I’ve been working as a “dancing dealer” in Las Vegas for almost four years now. A dancing dealer is a [table games] dealer who also dances. We take shifts dealing, and then we dance in front of the people in the casino. It’s our job to make sure people are having fun – whether they’re winning or losing – so that they have a great experience and want to come back.
I currently work the night shift at Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. I deal blackjack and roulette. I enjoy working the night shift because it means I get to spend the daytime with my two daughters, who are four and six.
I officially get off work at 3 a.m., and get home and go to bed around 4:30 a.m.
My wakeup time ranges from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. depending on the kids’ activities. It can be hard coming home late and then having to get up early, but it’s worth it.
I normally get Sunday and Monday off, and I’ll spend time with my kids as much as I can. Sometimes I’ll have a date night with my husband, but most of the time when I’m off I’m just at home, relaxing.
Dancing dealers have the same official dealer certification and skills as any other regular dealer.
Before this job, I worked in retail, specifically at Hollister, for quite some time. I didn’t grow up being a dancer, but my sisters and I used to make up dances as kids. I was also a cheerleader in school, which helped build my confidence.
As a dancing dealer, we don’t actually have routines, we just freestyle. To be in this position, I don’t think you need to be the best dancer in the world, but you need to be a good dancer.
I feel like since we’re also dancers, people sometimes don’t take us as seriously as a regular dealer – but we’re just as qualified as any other dealer in town.
In order to get certified, I had to complete a two week training and pass an audition test. We had a trainer who taught us all the steps of dealing and then we each took an in-person test with a few other people. Once we passed we were set to work in the casinos.
I love my coworkers. We’re like one big family and we look out for each other.
One of the best parts of my job is that I make a lot of friends. We’re like a big family, the 60 of us girls who are dancing dealers. Another thing I love about my job is interacting with people and hearing their funny stories.
The hours can definitely be a challenge, but I think the only real downside is that not everyone who comes in is always nice. The majority of people are nice – but sometimes you get those tough people.
I never know how much money I actually deal out in a night, because it always varies. Weekends I deal out much more. The players can put down as much as they want at a table – but every table does have a max bet depending on where you are in the casino, which is why there are specific high limit betting areas. Most people bet around $100 a game, or maybe a little more – but we do have people who play in the $1,000s.
Overall, I definitely notice a difference in energy and clientele on weekdays versus weekends. Weekends are high energy and super busy, and weekdays are steady – but not as crazy.
Building relationships with regular customers is fun.
Since our casino is downtown, I think many of our customers are not as serious as on the strip because they’re gambling to have fun, not to make money or for sport.
I get return customers all the time who play with me because they like me. I have one player who comes every single night. I have another very sweet couple who are regulars, and when I deal roulette they come in and play the numbers “17” and “20” every time because those are their lucky numbers. They’ll bet the max amount and whenever they win, they tip big. The most I’ve ever seen anyone win at once is $50,000.
You have to have an always-positive attitude, but overall dealing is a fun job.
Normally we’ll do an hour dealing, then we dance for 20 minutes, then we get a break for 20 minutes. It doesn’t even feel like 20 minutes when you’re dancing on the mini elevated boxes we have around the casino. There’s always so much going on around me it makes the night go by faster.
I don’t have any signature dance moves – I just try not to fall off the box! We dance on top of boxes in the middle of the “pit” in the casino, so all the players can see us.
To thrive in this sort of position, you need to have great people skills. You can’t be shy because you’re dancing in front of a bunch of people and when you’re not dancing, you’re communicating with them as a dealer. You have to be positive and happy so that your players feel good.
To anyone who’s interested in becoming a dancing dealer, I’d tell them it’s not the easiest job, because dealing with a lot of people can be tiring. At the same time, it’s a really fun job because you’re meeting people from all over the world. I’d like to keep doing this as my job forever.
As of March 31, 2021, cannabis became legal in New York City.
It’s still unclear when legal sales of cannabis will begin in America’s biggest market.
“We don’t know…and not just on the timeline,” Curaleaf exec Patrik Jonsson told Insider.
Cannabis has been legal in New York City since the end of March, but there’s still no way to legally purchase it.
What is expected to be America’s largest cannabis market is still stuck in limbo as New York legislators hammer out the details.
When will consumers be able to walk into a store and buy cannabis?
“We don’t know, we don’t know,” Patrik Jonsson, northeast regional president at Curaleaf, told Insider. “And not just on the timeline, but also what we’re going to be allowed to do,” he said.
Curaleaf is among the top cannabis MSOs, or multi-state operators, in the United States, according to The Motley Fool. It has over 100 dispensaries in 23 states, including New York State where it operates several medical dispensaries.
Jonsson is responsible for overseeing Curaleaf’s business in Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Vermont. He said working on New York City right now is “kind of a moving target,” because it’s impossible to plan for the future without knowing what the regulations will be.
“We’re kind of hedging our bets on how big, how small, how quick,” Jonsson said. “‘Cause none of that is set in stone. We don’t know if we’re allowed to be in one location. Are we allowed two locations? Can it be three locations?”
Cannabis laws vary dramatically from state to state, and New York is in a unique position where two of the surrounding states (New Jersey and Connecticut) are concurrently writing their own regulation on adult cannabis use.
In New York, for instance, only existing medical cannabis producers – like Curaleaf – will be able to both cultivate and sell cannabis. New entrants to the recreational market will have to choose to either cultivate or sell, not both.
But without knowing what type of retail stores will be allowed, how many will be allowed, and how they’ll operate – to say nothing of not knowing when they’ll be able to open for business – potential retailers are being more careful before diving in.
“Obviously the prices are pretty steep in a place like Manhattan,” Jonsson said. “So, we’re looking for locations, but we’re also going to be strategic on how do we hold that location without knowing for sure if it’s a location we’re actually going to be able to use. That’s a game that all the current operators are looking at.”
