Social media would have you to believe that everyone is out here living out their passions, making tons of money and starting fabulous businesses everyday.
Well. Ok. Yeah, this is happening lol, but not at the rate the posts would have you to believe.
Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) have been called the “Entrepreneurial Generation”. Is reality keeping up with the hype? I would say a resounding YES. Some interesting stats:
Surprisingly though, when it comes to business revenues, millennials are not at the top of the pack. It is actually post-millennial entrepreneurs who are generating big money; second only to baby boomers, post-millennial business owners on average reported.
With so much millennial entrepreneurial activity and magic, why the discrepancy?
The brilliance, creativity and hustle that comes from today’s millennial professionals can sometimes be the very same things that prevent true growth and success.
Millennials have an unbelievable ability to adapt and react quickly. They also grasp technology and collaborate with others in a way that makes for excellent leaders.
But there can be a blind spot that distorts perception versus reality. And speaking from my own experience, it’s sometimes so crucial to get out of your own way.
Here are three things to consider:
One of the biggest complaints about millennials from employers and hiring brands is the overwhelming sense of entitlement that seems impossible to avoid. I will tell you that one of my previous hiring concerns was always trying to determine if the candidate was truly interested in the job they were applying for or were they just using it to build “their brand”. There used to be a time when a person would work to learn the skills needed to eventually grow into the position of their dreams. Today, things have appeared to have sped up. Quality has been exchanged for quantity (likes) and time doesn’t seem to be sexy anymore.
But I know the difference between a homemade cake and one that is store bought. There’s something about the time and love that goes into making that from scratch that can’t be replicated. You can taste the difference from that first bite.
You gotta crawl before you can walk.
It’s so important to give yourself time to learn from the lessons and mistakes of others who have already been where you are trying to get. And this doesn’t mean you have to slow down your hustle. It’s just about making that hustle more strategic.
This next statement may be controversial but I only know how to keep it real lol.
We don’t live in a equal society.
There are levels to this sh*t as rapper Meek Mill so brilliantly proclaimed.
You don’t know everything.
And that is what makes the journey such an amazing one if you take the time for it. A true mogul or boss can’t be created in months or even a year.
Before you can give advice on being a boss, you actually gotta be one.
And that doesn’t happen overnight or without many, many mistakes. We are all lifetime students. And this is a beautiful thing to celebrate.
Look for those rare moments to learn from the best and cherish them as they don’t come often. Those opportunities are not about you or what you can take and apply to your brand. Take them for what they are – a chance to build upon those ingredients needed to make something timeless.
There is no denying the power of Instagram for many millennial brands and businesses. There is no barrier to entry (free to sign up), you can be whatever you like and with just a few clicks, you’re able to observe what your competition is doing and adjust your posts accordingly. Yes, it’s easy but that’s what makes me nervous. It makes me so nervous when I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs that they get all of their business or followers from this social channel.
You’ve heard it before but it’s worth saying it again right now – never put all of your eggs in one basket. If you are truly building something that you would like to grow and last then you have to take the time to build a well-rounded company that has multiple channels for communications and sales. If Instagram went down for a week, would your business be affected? If the answer to that question is yes, then I’m honestly talking to you. And this isn’t meant to discount Instagram by any means. I think the channel is extremely valuable. But it’s not my only source for revenue and brand building. I learned this lesson the hard way a couple of years back when I got cocky and stopped looking for new business. I got way too dependent on a really well paying client. Everything’s all good until they say they don’t need you anymore lol. At the time, my company was bringing in close to a quarter of a million dollars but I was dead broke. I’ll never get back in that situation ever again. Lesson learned.
Diversification is key. If you’re serious about your company, it’s time to get serious about learning about your customers and building an actual growth and retention plan for your biz. Here’s a fantastic article to get your juices flowing…
If you build it, they will come…and they’ll stay too.
Stay focused on your own race. You’ve heard this before. I know you have. But we must keep telling ourselves this. Social media makes this hard sometimes. Because it blurs the lines between perception and reality. You could literally drive yourself insane worried about what everyone else is doing or taking even one second to acknowledge the haters out there. They’ll always be there. Next.
When you call them out they win. You should be worried about your actual competition not random people who at the end of the day, mean absolutely nothing when it comes to your success and happiness. Stay focused.
All good things take time and when you finally do build it, nothing silences the noise more than real, documented success. Keep going.
Ignore the comments. This is challenging, even for me. But don’t make a habit of using them as a barometer of your success or failure. All good things take time. Keep your head down, work hard and have faith in your heart that you’re creating something special.
It’s a journey. And an exciting one. Don’t rush it. Buckle your seat belt, sit back and enjoy this unforgettable ride.