Why Gen Y Needs to Build Something That Lasts Forever : Under30CEO Why Gen Y Needs to Build Something That Lasts Forever : Under30CEO
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Why Gen Y Needs to Build Something That Lasts Forever

| September 11, 2013 | 26 Comments

Magellan Voyage

I’ve been off the radar for a little bit.  Not writing much…. In the depths of summer, grinding it out in New York City building a company.

Sometimes I ask myself, is this for me?

This week I lost my voice.  Why?  Because I didn’t sleep much.  I was at the office at 7:45AM, back to back to back sales calls, two meetings, being interviewed on a podcast, more decisions and discussions on the phone, interviewing a new graphic designer, a 9PM call with our team…

Last year, I was on the beach in Costa Rica, writing, drinking coffee, and exploring the world.  How did I get back to this grind?

…To Build Something That Lasts Forever…

When I ask myself, “What did I want to do when I grew up?”, or “If I could have been anyone who would it be?”, hands down when I was young I would have selected famous men in history.  Explorers, great leaders, and captains of industry… people who did something so special, we are still talking about them today.

“Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing.”– Benjamin Franklin

As someone who tries as hard as possible not to disappoint that little kid inside of me, it’s no surprise that I work everyday to be an explorer, leader, and captain of industry.  And what’s even more important than what building a travel company like Under30Experiences gives me, is what it gives our team and customers: the opportunity to learn about the world and themselves through our journeys.

Building a mission driven company that makes travel more accessible to young people is something greater than myself.  Everyday our team imagines giving our generation the opportunity to gain a broader perspective on the world, while also bettering themselves.  We wake up thinking: how do we create a company where Zappos meets National Geographic… and most importantly, how do we create stories so powerful that people are inspired for generations to come?

This is the type of impact that I hope keeps people talking forever… 

In Jarad Barr’s “Before We Can Make a Difference We Must Change The Way We Think“, he shares a very honest story about how his boss found his blog that ranted about how much he can’t wait to do something meaningful with his life and start his own business.  Jarad expresses his deep inner conflict with not being the same person that sits in his cubicle all day.  Which leads me to the question:

Is Our Generation True to Themselves?

Lets face it, what you do everyday when you wake up, is who you are, whether you like it or not.  If you go to a job you hate, you’re going to start to hate your life.   It’s like my buddy who works on Wall Street and describes the people he works with everyday as “empty-suits”.

It really makes me wonder–is our generation the same set of people in real life that they are in their cubicle?  

Are you waking up and being true to yourself?

I’ve written about legacy many times on Under30CEO and what it means to our generation.  It’s been said 1000x over, follow your dreams, life is too short not to do something meaningful, or as Gary Vaynerchuk said, “stop doing sh*t you hate.”

If we’re going to be the generation that changes everything, we need to listen to ourselves, and actually follow the calling inside every one of us.  We need constant reminders from people like Jarad and Daniel DiPiazza, challenging us to create something larger than ourselves.  When all is said and done…

Are you going to be an empty-suit, or your authentic self?  Start creating, keep building, pour yourself into your writing, and do something that matters.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Matt Wilson is Co-founder of Under30CEO and Adventurer in Residence at Under30Experiences. Join them this winter in Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

About the Author: Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO. After two years traveling and working from his laptop, Matt's official title became Adventurer in Residence, heading up Under30Media's travel company Under30Experiences. If Matt is around he will be easy to spot as his long luxurious hair is generally flowing freely in the breeze.

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Category: Career Advice, Entrepreneurship

  • https://www.facebook.com/michaelamushe Michael Amushelelo

    Simply awesome thanks. Matt Wilson

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Thanks Michael, really appreciate the support!

  • JJ Scholtz

    Enjoyed the article. Worth reading…
    Made me wonder about couple of things

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Thanks JJ– what kind of things??

  • michaelpeggs

    Growing up I wanted to be an actor, and I find myself acting everyday. From the time I enter work to when I leave, I find myself playing an ill-suited role. Am I true to myself? Not during the hours of 8am – 6pm (on a good day), and you’re so right that what we do when we wake up is who we are. I guess I’m still struggling with doing what i’m told is right vs what’s right for me

  • Liz Flores

    This is awesome Matt. I am surrounded by empty suits all day as well. It scares me to think people who are empty once had dreams and “that child inside” as well but now it just seems like its all been silenced. Really kicks me into gear to get out! Thanks for all the honesty in this article, and asking questions I think everyone is thinking. Are we true to ourselves? I’m really thinking about this question.

  • Liz Flores

    I definitely understand that Michael. The path that everyone told me to take because it was going to equal happiness, has been pretty dissapointing. All it has equaled is temporary satisfaction, not ongoing fullfillment. I think the problem is going on the path that others laid out for me not one I created myself. I hope you find whats right for you!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Liz– really glad to hear you are thinking about these things, and thanks for the text. It sounds like you were harnessing your inner child yesterday, taking the day off!

    Hope your work with Under30Experiences gets you to some awesome places and helps gives these experiences to others!! Thanks for all your help so far.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Peggs– love the acting analogy.

    Don’t forget, a lot of CEOs and entrepreneurs put on an act too… hopefully are generation will become more conscious of our roles in society, and do what’s right for ourselves.