Manhattan retail was hit particularly hard during the height of the COVID pandemic, with tourism and commuters simultaneously disappearing from major sections of midtown and downtown Manhattan. Chains like Starbucks closed dozens of stores, many small businesses shuttered for good, and some new entrants are using that as an opportunity to get a foothold in New York City.
It’s unclear if cannabis dispensaries will be able to take advantage of the current glut of open Manhattan retail space.
“We will continue to work expeditiously to bring this new industry to life safely,” Gough said.
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Margaritaville’s first Camp Margaritaville RV resort opened in spring 2019 to “surprising” success.
Now, Margaritaville wants to expand its new RV resorts arm across the country.
The brand is targeting 30 to 50 more locations in the next five years, its president of development told Insider.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville empire is bringing its sponge cake and sun bake on the road with plans to expand its budding RV and glamping resorts across the US.
Margaritaville’s brand might not immediately evoke RVing. But so far, Camp Margaritaville has seen massive success at its first two locations in Lake Lanier, Georgia and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, it said.
The first Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Lodge opened in Lake Lanier – about an hour north of Atlanta – following a “happy accident,” Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, told Insider.
When Margaritaville had plans to sublease part of Lake Lanier, there was already a defunct RV park sitting unused on the land.
Instead of scrapping the camp, Margaritaville decided to revive and rebrand the resort as “Camp Margaritaville.”
The revamped camp reopened in spring 2019. In retrospect, this timing was fortuitous: Shortly after, the US underwent a pandemic-induced camping and RV boom.
The Lake Lanier location is now performing better than what the company initially predicted and budgeted for, “which is why [Margaritaville] is trying to get in the business so fast,” Wiseman said.
“What surprised us at Lake Lanier was the average daily rate we could generate with an upscale camping experience,” Wiseman said. “That drove our interest to move [the expansion of Camp Margaritaville] along quicker.”
Now, Margaritaville is targeting the rollout of 30 to 50 more nationwide locations in the next five years, Wiseman said.
And in the short term, the brand has plans to launch five additional locations in 2022, including one in Auburndale, Florida early next year.
But for now, Margaritaville won’t be building any RV camps from the ground up.
Instead, to expedite the expansion of its RV resorts arm, the company will rebrand existing RV resorts to fit the Margaritaville “lifestyle.”
This means updating existing RV resorts with stronger programmatic, food, and beverage offerings, for example.
So far, this Margaritaville charm of a “casual luxury camping experience” has resulted in an average demographic of younger families and guests in their low-30s age range, according to Wiseman.
Like any RV resort, every RV at Camp Margaritaville will have access to water, power, and sewage hookups.
The resorts also have glamping and non-RV lodging options for guests who don’t have a tiny home on wheels but are still interested in a Camp Margaritaville vacation.
Both the Georgia and Tennessee locations have services like shared bathhouses with showers and restrooms, complimentary WiF, and laundry facilities, as well as some family friend amenities like swimming pools or shuffle board.
While I’ve always considered myself relatively frugal, I started spending money in what felt like “luxurious” ways once the pandemic hit. Blame cabin fever or existential dread; it was also a fact that – thanks to pandemic unemployment insurance – I had a little more disposable income.
Now, even though things in my community are relatively back to normal and pandemic unemployment benefits have come to an end, my spending habits remain the same. Because I realized that what felt like splurges were actually relatively modest purchases, and because of these products and services dramatically improved my life, the following pandemic spending habits just might be here to stay.
1. I stockpile cleaning supplies
While I’ve definitely never been one of those toilet-paper hoarders, at the start of the pandemic I did pick up a couple extra bottles of bleach spray, sanitizing wipes, and everything else we’d need if someone got sick. Eighteen months later, I’ve kept up the habit. I love never running out of dish detergent or laundry soap.
2. I support local farmers
When the grocery store in town shut down, I started patronizing a hyper-local delivery service called Two Birds Provisions. This past spring, I became a patron. This means that I get a cooler full of locally grown produce, butcher shop items, and other locally produced goods delivered weekly straight to my door. Everything is super fresh, I’m supporting a family-run business, and it all costs less than what I’d spend at the supermarket.
3. I have a flower subscription
When I signed up as Two Birds patron, I went buck wild and tacked on a weekly flower subscription. It feels like a total indulgence, but a bouquet of locally grown flowers and foliage delivered weekly from the Parcel Flower Co. costs less than a large deluxe pizza – and fresh flowers seriously brighten a home.
4. I regularly refresh my wardrobe
My kids get an entirely new wardrobe every six months; you’d think I’d splurge on at least one pair of matching socks! Not so until last fall, when I looked down at my COVID wardrobe and realized it was time to retire the bleach-stained sweatshirts, house dresses from when I was pregnant, and worn-out leggings with holes in the crotch. Now, every time I shop for my kids, I pick up some new gear for myself as well.
5. I’m amassing a collection of actual pajamas
Back in December 2020, the Washington Post declared that pajamas are having a moment. I couldn’t agree more. Instead of falling into bed every night in a t-shirt and sweats, last Spring I surrendered to my inner granny some time and began amassing a collection of cotton and flannel nightgowns similar to this amazing number (with pockets!).
6. I hire household help
As if a global pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, last July I was hit by a car while crossing the street. Miraculously, I was mostly okay. But a fractured wrist made completing housework nearly impossible, so we hired a housekeeper to take over most chores. Sure, it isn’t cheap, but in situations when you physically can’t do something, or when time is truly of the essence, it’s well worth the money to hire outside help. These days, we keep our housekeeper’s number on file in case of emergencies, and – just as soon as we were vaccinated – we put Biden’s child tax credit towards hiring the nanny of our dreams.
7. I’m investing in kitchen gear
Months of eating in put my love of cooking to the test. It also tested my cookware. The past year or so, we bought at least one new pot, and invested in actual glassware (although I still prefer drinking out of an old jar). But my favorite culinary purchase so far? A KitchenAid mixer to indulge my inner Stepford wife. Brand-name stand mixers are notoriously pricey, but you can find one for half the price like I did if you shop secondhand.
