The Best Gift You Can Give Your Millennial Child and Yourself

Michael Attias Jun 8, 2016
Michael Attias

Do you remember your parents telling you how they walked uphill both ways to school in the snow…with no shoes? Do tales of how hard life used to be in the olden days rattle around your subconscious when you hear your parents’ voice?

My parents were born and raised in Morocco, so my favorite story was how my dad was beat with a cow’s tail. And today a swat on your kid’s butt will get a SWAT team from Child Protective Services to descend upon your home like The Navy Seals taking Osama Bin Laden’s compound.

My kids were raised in an “everyone gets a trophy” generation.

Employers today are tripping all over themselves to make Millennials feel warm and fuzzy. One of my business friends, an old crotchety seasoned business vet, has waived the white flag to his Millennial workforce; knocking down cubicles, buying a $3,500 foosball table and a kegerator for everyone to feel loved and appreciated.

Poppycock! Most people under forty today, have no idea what a major recession/light depression looks like. My parents went bankrupt when I was around eleven. I cut yards and babysat for money, before I was old enough to get hired for a “real job”. I knew asking my parents for money was a waste of time. I took control of what I wanted.

And complain? I was happy to get my first job washing dishes at sixteen; throwing trash after midnight in freezing weather with liquid from that trash can showering me. Did I complain of unfair working conditions? Did I demand wheels for my trash can or maybe a lift to keep me from getting dirty?

No! I was happy to have the work.

As a parent, I want to be judged on a few things. Did I help shape and develop my kids to be all around good people? Basically do they follow the golden rule?

Secondly, am I sending my kids into the world to support themselves. My goal is to get my kids off the payroll after college. Moving back in until they hit thirty is not part of the plan. After all, I can Air BnB their room for more than they’d pay in rent.

I have been told that everyone should have two jobs to prepare for life: wait tables and sell door-to-door.

Waiting tables teaches you how to deal with the public, perform great customer service and how to be humble. Nothing is as humbling as serving others.

Now door-to-door or direct selling teaches you how to deal with rejection, persevere, sell and be 100% accountable for your own success. There is no one to blame but yourself if you don’t sell enough to fill the gas tank.

I encouraged and rewarded both my children to go into direct selling with a well-respected company called Cutco. Their knives are a product you can sell with confidence and conviction. I have owned a set since 1987.

Because I knew direct selling would have a positive impact on their futures, I offered to match my kids’ pay from Cutco dollar for dollar up to three grand.

Two summers ago, my son Jerrod took the challenge. Frankly, I thought he would quit after putting in a twelve-hour day and not selling a thing. I told him the decision to stick with it or not was his. As an eighteen-year-old, I wasn’t going to tell him what to do. My job is to guide.

He persevered and made over three thousand dollars the summer before he started college. It wasn’t about the money, but the invaluable skills he picked up.

I made the same deal with his sister Jordyn this summer. She stuck with it for about a month, but it wasn’t for her. We had long discussions about it. She wanted to work someplace where she felt she “made a difference” and was made to feel “important”.

I tried to convince her that this was like basic training in the military. Six more weeks of discomfort is a small price to pay for the value a summer job with Cutco would have on her resume. She wasn’t interested in hearing that throughout life she will have bosses, co-workers and customers who won’t make her feel warm and fuzzy.

Your best shot at that is to work for yourself.

Ultimately, I left the decision to her. I would not be mad. I love my daughter unconditionally.

She decided to quit Cutco and go to work full time at Corky’s this summer.

I am glad she at least had a taste of selling.

The best gift you can give your millennial child (and yourself) is the gift of knowing how to sell. Whether selling a product, service or idea, we all go farther with this skill.

Today selling does not equate to polyester suit clad salesmen selling used cars and aluminum siding. The modern sales superstar is all about uncovering needs and educating their prospect to options. And…if there’s a fit for both parties, the sale happens seamlessly.

At least once a week I tell a prospect that we are not a fit for them; then refer them to a competitor. People appreciate you looking out for them. I go about my day creating sales karma. I know these prospects will remember what I did for them and one day send me perfect fit clients.

So my big takeaway for you is to guide your kids that though we human beings are all equals, we all aren’t equally rewarded based on just “showing up”.

The government mandating $15 an hour minimum wage or those on salary making less than $47,000 to get overtime, does not “take care’ of you.

Uncle Sam meddling with the McDonalds of the world will dictate them to figure out how to make burgers with robots and take orders with iPads. Necessity has always been the mother of invention.

The government can’t fix free market pressures.

Only in little league does everyone get a trophy. Our jobs as parents and to ourselves is to develop our skillset to not even worry about what politicians are doing to get beholden constituents.   

The best gift you can give your millennial child and yourself is self-reliance!   

SEMINAR ANNOUNCEMENT: Please mark your calendar for Tuesday, August 2, 2016, and make plans to attend a full day catering seminar I am putting on in Portland, Oregon entitled:

How To Double Your Restaurant Profits Workshop:

The Ultimate Catering Sales & Marketing System For Restaurants

For complete details, please go to 

NOTE: Let me encourage you to a join our new Facebook group I created for our industry: Restaurants That Cater. It is open to clients and non-clients alike. Please post your successes and challenges and share your knowledge with our community. There are groups and associations for caterers and for restaurants, but none for restaurants that cater…a very important group that is grossly underrepresented. Click on the link below and request to join:

Please pass on this link to your colleagues and co-workers in the industry. The more of us, the better!

Well, that’s all for this issue.

To Your Restaurant's Marketing & Catering Success,

Michael Attias

Restaurant Catering Software

P.S. – If you need help growing catering sales, then please go to and download my free eBook: Cater or Die!

P.P.S. – I make a limited number of time slots available each week for a free Catering Strategy Session with me. (You also get a catering menu critique and free analysis of your website for “Catering Effectiveness”). For complete details and to grab one of the limited spots, please go to:

P.P.P.S. – Please check out my podcast at

P.P.P.P.S. - Anyone wishing to reprint my articles may do so. Please email me for the bi-line to use for proper author’s credits.

See more posts about: catering sales, catering operations, catering business

Leave a comment

Recent Posts

Start growing your catering business with catering software!
Take the software for a spin, or schedule a free 1-on-1 product walkthrough
No credit card required