Millennials have a thirst for creativity and innovation that often drive them to become entrepreneurs. In launching a business, they can take that ingenuity and make their dreams a reality. They are holding power to bring their ideas to life. The entrepreneurial spirit of millennials is remarkable. They have already broken the mold by pitching the career norms out the window, so it should come as no surprise that they have no interest in waiting around at some corporate job for their next promotion or to make a difference in the world.
The dream of becoming an entrepreneur, setting your own hours, and being your own boss, is something that most of us have thought about at least once in our lives – if not all the time. We see other entrepreneurs who have been wildly successful, and we think “surely I can do that too!” But what you may not see when you are looking at those successful people, is their achievements and letdowns, and what it took to get them to their level of success.
The first step to understanding the entrepreneur is understanding the mindset. For millennials, this is a no-brainer. Much of the boomer generation considers being an entrepreneur one who owns a business – one that you can walk into. For millennials, being an entrepreneur IS the mindset. Most Millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs, and recognize entrepreneurship as a mentality.
You must understand that you cannot have success without failure. Yes – you have probably heard this a million times. Why? Because hundreds of successful entrepreneurs have been there and that is what they tell us.
No matter how good you are at something, you are going to fail at least once – if not many times. Go ahead – ask any successful entrepreneur how many times they failed, got rejected or told their idea would never work. They will tell you that failure or rejection is what fueled their fire to succeed. The attitude you have and how you handle each catastrophe could determine your success or failure. If you can’t hack rejection or failing more than once, you probably shouldn’t be an entrepreneur.
Millennials are discovering entrepreneurship significantly earlier than boomers did. While boomers typically did not launch a business until they were in their mid-30’s, millennials are starting on the entrepreneurial track in their mid-20’s. This early start gives this new generation more time to fail and ultimately succeed. And in general, millennials are much more open to failure than their past generation.
No matter how many times you fail, make sure that you are also celebrating even the smallest of wins. You are going to have a lot of highs and a lot of lows. Knowing when to stop, celebrate and “take the win” is an important part of being an entrepreneur. What seems like small wins at the time, can add up to big wins overall. You are going to need those small celebrations to keep your perseverance.
Aside from failure, one of the biggest roller coaster rides in entrepreneurship is perhaps the financial difficulties and surviving the seasonal highs and lows. While most of us millennials fit into the role of self-starter by default, it isn’t always as easy as packing your digital assets up and moving into the garage to initiate your startup. You have to be able to support yourself, and most times your startup isn’t bringing you a paycheck right away. This can mean a lot of stress and also, even more commitment by working a second “job” to support yourself through your venture. To be successful, you have to be passionate about what you are doing – because you can burn out quickly.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone, and most definitely not for the faint of heart. Building a business takes a lot of time and sacrifice from all areas of your life. Once you step onto what will inevitably become your personal roller coaster, you need to be ready to lose your stomach. However, becoming a millennial entrepreneur can bring a lot of satisfaction to your life and your career if you are willing to take on the challenge.
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