8. Skin-care products galore
If it sounds like I started spending a lot of money on me, that’s only because I didn’t used to – ever. Now, thanks to the pandemic, caring for myself has become the norm. Take my skincare regimen, for example: infrequently washing my face has morphed into multi-step routine that includes a liquid exfoliant, Retinoid serum, and this Vitamin C serum recommended by the dermatologist that does my Botox – and oh, yeah, I started getting Botox, because you can’t hide your “elevens” behind a face mask.
We’re extremely fortunate that the pandemic has left us with more discretionary income instead of less, and I’m happy to spend it by supporting local businesses as well as treating myself. It shouldn’t take an existential threat to invest in new underwear or adequate childcare, but here we are.
Tom Corley: What I found in my research is that in the morning, this is where self-made millionaires really create a lot of their wealth. They invest in themselves in the morning and what do they do? They do things like meditation. They do things like brainstorming – they’re brainstorming over obstacles, problems, issues that they are having either in pursuing their dreams or their goals or in their business or in their career.
They’re also reading what I call facts. They’re studying facts. And the reason to why they study the facts is they do this so that they can maintain their knowledge base and improve their knowledge base. They’re also trying to read uplifting, motivational, inspirational things to get them in the right mindset and this is so important. I’ve mentioned several times in my articles, if you have a positive mental outlook, then you have a greater chance of being successful in life and in order to get that positive mental outlook, sometimes you got to do certain things to put you over the top and one of them is meditation, the other one is reading inspirational, uplifting information.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published in December 2017
Often, Chinese car manufacturers don’t have the same reputation as those in Western countries.
Historically, this has been down to poor production quality and the tendency of some manufacturers to copy European designs.
Despite this, China has risen to quickly become one of the leading “car nations” – electric cars have been subsidized by the state in China for years. Electric cars account for a large share of new registrations each year.
One manufacturer, Nio – which specializes in autonomous cars – was founded in Shanghai in 2014.
The startup is considered “China’s answer to Tesla” due to its innovative strength, and it’s already produced over 100,000 cars there. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk commended the manufacturer on Twitter for reaching this milestone.
I was given the opportunity to take a ride in Nio’s new luxury model and to talk to its design chief Kris Tomasson.
Tomasson has previously worked at BMW and has also designed private jets, which is clear when you take a moment to appreciate the clean, no-frills finish of the ET7.
The hatchback has a cW value of 0.23, but in terms of aerodynamics, it’s outperformed by the world champion Mercedes EQS (0.20) and the Tesla Model S (0.208).
According to Nio, the exterior design of the approximately 5.10-meter-long sedan was inspired by the distinctive silhouettes of the seventies.
The roofline and C-pillar in particular are reminiscent of the Citroën CX or the Rover SD1.
Although the ET7 is a hatchback, the designers gave it a classic trunk lid.
“We did without a large tailgate because we wanted to optimize the space available in the interior. At the same time, we didn’t want to design a conventional three-box sedan, as that wouldn’t have fit the ET7’s novel character,” Tomasson explained this decision when asked by Business Insider. The model also has to do without a frunk (front luggage compartment). The rear luggage compartment, however, appears quite large at first glance.
Record-breaking rear legroom
According to project manager Tomasson, the in-house Eve study from 2017 served as the starting point for the design process. At first glance, there may be few visual parallels to the extremely futuristic-looking and fully autonomous concept car.
According to the designer in charge, however, the proportions have been taken from the production model. With its 3.07-meter wheelbase, the ET7 has a similarly elongated appearance to the study. Together with the short overhangs, it should provide plenty of space in the interior.
During my first seat test, I found that Nio wasn’t exaggerating when it boasted about leg space – there was considerable room for my legs to the point where I could almost fully stretch them out.
According to the manufacturer, the ET7 is even supposed to be the best in this category.
The elbow and headrests were also very comfortable, with the latter curving inwards and adapting to the shape of the head.
The huge panorama roof, which extends almost all the way to the rear, means that the rear of the car is flooded with light.
However, the headroom leaves a lot to be desired due to the steeply sloping roof.
At just under 1.85 meters tall, my head was bumping into the roof. Tall people will probably have to slouch in the back seat.
Sustainable wood instead of plastic
Behind the wheel, I felt like I was in an airplane cockpit. There is a floating center console next to me and a screen displaying digital readouts in front of me. The infotainment system is operated by a 12.8-inch touchscreen mounted on top of the center console.
But there’s another, much more modern option: Nio itself has developed the NOMI digital assistant, which uses artificial intelligence and the latest version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors.
I was also amazed by the attention to detail, which I wasn’t expecting from a Chinese car.
For example, the window control panels, often standardized by other manufacturers, aren’t made of plastic but of metal. They have been beautifully designed.
The gear selector lever was also individually designed, while the air vents are very thin.
Instead of lining the car with plastic, Nio consistently relies on a lighter and much more sustainable material for the interior of the ET7, which the Chinese developed together with German company “Out of space”.
“Karuun” is a renewable material made mostly out of rattan that should theoretically be as resistant as plastic.
A spokesman for Nio said that the ET7 is “ready for the future,” which is evident from looking at the car’s exterior, too.
On the roof, as well as in the mudguard, and on all sides, there are a large number of sensors, cameras, and a lidar. So the sedan is already ready for autonomous driving.
Removable batteries and a range of up to 1,000 kilometers
The Shanghai-based manufacturer is also on the cusp of developing another future-critical technology – Nio wants to deliver the 480-kW ET7 in China with a solid-state battery as early as the fourth quarter of 2022. This would be at the same time as the market launch in Germany. The latter is not only lighter and more compact, but also offers a higher energy content.
Nio expects the car’s battery capacity to be at around 150 kWh, which should be enough for a range of an impressive 1,000 kilometers.
Units that have already been delivered can be retrofitted with the innovative battery.
In China, the company already operates 400 stations where batteries can be exchanged within a very short time.
Whether Nio can actually outstrip them in Europe and the US will depend on whether the Chinese carmakers can shed their cheap image.
However, with sophisticated and appealing models like the ET7, this should happen quite quickly.
