As I look around at the success and failures in the “millennial generation,” I have concluded that the people who have remained teachable always come out on top. As young people, we may make our fortunes faster than our parents and predecessors, but we have a propensity to think that we know everything because of it. While, yes, we may have a “better way,” which enables us to get what we want faster, we also can be quite headstrong, which often ends in an episode of stupidity.
I submit to you that it may be possible that we do not “have it all figured out,” and listening to our elders just might improve our lives. We may be the fastest generation to become millionaires, but we also top the list of millionaires who are losing everything too. Years of experience have taught those who came before us that there are some things in business that will never change. These things include being a man or woman of our word, doing business with integrity, giving our best effort to supply the best product or service to our customers, and remembering the customer is always right. Perhaps keeping a few of these values in mind would prevent horrendous PR disasters, scandals, and taking a wrecking ball to the things we work hard to build for ourselves.
I truly believe if at least a few of us would get back to business basics, we could, perhaps, be the greatest generation of all in business. As I look at the social networking pages of “old school” businesses, I see thousands of comments from satisfied customers. The Archway Cookie Facebook fan page is one that I love to visit and learn from. The company has loyal customers who would never think of leaving them for another company, while many of the newer age companies have people leaving all the time to seek the “next best deal.” Those Facebook fan pages, often filled with complaints from unhappy customers, are not at all inspirational.
There is a significant difference in leaving “money” to your children vs. leaving them a legacy. As long as what our customers feel about our services or products do not matter because we are “making a lot of money,” we will never have the longevity or loyalty factor of the companies that came before us. This is not to say our predecessors have not taken missteps; however, the Archway Cookie company type by far outnumber the “Enrons” of the world. I say we still have many lessons to learn from these long-standing companies and the people who started them. I am a willing and eternal student of true success.