Motivational speaker Dan Lier explained to EXPO attendees how to solve one of the most puzzling enigmas facing the adult nightclub industry—millennials.
Editor’s note: This article is a basic synopsis of Dan Lier’s EXPO 2017 presentation. However, no article can properly relay the “live” experience of attending an EXPO seminar in person, and Lier’s dynamic presentation is impossible to express in the printed form.
For adult nightclub owners, one of the most challenging aspects of running a club is trying to bridge the gap to the millennial generation that year by year becomes a more significant component of an adult nightclub’s foundation.
Luckily for EXPO attendees, motivational speaker Dan Lier was on hand to present some tips to utilize at their clubs.
Lier himself said he wouldn’t have the audacity to instruct a room full of successful business owners how to run their business, but in explaining that realization he pointed out how pretty much everyone in the audience had room for improvement.
Encouraging a relaxed atmosphere to enhance retention, Lier started by identifying millennials.
“It’s really interesting because when you talk to a millennial about what they want, they say they want purpose, ‘I want to make an impact. I want free food and some ergonomic chairs,’” says Lier. He referenced material from author and millennial expert Simon Sinek who spots four characteristics of millennials: failed parenting strategy, technology, impatience and environment.
“When these young people have grown up, they were told they were special,” Lier says. “They were told they could do whatever they want in life. They got participation trophies and medals for coming in third, fourth, fifth and last. What’s really interesting from a psychological perspective is when a young person comes in fourth, fifth and last, they know they don’t deserve a medal and what it really does, is it hurts their self esteem because inside they feel like they’re not worthy but they’re getting these medals.”
This results in getting rewarded for being mediocre since not everyone can be the best. So when millennials go out into the real world, they are hit with the harsh reality that they’re not necessarily special. “In an instant, their entire self image shatters,” Lier says. “We have an entire generation that’s growing up with a self esteem that’s lower than other generations.”
Segueing from there, Lier pointed out how technology is a barometer of the subliminal depression millennials experience.
“Research says they’re good that showing life is amazing even though they’re depressed,” says Lier. “Let me show you how good my life is through channels like Facebook, Instagram but I’m depressed. I get to judge how good I am by how many ‘Likes’ I get and nothing that I’ve really achieved.”
Much like gambling and drinking, receiving texts and “Likes” releases dopamine in the brain. However, unlike gambling and drinking, texting and interacting on social media don’t have an age requirement.
“This young generation is engulfed in this addictive behavior of checking their phones—everyone does it, but it’s the way the generation is doing it,” Lier says.
The breakneck speed at which technology has progressed in conjunction with the rise of the millennial generation has also given rise to a general impatience among millennials.
“This generation has grown up in a world with instant gratification,” Lier says. “They don’t check movie times, they go to Netflix. They don’t even watch TV shows, they binge watch. They want to buy something, they go on Amazon. Everything is instant gratification. Talk about social skills—you don’t even have to go the conventional route of introducing yourself, just swipe right baby, we’re done.”
“Everything we want, you can have now except for the things the millennials don’t have: job satisfaction, strength in relationships, anything to do with a skillset,” Lier continues. “Developing skillsets don’t come instantaneously, driving a career doesn’t come instantaneously, love and job development—those are things that you’re not able to get instantaneously, so there’s a disconnect there.”
Then there’s the fact that millennials are being thrust into corporate environments that don’t help build self esteem, don’t teach cooperation or the joys and impact of working for something. But as Lier rightly points out, millennials are the labor force.
“It’s our job to find a way to connect, to communicate, get the most out of people that we work with,” Lier says. “The fact of the matter is many of the millennial generation are who they are at no fault of their own. … Now, as business owners, we are embracing this group of people who’s never had to work hard, show up on time, to be responsible, work for something. That’s what we have to do.”
Despite these marks against millennials, Lier brings up how every generation since the Sixties has been labeled a variation of the “Me” generation.
“The fact is everything’s going to work out alright, but we have to do somethings different,” Lier says.
The first thing club owners and managers have to do, Lier stresses, is check their psychology.
“What I mean by that is our belief system, what we believe is possible,” he says. “If I’m working with a leader, a manager, who’s running a company and he or she is engaging with millennials and they’re having success I’ll say ‘Sir, Miss, what do you believe is going to happen today?’ They have that belief success is going to happen. A belief is really nothing more than a feeling of certainty. What we know is those leaders, those people, those managers who are most certain about what they’re doing are the ones that separate themselves from some of those people that continue to struggle.”
Lier brought up Roger Bannister, who was the first to break the four-minute mile. “Back then, there was a prevailing thought that the sub-four-minute mile couldn’t be broken,” Lier says. Despite scientific literature which cautioned against the dangers on the human body if such a feat was attempted, and despite being in the medical profession himself, Bannister broke four minutes in 1954.
“In 1955, 37 other people from around the globe broke the four-minute mile,” Lier says. “The following year, 200 people from around the globe broke the four-minute mile. What really changed? The perception or the belief of what’s possible.”
This anecdote reinforced the notion that club owners and managers needed to change the perception that they couldn’t connect or work with millennials.
“Many of us have already shut it down, can’t do it, they’re lost, I have no connection, I don’t get it,” Lier says. “As long as we’re in that mindset, it’s never going to happen. Your beliefs drive your behavior. If you don’t believe that it’s possible for you to connect with your workforce, you won’t do what’s necessary to make that happen. Whatever you believe about what’s possible for you to connect and communicate, inspire your employees is absolutely true and true for you only.”
And while working philosophies are individually unique to each club and club owner, Lier did offer up some specific examples of things to connect with millennials, including:
-Creating a dropbox of ideas because they can make people feel more inclusive.
-Talk about vision, improvements and impact at staff meetings. Try to ween employees off phones at these meetings by first having employees put their phones in the middle of the meeting room; the second meeting collect phones at the door and label them. “The fact of the matter is these people are dying for communication and engagement,” Lier says. “A decade and a half ago, before meetings started there was downtime meant for socialization. Now everyone is always on their smartphones.”
-Encourage company participation through extracurricular activities.
-Create a monthly company revenue goal and if it’s met, a percentage of revenue can go to a charity of choice.
Lier concluded his speech by reminding the audience of the law of association, “Our employees, our independent contractors, all make associations about us every single day whether we like it or not. If you want to attract positive employees, it would make sense that we as owners need to be more positive.”
Dan Lier is a best-selling author and internationally recognized motivational speaker with the experience of presenting over 3,500 customized talks to companies around the globe. Over the past two years alone, Lier has spoken in more than 30 countries sharing his proven strategies to “Maximize Your True Potential.” For more information, visit DanLier.com.