Millennials are starting businesses earlier than ever…27 being the average age of their first start up. 62% say that they want to be entrepreneurs too. Though these numbers are impressive, they are also deceiving. Less and less millennials are actually making their dreams come true. 30% of start-ups are powered by millennials. This doesn’t mean that 30% of millennials have businesses. Serial entrepreneurs who own more than one business are inflating those numbers. With their fresh ideas and amazing talents, what is holding this epic generation back?
They don’t know where to start. They are overthinking things and imagining all of the obstacles. As a young entrepreneur, you know first hand how challenging taking the first step was. Even starting small can feel overwhelming. Family and friends may think you’re crazy. You may even start to believe that you’re doomed to fail. Then there’s the reality of hard work and patience.
By taking small steps, getting on a schedule and being consistent, millennials can thrive in business. It’s going to take time and patience. Here are some ways you can stay motivated and win with your business.
Surround yourself with positive people
Find someone who you admire and seek their leadership. Modeling success is a great way to stay focused. This person doesn’t have to be exactly like you or in your field either. Just find someone who is successful in business and living a life you want and seek guidance. If you don’t have positive people in your life, networking events, meet ups, seminars and places of worship are awesome places to start. You may also want to meet new people and expand your social circle in general. If your social life is full of negative people, it will eventually seep into your business and overall health. If you have been wasting your time with Debbie Downers, it’s time to start meeting Debbie Doers. If your old friends throw shade, just be upfront. Tell them you like them but don’t like their ways and going forward only have time for positive people. The worst they can do is unfriend you on Facebook, which is a favor really.
Take pricing seriously
Don’t just name the price that you think you deserve. You may be awesome, but you’ve got to look at what the competition’s charging. Remember, the consumer already knows what they are willing to pay. Starting at the high end when you’re new in the game with no following is the worst idea ever. Again, keep your ego in check. Stay focused and give people a reason to use your services or product. If they have a good experience, they will tell their friends and bring you more business. If you’re stubborn and don’t want to lower your prices…you can always just offer more. Don’t go too low just compete in the market either. Do your homework before setting prices. Also, think of what you can offer that others are not. How much money are you spending and how much do you need to make to be good? You can also customize your prices depending on the needs of your clients. Everyone is different.
Have no shame
Whether you need to take a side job to make ends meet until you gain profits, or you’re that guy or gal who is putting fliers on people’s cars before going in for groceries…shame cannot be in your game. Nothing is below you. There’s a thing called “ego” but don’t be fooled—you’ll go nowhere with that thing. Do what you have to do to make things happen. Your friends might laugh at your beater car and off-brand fashions, but you’ll be laughing all the way to the bank in due time.
Dance to stereotypes
We don’t have to get into the stereotypes…being a millennial- you’re probably tired of hearing them all. Instead of trying to prove them wrong, why not use them to your advantage? So what if you’re addicted to Target, Yelp and your phone? You can do so much more because you’re the tech savvy foodie with epic decorating skills. You’re always connected, always tuning in and understand that anything is google-ble. Millennials bring fresh ideas and authenticity to the table. Embrace the culture of your generation and show what amazing things you can do.
On the flip side…there is the reputation that we’re allergic to hard work and feel entitled. That we want to start at the top and don’t want to deal with drama. Have you ever avoided a mud puddle only to fall right into it? Avoiding hard work creates even more drama and complicates life. You’re going to make a huge mess if you are spending all of this money but doing nothing to back it up. If you build it there’s no guarantee that they will come. Marketing isn’t just about spending, it’s about doing the work to create a positive brand.
Older millennials who were once the youngest ones in the room are now in their mid-30s. So what if you remember when the Berlin Wall came down or when Biggie and Tupac were tragically shot? That doesn’t make you old. It’s just you’re on a different timeline from the youngsters who were born when Titanic came out. Your 30s are the perfect time to start your business. You’re still young yet have the self-awareness and lessons learned from your 20s. You have your whole life ahead of you and have already gotten the stupid things out of the way.
Do what you’re good at
This one sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s not. There’s plenty of people taking their gifts for granted and trying to do anything else. Customers can often sense when someone’s being fake and materialistic. It’s cheesy like Velveeta and has to stop. Luckily, this epidemic is easily cured by self-acceptance. Life’s easier when you realize who you are and what you can do. If you paint like Picasso…paint like Picasso. Stop trying to be Michelangelo. Use the tools you’ve been blessed with and embrace your unique gifts. You don’t have to care about what others think. You’re doing this because you want to…not for some trophy. Too many people are selling things they’d never use or struggling to do things outside of their skillset. Life isn’t complicated. Do what you’re good at and leave your delusions at the door. It’s that simple.