The ET7 will compete with the BMW i5
It’s no coincidence that the brand has its European headquarters and one of its two design centers in Munich.
Nio founder and chief executive William Li anticipates high demand for his cars in Europe. If sales go figures develop well, he hasn’t ruled out manufacturing in the EU.
The brand has targeted the fourth quarter of 2022 for market launch in Germany.
While most Chinese manufacturers are trying to gain a foothold in this country with trendy SUV models, Nio is focusing on its new ET7 electric sedan. The high-seat ES8, ES6 and EC6 are likely to follow later.
Whiny, self-obsessed, not politically engaged enough – the accusations directed at millennials by older generations seem endless.
Millennials, or anyone born between 1980 and 2000, often get painted as pampered do-gooders with a naive worldview, whose priorities extend only to getting sabbaticals and being allowed to work from home.
That said, decades of disregard for the climate, unfair policies and structures being implemented between the generations, and questionable ideas concerning success in the workplace have left 18 to 38-year-olds with a heavy weight to bear.
Twenty-one young people from Germany told Insider of the problems the baby boomers have created and perpetuated in Germany and how they can be solved:
‘Let’s stop talking about what’s gone wrong.’
We’re hurtling towards the edge of a cliff at full pelt – it isn’t for the sake of science that we’re trying to figure out the quantity by which sea levels are set to rise; it’s about survival.
Together, with more than 67,000 other children and young people from our Plant for the Planet initiative, I’ve committed myself to combat the climate crisis. And yes, perhaps the older generation is listening to us but are they doing enough?
The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our time. The CO2 clock is ticking. What must we do and what can we do right now? Well, we can massively reduce our CO2 emissions. And we can plant 1,000 billion trees to absorb a quarter of man-made CO2. I’d say to the older generations, to company bosses, and to politicians: “Let’s stop talking about what’s gone wrong or what’s going wrong – let’s plant trees together and save our future.”
‘It’s older people who get to call the shots on pensions – yet they no longer have to cough up.’
Most baby boomers will be retiring soon, which will put considerable pressure on our pension system. There’s a massive disparity between the number of working people and the increasing number of pensioners for whom those working people are footing the bill.
I think a simple and logical solution would be if everyone had to work for a period of time during their later years. And retirement should be linked to life expectancy. I’m skeptical about who decides what’s what when it comes to pensions. You only find older people sitting on the Pensions Commission, who no longer foot the bill themselves. We younger people have to hand out payments but aren’t given a say.
‘The biggest problem the baby boomers have left us isn’t that they haven’t grown out of their crap.’
The biggest problem the baby boomers have dumped on us isn’t that they haven’t grown out of their crappy habits: it’s the state they’ve in which they’ve left the future of our pension system. Pay-as-you-go financing, which has been successfully practiced for decades, will come under increasing pressure as more baby boomers leave the workforce and begin receiving benefits from the pension fund. This news comes as no surprise but politics has, so far, failed to make provisions for that day, when it comes.
Fewer contributors and more beneficiaries mean great challenges will be posed for the statutory pension for a good 15 years. How these challenges will be managed isn’t just a technical question. In fact, some are taking the opportunity – through scandalous inaction – to slowly chip away at the principle of solidarity when it comes to pensions and to privatize them. If all employees became contributors, we could increase contributions slightly and, if necessary, avoid shying away from tax subsidies.
‘We’ve inherited the baby boomers’ workaholic attitude and taken it to the next level.
The notion that Generation Y has no interest in professional success and thinks of the home office as synonymous with doing nothing is certainly not new – and unfortunately, it’s firmly rooted in the minds of many among the older generation. I actually believe we’ve inherited their workaholic attitude – always better, always more, always higher – and that we’ve taken what the baby boomers did and pushed it much further.
Whether among friends, colleagues, or in reports in the media – no other generation linked with topics such as burnout or partly unpaid overtime as often as ours. The demands on our generation when it comes to starting a career are enormous. You’re expected to have five years of professional experience after completing your studies as well as to nearly have finished your Ph.D. Of course, you can’t solely blame the baby boomers, but they’ve always stressed the importance of establishing a career and reinforced that it was the key to a successful and happy life. Although we’ve taken on this attitude, we’d actually do a lot better to leave it behind. Generation Y continues to work a lot, but having a private life is much more important than money: leisure and downtime shouldn’t be overlooked.
Our generation is on its way to achieving the ideal work-leisure balance and to putting the baby boomers’ workaholic madness to rest.
‘Too much emphasis on progress and performance is a key problem we’ve inherited from the older generation.’
A serious problem we’ve inherited from the older generation is this fixation on progress and performance. In our tireless efforts to push boundaries, whatever the cost, there’s usually little room to address the often serious consequences. There’s no doubt about it: constant growth and development do pay off and, as a species, we have to take certain risks every now and then in order to move forward and survive. But pushing boundaries mustn’t become the objective itself nor must it come at the cost that it currently does.
In order to steer us into a desirable future, we need those in decision-making positions to be sharp. They need both the courage to change yet the informed judgment to pick up on warning signs too. To ensure we don’t continue to deplete our resources, we need a clear plan that takes into consideration the effects of our actions. Otherwise, we’ll leave our future generations with more – possibly even more serious – problems than those we have inherited, whether they be nuclear waste, the bees dying off, or climate disasters.
‘Our education systems barely differ to those of the previous generation – and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.’
I’m firm on the notion that we owe much to those who came before us. Especially the generation born in 1968, who revolutionized so much and helped break down so many structures.
But one area in which far too little has happened in recent decades is education. Our education systems have barely changed from those of the previous generation – and neither has the emphasis on grades and targets in the world of work, unfortunately.
At the age of 10, our children are still “sorted” into schools – not based on their individual talents, but purely according to their grades. Applicants are still assessed according to their qualifications on paper far too often, and not by what they actually know. And academic degrees are still worth more than emotional education.
I still remember the look of horror on the faces of my first boyfriend and his parents when I announced I was leaving high school as soon as I legally could, to follow my heart and become a childcare worker.
