How do you motivate millennial employees? That is a question I get all the time. Fortunately, this episode goes into detail about motivating millennial employees. Guest, Morgan J. Ingram is such a motivated millennial that he created a youtube video that shared the tips he used to get himself promoted. That video would eventually lead him to get a job offer out of the blue!
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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.
The Transcript - Motivating Millennial Employees
00:05 Amanda Hammett: Hey, this is Amanda Hammett and this is the Millennial Rockstars podcast. Hey, good morning. This is Amanda Hammett. I'm known as the Millennial Translator®, because I help companies attract, retain, and engage top millennial talent. And today's super millennial rockstar is Morgan J Ingram. Morgan, welcome to the show.
00:25 Morgan J. Ingram: Happy to be here.
00:26 AH: Hey, alright. So, Morgan here is a millennial rockstar through and through from the word go. I met you one time and you just like, blew my socks off. Just I was sitting in the back of the room and you were actually on a panel discussion, that's how you were the stand-out of this panel discussion. So Morgan is actually with JBarrows Sales Training and he is the Director of Sales Execution and Evolution. Did I get that right?
00:54 MI: You got it, you got it!
00:56 MI: You've got it. Congrats!
00:57 AH: I totally thought I was gonna butcher that, but okay.
01:01 AH: Alright, so Morgan. Tell us a little bit about you. What makes you a rockstar?
01:06 MI: Well, that's a very loaded question in itself. I would probably say it's my consistency to do what I need to do on a daily basis. I feel like that's what the summation of how I've gotten to the point where I'm at today. It really is just a lot of things that I've just done that a lot of people would never really know about, and if they asked, then I probably would tell them, but there's so much behind the scenes work that comes into getting to this level of just consistency. So I would definitely say it's just my intrinsic motivation and my drive, which stems from a lot of different things, and then also just showing up every single day, knowing that, "Hey, these are things I have to do, even though I may not like doing them sometimes."
01:43 AH: Oh that... And don't we all? We all have those things that we have to do all the time that we just don't love, but we gotta do it, man. You gotta bite the bullet.
01:51 MI: You have to do it.
01:52 AH: Alright. So you've touched a little bit on this, but I really wanna dig into this. What is it that's really, you have found has worked for you in your career path so far? 'Cause I know you're very early into your career path, correct?
02:06 MI: Yeah, yeah.
02:09 MI: So I gotta ask a question on top of that, so...
02:12 MI: But no, because it's like what exactly is that what the question is? Is it what's helped me out this year, last year, when I first started out, when I was in college? 'Cause there's all different types of answers for that one.
02:23 AH: Absolutely, so that's a fair question. So here's the thing that the audience probably doesn't know about you, is that you are a massive reader. And not only are you a massive reader, but you also take what you read and you actually implement which I think actually makes you different. So tell us a little bit about what's working for you right now, and then we'll backtrack in just a second and talk about what really, at the very beginning when you were leaving college and going into your career, what actually set you up to succeed. What's working for you now?
02:54 MI: So right now, there's two things. One is my attention to detail and my process and organization. That's one thing that I really have struggled with a lot in the past, 'cause I don't really... I don't too much care for it. I just wanna do what I need to do, but I've realized that now there's so many different things I have to hit that I can't do them without any organization or process. So I'd probably say that's probably led to a lot more of my success, and then also leveraging different factors to get things done. So I have different people that I could talk to to give me advice. So I have a personal trainer, and so he'll tell me like, "Hey, these are things you need to do." 'Cause for me to go figure all that stuff out, I could figure it out, but that's a lot of time for me to figure out workouts and then figure out like, "Okay, what do I need to eat? How do I need to continuously have a lot of energy?" I could go look that up, but that's a lot of time. So I have someone who helps me out with that.
