When you hear ‘Generation Y’, what do you think of? Some would say, “Brilliant, thought-provoking, eager, and exciting” while others would say “Over-entitled, egotistical, know it-alls.” While I may be a little biased, I tend to side with the former over the latter. Generation Y is a community hungry to learn, yearning for information, and open to sharing ideas and opinions. We are a group who isn’t wasting any time in becoming the future thought leaders of the world. Blogging is a beautiful thing because it provides everyone with an outlet to be heard, to learn and grow, engage in conversation, and facilitates the development of long-lasting relationships, partnerships, and connections. I owe a lot to my blog – it’s helped me get to where I am today. I’m sure many of you can say the same.
Today I’m shining the spotlight on you – 13 of you to be exact. 13 Generation Y Rockstars who deserve to be recognized. 13 blogs that need to be read and subscribed to by everyone. 13 people who have added so much to my own blogging experience and continually provide unique and interesting content day in and day out. Cheers to all of you, and keep doing what you do!
David’s focus in primarily on public relations and integrated communication. He provides wisdom for businesses, entrepreneurs, and bloggers alike with topics ranging from social media marketing to branding and creativity. David openly welcomes conversation and criticism within the comments of each post and is great at getting you not only responding to him, but conversing with the other members of his community – the mark of a truly great writer is when you can sit back and watch your readers drive the conversation themselves and David is fantastic in this regard.
In short, Jun Loayza is a hustler. I bust my ass and keep on the grind but somehow this guy is always doing more. He is a testament of what it means to work hard and get results. He’s young, has started his own company, and is amazing at reinventing himself and coming up with new and exciting ideas. The best part? He challenges (in a good way) everyone he comes into contact with. He pushes and motivates his readers on and off his blog. He listens, but is also never afraid to voice his opinion. With a his work ethic, there’s no doubt he will achieve success again and again. For anyone who is passionate about leaving the grind and making it on their own – Jun and his blog provide all the information, inspiration, and motivation you could ask for.
Not so much a ‘Generation Y’ blog – but very much relevant to the people of our generation, Adam Baker talks everything personal finance related. Not claiming to be a financial specialist, Adam instead speaks from personal experiences, both good and bad, in dealing with debt, and more importantly taking control of your own financial situation. I love his in-depth articles and his ability to relate what would normally be un-interesting topics in a way that appeals to everyone. Did I mention that Adam and his wife sold everything they had and moved halfway across the world to backpack in New Zealand with their one year old daughter?! Between his own experiences and the insight provided by his community, there is a wealth of information to be had here.
Sydney and I have very similar stories: We both quit our jobs. We both packed our bags and moved to a new city (Chicago). We both networked like crazy and ended up at jobs we love (much of which we owe to our blogs). We are both open to sharing our story and providing content that will hopefully help/motivate other people who are in similar situations that we were. If you’re wondering how to effectively network, meet new people, and find the job of your dreams using social media and blogging – Sydney is an amazing example and has a story well worth following.
No pants? Lost jackets? What’s with the missing clothes references? If you want a no-bullshit tell-it-like-it-is approach, Stuart Foster is your man – and adding Carla to the mix was probably one of the smartest things he’s ever done. A movement by themselves, but a force when they’re together (thanks Ne-Yo) these two are revolutionizing the way we think about Social Media, online marketing, and Public Relations. Based out of Boston, they’re both able to consistently connect the dots between old school marketing and new media with topics ranging from social media, public relations, and brand management.
There is a reason Jenny, in her mid-twenties, is already working up the ladder of one of the most successful companies in the world (ehem, Google). In short, she’s just that good! A model of efficiency and productivity, Jenny Blake has the uncanny ability to give advice and coaching that is specific and measurable, yet general and accessible enough to anyone and everyone. I leave her blog with a clear takeaway, a new methodology, a challenge or fresh outlook and perspective. Jenny is the first person I would point any young adult to who is out of college, starting their career, and finds themselves in the purgatory of “what’s next”? From financial advice to stress management – Life After College is an outstanding resource.
