A Review of "Rich20Something"

In the spirit of full transparency, a friend asked me if I’d read one of his friend’s new book. I’m a big fan so if he’s a big fan then of course I’m in.

It’s called Rich20Something.

Now this is a business book, and I’m very critical of business books having written three of them myself. I generally find that you can read the entire book in the first few chapters, and then the rest of the book just keeps repeating. Sorry to say. This is something I tried to avoid with my own books, but I’ll let others be the judge of my success with that.

One chapter into this new business book, however, and I knew that this wouldn’t be the case with Rich30Something.

Rich30Something, by incredibly successful entrepreneur Daniel DiPiazza, is a window into the Millennial mindset, work ethic, and value system…and how it is completely different from what I grew up with as a late Baby Boomer. Or what the GenX/Y’ers grew up with.

I’m not going to stereotype, and Daniel certainly doesn’t, but I do hear everyone saying how they want to better understand how Millennials behave at work. They want to figure out how to motivate and satisfy the Millennial workforce. I now have a better understanding, thanks to Rich20Something. I’m not sure this was Daniel’s goal and he probably didn’t think that anyone of my age would read it, but his book certainly opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart.

At its core, Rich30Something destroys some of the “requirements” that I faced as a young adult finding my way to my career like the requirement to go to college (let alone get an MBA), the necessity to “pay your dues,” and the rule that says you should focus on one job at a time and it must be at one big company.

Like when I “paid my dues” in sales at The Carnation Company after graduating from Cornell, got my MBA from Columbia, and then started my career at Johnson & Johnson. I was following the rules…rules that Daniel says would now be better spent building my own business.

By the way, my parents had a fit when I left my job at Johnson & Johnson, and they got nervous when I said I wanted to start my own agency. I wasn’t following the rules!

Going to college: he raises a good point. College is a fortune, to say the least. I just had two kids finish so trust me I know. I’ve also thought (and always been told) that you learn how to learn at college, and you develop a network of friends that last a lifetime. True and true, at least for me. But Rich20Something says you can take all that tuition money and put it against a new business venture and use the internet to network. True and true.

Paying your dues: I mean really, why suffer? I have to agree with Daniel here. I see the high standards that my Millennial kids hold, and I realize that they shouldn’t settle for something that won’t make them happy just because they are “supposed to” and just because they must “prove their willingness to do anything.” I subscribed to that theory, and although one could say it worked, it took a long and windy road to get the ROI.

Company loyalty: The definition of loyalty has certainly changed, on both sides of the equation. While it’s hard for me to comment on this aspect of Rich20Something, I have always held one belief that I still hold onto as it relates to loyalty to an employer: makes sure you give back more than you took out, and then you are entitled to leave to pursue something new.

I certainly value loyalty in both directions, but as my sister-in-law once said, “it shouldn’t be a prison sentence.” Daniel’s take is a little different in that he doesn’t believe that you should hold to one job or one revenue stream. I think that’s a personal decision based on each individual’s situation, but I do believe that multiple streams should in no way conflict or undermine each other. I run an agency, write books and a blog, and teach at NYU…but they all interconnect and support each other. I see that as building, growing, and being loyal to my profession.

Yes, Rich20Something and the lessons held within were mind-opening thoughts for me but even more impactful was how Rich30Something gave me a perspective on how to start a career now, not thirty-some years ago when I was just beginning. There’s a new premium on how we should spend our time, how we should network to advance our goals, and how we should create revenue streams. I get it so much better now, having read this insightful book.

I feel like I’ll be a better father and mentor for it all.

Now I get it. I can go for that.

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