03:43 MI: I also have... I go look at different types of content and I can aggregate it with maybe some people may help me out with that, like, "Hey, look. This is how you break down this content," with different tools that maybe I don't actively know where they're at, but I always ask for help. I feel like that's one big thing that's helped me out a lot, is just that number two point, finding people who can help you out with certain things that are gonna basically help you moving forward 'cause you're not spending a lot of time doing things that don't matter, and also asking people for help who've already done it. So for example, I just had an Amazon Alexa Skill drop. I wanted to do that for a while, but me going to figure out how to develop it would have been a disaster. So I had a friend who develops Alexa Skills and I was like, "Alright, I got the content. Just help me out." So we developed the skill, and it's things of that nature, like trying to figure out all different types of things on how I can focus on the things that matter the most, and then find people who can help me with things that would take me a long time to figure out who already know the answer. So I think those two things help me out a lot.
04:41 AH: Absolutely, and I think that that goes in nicely with your t-shirt that you're wearing today, "Staying Focused." Yeah, 'cause man, you gotta focus on what you're good at, and let your other people that you know, you gotta leverage their skills and let them do what they're good at, like your friend with the Alexa Skill.
04:54 MI: Yeah, exactly.
04:56 AH: And we're gonna actually put a link to your Alexa Skill in the show notes, so that other people can experience it as well.
05:03 MI: For sure.
05:03 AH: Alright, so let's backtrack then, and say this is what you are doing now that's been helpful, but what was actually, when you were leaving college, so... And how long ago was that? Not very long.
05:16 MI: Three years ago.
05:17 AH: Alright, three years ago, Morgan is leaving college. What was it that set you up for success in those last days of college into your very first six, nine months into the working world?
05:30 MI: I think it's because I just got really crazy. And so, what... [chuckle] This is what this means. Everyone's like, "What the heck does that mean?"
05:36 MI: So, what it means is that I just started doing everything that I thought I could do. So I just started going out there and executing. And I feel like that's what set me apart from everybody else. Everybody else was waiting or had a job, and they didn't feel like they could do anything. I just told myself, "I don't care what anyone says. I'm gonna do some crazy stuff, and we're gonna see what happens." So that came to creating content. Periscope back in the day, live streaming, did a ton of that, going to different conferences and just soaking information from the speakers, just trying to do public speaking, like reading tons of books that I probably didn't have the knowledge going in to reading those books that I could actually absorb that information.
06:15 AH: Right.
06:16 MI: And then just reading, like you mentioned, I read a ton of books, and just like if it said, "Do this," I would go do it. I never questioned the author or the video and I feel like that's... A lot of people do that. A lot of people question the author, a lot of people question the video that they're watching and then they don't execute. But my thing was like, they're talking about something they have more success than me, so like... And I don't have anything right now, so I might as well take action on it. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, but if it does, it puts me ahead of everybody else. I was willing to not listen to everybody and just do my own thing, which has cultivated to where I'm at today, but I think that's a lot... I think that's hard for a lot of people to move past the... I like to call it the... Not the fans, but the audience. This goes back to sports, a lot of people don't understand how hard it is to be an athlete, especially at a college and pro level. I've never been at that level, but I know hard it is 'cause I've friends who are in the... Both those levels and the work that they put in is way more work than most people realize, it's not easy as most people think.
07:11 AH: Oh yeah.
07:12 MI: And so, but you also have to realize that those people who are in the stands are gonna say certain things because they're not in the playing field. So I think it's the same thing applies to when you wanna go do something, for me. There was a lot of people in the audience who were like, "Oh, that doesn't make sense. I don't get it," da, da, da. But I had a vision and I knew if I just executed, eventually some things would pan out and they'd work, and so that's where... That's where I stand today.
07:32 AH: Absolutely, I couldn't agree with that more. There's so many times where in my career, people have been like, "Why are you doing that? That's ridiculous." But for me, the path didn't always make sense to other people and it was never exactly linear, but it was just little bits of pieces of information and experience all along the way, that has built to where I am today. So it's been incredible. So yeah, absolutely do that, do that, 100%.
08:00 MI: Exactly.
08:01 AH: Fantastic. Alright, so, Morgan, you mentioned this just a second ago. You found out something, like you watched a video or you read a book and you tried things. And that's what I love, is that you are trying things and you're putting things out there. But you also mentioned that there were some things that maybe didn't work. So give us an example, what did not work for you? Not that it wouldn't work for someone else but maybe what didn't work for you?
