In the past few years, I have noticed the large influx of millennials starting their own businesses. Millennials have been extremely innovative in designing social media platforms, starting companies that sell organic products, and developing creative ideas such as nap lounges that align with trends among pop culture. Seeing so many young people identify a passion and position, then starting their own business is truly inspiring. This makes me believe that there are so many opportunities to be successful in the world, possibilities are endless! Starting a business when you’re young has extreme benefits – because most of us aren’t married with children just yet, we have the time to truly invest ourselves into the growth process. Furthermore, the time you have when you’re young is the time you have to make mistakes – as there is extreme risk in starting your own business. I am in full support of people following their dreams, however there are a few things I think most people don’t consider.
Issues with Millennial Entrepreneurship
- Everyone can’t be a boss. Literally and economically speaking, there is no way for every millennial to be the boss. Entrepreneurship and business ownership is not for everyone. Beginning a business, with the expectation that it will grow, means that you will need employees. The most common response I hear when I ask people what made them start a business is, “I don’t want to work for anybody.” If that is your preference and desire, I totally think it’s great and more power to you! HOWEVER, if everyone adopted the same mindset, who would work for the companies you intend to start?
- The risk factor is immense. When deciding to work for yourself, there is no guarantee that your business will be successful. You must prepare yourself for the possibility that things won’t go as you plan. With risk comes sacrifice, not only should you be prepared for the roller coaster of ups and down that can come with business, but you must be willing to sacrifice some part of your life. For example, there are countless amounts of people I know that have had to stay home that extra year or go without a car in order to put most of their money into their business. If you are not willing to sacrifice anything, entrepreneurship might not be for you.
- Some experience is required. While I truly do not believe that you need a business degree to start a business, I do believe you need experience. Before you can be the boss, you must learn what bosses do! A true independent business owner knows the ins and outs of their company – you know how to process sales, marketing, inventory, interact with your customers, and anything else behind the scenes! As you grow in your craft/business, sometimes it is beneficial to take a class, workshop or have a mentor who has been there and done that! Most people see the glory of being a boss, but lack the full drive and skill set that it takes to truly be successful!
Follow your dreams, but be realistic about what it takes to really shine in any industry. While we’d like to believe so, everyone just isn’t designed to be an entrepreneur!