But I think I learned more life lessons through doing so than I could have ever done at university.
And that’s exactly what our generation so urgently needs: lessons in life. More and more tasks are being taken over by machines and artificial intelligence. The skills Generation Y needs in professional life today are not obedience, authority, and academic knowledge, but empathy, flexibility, and problem-solving.
Our generation must adapt quickly to new circumstances, because the job you did yesterday may look quite different tomorrow. And the office is no longer about sitting at a desk from nine until five; it’s about working at a time and place that maximizes one’s quality of work, based on the individual.
That’s why I’m committed to ensuring our future generations get better human and digital education, so they make our world more human and each individual person can be as he or she is – and thus achieve their own best performance.
‘Those who monopolize most of the power are, on average, much too old.’
Today’s prosperity is probably the greatest legacy of the previous generation. We should definitely be grateful for it. But it’s not as though it’s being passed down to younger generations without its drawbacks. The downside is that his focus on prosperity means few provisions have been made for the future and we haven’t adapted to our current challenges.
Those who monopolize most of the power are still, on average, far too old. Our generation is still trapped in a gilded cage. At some point, young Germans are going to escape that cage and find that the country is no longer at the top of the list of industrial nations.
This power needs to be handed over to the younger generation at an early stage. We’re ready to take on the responsibility and start restructuring things.
‘The older generation knows little about what constitutes a healthy and balanced diet.’
The abundance in food and convenience have featured heavily in the kitchens of the post-war generation. Where meat had previously featured rarely on the dining table, it was almost a compulsory, everyday part of meals in the 1950s. But it had to be simple, fast, and cheap.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that this kind of practice can’t go on indefinitely for future generations.
Due to this abundance and a lack of true appreciation for food, some among the older generation have little idea about what constitutes a healthy, balanced diet. What’s more, over the years a lot of marketing-driven pseudo-sciences – which, simply put, is often wrong and sometimes even dangerous – have persisted.
Questions like: “Where do vegans get protein from if they don’t eat meat?” or the myth that milk consumption is good for the bones (when the opposite is true) are still firmly anchored in their minds and will only be shifted with a lot of effort.
We try to set a good example and show that vegan life is anything but boring, that we don’t just live off salad or tofu – that the kitchen can be a place to have fun. We’re trying to show that cooking with friends, either alone or in pairs, is not another tedious chore; it’s the best thing you can do.
‘Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously.’
The baby boomers, our parents and theirs, have been instrumental in ensuring we grew up with high living standards. I’m grateful for that but we’ve also inherited a few problems, one of them being the pension situation. Like many in my generation, I don’t assume I’ll be provided for in old age. The level of baby boomers being paid for by us is ever increasing while there are fewer of us to foot the bill. It’s great that people are living longer but the subsidy for the pension system is already the largest item in the German budget.
At the same time, less and less is being invested in the future: for example, in education, and in infrastructure. My generation is outnumbered. But those who focus only on large voter groups are putting the future of our country at risk in favor of short-term electoral success. Politicians must take us and our ideas seriously. Ultimately it will help not only one generation but the whole country.
‘We know humanity has power over the Earth’s biophysical systems, thanks to our predecessors.’
For some time, we’ve known humanity affects and has control over the Earth’s biophysical systems more than any other force of nature – knowledge we’ve attained only thanks to our predecessors. It is both a blessing and a curse for our generation.
Never before have so many people been able to inhabit our planet and never before have commodities like regular holiday flights been so easy and readily affordable.
At the same time, hurricanes, floods, and heatwaves have threatened to destroy (and, in many cases, have destroyed) the lives and homes of millions.
My personal goal, through a more responsible approach than previous generations, is to help our generation ensure this power sticks around long term, instead of putting it at risk by inviting irreversible climate disasters.
‘Older generations aren’t prepared to take risks.’
Setting up a business in Germany is far too complex; it should be more straightforward. Other countries are well ahead and we should be moving on as soon as possible. The tax system in Germany is also massively outdated and makes it extremely difficult for those looking to get started with a business.
Start-ups could be much better supported with tax reforms so the start-ups could focus more on taking care of their business. Singapore has attracted startups from all over the world with its simple control system and has become the hub of the crypto scene. Our political structures are also too slow to change and aren’t able to keep up with innovation. Things have to change on this front.
A survey by U.S. News showed Germany was in first place in the “Entrepreneurship” category, ahead of Japan and the USA. It’s clear Germany is at the forefront despite the clear room for improvement.
Work has also changed: people used to stay in the same job their whole life, which is why it used to be feasible to work without constantly developing and learning. Today we seem to switch jobs every year or two. I think it has a lot to do with the Internet.
We always need to be ready to learn new things and take risks. And many opportunities and possibilities arise with the Internet if you’re open to it – cryptocurrencies are something I’m currently heavily involved in and open to, and I realize older generations aren’t.
There’s a conflict simply because older generations always advocate stability and safety over risk-taking, which they aren’t prepared to do. I can only speak for myself but if I’d never taken risks, I’d never have learned. We have to learn through trial and error that you can’t make money from anything and everything. Failure has become a valid part of working life, even if older generations still don’t want to admit it.
But older generations are starting to accept the start-up scene for what it is: it’s fast-moving, involves risk-taking, and isn’t always lucrative.
‘The older generation has left European peace in a fragile state.’
The rapid rise in greenhouse gases, the dramatically worsening climate crisis, the question of nuclear waste disposal, the irreversible death of countless plant and animal species – these are just some of the many consequences of failed climate and environmental policies from previous generations. Because they haven’t relied on sustainability, they’ve dumped the consequences of and responsibility for their actions onto future generations. We’re now having to face a mammoth challenge together: to keep global warming below two degrees to give future generations the chance to make mistakes.
