, a new condo/house, or rounds of drinks for your friends). Don’t allow your lifestyle to creep up to your new income level. The longer you can live on the budget of a college student… the better.
5. Remove Distractions – Along with Personal Finance, this could be the most difficult advice. Literally TURN OFF the distractions. During the work-week, turn off your TV, log off social media, and eliminate friends that are naysayers. Surround yourself around positive influences that lift you up. You’re going to start seeing a big gap between you and the “average” 20-something. Don’t let the “average” pull you down.
6. Visioneering – Yes… that’s a word. Andy Stanley wrote an entire book on this subject. Visioneering is the engineering of a vision. Vision is a preferred future. A destination. Vision always stands in contrast to the world as it is. Visioneering, according to bestselling author Andy Stanley is, “a clear mental picture of what could be, fueled by the conviction that it should be.”
7. Self-Worth – Don’t allow elders to talk down to you or to mislead you. Be respectful of people with more life experience, but also be on-guard for those that might try to mess with you because you’re younger. I had a really hard time with this. I tend to be very impressionable and trusting; these traits have served me well for the most part, but I can be a little gullible at times. Stick to your convictions if you know you’re right, but be prepared to defend your position!
8. Think BIG – Don’t EVER let your mindset limit you. You are only limited in life by two things: time and money. The way that you spend both will often determine how successful you are. My friend, Rory Vaden, defines the “little voice inside your head” as Mr. Mediocrity in his book: Take the Stairs. The sole responsibility of Mr. Medicority is confusing you by saying that you can’t when YOU KNOW that you can.
Brandon Green, Casselyn Feinstein, Christopher Orth, Ginger Vereen, Jared Lofton, Kristee Leonard, Kyle Zimbro, Luke Bouman, Rachele Maczuk, Scott Myers, Valerie Almanzar, and Kyle Malnati are all REALTOR Magazine “30 under 30” award winners that participated on the conference call and each contributed to the content we suggested for Millennials.
“I’ll see you around the neighborhood!” ~Kyle Malnati