I didn’t think much of this article by Grant Cardone or the video when I first saw it (shown below). Just another dude in a suit telling me to get a job. Whatever. You live your life, I’ll live mine. Then, I started to see some reactions from other millennials and I feel like the parts of Cardone’s message that had some actual merit were being missed.
Here’s the video from CNBC Make It. It sums up the article from a couple weeks ago by Grant Cardone, a self made millionaire telling millennials to wait to travel. Recently, it got posted on a travel group that I’m a part of on Facebook asking what people thought of his perspective. Opinions were mixed. (My comment was so long that I decided to write a post about it instead.) Although, I disagree with Cardone’s opinion in general, I do believe there is something valuable in some of his words.
And since quality debates are so hot right now, why not write a full blog post about it 🙂
To be clear, I don’t agree with Cardone. I am the epitome of what some people really see as a useless member of society. However, sometimes it’s good to look at the intentions behind someone’s words. What made Cardone feel the need to write this article? Is he inept or does he have a good point with some perspective that maybe wouldn’t be as clear to someone like myself? Let’s peel back the layers of this onion and get to the heart of what I took from this message. Whether it was Cardone’s intention or not.
Dear millennial nomads,
You’ve come to the conclusion to say fuck societal norms and the unfair expectations that others have of you in search of a more authentic life. Maybe you chose to skip higher education or maybe, like me, you got the degree and put it away along with your parents hopes that you’d soon have a salary job with health insurance. You’re not falling into the arms of the first human who wants to swap last names. You’ve been backpacking, you know a second language, you can’t imagine not stepping foot on new lands for too terribly long at a time.
Congrats. You’re part way there. Where there is can’t be found on a map. It can’t be recommended from a blog. It is definitely not the place where your best profile picture was taken.
The point of abandoning the norm is to create your own norm.
But sometimes it feels like we just do the opposite of what every one wants us to do. Just because.
You want me to get married and have babies? I WILL RUN FROM COMMITMENT FASTER THAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN ME MOVE.
You bought me a nice pantsuit for job interviews? Uhm, I don’t wear clothes that require a bra.
You want me to get a salary job? How about instead, I sling tacos, beers, and then be fully jobless half the year to travel the world depleting all my savings from slinging said tacos and beers? Oh, and then I’ll start a blog making no money from it for at least a year. I’ll probably volunteer for a non-profit as well.
You want me to start thinking about my retirement? How about I just live my life now, man?
Wait, so who am I targeting here? The millennial nomads or Grant Cardone and the rest of society? Are you guys confused yet? Just bear with me here.
Traveling is not going to solve all your problems.
People are always saying that they’ve done a country. I’ve caught myself doing it too, and I hate it. Traveling isn’t about checklists or bucketlists or passport stamps. You don’t do a country. To check everything off the list doesn’t actually leave one feeling complete. Don’t ever try to show me your passport pages. I’ve spent one full year of my existence outside of the United States. Want to guess how many countries I’ve visited other than my own? 8.
When hearing that I spent three months in Thailand, some people are baffled, “You spent 3 months in one country? You could have done so many countries in that time!” Then they go rattling off how they travelled to every country in Southeast Asia in only one month. That’s like saying, “You’ve been dating for 3 years? You could have hooked up with so many other guys in that time?” Stop telling me about your one night stands and tell about your love stories.
I’ve listened to conversations between millennial travelers that are solely filled with namedropping the items checked off or still on their bucketlist. It’s the same drab small talk that we were trying to avoid in the first place, isn’t it? This kind of travelling is not going to solve all your problems.
(However, neither will making a ton of money and traveling in your private airplane. I don’t even want to think of what your carbon footprint equates to Mr. Cardone.)
The thing that will solve all your problems, well that probably doesn’t exist, but the thing that will get you the closest to smooth sailing is completely dependent on you, the individual.
I believe, 100% that we can live purposeful lives with financial security without waiting until we are 50 to see what else is out there.
I also believe that a fulfilling life can be found with or without traveling the world. My dad is a zen master. He’s mindful in everything he does or says, his patience is unreal, and he doesn’t believe anyone has the right to be too hard on anyone else. (He’s also not a millionaire, by the way and he drives a chevy, no private plane.) If anyone has it figured out, it’s him. Or maybe he’s just figured out that he doesn’t need to figure it out. Maybe a little of both. And get this, he’s never had a passport.
It’s not always THIS or THAT. You can take a little bit of this and little bit of that, maybe a sprinkle of this right here, and can you pass me that over there? Just because we want to fall outside of the societal norm mold, doesn’t mean we have to completely jump ship. Rebellion isn’t the direct answer. It’s a tool to make a point sometimes, but I wouldn’t say it’s any thread to mend the tears of your life with.
