Powills: Why Millennials Could Create Franchising's Dark Age
Powills: Why Millennials Could Create Franchising's Dark Age

My hope is that by the time Millennials turn 30, something will click.

Instantly, they will realize that the world will not be handed to them, that they have to work hard to get what they deserve and that there is some truth to treating others the right way.

Says the 33-year-old.

I am not t.....

My hope is that by the time Millennials turn 30, something will click.

Instantly, they will realize that the world will not be handed to them, that they have to work hard to get what they deserve and that there is some truth to treating others the right way.

Says the 33-year-old.

I am not the expert on Millennials, nor am I far removed. And, I am not putting all Millennials in this category; in fact, I work with some awesome Millennials who leverage their old souls to be tremendous at their jobs.

What I am saying is, some of you stress me out.

William Strauss and Neil Howe, the authors of “Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation,” state that Millennials are those who were born in 1982 through 2004. This means that we have 20 years left until all Millennials are in their 30s. By that time, I will be 54 and I sincerely hope that every strand of my hair has not been grayed by the stress this generation causes.

It very well could be.

When I started my company, I was 27 years old. I was scared to quit my job. I still gave 2 weeks notice. I was scared to move to Atlanta. I knew that’s where the most franchisors were, which would ultimately give me a competitive edge, since there were no other franchise-focused agencies based there. But, even though my nerves were strong about taking the leap, I knew I would have to work hard to achieve greatness. In fact, I would have to work harder than ever before and probably the hardest I would ever have to in my life.

Today, six years later, I have not achieved greatness, but I am working toward it. Most of my dreams are focused on becoming a better person, employee, friend, husband and father. I wake up in the 5 a.m. hour. I work 70 hours/week that I track. I am focused on long-term relationships; marathons instead of sprints. However, many Millennials don’t seem to think this same way.

Why?

I don’t know the exact science, but I have my opinion.

The next generation was given more technology than any generation before them. While the Internet was born and became alive during my high school years, Millennials were taught the Internet before they reached middle school. Video games, text messaging, social media, smart phones, iPads, iPods, I, I, I, me, me, me — it was there for their taking. And no body slowed, stopped or prevented it.

Today, no one would be shocked by an 8-year-old having a cell phone. “It’s for safety,” the parent would say.

Today, why go to the library? You can just Google it right now. Like, right now. Well, now 3 seconds ago.

Everything is handed to this generation — and some to mine.

In franchising, franchisees have to work hard to achieve greatness.

Some of you just chuckled and thought, “Yeah right, franchisees are just like Millennials.”

They are given a model for success (yeah, my Dad gave me that) and they must follow that path to find success. That’s why they paid $30,000 in franchise fees.

What happens when the majority of franchisees become Millennials? When the expectation is that they open their business and instantly success happens? I have seen Millennials refuse to give 2 weeks notice, ask for gigantic raises after 3 months on the job, and show up late and leave early. What happens when this hits the franchising world?

Well, franchisors better be prepared to change. Perhaps the term “systems” will be removed and franchisees will be granted much more flexibility. When a Millennial wants to do something, they do it. There is no right way; it’s just their way.

This different approach to life may hurt franchising. That is, unless we change the way we coach them, lead them and prepare them for business ownership in the future.

This will be up to the parents, teachers, coaches, friends, peers and bosses. We have to get our up-and-comers on the right page. We need to teach them that karma means something. That this is a small world. That what goes around comes around. If we don’t, it’s not just franchising that will suffer — everything will.

Millennials will turn 65 and there will be no retirement funds because they live in the moment. Our economy will tank because everyone will be in a financial crunch. The future could be tough.

I can’t argue with Strauss and Howe that Millennials could be the next great generation. In fact, they should be the next great generation because they should be able to learn from all of the mistakes created by the previous generation. I just hope they want to be the next great generation through great work ethics and a long-term approach.

ADVERTISEMENT