08:27 MI: So when I started a company in college, hosting video game tournaments on college campuses, I found myself as a CEO. I had no idea what that even meant, but I thought it'd be cool, so that's why I did it. I was like, "Let's just try it, like I don't know what's gonna happen." So I didn't have any funding advisors, mentors, board of directors, nothing. It was just me. And so obviously, when things started to scale and work, people wanted to join the team, and I feel like biggest mistake that I had is I wasn't a good leader back then. I got people to buy in the vision, that was very easy for me to do. But I did not let people do what they did best. So if someone did something and I didn't like it, I'd be like, "No, okay, I'm gonna take over this now. You go do something else". And so it eventually got to the point where I was doing everything and I was complaining about it, but I wasn't giving people the chance to actually do the things that I told them to do, because I wanted everything to be perfect, 'cause I used to be a perfectionist. But I'm not like that anymore, but I used to like, every single thing had to be perfect, or I'm upset, and I'm stressed out about it, which is probably one of my biggest drawbacks, 'cause I want everything to work according to how I see it.
09:33 AH: Course. I mean, I think that's... That's human nature, Morgan, I know. [chuckle]
09:37 MI: No. Most people aren't like that. Most people are like, "Whatever." Me, it's... It's more deep than people realize. It gets like, these are not to the T of how I mapped them out, then I'm upset and that's how it used to be, but I had to get over that, so. Yeah so that was a big mistake. I think another thing is going to networking events and immediately trying to push my business card on people. I tried to do that initially 'cause I was like, I'm... Especially when I was in college, I was like, I'm at these things, I'm at these events, and I'm the only person in college here for the most part, so I feel like the only way people are gonna recognize who I was is if I immediately push my card on them. But at the end of the day it doesn't really work, it's... The big thing is building the relationship, and now what I do is I don't even pull out my business card until, unless someone asks or I'm leaving and I didn't get contact information, then yeah, I'll ask. But for the most part, I build that relationship first to feel like the reason I can ask for that business card, that next step or whatever we're trying to do moving forward. So really those are things I definitely made mistakes on. I think those things can mess you up drastically because if you keep doing those things over and over again, it's gonna affect you in the long run and people won't wanna work with you and then people don't wanna connect with you.
10:41 AH: Oh, I agree with you whole-heartedly. I actually... So I created a training series for college and early career people. And one of the big things is we talk about is in-person networking, and not just throwing your cards out, to actually build that relationship, have a conversation and create a reason to follow up with people. Just a reason why they would wanna follow up with you. And it's just, it's amazing, I still see adults well into their career just coming up and just throwing cards and I'm like, "I'm gonna remember you, but it's not gonna be for anything good."
11:19 MI: There's another big thing too. This is what I had to realize really quick, which I don't have this anymore, but I used to watch videos and I used to read books, and because I can absorb information so well I would started mimicking that person. So I would start saying stuff that they say, and I would start having the verbiage and the attitude and the tone that they have. So, like my... So, making videos or making any content, I used to write and do videos like other people.
11:42 AH: Right.
11:42 MI: Because I didn't know my own style yet. And I feel like that's so... That's really dangerous, because obviously, people are gonna see you as that person and you're not gonna be able to reach the real level that you're supposed to reach. So that's one thing I had to completely flush out. All the stuff I do now is completely innate and originality of who I am as a person, but before I watched those videos I was like, "Oh that's amazing!" And I'll like have this same attitude and approach as it.
12:05 AH: Wow.
12:06 MI: And looking back on it, it's kind of bad, but you're gonna have to move past that point. I think a lot of... That stops a lot of people from going forward.
12:12 AH: Yeah, I think that's a big deal, because you actually... So, I want brag on Morgan for just a second. He's not bragging on him, this is me. But Morgan actually has a video series that comes out through LinkedIn called "The SDR Chronicles." And he goes in and he talks about various things that he does as an inside sales rep to build up these different skills and trying new things. And I don't know how often you put them out, but I see them on LinkedIn quite a bit.