As for Europe, our younger generation has inherited the task of establishing European peace, a project which the older generation has left in a sorry state. The continually rising rate of youth unemployment within the EU, austerity policies, Brexit – all of these things have greatly weakened the notion of the “European community” and reinforced right-wing nationalist and populist forces in Europe. I myself have close ties with Greece, and over the years I’ve witnessed the destructive effects of austerity there, and have also seen growing disillusionment towards the EU. We have to stop this in its tracks and do it now because lasting peace between us all is the most basic of prerequisites for taking on the many challenges ahead and finding solutions for tomorrow.
Where justice and gender equality are concerned, the older generation has set us on a path of clear progress, particularly as regards legal equality between the sexes. While we have to defend this success, we also have to continue fighting for 100% equality between men and women, whether in family and work, pay or pension, and the end of sexual violence towards women and girls.
‘Digitisation is largely a generational issue.’
Being digital means being online, networking, being open to new business models – and being young. It seems to be a largely generational issue: older people are less likely to be online than younger people, which is a pity because digitization opens up many new possibilities, especially for people who are aging. It can simplify and enrich everyday life. I hope people of all ages will greet digitization with open arms and optimism, but obviously not without a healthy dose of skepticism. Networking is at the heart of the digital world and could contribute to a better level of understanding between young and old. And it would help us learn much more from older people and vice versa.
‘Pension plans are a big disappointment.’
The subsequent drop in birth rate as a result of the rise of the contraceptive pill among the baby boomers is exacerbating demographic change. This has resulted in a shortage of specialists and labor in all areas of the economy. We young entrepreneurs and managers in particular are suffering from this as employers. Moreover, our country’s pension plans are a huge disappointment for our generation and an attack on intergenerational justice, particularly in view of demographic changes. The question of billions of funding for the “maternal pension” that’s been proposed in Germany remains open.
What can be done to increase employment rates and to mitigate the consequences of demographic change, as well as the pensions package? We need to look at options for flexible retirement. The statutory retirement age should be done away with. And working time law needs to be fundamentally reformed.
‘Climate change presents us with challenges that will dictate the opportunities of future generations.’
We’ve inherited a lot of problems to do with CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate change today presents us with a task – and how we manage this task will directly determine the opportunities available for future generations. That’s why I’m fully committed to limiting climate change as much as possible. We will only succeed with a market-based climate policy in which politicians set clear targets for reducing emissions. Other bans and regulations are unnecessary and provide false incentives. If we succeed in building a global emissions trading scheme with ambitious goals, which is as broad as possible for all economic sectors, I’m convinced we can limit global warming to an acceptable level.
‘We’ve been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability.’
We have much to thank the previous generations for: no generation has grown up as carefree and with as many possibilities as ours. However, it’s come at a price: we’ve been left with a society that revolves around profit rather than sustainability, where material prosperity counts more than individual happiness.
My professional field, science, is set up for the short term: there are many temporary contracts, focusing on trendy topics. But this profit-focused society has left its mark everywhere. The environment is riddled with pesticides, exhaust gases, plastics, and much more. People are stressed and it seems they would sooner pop pills than demand the time to live more healthily. Hardly anyone stops to breathe.
We, all generations together, can define new goals and break out of this established cycle, that’s exploiting human and environmental resources. Instead of sitting passively in front of the television and getting worked up about company bosses, we should all be taking responsibility and consuming both more sustainably and consciously. And we should be asking ourselves from time to time what actually makes us truly happy.
‘We’re still teaching as though we’re in the 19th century.’
Living in the 21st century, teaching 19th-century style: this is what seems to be at the core of our schooling.
I’ve tried myself to fend this off with learning methods that combine critical thinking and communication with creativity and teamwork, as well as the use of digital media. My students shouldn’t just be learning content and facts; they should be learning how to obtain new facts, how to share work effectively and efficiently, and how best to absorb and apply what they’ve learned. In this way, they develop openness, a willingness to learn, and also a certain degree of independence. The teacher becomes more of a companion for learning and a moderator.
My school is open to digital media and supports me in my creative work. I almost always use QR codes or get foreign-language authors, into the classroom via Skype.
Yet, due to a lack of technical support, training, time, and security, few teachers can organize something like this on their own initiative. On my page “Toller Unterricht” I publish lots of my ideas as well as tried and tested lesson plans, with materials included.
Politicians have made promises to digitize schools. In addition to the lack of qualifications teachers have, there also seems to be a lack of equipment. I’m glad my school has some projectors and smartboards I can use for my lessons, but some don’t even have Internet access.
Data protection is currently being taken to ridiculous extremes: new data protection regulation makes the use of private computers difficult, so some are being advised to use paper and pen. This won’t work within the frame of a digitization strategy for Germany in 2018.
Therefore, comprehensive reform is needed. Only then can we equip all our students with the skills to prepare them for life and learning in the 21st century.
‘It’s as if the parents think schools are responsible for raising children.’
The older generation has paid far too little attention to sustainable development. Sustainable development means empowering children to form their own opinions and encouraging them to act sustainably. Sustainable development means the current generation is developing, not compromising the next generation, but actively considering it. Children haven’t been sensitized to this at all.
I think there’s a very different tone in schools now. I get the sense that kids are becoming less and less respectful. Manners are disappearing and, unfortunately, you rarely see a boy holding the door open for a girl. It’s as if parents think schools are responsible for bringing children up.
Some children are only interested in who has the latest, highest-end mobile. The children who do not have a say in this are outside the picture – and I think that the generation above us is responsible for instilling different values.
‘We’ve inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us.’
We’ve not inherited generational conflicts; we’ve inherited a toxic political style from the generation before us, which has dealt little with political change or shaping the future and has been more focused on how everything can remain as is. One only has to look at how Merkel’s government dealt with a climate crisis and how it’s always been ignored and fought against by one commission or another. This political style has disappointed our generation and rightly so: it’s clear to young people that a little isn’t enough to answer the hard questions. For example, how can we still find well-paid and permanent jobs in 20 years’ time in spite of digitalization?
‘The older ranks of conservative politicians are afraid of change.’
