Older generations often criticize millennials for their workplace attitudes and while the validity of their concerns are debatable, one can’t deny that millennials have broken away from the mold and taken less-than-conventional career paths. While economies are experiencing recession, millennial entrepreneurs are building unicorns and defying norms. Past generations dreamed of promotions at work and climbing up a corporate ladder after years of working for someone else, but millennials have different dreams. Stories of college-dropouts who took the entrepreneurial route and are now seen as startup geniuses abound. Many would think that the secret to these successes is their youth, but there’s good news for everyone – a big-data analysis of scientific careers appearing in the Science journal discovered that the factors for success didn’t concern age or celebrity status. It is, they suggest, a combination of personality, persistence and pure luck, as well as intelligence, that leads to high-impact success — at any age. The James Bond saying “Age is no guarantee of efficiency and youth is no guarantee of innovation” is proven here. However, there are qualities that make millennial entrepreneurs seem tailor-made for entrepreneurial success. These attributes give millennials an edge over their generation X counterparts when they were in the same age range.
- The desire to be independent: A survey showed that only 13% of millennials had career goals involving climbing a corporate ladder. The remaining respondents had plans that involved starting a business of their own. Millennials are mistrustful of traditional paths to corporate success and are eager to make their own pathways said Fred Truffile, the Bentley Entrepreneurial Studies director. “They’ve watched their relatives get fired and their peers sit in cubicles and they think, ‘There has to be a better way’.” millennial entrepreneurs have come to realize that they learn far more from founding a startup that failed after two years than they ever would by working in an office cubicle for decades. The knowledge that their startup will most likely fail and their chances of creating a unicorn are very slim is not enough to deter them. Added to that is the fact that it’s easier than ever to start your own business because the infrastructure of a corporation has been made accessible to any solo entrepreneur.
- Prefer flexible work hours: One thing most millennials have in common is the need to be connected 24/7. This desire for ubiquitous connectedness allows for regular checking of work email even outside regular office hours. Majority of millennials feel like flexible work hours and more opportunities to work remotely are key to higher productivity. This preference of flexible hours over the traditional 9 to 5 is a plus for millennial entrepreneurs. Willingness to work whenever tasks that require handling come up is another characteristic that makes millennial entrepreneurs a better fit than other generations that grew up to believe in working 9 to 5 on weekdays.
- They are IN on digital trends: A generation that grew up with the tech boom and is privy to all the trends in social media and virtually every online platform there is is far better equipped to use the internet and all its benefits to their advantage. Previous generations don’t have this advantage and in today’s world where having an online presence is vital to the success of most businesses, digital marketing is a niche that appears tailor-made for millennial entrepreneurs.
- They are in no hurry to start families: The rate of early marriages in the millennial age group is reducing steadily, from 48% in Baby Boomers to 36% in Generation Xers. Millennials are down 10% from members of the generation X when in the same age range. This shows that millennials are willing to put off starting families and devote their time to building businesses of their own.
- Believe their dreams are valid: After seeing so many college dropouts and internet sensations achieve success and become household names globally, millennials grew up believing that their dreams are achievable regardless of race, educational background or other barriers that appeared to keep people from achieving in the past. The belief that anything is possible and that virtually every knowledge can be leveraged to achieve your dreams is a powerful motivator that works in the favor of millennials in their entrepreneurial journey.