12:44 MI: So I did... When I first started it was four to five months every single day I did it, and then... [laughter] Guys, I'm crazy, guys. [laughter] And then after that I slowed down because there was a... I got promoted and I had a different initiative. So I only do it... I only do it weekly now, because there's lots going on now. But it's every single week something's coming out.
13:04 AH: That's awesome, and it's fantastic information and it's just little bits and pieces, and sometimes a lot of times in those roles in particular, if you can just tweak things in just the tiniest way, it makes all the difference in the world.
13:17 MI: Right, exactly.
13:18 AH: That's fantastic, that's fantastic. Alright, so we might've touched on this before, but I want to really like dig in, especially for a younger audience member. Were there any major reality checks that you faced moving from college into the working world? Like the way that you saw how your career was gonna be, and then you got into the real world and you were like, "Oh that's not how that is."
13:44 MI: So for me, there was not a lot of blindside-ness. And all... This is the reason why it wasn't a blindsided as most people are, is because I had informational interviews almost every single day for the most part, or almost every single week from my... Yeah, from like my spring semester of my freshman year all the way to senior year.
14:06 AH: Oh, wow.
14:07 MI: So what that means for people who don't know what I'm talking about, is it's when you reach out to someone that you want to talk to, and you say, "Hey, can I get 15 to 20 minutes to just talk to you about your job?" And then you have questions before that. So the very first personal development book I ever read, my mom gave it to me and it was called "How to Get Your Dream Job" by Pete Leibman. The book is still out there. I'm pretty sure Amanda will put it in the show notes, so you guys can go read that, but it has templates in there of how to reach out to high-level executive people, to get 15, 20 minutes of their time. So, for those of you who are like, "Oh, this doesn't work, Morgan." It does work. So these are the people I talked to, and I still have no idea why they even answered the e-mail [chuckle] but they answered. So the owner of Atlanta Hawks, the General Manager of Fox Sports South, the Vice President of Sales at the NBA, and the President and the owner of the college football Hall Sports Of Fame. And there's a ton of other... There's tons of other people I connected with along the way because they were like... They introduced me to other people, but the reason I say that is because they gave me so much advice on how to be successful and so much advice on how to start my career that when I got in my first job, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I knew the steps I needed to take, I just needed to execute. If I didn't do it, it would be on my own.
15:15 MI: And they said, "Hey look, we're gonna give you this information... " And part of the reason why I create content was like, "If you don't share the information that we're giving to you, this conversation is a waste. We're actually going to be really upset with you." So I was like, "Okay, I don't want these people to be upset with me, I want to be able to give out advice here," so that's why I create a lot of content. 'Cause I have just been given so much knowledge from people who were way more successful than me, at this current point in their careers, and that's how I got myself in... That's how I, when I got in there. And I think the biggest piece of advice for a lot of people is that you have to talk to everyone in your organization, and you just have to be willing. What are those extra projects that people don't want to do that you can take on? And that's what I did when I got to Terminus, I just... I knew... I talked to every single person, CEO, CTO, co-founders, all the directors and the executives. Obviously, this was start-up so it's different for most people, but what I'm saying is that you have to take the initiative to go talk to those people and figure out what they want, and then just execute, and then do something outside of work that's gonna catapult you to where you want to go. So that's just kind of the advice I got before I even started any job.
16:15 AH: That's amazing. That is amazing. Good for you. Good for you for, again, reading those books...
16:21 MI: Reading the books.
16:22 AH: Executing on implementing what is suggested.
16:26 MI: Yep.
16:26 AH: Because, again, I think that that puts you in like the five percentile. Only 5% of people will do that, I think. That's crazy. Good for you, good for you. So is there anything, either at your current company right now, which is JBarrows Sales Training, or a previous company, is there anything that they have done that keeps you motivated and engaged and wanting to be productive? I mean today, we're talking, it's 8:00 AM on a rainy, rainy Monday.
16:52 AH: What is it that drives you to jump out of bed and be like, "Hey let's... Let's do some sales today!"