The answer to the question is not multiple choice, it’s a fill in the blank.
Here’s me, Kellie Mogg, a beer slinging, fire dancing millennial nomad.
- Millennial—25 years old
- Degree in hand—well, in my parents attic or something.
- Dirtbag—I once shared a room with a live bat, her name was Bellatrix and she was there first.
- Last year, I worked for 6 months, traveled for 6 months.
- Didn’t lose my virginity until I was 20 because the idea of accidental pregnancy and finding myself stuck somewhere was my worse nightmare. (Thanks for all that awesome sex education on abstinence by the way Oklahoma public school systems. You left me terrified and confused. Job well done.)
- I’m not a feminist (I don’t like words with -ist) but I do have feminist tendencies because I’m a strong woman, dammit.
- Number of times I’ve ran out of money—twice, both times in a foreign country.
Now, here’s Kellie Mogg on the, uh, other side of the spectrum.
- I actually do have a 401k that I try to add to every year.
- I’m cautious; I don’t ever want to be in a situation that I can’t get myself out of.
- I want to be able to afford property, hopefully with a life partner.
- Your girl has back problems, and, unfortunately, just eating kale won’t fix it.
- I love to support other people’s dreams, and dolla bills are sometimes more helpful than a, ‘go get em, buddy.’
- My dream is to have a location independent career in the form of Nomadic Nymph which will take much more than a 40 hour work week.
- I regret the number of times I’ve depleted my savings.
- The thought of my family worrying about my lack of safety net for those life happens moments does still affect my life decisions.
I don’t just want to see the world. I want to be a part of it. I want to help others, I want to motivate humans to find their own normal, I want to let young people—particularly women—know that they are strong, smart and capable. I want to be my own boss. I want to write about travel and the things that inspire me. I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. I want to be able to express myself creatively and share it. Unfortunately, none of this is just going to happen every time I get a stamp on my passport or post a picture of me on a sailboat to Instagram.
The message in this video has some good intention. It’s just coming from the perspective of someone who wants to travel from his private plane. So, let me take that intention and give it to you from the perspective of someone who doesn’t give a shit about having a private plane but still desires a little bit of financial security.
Travel on, millennials. But while you travel, aim to gain new marketable skills that are useful for life. Some may benefit you financially others might benefit you in the form of knowing how to grow your own food.
- ‘Oh you travelled abroad and instead of treating it like spring break, you chose to work on a permaculture farm and learned new and interesting ways to grow food? Awesome. Come work for me on my organic farm.‘
- ‘You’ve been studying social media to help build a strong foundation for you travel blog? Want to work as the social media manager for my small business? You can work from home. Or wherever you want.’
- ‘You’ve spent 6 months in Mexico and you’re now fluent in Spanish? Let me hire you to help me manage my business in Costa Rica. My Spanish is awful.’
- ‘I saw you fire dancing! Come tour with me and dance in all my music videos!’ <— Those words coming from Lindsey Stirling’s mouth is my other big dream.
^^^ THOSE ARE MARKETABLE SKILLS.
Okay, the last one is a bit of a stretch. But you get my point. To be marketable is to be able to be marketed and sold. Depending on your desired market, this could vary incredibly.
Whether your goal is to have a location independent career, your own business, to be an artist, to be a CEO, or a fucking killer parent—GET OBSESSED WITH IT. Take whatever it is by the horns and don’t let go. Figure out a way to do it that is your way. Use those marketable skills and the art of asking (Side note: I’ve been reading Amanda Palmer’s killer book about her career called The Art of Asking, check it out.) to get you where you want to be. There is no instruction pamphlet. There is no finish line. There is no connecting the dots. We are all free handing it, baby.
Dear Mr. Cardone,
I would love to meet you, it seems like you have accomplished your goals and your dreams are coming true. That is absolutely amazing and I am so happy for you. Please, continue to connect with younger generations who’s goals align with your successes. However, keep in mind that your goal is not necessarily mine or anyone else’s for that matter. I don’t want a private plane. Quite frankly, I don’t want even a percentage of the things that you probably have. We can still be buds, though. We can talk about our dreams, our successes, and our travels—over whiskey sometime? And perhaps with your entrepreneurial skills and my ability to adapt well in any environment sometimes through very creative means, perhaps we really could work together someday. Xo
Sincerely, A Millennial Nomad
What are your thoughts on being a nomad with financial security?