Tips for the Entitled Youth

Dear Entitled People, you have some work to do.

Richie Frieman
5-minute read
Episode #341

As we approach graduation, many eager young adults will be venturing into the “real world” to pursue the career of their dreams and conquer the world. You’ve waited four (or more) years to show the world your stuff, and you have every right to deliver on that goal. However, even though eagerness is healthy, it’s improper to assume that the pearly gates of success will open for you on day one, simply because you “deserve it.”

That's right, you are not entitled to what you want. See, when it comes to success it’s all about accomplishment, not a result of your degree, your good looks, or your family lineage. If you believe that your last name or wallet trumps the intelligence or work ethic of others, well, my entitled friends, you’re in for a bit of a wake up call. So look at this episode as a letter to the entitled few out there who believe their you know what doesn’t stink:

Tip #1: To the Grad With All The “Goods”

In my book, Reply All…And Other Ways to Tank Your Career I opened by saying that the world owes you nothing. Harsh?  Well, I didn’t want to sugarcoat the truth behind the real world, especially since the book is filled with famous CEOs telling the unmannerly escapades they’ve witnessed during their climb up the corporate ladder. As they said and preached, no matter what your background, it’s improper (and rather unrealistic) to assume the real world is sunshine and roses 24/7. Well, unless you’re the official taste tester for Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, because with that gig, that's about as heavenly as it gets. However, let’s all make peace with that not being our paths. Sigh. Most likely everyone will have a rather rocky road (a little Ben & Jerry’s pun, for ya, folks) filled with ups and downs that are more unpredictable than a Howard Stern appearance on David Letterman. Yet, the major problem with entitled people is they deeply believe they are owed something over another person on the sole fact of who they are.

John F. Kennedy once said, “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” Now, it may seem odd that I’m writing an article about improper values of the entitled and then quoting one of the most enabled families in American history, but it shows that even someone who (despite his tragic ending) lived an amazingly fortunate life, also understood there will be set backs. And even though JFK had the sunshine and roses upbringing, seeing that others do not, despite how “made in the shade” you may have it, will be the underlining difference between an entitled mindset and normal one. As well, the "me, me, me" attitude will surely only grant you resentment and garner no respect. 

If like JFK, your road has been paved with more gold than gravel, embrace it, but don’t flaunt it. Earn your success; don’t call mom and dad for it. As well, don't walk into a room and assume that corner office is yours because someone you know got you an interview. Yes, the “Kennedys” of the world will always have it much easier than the rest of us, but hard work always wins in the end. After all, it’s highly improper—and foolish—to have the arrogance to believe being born into wealth meant you came out wearing a gold medal.

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Tip #2: To Those With a "Big Name"

As an entrepreneur I’ve ran in numerous circles of the corporate world. For years, I would go from a networking event for writers, the next week for inventors, the next week for the technology industry, and then squeezing into spandex to perform as a professional wrestler on the weekends. And in all of my varying career paths, regardless of the industry, I always met someone who, when I asked what they do for living would say, “I’m So-And-So’s Son/Daughter/Husband/Wife.” Pick your poison, but you get my drift.