16:58 MI: Yeah. [laughter] So, for me there's nothing, honestly, anybody can do externally to motivate me any more than I'm already motivated right now.
17:06 AH: Yes.
17:07 MI: My internal motivation is just off the charts. So...
17:10 AH: It is.
17:10 MI: But the thing is, it's not going to be like that for most people. And I 100% understand that. So the answer to your question, like, straight up, is like, no, there's not much anyone can really do to motivate me anymore. I know my goals, I know what what I can do. It's really up to me to figure out where I'm at if I'm not motivated sometimes. I would say, from... The biggest thing for me, though, is when people allow me to just do my thing. And that means that if I have an idea, they let me execute on that idea. Now there are some ideas I have that are really not that smart, and people have to talk me out of doing them because they're like, "That's actually," either, "Too much energy and time and you're thinking way too complicated about it," or like, "That's just not a good idea at this moment. Let's revisit it." But I would say a good amount of the time, John, who's the CEO, he allows me to do a lot of creative things moving forward.
18:00 MI: So like the Alexa Skill that I just dropped. He was the person that I was like, "Hey, look, let's drop an Alexa Skill, I can figure it out." And he was like, "Yeah, go ahead and do it." Most... Many, most managers, most leaders, most CEOs would not allow you to do something like that, 'cause it's like, "Oh, that's not what we're focused on right now." But he was like, "No, that's actually something that we can focus on and I want you to go ahead and figure that out and do it." So there's a lot of ideas that I have that he allows me to do, and that makes me more motivated to be more creative, 'cause what ends up happening is that if you have a lot of creative ideas and people keep shutting you down, you're not gonna share those ideas anymore, and you're probably gonna go execute it by yourself, which can cause conflict internally with the organization that you're at. So I'm just really fortunate that I have someone who allows me to continuously do that. For me, again, it's intrinsic motivation, so there again, there's not a lot that people can be like, "Oh, Morgan, we're gonna give you this," like, I'd be like, "Okay, cool." Like, it doesn't matter to me 'cause that's not what I'm motivated on, I don't need that.
18:51 AH: Right. You know, you said something really interesting and I just wanna commend your boss. I don't know him, but I just wanna commend him from here, in that he saw something in you and he saw that you are an innovator and that you see the world a little bit different and that you're willing to think outside the box, and he's continuing to encourage you. A lot of times, what I see is the opposite. It's like, "Oh, we want these millennials because they're innovative thinkers," but then they want to form-fit them into a box and then they wonder why they're not innovative or why they're leaving and becoming innovative somewhere else, and it's like, "Really? Is this your question?" [chuckle] So yeah, I'm just super thrilled to hear that not only did he see that in you, but he's allowing you the bandwidth to do that. That's fantastic.
19:41 MI: Yeah.
19:42 AH: Because if he didn't, I mean you'd just go somewhere else and do it.
19:46 MI: Yeah, probably so.
19:47 AH: I mean, I'm just... I'm being real. He knows what he's got and he's protecting it, basically, in a lot of ways. He's giving you the runway.
19:57 MI: Yeah.
19:57 AH: And that's fantastic, I love that. I love that, that's what good bosses do.
20:01 MI: Yeah 100%.
20:02 AH: Alright, so what is it that actually made you stand out to your current boss when you were... When this position opened that you're in currently, what was it that made you stand out in the application?
20:16 MI: Yeah, so he can tell you, he'll tell you himself if you ever get a chance to meet him. He did not want to hire anyone. He actually... This was a thing that he did not want to do at all. He didn't wanna do it.
20:26 AH: Wow.
