Houston, TX – We know that Baby Boomers are retiring at such a rate that we cannot replace their talent and experience overnight, and yet it seems many Baby Boomers do not recognize the talent in their organizations. I know the talent exists and this blog series will highlight everyday people doing extraordinary things. Fortunately, these young professionals are being recognized in their organizations and there are lessons to learn from each of them. It is important for all generations to listen to what these young professionals have to say as it is important to our present and our future.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Jones who is the Operating Partner and Vice President of F2F Logistics at the age of 30. Matt is a graduate of the University of Houston with a BBA degree.

Matt  feels he has his dream job right now which is an entrepreneur and running a business. It all started when he started working the day he turned sixteen as a busboy at a family owned BBQ restaurant. What shaped his work ethic started with the experience of washing many dishes and scrubbing many toilets and eventually worked his way up to a meat cutter. That experience helps me appreciate where he is today. He learned a lot from the owner just by watching how he handled the day to day interaction with customers and employees. He was his own boss, handled his own schedule, and ran the business as he wanted. Matt believes that period was when he really figured out that one day he would want to run my own business. Through college, he worked in retail to mainly help pay for tuition and books, and gained a lot of confidence in his sales ability.

Matt attributes his career success to hard work and dedication, and always using his common sense to figure things out on his own. He strongly believes there are two types of people in the world; those who are book smart and those who have common sense. Both are needed in the world we live in, and  both solve problems and handle tasks in different ways. He gift is in figuring things out, like getting through college and starting a business.

Matt’s passions are entrepreneurship and everything that comes with it. The stress, the constant thought of thinking of ways to improve the business, busy days and nights, and the schedule. It is  all worth it to him in terms of payoff and passion.

I asked Matt if he had advice for younger professionals entering the workforce and here is what he said, “First thing is to get to scrubbing those toilets and washing dishes. Do not think that you are better than that because the moment you do is when you find yourself feeling and being entitled. This world and everyone in it does not owe you a thing. When you fully understand that, you will then be ready to truly make a difference in what you do and be happy doing it.” The second piece of advice from Matt was “look beyond college and universities. Part of the “norm” these days is that once you are done with high school you must attend a 4-year college/university. Wrong. There are plenty of options including the military or a vocational school teaching a trade. We currently have an abundance of college grads and not enough electricians or plumbers. If he was coming out of high school right now, he would learn to work on air conditioners and start an A/C repair business. From a practical perspective, we live in Texas, it’s hot, and A/C’s will always need to be fixed”. And finally, Matt’s advice was “Do not be afraid to fail. The more you fail the more you will learn and gain confidence in yourself and your abilities to succeed. It is very cliché, but it is very true”.

I asked Matt to help baby boomers better understand about some of the biggest misconceptions people have about people his age. Matt said, “ I hear a lot that all millennials are entitled which he does not find to be true working with the people he has in his age group. For the most part, we all want to succeed and understand that we must work hard to get there. For the baby boomers that are currently leading the companies, I encourage them to sit down and have a “craft” beer with a millennial. I think they will be pretty surprised about what they learn”. We would agree with what Matt as to say as this is truly the intention of the blog series.

Matt’s professional and personal goals are the same. He wants to continue to grow F2F, not only for the sake of the employees and future employees, but also for his family. He and his wife, Marisa, just had their first born on August 17th. Max is a healthy baby boy, and the family is truly excited about this next chapter of their lives. Everything Matt does now is for them. His family is his world.

As the interviewer, I would describe Matt’s success in large part because of his strong work ethic, the depth of his experience, his energy, authenticity, problem solving ability, vision and commitment to family. Matt has what I call the X-factor, you might not be able to describe it, but you know it when you see it.

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