Jeremy Truitt

An attempt to understand the world of current events, finance and the economy on a level that allows me to teach it. I'm a journalist. Oh and the occasional post about family, life and kids!

Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard: Why Entitlement is Toxic



We all hear these phrases, heck we’ve probably all used one before. “It’s not fair.” “It’s not my fault.” “I deserve (insert word here).” “That’s not my job.” “I should get the same treatment as them.”

It’s aptly called entitlement, and it’s sweeping the millennial generation like an absolute wildfire that is raging out of control. It’s toxic, it’s damaging, it’s disgusting and frankly, it pisses me off. I don’t mean it simply makes me mad. I don’t mean it’s just aggravating. I mean it literally enrages me and I’ll fight anybody who wants to challenge me on it (verbally of course).

It’s become such a pet peeve of mine that I don’t allow my children to use the phrases “not fair” or “not my fault.” Their vocabulary will not include such phrases that passively push responsibility away from them and onto another person or object. I won’t allow it.

I cringe when I hear a co-worker say it, I bite my tongue when I see it in the classroom or in talking with friends. I experienced so much of it in the past week alone that I’m writing a blog about it.

“Never dodge responsibility….EVER.” —John Wooden

I worked with an individual recently that had legitimate concerns that she wasn’t going to get promoted. She was furious. In her words, she deserves to get promoted because she’s been with this company for over 4 years. “Wow,” I said. “Sounds like you have a tough time, why don’t they want to promote you?” She told me it had to be because she’s a woman and she’s younger than her boss so they must just be jealous. I respectfully asked, “What have you done to ‘deserve’ said promotion?” Remember just 2 paragraphs ago I said this enrages me? Here goes: She had no answer. Her actual response was “I deserve it because I work really hard.” Hmm. This is a girl who also makes sure to take all 6 sick days she’s given annually because it’s “her right.” This is a girl who refuses to work overtime because it’s “not fair” that nobody else wants to work overtime so why should she? This is a girl who gives pushback and argues every time her boss asks her to work harder. Here’s the unadulterated truth dear: You’re a loser. That’s why you aren’t getting promoted. You expect handouts and aren’t willing to EARN the promotion. You aren’t a team player and are more interested in yourself than anyone else and you’re lazy. Period. This mentality is not an isolated incident. It’s extremely common.


This disastrous mentality is ever-increasing in our society and our workforce. No more are people interested in getting the job done regardless of how long it takes or how hard it is. I don’t mean to simply marginalize the millennials but based on my experience, it’s the millennials who act like this. I’m fully aware it exists elsewhere as well.

In this economy, why wouldn’t everybody be grateful to have a job? I don’t give a damn if you have to work Saturdays and miss the football games or you have to work longer hours because you need more money. In my analysis, I vehemently believe a huge part of this is due to a lack of gratefulness. This legalistic society we’re evolving in to seems to breed this behavior. It’s sickening. My kids go to a sports competition and everybody gets a trophy just for showing up. Hard work and perseverance are no longer celebrated to the extent they used to be. We passively coddle our kids and have unintentionally bred a new generation of whining, ungrateful and Twitter-spoiled brats.


I created a table to demonstrate the various differences between having what I call a “business mentality” versus an “employee mentality.” This doesn’t mean we all need to own a business, but I believe if we apply some very basic, yet extremely effective principles to how we handle ourselves in life and in the workplace, we’ll see almost immediate effects.


A mentor gave me advice once that I’ll never forget. He said “Jeremy, own what you can control. Be accountable and never do for others what they can do for themselves because you’ll facilitate their lack of accountability.”

Own what I can control. I can’t control the weather. I can’t control what happens to me in life (to an extent), I can’t control what others do. What I can control, nay, what I WILL control is my attitude regarding those things in life. It’s not in “God’s” hands, it’s in mine. It’s not dependent on majestic or cosmic factors aligning, it’s dependent on my ability to work my ass off and seize every opportunity to learn, grow and advance. Whether or not I succeed in life is dependent on MY actions. No excuses.

I will never subscribe to an employee or victim’s mentality. When we allow those thoughts to stay in our minds we become apt to accept failure easier, to give up more, to create self-perpetuating habits of failure. I’m not a failure, I’m a winner.

