Credit: Vanessa McGrady
Marketing executive and serial entrepreneur Everette Taylor, 26, shot up from out of nowhere to become a shining star in Silicon Valley’s tech universe. The founder and CEO of the marketing firm MilliSense also adds his contributions to start-ups and established organizations such as GrowthHackers, Sticker Mule, Qualaroo and United Way to his list of successes. He’s also an influential voice in the call for diversity and gender inclusion in the tech community.
Millennials have to go above and beyond to have that competitive advantage over their peers. They have to stay hungry, constantly learn, and maintain discipline to want to get better at their craft and not get comfortable.” He also adds a word of caution for Millennials: Leave a meticulous digital footprint. That means not only having a solid digital portfolio, but also, making sure your judgment appears impeccable online. “It’s a lot easier for our mistakes to be caught and shared to the world. Millennials have to continuously be aware of the things they do and say on social media and in person, even if they feel they have privacy.”
He offers this advice to other Millennials making their way in the world:
- Stay hungry: “Kent Beck once said, ‘I’m not a great programmer; I’m just a good programmer with great habits.’ I think this rings true for me when it comes to being a marketer and entrepreneur. There will always be people more intelligent or more talented, but I won’t let anyone outwork me … It’s hard for me to sleep if I feel that I didn’t give my best effort that day or I could have done more.”
- Keep evolving: Taylor is in continual learning mode to improve his skills, learn life hacks, and find out what the competition is up to. “I’m also a big believer that growing companies is a team sport. I’m humble enough to know when to take a step back or ask for help from those with more expertise. I regularly ask for feedback from colleagues and friends.”
- Focus on the right things: He said that at one point in his life, his relationships suffered in his pursuit for success. “Society makes us overvalue money, especially if you grew up without,” he said. “Money and success doesn’t bring true happiness, it’s something that you have to constantly chase to try to maintain happiness. Make sure to focus on the things and people that matter most in your life and don’t forget the people who helped you to get to where you are.”
- Take jobs that matter: “Your 20s and 30s is still a time of learning in your career. Make the best job decisions that will help you continue to grow as a professional and a person, don’t just take the job that pays the best. The right work culture, colleagues that will push you to be your best and genuinely care to see you succeed; and a learning environment to sharpen your skills is integral to your success. Money will come if you continue to develop yourself into a person of value.”
- If you can’t find a job, make one: Start working on your own projects and start your own small business if you’re having trouble getting traction professionally. “But you should never get so down on yourself that you think all the doors are shut. That’s the wrong mentality to have. Perseverance and confidence is an absolute necessity. Be relentless and knock down the doors you need to. Prove that you can do it for yourself, which shows value to other companies the skills and talent that you can bring to the table.”
- Risk and fail: It’s a hallmark that nearly everyone in their 20s, regardless of their generation, considers themselves invincible with a lot of time ahead to work things out. But Taylor is sobered by his reality, and wants to make sure his time here is well-spent. “Make sure you’re maintaining personal happiness and staying true to who you are. Do what you love and work on products you believe in, life is too short. It feels like every few weeks I hear about young people from my hometown dying too soon. Take advantage of all the opportunities put in front of you and don’t be afraid to fail.”
You play the game as-is and use it as an opportunity to learn and see what needs to be improved. But don’t be naive, know the game you’re playing.
Discover more at Forbes.
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