Over the holidays, four generations of my family gathered together to celebrate and, of course, to have a great dinner and some terrific wines. My 85-year-old father represented the first generation present. Next came my generation, including my twin brother Vince, my sister Karen and me. Karen’s sons Joshua and Matt were next and, our newest generation, Joshua’s daughter – my 9-month-old great-niece Reese. After dinner, we discussed the differences in the generations and, as with all of my Italian family discussions, it got quite enthusiastic with lots of hand-waving, a raised voice or two and everybody talking at once.
Just the amount of experience and knowledge that exists in this gathering of my family’s generations made me think about how Certified Legal Nurse Consultants can learn something from each generation – grandparents, parents, siblings, our siblings’ children and even their children’s children – for your CLNC® business. Certainly each different generation can bring something different to the table and by examining the best traits of each, it can help us not just in understanding them, but also in managing our legal nurse consulting businesses through a wider lens.
Those Certified Legal Nurse Consultants who have been blessed to know their grandparents and even great-grandparents who lived during the Great Depression probably remember how they paid cash for everything. My grandparents didn’t even have a credit card and only bought new things when the old ones were worn out beyond repair. My grandmom seemed to wear the same pair of sensible shoes as long as I can remember. They taught us to live beneath our means and invest our money not only in our businesses, but also to build savings and not to spend our money on TVs and extra clothes we didn’t need. Thanks to my grandparents, my habit of investing and reinvesting in my legal nurse consulting business has helped me grow the Institute into the largest and leading education company for legal nurse consultants. Take the elder generation’s advice and reinvest in your CLNC® business so that you are never in fear of losing what you have created.
My parents were part of the so-called “Greatest Generation” and I’m sure my dad, Sal, never one for modesty, would agree about that name. His generation gave service when called and worked hard but they always made time to have fun with their friends. My dad was off to work in New Orleans’ French Quarter every morning by 3:00am. He’d come home in the afternoon, take a nap and then go out dancing with my mom or play cards with his buddies. They hung out in large groups and always seemed ready to have a good time but were never late for work the next day. From this generation, legal nurse consultants can learn to work hard, but to play hard too. I have to work hard, my employees don’t manage themselves and my business doesn’t manage itself, but thanks to my parents, I have learned how to take the time to play hard too. I schedule and take my vacations, go out with friends and visit family. You need to learn that all work and no play will quickly burn out even the most ambitious Certified Legal Nurse Consultant.
My generation are the “Boomers.” We learned to question authority, challenge the experts, to be competitive and confident. We’re also the richest generation since the early 1900s. We learned never to be defeated, sent women to new heights in the workforce, took stands on difficult issues and decided that it’s what you do, not what you say, that’s important. We worked hard to create a better world for ourselves and our families, to create a legacy for the generations to follow.
I’ve been likened to both Florence Nightingale and Oprah but what I really enjoy is being viewed as the most renegade nurse of my generation. My generation’s lessons for CLNC® consultants of all ages is to make a plan for your business and don’t listen when others tell you it can’t be done. Our motto is “If you say it can’t be done, you better get out of the way of the person doing it!” All Certified Legal Nurse Consultants can take charge of your lives and your CLNC® businesses and know that if you put your minds to it, you’ll accomplish whatever you want.
Generation X teaches us to be independent and entrepreneurial. Theirs is one of the most inventive generations (think of Google, iPhones and all those videogames just to name a few). They sought to be freed from the types of careers that, in their minds, imprisoned the Boomers (their parents) and even their grandparents. So, Gen X became the generation of dot coms, tech start-ups and entrepreneurs running lots of new small businesses. This generation won’t be hanging around the same hospital for 30 years counting down the days until their retirement parties. They’ll find their own way to fund their retirement. You’ve probably already run into a few of the Gen X nurses and learned that they’re seeking alternative nursing careers, such as legal nurse consulting, earlier than any other generation. Wait until you see the terrific Certified Legal Nurse Consultants they become. From them we can learn that the time to act is now, not to put off our happiness until a future date. Thanks to Generation X, I have to keep growing every day to assure that the Institute is as relevant today as it was 28 years ago.
Generation Y or the so-called “Millenials” is our most technologically savvy generation. They’ve been steeped in electronics and connectivity from day one. From their good traits we can learn to be collaborative and socially conscious. This is also a generation that likes to job hop and feels no loyalty to the company machine. At the same time, they’ve returned to embrace some of the beliefs of the Greatest Generation. They hang out with groups of their friends and believe in finding a strong balance between work and play. They’re also pretty thick-skinned, when you close a door on one of them, they don’t take it personally. Legal nurse consultants can learn about balance from this generation and be reminded that we got into the legal nurse consulting business to have a life. Gen Ys always remind me that having my own business has allowed me to be in charge of my own life and I love that!
I love every generation (some more than others on certain days) and what each one teaches me about my business.
Success Is Inside!
P.S. Comment and share what you have learned from each generation that you can apply in a positive way to your legal nurse consulting business.