Millennials are entitled, lazy, unreliable, narcissistic, disloyal, technology addicted, unmanageable and simply put, the worst generation in history.
If you believe all of – or most of – those descriptors, consider this:
- You’re likely a victim of the Millennial Myth, and/or
- You’ve not yet met Chelsea Krost
The Millennial Myth is a belief that the negative traits outlined above all apply to millennials – and that they are unique to an entire generation. Stereotypical thinking such as this is not only limiting – in this case – it’s wrong. With the exception perhaps of “technology addicted”, each of these adjectives have been used to describe every generation since the Baby Boomers – and likely earlier than that.Through history, older generations have decried the shortcomings of younger generations – predicting gloom and doom for society as they knew it. For the most part, those fears never materialized.
Millennials, too, will prove their doubters wrong. Take Chelsea Krost, by example.
Growing up in Florida, Chelsea knew early in her life that she had things to say. As a freshman, she became a part of the broadcasting department at Spanish Lakes High School in Boca Raton. By the time she was a sophomore, Krost was one of the students making morning announcements – shattering a long-standing policy that only seniors could do so. While a laudable achievement, Chelsea’s sights were set much higher.
She created the concept for a radio talk show in which she would address topics relevant to teens. When she was told that the typical AM radio audience was 60 years old – and up – she gave a compelling response. “I’m going to bring a whole new demographic to your station and make AM radio cool again.” Thus began the show Teen Talk Live. The year was 2007 – Chelsea Krost was 16.
That show led to appearances on most major national talk shows, with Krost speaking as an expert on her generation. At 18, in 2009, Chelsea was part of a mission trip to Africa, educating and touting the benefits of feminine hygiene. That experience, recorded for CBS television, led to Kimberly-Clark engaging Krost as a spokesperson for their Kotex brand – making her one of the earliest recognized millennial spokespeople.
What happens when a nationally recognized teen expert turns 20? In the case of Chelsea Krost, the answer was two-fold. First, she changed Teen Talk Life to The Chelsea Krost Radio Show. Secondly, she wrote a book – a biography no less. Nineteen: A Reflection of My Teenage Experience in an Extraordinary Life- What I Have Learned, and What I Have to Share. More than an autobiography, Nineteen is a compendium of topics as experienced – and told – by a teen. The insights it delivers are relevant to teens – and anyone interested in learning the perspective of that generation.
Much of Krost’s success and support comes from a strong family bond. Her mother, who is her best friend – her father, her rock – her brother, another close friend – her grandparents, her safe harbor to share any and every thought. A support system like Chelsea’s is essential both to help sustain her in the face of a seemingly tireless pursuit of goals – but also in the face of critics and doubters.
Jealously, naysayers, and people who merely have a differing view of things is a fact for anyone in the public eye – regardless of age. Maintaining a balanced perspective is essential – and Chelsea’s family is there for her.
Chelsea was an active participant in the Occupy Wall Street – a movement she sees as people making a statement and fighting for better things for the millennial generation. Though not a feminist, she’s an advocate for women’s rights and recognizes the “War on Women” as a true threat. Philanthropy is an essential ingredient in Chelsea’s life, as she lends her efforts to several organizations – Girls for a Change and SOS Children’s Villages to name but two.
Not yet 27 years-old, Chelsea has been an adviser and brand ambassador for dozens of Fortune 500 companies, contributes to the Forbes Coaches Council, makes appearances on every major media outlet including television, radio, print and digital, and is a keynote speaker commanding $10,000 – $20,000 per speech. These impressive achievements are the result of Chelsea Krost being a millennial – and a fearless brand,
Fearless Brands are not determined by one’s age
Chelsea Krost shatters many, if not all, of the stereotypical depictions of a millennial. Of course there are those who will say that Krost is an exception, that she is an outlier of her generation. Perhaps a better description is that Chelsea Krost is exceptional, and an example of the positive potential of her generation.
Are millennials different than previous generations? Absolutely! For one thing, the world is changing faster than ever before in ways most couldn’t imagine even ten years ago. To see “today’s” generation act, think, and be different should be no surprise. To instinctively see different as bad is nothing new – it’s been going on since Baby Boomers became the first ‘me’ generation, and as history shows, it will continue well into the future.
There are great things to learn about branding, both from Chelsea Krost and the millennial generation:
Beware labels, seek to learn – The fact that the Millennial generation has been judged and portrayed a certain way is not surprising, especially in today’s society where labels are assigned quickly and believed without question. A big negative to labeling is that potential goes unnoticed and unappreciated. Millennials offer creativity, substance, commitment, and value well beyond what most have been led to believe. We are well advised to take the time to understand brands, positions, and topics before accepting other’s labels.
Manage your own brand – or someone else will – This line has long been an adage within branding and marketing. There is perhaps no more applicable example than the current view of millennials. Businesses, press, the public, so-called people experts, and many managers have been quick to share their views about this generation. What Chelsea Krost demonstrates, is that it’s up to us to manage our own brand. It’s up to us to embrace our passion, determine our purpose, be persistent and achieve our goals – our success – regardless of other’s perceptions.
The more things change – the more they stay the same – Each generation brings change – each has different tendencies, different values, different knowledge, and different habits. What’s the same is that millennials, like every generation that preceded them, have been judged as the bane of our future. One of Chelsea’s keynote topics is Move over Millennials Gen Z-ers Have Arrived – Understanding the Next Generation. Soon millennials will be lamenting the shortcomings of Gen Z. We all must accept that things change. We all must look for the positives which abound.
Chelsea Krost has made a powerful statement about the true essence of millennials. She has built a fearless brand without concern for her age or her beliefs. Most of us will never be a spokesperson for our generation, but all of us can be fearless brands. We need only to be true to ourselves, be authentic, be relevant, add value, and be persistent.