As an activist for a united Europe, I’m always reminded of how much of the older ranks of conservative politicians fear change. While young people are almost unanimous in their commitment to a united Europe, the older generation is still resistant to it, although though the United States of Europe has been on the agenda of previous German political figures such as Franz Josef Strauss himself.
While old politicians are practicing against the left by remaining on the right, today’s young people are already focusing more on the spirit of the European Parliament, namely by looking for solutions.
In the 21st century, it is no longer about just having ideas, but about collaborating for a shared future. For example, the campaign #FreeInterrail – a free Interrail ticket for all Europeans as soon as they turn 18 – was devised by the youth for the youth. Ideas like these will secure our peace and cohesion in the long term.
“He’s a wonderfully creative person, but he shouldn’t be getting very little sleep,” Richard Branson once said, referring to Elon Musk’s late-night tweeting escapades. Branson isn’t the only one who thinks Musk could benefit from similar advice.
“Entrepreneurs, athletes, and other high performers desperately need good sleep,” Floris Wouterson told Insider, claiming that sleep is even more important than eating or exercising well.
Author of the book “Superslapen,” Wouterson is the first self-proclaimed “sleep performance coach” in Europe.
“Although, that’s not exactly hard, considering I came up with the term myself,” he told Insider. “I’ve been researching everything I could find on optimal sleep for years.”
He then started coaching, with athletes and top managers claiming to benefit greatly from Wouterson’s approach. Wouterson, based in Flanders, Belgium, comes from an entrepreneurial family himself and since 2002, his wife has set up a number of sleeping comfort stores.
Over the past sixteen years, Wouterson spoke to thousands of customers and became increasingly intrigued by sleep, as he too had struggled with poor sleep for a period of time.
According to Wouterson, the consequences of bad sleep are hugely underestimated. “Fatigue, irritability, loss of concentration, forgetfulness… it works against you in your work as well as in your relationships. The risk of injuries or accidents also increases by 40%.”
The long-term effects of bad sleep can also be severe – depression and burn-out can take hold if you don’t relax. Here are the five tips Wouterson gave Insider to become a super-sleeper.
1. Forget the “eight hours of sleep is a must” myth
According to Wouterson, this rigid notion that you must sleep for eight hours can actually cause sleep stress.
“If you think you should sleep eight hours every night, it can work against you,” said the expert. Lying awake and staying in bed because you have to reach eight hours in bed is illogical according to Wouterson.
You have to find your own sleep rhythm, go to sleep at a fixed time, and get up at a fixed time as much as possible. “Don’t stay lying down – it’s a misconception that sleep will come naturally.”
2. Don’t believe stories about super-short sleep
Stories about CEOs or politicians who only need a few hours of sleep make them sound tough, but according to Wouterson, only a small percentage of people can genuinely cope with little sleep.
It’s possible to train to temporarily sleep less, he said. Wouterson coached Sanne Haarhuis, a pilot in hot-air balloon competitions, to regulate her sleeping pattern and endure heavy, multi-day races with a minimum of sleep. Wouterson also sees top athletes who can quickly refuel with napping.
“You can recharge your batteries with a 12-minute power nap for two hours,” said the sleep expert however, you have to wake up in time before you sink into a very deep sleep.
According to Wouterson, you can achieve this by, for example, holding a bunch of keys in your hand while taking a short nap. “As soon as you sink too deeply, your hand relaxes, the keys fall to the ground and you’re awake again.”
3. Examine yourself
Wouterson is convinced there isn’t just one quick fix to sleep better; there are several areas that demand your attention.
“80% of the five main sleeping problems are learned,” he said. You can achieve an enormous amount by taking small steps to alter your diet, exercise, and sleep routine, for example.
But self-examination, looking at your own attitude to sleep, is perhaps most important according to Wouterson.
4. Eat well and take a break from your phone
Eating and resting your head are two things that require extra attention when it comes to ensuring a good night’s sleep.
Wouterson said to choose healthy food and to be careful with carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol, adding: “A good night’s sleep starts on your plate.”
Letting your mind drift is one thing but, of course, brooding and pondering won’t help if you want to sleep – negative media reports about “the state of affairs in the world” can keep you feeling worrisome, tossing and turning.
Wouterson advises you to focus on your own circle of influence – what are some challenges in your life you can influence yourself? Focus mainly on those things and try not to keep worrying too much about problems you can’t do much about.
A media diet can bring peace – make sure to put your smartphone away in the evening, a few hours before you go to sleep.
5. Employers should see their employees’ sleep as an investment
Keep going, slog away, work through lunch, soldier on, stay an extra hour – it may seem logical to squeeze as much as you can out of your employees but it’s actually counterproductive, according to Wouterson.
Businesses may see a drastic improvement in the performance of their employees when they’ve slept better. The number of mistakes decreases, while better decisions will take the company further.
“As an employer, you don’t exactly want to be in your employees’ bedrooms, but offering sleep training or sleeping facilities can actually be a good investment,” said Wouterson.
According to the sleep performance coach, this is already a common phenomenon in Japan.
Rick Ross is a rapper, songwriter, and record executive. He’s the founder of the Maybach Music group, has 10 albums that have made the Billboard 200 list, and has received four Grammy Award nominations. During our conversation, Ross discussed some of the highlights from his new book, “The Perfect Day to Boss Up,” and offered his best career advice.
What were some of your early childhood experiences that helped you learn how to be a businessman and eventually launch successful ventures?
I remember roaming through my neighborhood and community and seeing what successful people had going on. You know, the people with the nicest yards and houses. And I remember saying, wow, they worked for themselves. They own a lawn service or whatever it is, but I saw people that had worked hard and were living a little better than where I’m from.
During the grind of building your brand and career, what was your daily motivation that helped you persevere despite all the obstacles?
Growing up in Miami, there was no gray area – you were either extremely wealthy or you had nothing. So I would go joy riding and that would give me all the inspiration I needed. Anything you could imagine or fathom was right there in the city, it was just about getting to it. And I remained inspired and I wouldn’t stop, I wouldn’t quit no matter what.
What are some of your ‘Boss Commandments’ that people can implement in their own lives?
