(Sarah calls them “Rants with Ryan,” Douglas Adams would refer to it as “mostly harmless.” Either way, it is written down now in all it’s meandering mediocrity. If Sarah chooses to hit publish, I hope it at least spurs a good conversation.)
Sleep has eluded me tonight. Replaced by one horrid thought. Are we feeding our children to the machine? Selling them one by one to the company store as we let history repeat itself in new and safer, more cuddly, ways. Once in our history we said, come work for the company, you can purchase what you need from the store, owned by the company, and we will deduct it from your pay. We consume and work and never seem to get ahead. Why? We played by their rules. People banded together to revolt against the system and we have workers rights and break up monopolies.
Today what do we do though? We have been told to go get a 100k education. Then get a 40k job. Don’t you worry though, you can pay us back as you go for the next 30 years.
People look at our generation and our “side gigs” and “extra cash” and say we are unstable and unsustainable. I say it runs deeper than money. It is an idea. The same idea runs through the financial independence groups like the “Mad Fientist” who push all luxuries aside for a chance to retire early, or Dave Ramsey’s famous quote, “live like no one else so later, you can live like no one else.” It is Grant Cardone’s montra of “if you want to invite trouble into you life, leave white space on your calendar.” It’s Gary Vaynerchuk’s 18 hour work days. These people have huge followings in the current generation but these don’t sound like lazy ideas to me. They are deep rooted American ideas.
This is our fight for freedom. Our revolution is not against communism or fascism. We are free to worship and I can get on the internet or stand in the middle of Target and declare Jesus as my Lord and Savior without being hauled off to prison. Our fight is for our creativity and the right to play by our own rules in business. Nine to Five for 2 weeks of vacation a year to get paid whatever is handed out by the stock holders and CEO’s is not how we have decided to play. This is why we scan books to sell on Amazon and search the clearance isles. It is the reason we take our personal cars and turn them into profit by taking people to the airport. These are not “side gigs” for all of us. They sustain us while we grow our businesses. We are building capital to put into our own businesses or investments. They are a fight for freedom. A fight to find a place where failure means there is no safety net but success knows no upper limit. Yes, this is a revolution.
Technology has allowed us to learn different, faster, and as micro or macro as you want to go. By the time you can print a text book economies have pivoted three times, bubbles have burst and everyone has moved to a new medium for their information. Reporters use to report what had happened. Now you can get on snap chat and see the news as it is happening by people who are there. This is our world. It is overwhelming at times but it has changed and the change will only be getting faster. Some businesses will keep up. Some will not. As it continues though, it does appear the future will be smaller interconnected companies who will rise and fall, pivot, and merge and WE will be at their helm.
Let us hope we can show our children to observe and adjust and not count on forcing them down the path of how it has always been done. This path will increasingly be filled with mediocre lives and ill will towards a system which failed those who took it.
Written by: Ryan Brown
P.S. I will say, I have done well with my degree but I also did not have 100K of student loans like many of my generation. I do believe our generation will be the last of the “you have to get a degree for a job” generation. There will always be a need for certified accountants, doctors, and unfortunately lawyers. My opinion is simply the mindset of how we get our education and what we look at when we hire has to change and if I were the parent of an senior in high school right now I would listen very intently to what they want to do and see their talents and make sure a 4 year degree is really the right path.