I wince when I hear Boomers spout this or that stereotype about Millennials. I do the same when I hear Millennials return the favor in the other direction.
I am the ghostwriter on a book being released Aug. 6 titled “Fisch Tales: The Making of a Millennial Baby Boomer,” by Bob Fisch, MBB (millennialbabyboomer.com). Borrowing a page from gene splicing, we introduce the concept of “generation splicing,” through mutual mentoring, to help all of us understand each other better. As the book points out, generation labels based on birth years tell me what you are, but they don’t tell me who you are.
If you want to know how the other half lives, the best way to learn is to crawl inside their skin. Or inside their Skimm.
Did you hear the one about Millennials being lazy and spoiled? Meet Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg. In 2012, at age 25, they quit their jobs and took a flier on launching a novel news digest with a mere $4,000 in cash.
Seven Million Subscribers Can’t Be Wrong
theSkimm is a free, daily newsletter that arrives via email each weekday a 6 a.m. Witty, well-written and informative, it is a way for Millennials—80 percent of its 7 million subscribers are female—to catch up on current events without having to take deep dives into multiple news sources. In the span of a few minutes, they can skim theSkimm and be fully armed for that day’s watercooler conversations at the office (watercooler? talk about showing my age! LOL).
I’m one of the theSkimm’s 20 percent of male subscribers, and proud of it. I also listen to theSkimm’s morning podcast.
Whether you’re a Millennial, Boomer or whatever, the cosmos of information at our fingertips has exploded so exponentially that it consumes us more than we consume it. Downsizing it into bite-size, entertaining nuggets, as this product does, makes a lot of sense if you want to stay abreast of the news as efficiently as possible. As the founders say, “We read, you skim.”
Now, for their next chapter as entrepreneurs, theSkimm’s creators have produced a book, “How to Skimm Your Life.” Did I buy it? Of course I did, for Kindle. Otherwise I might have my Millennial Baby Boomer membership card confiscated by the “Get with the Program” police.
“How to Skimm Your Life” is a 200-page compendium of tips on such matters as de-stressing, going green, budgeting, investing, traveling, interviewing, and negotiating salaries.
theSkimm is smart, funny, and full of useful information for anyone of any generation. For example, health insurance is neatly encapsulated under the honest heading, “Things No One Really Understands.” It then goes on to simply and quickly explain such terms as premium, in-network and out-of-network, and the difference between Medicare and Medicaid.
Another blunt message in the book is “‘Do what you love and never work a day in your life’ is BS. There’s no way to succeed without working hard.”
The book also has one of the clearest, most logical explanations of climate change I’ve seen anywhere.
Words to the Wise
A “Skimm’tionary” in the back of the book lists lots of words and phrases worth knowing. Just for kicks, I’ve picked out a few numbers-based definitions that have practical value …
50/30/20 rule: A budgeting method. 50 percent of your paycheck goes to things you need (like rent), 30 percent goes towards things you want (like travel) and 20 percent goes towards savings and paying off debt.
5-4-3-2-1 rule: Packing hack. Bring one hat, two pairs of shoes, three bottoms, four tops, five pairs of socks and underwear.
90-minute blocks: A self-explanatory productivity hack. Work for ninety minutes. Take a break. Repeat.
1-3-5 list: Your to-do list whisperer. Every day, check off one big thing, three medium-sized things, and five small things.
12-12-12 challenge: When cleaning, find 12 things to throw away, 12 to donate, and 12 to put back in their place.
Getting out the Vote
theSkimm founders have a well-defined social conscience. Keenly aware that security, education, and healthcare are the three topics most important to their audience, they reliably cover those in the daily newsletter.
The right to vote is a major cause celebre at theSkimm. Cognizant that its generation—the largest segment of today’s workforce—has been slow to flex its formidable muscle at the polls, theSkimm works hard to urge its generation to register and vote.
For the general election next year, theSkimm is participating in a movement to get 20 million more women to vote.
While theSkimm does not endorse candidates or play partisan politics, that raises the question of whether theSkimm and other sizable Millennial influencers can swing an election?
Stay tuned to 2020 on your dial to find out.
Bruce “The Blog” Apar promotes local businesses, organizations, events and people through public relations agency APAR PR. He also is an actor, a community volunteer, and a contributor to several periodicals. Follow him as Bruce The Blog on social media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-275-6887.