20:27 MI: So it's kind of intriguing, 'cause I wasn't actively trying to go work with John Barrows, so it wasn't even on my radar. Like, I tell loads of people I'd probably still be at Terminus today if John hadn't reached out to me, I'd still be doing my thing, 'cause I really enjoyed working there and I had a lot of great friends there, and it was a great environment to be a part of. So, yeah, this wasn't something that... He didn't send a application out, there was no interviews, we didn't... It wasn't even really an interview process, it was just like, "Do you wanna do this or not, and how can we make this work?" This was like no... There was no resume, there was no interview, it was just trying to figure out how we're gonna make this work, 'cause there's so many factors that go into this 'cause it's a completely different career path. So big thing that stood out to him was that I was consistent, one, so he didn't... He doesn't have to worry about my work ethic, 'cause he just saw that I kept showing up and showing up, showing up. But big thing was a video that he found through YouTube. So he found me, there was a video when I got promoted, so it was February 1st of last year, and it was a video of me explaining, "Here are the five things that I did to get promoted, and this is what everyone else can do to accelerate their career."
21:29 MI: So, I did this video, and it's a pretty lengthy video but it's probably one of my most watched videos because it's just, I go into detail of like how this actually all came to be. And so he watched that video, it really resonated with him 'cause he has core values, and the things I was talking about aligned with his core values. So he was like, "I guess I might have to hire this kid. I might have to go talk to him." So we ran into each other at a conference, we had a conversation about it, and it all came down to be like, this is a good opportunity for both of us, and that's what happened.
22:00 AH: That's amazing. I mean, you got him to go from, "I don't wanna hire anybody," to, "I gotta hire this kid."
22:07 MI: Yeah. That's pretty... That's how it all panned out. [chuckle]
22:10 AH: That's awesome. I actually... I want to include a link to that YouTube video that you just referenced on the five things you did to get promoted. I think that that would be... I think that'd be good for everyone to see.
22:21 MI: Yeah. Yeah.
22:21 AH: Fantastic. Oh, that's awesome. That is fantastic. Now, since you are on the younger side of the... In the work world, in the working world, what is it that you wish companies knew about hiring younger employees?
22:38 MI: I think it goes back to what I talked about with what I just said with John, I think people just need to understand that there's a lot of great ideas out there and you need to flesh those out and figure out which ones are good and which ones are bad. Again, not every single idea that I say is gonna be great. I know that, there's some terrible ideas that I've come... That I was like, "Oh, this is amazing," and it's like, "No, that's not." So you've to, as a leader, you have to be able to shift it out, but I think you have to allow people to have that voice, have that vision, because, again, what ends up happening is that there's always gonna be someone who's gonna allow that person to do what they really wanna do, and then that person's gonna leave your organization. And then you're like, "What happened?" It's like, "Well, you should have been paying attention to what's going on." So I think you just have to soak in what they're saying, take it in stride, and then figure out how you can empower them.
23:17 MI: And then a big thing is that everyone just wants to feel like they're wanted. That's really just a big thing with the younger workforce, they want to be able to have a voice, and when that voice is heard, they're... Someone's actually taking action on what they're saying, or they're being allowed to do whatever gratifies them at the end of the day. I don't know what that is, but there always is that one thing that they wanna do. Maybe that is a part of the workplace, but it's really not at the same time. I think you just have to be able to let people do what they need to do and not pigeonhole them to one thing.
23:47 AH: Absolutely. Absolutely. Not put them in that little box and keep them there.
23:50 MI: Yeah, no, that's not what you need to do. [chuckle]
23:53 AH: Yeah, absolutely, fantastic. Well, Morgan, I just wanna say thank you so much for being on the show today. You've included a bunch of fantastic little nuggets of information, and for those of you guys watching the video today, we're gonna be including in the show notes everything that Morgan had referenced, whether it's the Alexa Skill or the YouTube video that got him his current job.
24:17 MI: Yeah.
24:18 AH: Or even, I think he mentioned a book about how to get your dream job. We're gonna link over to that as well. So Morgan, thank you, thank you, thank you so much for being on the show and thank you guys for watching and we'll see you next time. Bye.
24:32 MI: See you guys.
24:33 AH: Thanks so much for joining us for this episode of the Millennial Rockstar podcast. If you are looking for even more information on millennials and some free resources, visit my website at amandahammett.com. The link is below. It's amandahammett.com. There you can download a free millennial employee engagement guide that will give you all kinds of tips and tricks on how to keep those millennials engaged on a day-to-day basis. Because we all know that millennials who are happy at work are more productive at work.
Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.