Why Is Time and Impact So Relevant to Millennials?

September 7, 2015

12:00 pm

When I was in college, I interned at a major corporate housing company in Montreal, Canada. As is the case for many interns passionated by their field, my world was suddenly consumed by time. Time was our business, it was the thing we promised our clients, and the thing we spent 80-100 hours a week working to help our clients save. It was all so we’d take our large fees home and try to buy back the time and hapiness that had been robbed from us by our soulless, money-consumed employer.

It wasn’t a stable and incredibly well paying job. but time was the mantra we were told to always keep in mind even if we have to sacrificed our well-being chasing it. I remember imagining what it would be once I would have made sure that all our clients were dwelled nicely. Dreaming of dollar signs raining down on my head allowing me to buy back time that got away. My experience there left me thinking: what’s the point of spending so much time helping people home so inefficiently? Why are we in this rat race to begin with? What can you actually use time and money for?

One answer is clear: money’s required for buying the assets and experiences that support life. But if that’s really all it is then why do we run after time to get to enjoy those experiences resulting from the money we made? Another possible answer is the inverse of the age-old adage: time is money. The more money you have, the more of your time you can buy back. That theory sounds good, but can money buy us more time?

I’m not buying it and neither are millions of people everywhere whom are time obsessed just as much as I am. I do think that the only way to buy time back is from the begining have a sense of what’s the purpose of our time? How do we want to allocate it? Focusing on what drive us, passionate us. The money is the vehicule that helps you get rid of all the things that doesn’t matter to you.

For millennials, time is about:

  • Being able to see our families more often.
  • Being able to find and live in a place that brings us the most happiness and joy — wherever that’d be.
  • Being supportive of causes that are important to us, volunteer at places we feel do good in the world.
  • Pursuing a passion and watching that passion have an impact on other people.

Our goal is to find a job that actually gives us time to pursue our passion. Outside of that, we find a job that gives us enough money to allow us to take the necessary time to pursue our passions outside of work. Either way, we’re focused on fulfilling those passions and making an impact on the world. In general, the people I meet tend to fall into one of two categories: people that believe their world happens to them and people that believe their world happens by them.

The first category tries to maximize their own happiness: leisure and unstructured time are keystones. This is a perfectly valid outlook on life and one that is held by many. I’m finding myself coming across individuals with a different perspective.

These people strive for impact first, and their happiness is contingent upon that impact. We want to produce goods that are important, that are new, exciting, and innovative. We strive to lead a more balanced life. It’s not about having more free time but rather about maximizing the impact of the time we do have. This viewpoint can be easily misinterpreted as narcissism — particularly by our employers, friends and family. It’s not.

When we take a moment we want our time to matter. If we don’t feel that way, a gap begins to develop between our needs and our wants. That’s why we’re mission-driven on building a company in the most time polarizing space: the apartment rental industry. We didn’t start with a nifty product and the supposition that if people liked it, we might be able to make something out of it. Instead, we begin with the “Why”.

Image Credit: Sander Smeekes

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I'm a founder , operator and writer. Co-founder of Frontdoor a new service that uses artificial intelligence to create a smarter, simpler and more personalized real estate experience—wherever you are!

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