“The chains of habit are too light to be felt until they become too heavy to be broken”     —Warren Buffett

Here’s a great video on this topic, brought to you by none other than the late Steve Jobs! CLICK HERE


14 comments on “Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn’t Work Hard: Why Entitlement is Toxic

  1. AlphaPolitical
    September 23, 2012

    I’m certain sloths didn’t contribute to the 7 wonders of the world. 😉

  2. scribblechic
    September 23, 2012

    As a mother I appreciate your effort to foster accountability, empowering your children with ownership for their behaviors and choices. I am witness to my husband’s frustration as an employer when fending unending requests for promotions/raises/increased benefits by employees who assume showing up for work and completing expected tasks are cause for praise. I could go on, citing examples of this message of entitlement as it exists in schools and athletics. This is an important subject, thank you for increasing consciousness with your voice.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      September 23, 2012

      Thanks for the comment! I agree with you as well, I really believe we must empower our children to be independent thinkers and problem solvers. Glad you liked it!

  3. welfareguy
    September 23, 2012

    I agree. The successes I”ve had in life I earned. Have I had help along the way? Sure. But those who have helped me knew that there help would not be wasted and taken for granted.

  4. jeremiah757
    September 28, 2012

    Excellent post on the entitlement mentality. The big lie underlying this mentality is that there should be some authority to enforce “fairness.” A dishonest government is always ready to claim this authority, and weak-willed people are ready to be its slaves.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      September 28, 2012

      I think you have a well-reasoned point. I am one to typically disagree with equity just for the sake of saying it’s fair. Life isn’t fair. It sucks sometimes. It’s tough. Like I tell my children, whining doesn’t help or solve problems. We live in America, you can do anything you want to, IF you’re willing to do the work. Thanks for the comment!

  5. Raven
    September 29, 2012

    That’s a little bit simplistic. You can maximize your own success with hard work and a good attitude, but society sets the parameters in which you can move. Consider – *any*one can be a highly successful captain of industry, but not *every*one can. No matter how hard they work. Society would fall apart if there was no underclass to perform the crap jobs. Some people HAVE to fail. It’s built in. Is it right? Or wrong? Or even fair? That’s a whole other issue. It just is.

    • Jeremy Truitt
      September 29, 2012

      Thanks for the comment! I wrote the post from the perspective of an American in the American system. This won’t apply to every area of the world obviously. I can see your point but I can’t fully agree. For example, 35 of the largest companies in the U.S. are ran by CEOs with NO college degree. The SBA estimates between 50-70% of small business owners have no degree either. In America, we have opportunity like no other country. “Not everyone can” is a cop-out for those not willing to blaze the trail and make it happen.

  6. Raven
    September 29, 2012

    I came back to say I don’t actually *dis*agree with the point that nobody likes a whiner, and that people should work hard (those are givens), just that there are other factors.

  7. annotating60
    October 1, 2012

    In teresting point of view. Unfortunately it goes deeper than the workplace. But we have become a society of haves and have nots. Anf it is not a society built on meritocracy. Right now it is built on fear, it feeds on peoples fears. Once the Supreme Court said that Corporations are people the jig was up. It’s going to take a hell of a lot to break those chains now. KB oh just incase you’re interested I only post poetry on Fri-Sun on my blog.

  8. Patsy
    October 10, 2012

    As a millennial, I’m not sure how I feel about this. I feel unchallenged in my workplace, which will sometimes come off as Lazy or Entitled. (I’ve even written sticky notes to remind myself to be honest, loyal, and work hard to earn respect). It’s hard sometimes to manufacture “work” to do. Am I lazy if it takes me 4 hours to finish my work for the day while it takes someone else 8 to do the same task? Again, I’m not trying to sound entitled, but I’m genuinely curious

    • Jeremy Truitt
      October 10, 2012

      Hmm. I think you bring up a really thought-provoking point. Look at your language here: “I feel unchallenged in my workplace.” “I’ve written sticky notes…” “It’s hard to manufacture ‘work’ to do.” This doesn’t sound like the language of an entitled person. You sound more like a person who WANTS to work but is in a workplace that isn’t stimulating. This post is about those who whine, complain, expect everything to be “fair” and think they’re entitled. I would argue that no, you are not lazy or entitled. Your language makes it sound like you’re an intelligent girl who needs to be challenged to reach her potential. I’m the very same way. Of course it’s easy for me to sit here behind my computer and sound smart but maybe the best thing is to search….keep searching until you find an employer or environment that makes you come alive! Sounds like you’re not in that place, and that’s not something you can necessarily change.

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This entry was posted on September 22, 2012 by in Education, Finance, News, Personal and tagged , , , , , , , .
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