The millennial generation (individuals born roughly between 1977 and 1997) has made their unique mark in the world of business. This generation values their freedom in practicing their creativity and supporting what they believe in. The driving force of independence motivates the generation of millennials to become entrepreneurs.
Most millennial entrepreneurs share the following traits:
Entrepreneurial vision – Older generations equate success to climbing the corporate ladder. They think of successful individuals as people who work their way up and get promoted from one level to another.
Millennials have a different perspective. They see entrepreneurship as a road to development. Young innovators come up with new product ideas and services that help create work. Millennial entrepreneurs have become the job creators of today’s nation. Their ability to break new ground makes millennials ideal entrepreneurs. They move away from traditional corporate life to focus on putting up their own businesses and becoming their own boss.
A study on millennials in Asia shows that 53 percent of this generation aspires to start their own business.
According to a study conducted by Far Eastern University Policy Center, “Filipino millennials seem to be an entrepreneurial generation, with 55 percent of the respondents indicating success in owning their business as a value that most appeals to them.”
High levels of optimism – Millennials are noted for their persistence and optimism even though their generation has been hit by tough economic conditions.
According to a report in Los Angeles Times, their optimism is linked to attitudes instilled by their parents and teachers when they were young. As children, many millennials were brought up to believe in themselves. Parents of millennials strived to give their children better education than what they had to increase chances of a brighter future. Parents pushed their children to follow their ambition and reach for their dreams.
Socially driven – Millennials deeply care for things that impact others. They are passionate about the environment, social justice, women’s rights, poverty, healthcare, and other social causes. They make sure that their businesses are aligned to their social beliefs. Millennials like to inject philanthropic activities in their business endeavors. Their passion motivates them to make a positive difference in the world.
Love for technology – With today’s technology, the older generation sometimes accuses them of being lazy.
Gone are the days when students have to use a card catalog to find a book in the library. Thick telephone directories have somehow lost their purpose. The young have no use for phone books anymore because they simple store numbers in their contact list. Information can be easily retrieved from the Internet. Online social networking has become a big part of today’s lifestyle. Word of mouth has always been a powerful advertising tool. It is more influential now because of social media. Netizens can be powerful brand ambassadors but they can also be formidable detractors. Millennials are used to accessing things by flicking their keyboards or tapping their screens. They live in a digital world.
In the movie “Creed,” Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) wrote conditioning routines for a young boxer-wannabe on a piece of paper. When Balboa hands the paper to Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan), the young lad pulls out his mobile phone from his pocket and takes a picture of the paper. He gives the sheet of paper back to Balboa and begins to take off. Puzzled, Balboa reminded him about the paper but the boxing aspirant simply tells him he already has it on his phone. The boxing legend asks him what happens if he loses it. The young man confidently replies that it’s already in the cloud. The clueless veteran looks at the sky and probably wonders what the heck Johnson was referring to. It seems funny but it happens in reality.
The older generation sees millennials as tech-dependent individuals who are hooked to their gadgets and devices. They are used to instant gratification with all sorts of apps at their disposal.
For millennials, technology helps them achieve their goals and visions. Technology speeds up production, decreases human error, improves information sharing, provides automated solution, and the list goes on. Technology is an asset to them.
Less emphasis on face-to-face meetings – Millennials do not disregard the importance of meeting clients but they do not focus too much on physical presence.
Technology makes it possible to hold meetings with people across the globe. The millennial entrepreneur believes that goals and plans can be discussed without traveling long distances. It saves time, money and energy. Emails, text messages, phone calls, and video conference enable collaboration despite physical distance.
Focus on collaboration – Success in business is a collaborative effort. Millennials practice a collaborative approach in life. This new generation of entrepreneurs utilizes technology to share their innovative ideas with the world and their peers. Deeper global connections are made possible by today’s modern developments.
Unlike older generations that embrace a more individualistic approach to life, millennials prefer “team based projects and unstructured flow of information at all levels.”
Millennials like to get feedback from people they work with. Teamwork plays a significant role in the development of the business. Physical and virtual collaborations help millennial entrepreneurs improve performance and customer satisfaction.
Continuous learners – Millennials value learning opportunities for both personal and professional reasons. They believe that opening themselves to new information and experiences make them more adaptable to the changing times.
Learning doesn’t stop after getting a degree. Knowledge is always out there. Millennials keep themselves open to new ideas and approaches. They know that skills can be improved and new experiences can prepare them for challenges that lie ahead. Being continuous learners allow millennials to keep up with new trends.
Out of the box thinkers – Living in a constantly changing world drives millennials to be creative. They always find ways to stay relevant. They are not pressured by norms. In fact, they think outside of the box in search of viable solutions to business challenges. Unlike older generations that prefer the typical approach, young entrepreneurs are not afraid to test new theories and explore new approaches. Fresh perspectives and strategies help promote development. Millennials are open to new challenges and change.
Photo c/o Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Rachel Yapchiongco, also known as Rach to her friends, is a Psychology and Marketing Management graduate of De La Salle University. Rachel is a mom to a charming boy and married to an entrepreneur who has a passion for cooking. She shares parenting experiences and slices of everyday life on her personal blog called Heart of Rachel.