In October 2015, I joined the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia. It brought together North America's brightest in one place - combining vision, energy, and ideas of Millennials unafraid of changing the game.
Entrepreneurial gravity drew tribes together and formed bonds to last a lifetime. Since then, we've been privileged to learn from and lean on one another through challenges and successes. This includes sharing perspective, stories, and experiences of being young leaders. It's the best of times; it's the worst of times.
Millennials are often stereotyped as lazy and selfish. A generation starting in the early 80s, it's been labelled materialistic, aloof, distracted, and unproductive.
The Forbes Under 30 tribe couldn't be further from assumption. As we collectively advance in respective pursuits, it's high time to stir positivity into the dialogue on a generation most eager to make a difference.
This is the first of a short-term series featuring standout millennials. Through quick-hit Q&A, you will hear from North American leaders in tech, finance, film, food and more. Uncover what drives this generation, hear what they can't live without, and learn what they wish to leave as a legacy (yes, legacy). Meet the faces of today (and tomorrow's) Millennial game-changers.
Meet Vikas Mohindra. Vikas is a 29 year old Vice-President and Senior Financial Advisor with Merrill Lynch, based in New York City. He is a 2012 inductee to theForbes Under 30 List in Finance, and is actively involved in community through Painting for Cures, CEO Sleepout, and more.
- What motivates you most? My family.
- What 3 items can you not live without? Coffee, my phone, and my calendar.
- On any given day, what are the top 3 ways you communicate? Calling (on the phone!), e-mailing, and texting.
- How do you know you've made it? When I have the respect of industry peers.
- Most concerned about 10-20 years from now? The healthcare system (in the U.S.), global warming, and social security.
- Who inspires you the most? Sergey Brin, President of Alphabet.
- Advice you'd give your 16 year old self? Never settle for being average on anything, always push yourself to utmost limits.
- Three characteristics you think Millennials exhibit most often? Innovative, entrepreneurial, and lazy.
- In your current business, what aspects are a must? Autonomy, impact, and remuneration.
- What are you afraid of? Regulatory changes in my industry.
- Where do you look first for the latest news and trends? Wall Street Journal, New York Times.
- Failure is: ....never an option.
- What you hope to accomplish by Dec 31, 2016? Increase my business 25% and become more efficient with my time.
- When you leave a legacy, what will it be? One where I impacted my industry in a positive manner. There are a lot of misnomers in the field of finance – it’s had a bad rep in recent years due to sensationalism through films and movies. The good people are often overlooked – the ones focused on making meaningful difference in others’ lives.
- Closing thoughts? Many people become impatient with the process of investing hard work into their careers, and throw in the towel too early. Successful people work hard and fail frequently before they “make it“ – we need to remember that. The human mind and body is amazing, because everyone is capable of becoming super successful if they just push themselves beyond minimum expectations set by society. I also believe the younger subset of Millennials need to step up accountability – stop whining about work and fairness – and instead focus on decades from now. Dream big, work hard, and live well.