I like to call Carlos “Seth Godin Jr.” – Hailing all the way from Argentina, Carlos says a lot without saying a lot. His daily posts are always (ALWAYS) thought provoking. I don’t know how he continues to do what he does, and in so few words. I’m lucky if I can finish a thought in a couple paragraphs, much less a couple sentences. But sometimes less truly is more. Carlos is wise beyond his years and is an exceptional conversation-starter – Agree or disagree, each “spark” will leave you walking away with a new perspective on life.
I have had the pleasure of working with Sam and his company, Cool People Care, both personally and professionally. Sam writes about everything from social entrepreneurship to sustainability, marketing advice to wisdom for first time Dad’s. He’s the kind of guy that is more than happy to sit down and grab coffee (or a pint of Yazoo) and bounce ideas back and forth. Sam is an inspiration for all aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those who are passionate about running a business that serves an added bottom line of giving back to the community. Head over and read his blog, and book him at your next speaking event, he’s worth every penny.
Grace is another great example of a motivated gen-yer who isn’t afraid to take risks (in her case moving across the country to a new home in Boulder, CO without anything lined up). She now works for an amazing company in one of the most exciting cities for anyone our age to call home. The title of of blog sums it up perfectly – that we are all only one person, but as one person, we can have big ideas, and collectively, we can make a difference. Grace writes about public relations, marketing, social media, blogging, and business philosophy, offering a unique ‘feminine’ perspective to many of her articles. There’s a reoccurring theme here that Grace models beautifully – if you’re about to make a big life decision (as she did with her move) – start a blog. It’s pretty amazing to witness your own evolution, and it gives the rest of us the inspiration and motivation to do that much more in our own lives.
I can’t leave out the man who inspired this post in the first place, can I? Ryan Stephens is great at what he does – he writes about marketing for both individuals and businesses, and usually infuses sports into the topic at hand. You can see his passion for marketing and PR in everything he writes – and has established himself as one of the primary thought leaders within the Gen-Y community. He is spot on in his belief of relationship marketing, and preaches the mantra of successful business being foundationed in the forging and nurturing of relationships.
Tim Jahn is a Chicago native who excels in multiple platforms – while he also blogs at “The Sun Rises Today” – I chose to highlight his video-series “Beyond the Pedway” in which he highlights (weekly) some of the best and brightest businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the Chicagoland area. Tim has a passion for filming and editing, and is an amazing, down to earth person to talk to if you live in the Windy City (or anywhere for that matter). He no doubt has some exciting things in store for us in the future.
Again, I’m not sure if Outspoken Media can be considered a Generation Y blog, but it is always an outlet for amazing content and thought provoking articles. Lisa and the rest of the Outspoken crew continually put out timely and relevant articles that challenge you to think outside the box. Don’t be mistaken, Outspoken Media is a company first, blog second – offering an array of SEO and marketing services. Lisa does a great job of being brutally honest, genuine, and (ehem) “Outspoken” in her writing style – an admirable trait that shows she isn’t afraid of a little criticism or disagreement.
What can I say about Matt that hasn’t already been said. He defines what it means to be awesome and his blog is top-notch. Ok, seriously, getting away from speaking in the third person, I honestly believe there is a lot of value in what I’ve managed to put together in less than a year – and I owe most of it to all of you. I rely on you, the reader, to take the conversation I attempt to spark and steer it in new, thoughtful, and exciting directions. So far, you have not disappointed, and thus, Life Without Pants, the unrestricted thoughts on life from a twenty-something perspective, has amounted to what it is today. With no clear end in sight, I can only hope this blog, this community, continues to thrive and flourish in the days, months, and years to come.
Every other month, Ryan Stephens over at Ryan Stephens Marketing puts together an amazing list of the top Generation Y blogs as voted on by you, the readers and fellow bloggers. I, or should I say Life Without Pants has been voted as the #1 Generation Y blog two times in a row (both in June and in August). Not only has this introduced me to amazing people who would have never known about me otherwise, it has also been extremely humbling to be so new to the ‘game’ and receive such accolade and recognition from my peers – people I look up to and admire. Be sure to head over and send in YOUR vote for your favorite Gen Y blog(s) today!
(Photo by McFull)