The BLOG: Voices

Success shaming: Why this CEO is shutting down the millennial revolution

It’s become the new mantra of many millennials. You want to get ahead in life? That’s fine – as long as you don’t get more ahead than me.

I don’t entirely blame the millennials. After all, their parents are just as much to blame for creating these tender little snowflakes that melt in the first warmth of reality. They told you that the world is your oyster, which is great. But somehow you ended up believing that it meant you were entitled to the fancy pearl at the center of it.

I don’t blame Bernie Sanders. But I sure will point to him as an example about how this whole revolution of “success shaming” has exploded. And how it’s creating a frightening paradigm shift in our culture that’s leading nowhere good.

I don’t blame Obama. Although he’s the same person who told American entrepreneurs in 2012 “you didn’t build that.”

But it IS this mentality that has lead to all of these so-called “social justice warriors.” Not long ago, Obama delivered a commencement address at Howard University. He told students that they shouldn’t take pride in their hard work and talent, but rather understand that it was the result of luck that was denied to others who deserved it just as much.

What. The. Hell.

These “social justice warriors” are demanding that instead of raising standards or productivity, we raise rewards for not working hard. We raise the minimum wage. We take away money from “the man.” We ensure that you don’t have to work for a living, because making people work is mean and racist and evil and hurtful.

If you haven’t already seen the video of the student demanding that top wage earners pay for all of the tuition in the world, you need to check it out. It’s a wonderful way of showcasing how completely out of touch with reality these gentle little grown up toddlers are.

In a country and culture that’s the greatest in the world because of the free market, all of a sudden “capitalism,” “profit” and success are dirty words.

Business owners are afraid to come out in support of Donald Trump publicly because apparently speaking about running our country like a successful business makes you a racist.

The very spirit and mindset of what made our country great is under attack, and the generation that can stop it is the very generation that’s raising the battle flags against what makes us great.

Now let’s be clear. I’m not talking about every millennial. As a matter of fact, by definition, I am a millennial. More than 80 percent of my staff is comprised of millennials. And, just as was the case when I wrote “An open letter to college crybabies from a CEO,” I’m confident that the people who I’m talking about are going to show their true colors in the comments here. And that makes me happy. Let the comment section serve as a Wall of Shame so that after a long, hard day of actually working for a living I can read them and get a good laugh.

So here are a few completely unsolicited words of advice. I’m sure those of you who don’t need it will appreciate it. I’m also sure those of you who so desperately need to listen to it will have your heads too far up your behinds to do anything but troll away like the social justice warriors you think you are.

Without further ado, here you go.

1) The Successful Among Us Are Laughing At You

I’m not talking about laughing at people who aren’t successful. I’m talking about laughing at people who aren’t willing to hustle because they’re too busy making their demands about “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.” We’re laughing at you because for every one of you demanding an undeserved raise, there are 20 others who are going to out-hustle you and actually earn that raise.

Oh, and we’re also laughing at your man bun every time you stomp off in a hissy fit. Really, it’s true. That thing looks terrible.

2) The World Owes You Nothing

You want a raise? WORK for it. You want more vacation time? HUSTLE harder. You want the respect of your boss, your coworkers, your friends or your family? EARN it. Success isn’t predicated on the color of your skin, your sex, who you love, your socio-economic background or anything else. Success comes when you work harder than everyone else around you.

You can sit around sipping on chai tea talking about how you are going to “take back Wall Street.” Or you can start by taking back your life and getting a job.

3) When You Talk Smack About The 1%, You Look Like An Idiot

When you talk about the “top 1 percent,” you’re talking about billionaires, right? Wrong. Bet you didn’t realize the “top 1 percent” makes $400K and up.

I know, I know. That’s not “fair.” Because everything in life should be fair. At least that’s what your parents taught you, right?

I’m struggling to understand why so many millennials think that everything should be equal. You don’t want to work as hard as your CEO counter parts, but you demand equal pay to them. On what planet do you live on?

Here’s a starting point. If you want equal pay, shouldn’t you pay equal taxes?

According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center (which you green tea latte loving lilacs love), the top 1 percent of Americans pay nearly 50 percent of ALL of the individual income taxes in the country. And let’s not forget that more than 50 percent of the money they make goes to taxes – a number significantly higher than yours.

4) You Got Duped

You scorn the athlete who talks about his faith, but you embrace the athlete that disrespects the values of our country and the men and women who died for it. That’s a personal choice that the Godless among you make. Fair. Those who you disgrace fought for your right to do that and don’t regret it. But here’s where it gets fun in sports.

You damn the CEO who started the company that employs hundreds of people who support their families with their salaries. But hoorah for the dude who throws a ball really far for a living and makes just as much, right? You boycott one and buy a jersey from the other. That doesn’t make you a hipster. That makes you a hypocrite.

But it was a limited edition jersey and I bought it with the allowance mommy and daddy gave me …

If You Want A Revolution, Start By Leaving Your Parents’ Basement

I know, I know. I’m coming down on my fellow millennials a little hard. But it’s because you’re giving us ALL such a bad name. You can do so, so much better than this.

So please. Put down your torches and pitchforks and put down your demands and entitled attitudes. If we want to effect change, we need to begin by actually being that change – in a way that doesn’t make everyone in our generation look like a bunch of overgrown 2-year-olds.

If this article resonates with you, please give it a share. Oh, and if you’re a hustler, make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn and Facebook. It’s great to know there are others out there willing to work for a living.

Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He’s also an acclaimed keynote speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can find him on Facebook, LinkedIn and Snapchat (@dasilentpartner). Read his past blogs here.