  • Kevin Diamond

    Agreed! And yes, and although that may be true Michael, give yourself credit that there are hours in your day/week you do let that inner child and inner dream get to live. Your videos and lessons seem to be a real gateway to the Peggs as your audience knows you. Pride yourself in the steps and leaps you have taken and see them as potential outlets to a happier more fulfilling day. We all know you’re on the right path. Personally I think it’s clear to you, what is right for you. Now you just gotta let it surface :)

  • Kevin Diamond

    Wonderful Matt! I’m really glad you “plowed through” and pushed this article out despite your mental and emotional fatigue. It’s stuff like this that validates our Generation’s need to make something more out of ourselves, something more out of this world. It’s the times that you push past your limits that really make a difference and define you, but most importantly impact and touch others as well. This article is a perfect example. Thanks for sharing!

  • Kevin Keleher

    I love your message Matt!
    And I’m looking forward to moving to NYC next summer and joining the good fight with you!
    Keep doing the great things!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Kevin, good stuff my man. Thanks for reading– what are you going to do out here?

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hey Kevin– I hear you on the fatigue, but I feel much more like myself when I’m relaxed and writing something others want to read… being a leader doesn’t mean I have to be stressed. Trying to deal with this everyday.

    Looking forward to our trip to Nicaragua!

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Kevin– Pumped to see you’ve been following Peggs. Good stuff my man, you’re on the right path here for sure. Hasta en Nicaragua!

  • http://blog.jeradmaplethorpe.com/ Jerad Maplethorpe

    This is awesome, Matt.

    I’m finally starting to appreciate how different our generation really is. I put in my two-weeks notice last week and, during the exit interview, the HR person mentioned how “you millennials” are more apt to switch jobs than any generation before. Fortunately, the comment was meant to be a lighthearted, understanding reassurance, not a judgement.

    I definitely feel as though you’ve been one of the leaders of this movement!


  • Tyson Hartnett

    Matt, Beautiful post.
    I must comment though, that many great people have created amazing things in the past, yet 50 years later, that thing, product, service, or whatever it is, is obsolete. A hundred years later, you might have your name in a history text book somewhere, but really, nobody will give a shit about you anymore. You’re just a name, and probably a name that person has to memorize so they can get an A on their history test.
    The best way to create a legacy is to create a legacy for now. Affect, inspire, and create things for people to experience now, while you are alive. Having something you won’t be there for is not nearly as great as transforming someone’s mentality, or helping them be financially free from working an 8-6 job. And I think that is what you are doing with the Under30Experience. You are creating a ‘now’ for people, while also knowing that you will affect thousands of people in the future with what you have put together.
    Experiencing those emotions now is one of the best things we can do for ourselves, and for everybody else, and for that reason, I salute you.

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater

    I agree with you Michael, a guy who recently crossed my path, he had turned 50 he said in Confucius teachings, 30 you need to start to establish your life, at 40 you lose all doubt that the path you are on is the right on and at 50 you build your destiny!

  • http://jonathandjackson.me/ Jonathan Jackson

    @MattWilsontv:disqus This is definitely what I have been thinking about lately as well. I just started a new job on the West Coast, but keeping myself available to also pursue the things I know move me, and help build a platform really keep me engaged. A lot of what keeps people doing the same things over and over is how we have been conditioned. Definitely trying to hit one of the Under30Experiences to try and break into something different

  • Sara

    Thank you Matt for your inspiring words & encouragement. When I was little I wanted to be Joan of Arc. Such was my obsession that I dedicated my Year 4 assignment on her to the extent where my Teacher had to give me full marks and a gentle talking to about needing extra-curricular activities!! I feel that your post was “meant to be just for me” ( I know. oh. How poetic. Blah blah) But it seriously struck a chord and I’m dancin’ to your tune. “It is not where you start, but how high you aim that matters for success”. For me, it starts now!

  • michaelpeggs

    @Yasmine – I LOVE that, but what are your 20′s all about? Different experiences and making mistakes leading to your 30′s?

    @Kevin – You’re so right my friend. Even if it’s 1 hour a day or a single hour each week, doing something is better than standing still and its important to recognize those small wins that (hopefully) beget larger opportunities

  • http://www.transpiral.org/ Yasmine Khater


  • Michael Luchies

    This is great Matt!

    Back in 2005, I was an empty headset. I made more money than I do know, but the happiness I have now and feeling of worth is much more valuable. I was bound for something much greater than selling home equity lines of credit and credit cards to people that didn’t need them. I went back to school, worked my ass off, am deeply in debt, but am much more happy and doing things that actually impact others. This is a great lesson for young people to embrace and start on right now!

  • cesar romero

    Hey guys, hope everyone’s having awesome day! MattWilsontv awesome inspirational article, as usual. This time I made a little video about my comments and thoughts on this article. Keep rocking it!


  • Mike Darche

    Matt- awesome advice! I really enjoyed reading this one, especially as I’m back to school for my last year and I can see a lot of this starting to manifest among my classmates. It often seems like kids in my situation assume they have to become an empty suit before they can focus their interests on something more authentic.

    “I’ll do this for a few years and then I’ll be able to start that” or “Once I have a few years of this under my belt, I’ll be able to do what I really want to do.” In all honesty, I feel like an idiot at times because I don’t share this mentality. But posts like this put everything back into perspective, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that.

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