The most important question I get asked is, how did you put yourself in a position to become so wealthy? And I always go back to the idea that you have to do it one day at a time. The most valuable asset you will ever be in control of is time, and there will come a time when you won’t have enough of it.
So take advantage of every day to do something positive. Call five people that you haven’t called in a little while. Reach out to some potential business partners that could help you elevate whatever it is you have going on. As a boss, you can’t be afraid to say you need help. That’s the biggest mistake you can make is not saying you need help.
Over the past year, you cut your own grass instead of paying someone else to do it and you flew commercial instead of private. Why did you choose to do this, even though you don’t have to?
For one, I’m always thinking long-term. I believe we need to put ourselves in a strong financial position while we have the opportunity, because that can affect the rest of our lives.
From my understanding, the former owner of my estate had 17 people maintaining close to 300 acres. Even though he was very wealthy, the estate ended up going into foreclosure. So to avoid this, I maintain the bulk of it with my buddies. They handle the yard work, and I bought a tractor and I cut the grass. I’m thinking long-term, and hopefully I can get some other people to think this way as well.
And me flying commercial; it goes back to the mindset of still being comfortable with walking through the airport and having people want to talk to me or ask for a picture. I’m not too big for that, and I don’t think I’ll ever be too big for that. If I’m flying private it’s only because I had to go to three different cities in one day.
What is your best piece of career advice?
My best piece of career advice is to make sure you’re always the hardest worker in the room. You can never let anyone in the room be recognized as the hardest worker because if that’s the case, you’re losing.
If I’m not the smartest person in the room, I will be acknowledged as being the hardest worker. I will stay the latest. I will get there before everybody. I’ll make sure I elevate myself. And that’s the only way you make it to this level or continue to go up.
Like everybody else we were skeptical about boarding flights and leaving the country. So we settled instead on a Disney staycation cruise, sailing around the UK for three days and two nights.
Nearly two years on from our last proper vacation, we’d forgotten what it was like to travel with a child. Also, my 65-year-old parents were to accompany us, so we felt we needed to be more cautious. We decided to plan ahead and focus on three areas: pre-travel, day of travel, and on the sea.
Pre-travel: check your booking, plan some activities, upload your documents
The Disney website is easy to use and allows you to access your reservation and plan your activities well in advance. There are some free activities, such as youth club slots and karaoke, but there are also a ton of paid activities to choose from. We timed our son’s youth club activity with some beer tasting for the grown-ups.
The check-in process is very similar to airline travel, in that you’re required to upload identification documents. Disney also asks you to upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination if you’re over 18. Under-18s must buy a rapid test and upload the result at least 24 hours before boarding.
Once all your documents are uploaded, Disney verifies and completes your check in, and you’re good to go!
Now let’s pack. There are lots of things to do – sit-down dinners, informal lunches, poolside drinks, water activities, and more – so there are lots of looks to consider. We packed a variety of clothes but we still traveled light.
There’s an option to check in your luggage at the terminal before boarding, and leave your suitcase outside your room for collection the night before leaving. This gives you the flexibility to carry just a handbag before getting to your stateroom at 4 p.m.
On the day: fill up your snack bag, keep your water bottle handy, and mask up while you wait to board
We started our day early. The cruise was set to sail from Tilbury, a container port in East London. The port was clearly signposted and we spotted the massive Disney cruise ship the moment we drove in.
We dropped off our luggage at the terminal and made our way to the COVID-19 testing centre.
It’s worth noting that everyone needed to get antigen testing done here, regardless of whether they’d had a negative test in the past five days. The test took fewer than five minutes. We were then directed to a waiting area to await the results.
This was easily the most nerve-wracking moment of the trip. We’d all been vaccinated, and my son’s earlier antigen test had come back negative, but as we sat there waiting, we knew it could all have been for nothing. The cruise ship was right there in front of us, but right in the way of it was a wait of up to 45 minutes for our test results to come through.
After several rounds of scrolling through and refreshing my email inbox, I finally spotted the test results: all negative. We were cleared to board so we made our way to the ship.
We were welcomed aboard by none other than Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse and were informed that our staterooms would be ready by 3 p.m. We were hungry so we made our way to Cabana, a family buffet with a larger-than-life spread of cuisines including fish and chips, lasagnas, Indian curry, oriental food, Mexican burritos, and so much more.
We finished our lunch in time to get the keys for our stateroom. It was nice and spacious and boasted a private veranda overlooking the English Channel. We decided to park ourselves for a bit, get familiar with the ship, and get ready for the whirlwind ahead.
On the sea: quick meals at Cabana, meet-and-greet Disney characters, and rotational dining
COVID-19 restrictions, such as social distancing, were in place throughout the cruise. Guests were required to wear face masks when not dining. Social distancing was also in place for character meet-and-greets, something our 4-year old wasn’t happy about: he wanted to run to Spider-Man and Thor and hug them.
Once on board, guests could access an itinerary on the Disney Cruise Line app. Our four-year-old’s sole focus was to meet as many superheroes (or people dressed as Avengers characters) as possible. So we went through the app and added all the relevant events to our itinerary.
The cruise fare includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at the restaurants Cabana, Animator’s Palete, Rapunzel’s Royal Table, and Lumiere’s. The cruise boasts of “rotational dining” – a concept that encourages guests to enjoy each of the three themed dining venues while on board.
Our servers Valentin, Mario, and Gian were extremely warm and welcoming, and worked with us to get a perfect three-course meal experience. The restaurants are grand with interactive storytelling experiences. Each has its own theme, with live music and character appearances to enjoy while eating.
Food was a big part of our cruise experience but we also spent a lot of time exploring the ship, meeting our favorite superheroes, taking a dip in the pool, and watching Disney Dreams, a magical theatre performance at Walt Disney Theatre.
Overall, the two nights and three days we spent on the Disney cruise was a great experience. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family, made some great memories, and enjoyed a proper vacation for the first time in 18 months.
“I want to go back to the cruise again,” said our 4-year-old as we got back in our car to drive back home.