Tag Archives: successful business people

Why So Many Millennials are Becoming Entrepreneurs

Generation Y is entering the traditional work force with unconventional expectations. Instead of finding satisfaction with the typical 9-to-5 routine, they are either looking to start their own businesses or molding the corporate world to fit their demands. They’re not happy with the status quo, so they’re making their own way.

This sudden surge in entrepreneurial chutzpah can be attributed to many factors, including the mobility and speed afforded to them by rapidly evolving online technology, growing up in a time of major economic and political uncertainty, and facing staggering unemployment and student debt. Perhaps desperate measures call for daring life choices; this generation can’t afford to play it safe.


A Desire for Flexibility Coupled With Impatience

The technology that Millennials have grown up with has created a group of people who are accustomed to a lifestyle that is drastically different from their parents and grandparents. Their relationship with technology has instilled a desire for mobility and flexibility, creating the impression that they should be able to access and complete their work anywhere and anytime.

Technology is also behind the demand for instant access and ability to collaborate with others at any time. Those in their 20s and early 30s are used to downloading and streaming music, movies, not to mention shopping, communicating and even dating online. Millennials have also been able to text, call, and interact with friends on phones, Google any information desired and remain generally connected for the entirety of their teenage and young adult lives, so their impatience shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Confidence Laced With Fear

Although this generation is considered one of the most optimistic and confident, they seem to have lost faith in corporations, and the government, likely a result of witnessing their parents losing jobs and pensions due to corporate scandals and the global financial meltdown. They have seen older friends and siblings graduate and struggle to find work. The last several years have seen unemployment rates in the double digits for people between the ages of 18 and 29.

Many Millennials feel that the only possible job security they will find must be through creating their own. This uncertainty has fueled a desire to succeed along with the willingness to make sacrifices and take risks at a level that Generation X just hasn’t been willing (or forced) to do. These aspirations are propelled by the confidence and optimism of this generation.

Millennial Entrepreneurs

This past decade has been indelibly impacted by the Millennial startups that now dominate our social and business landscapes. And it’s arguably been the most entrepreneurial decade in recent memory, with some key people from this generation having achieved immense success. This is especially impressive considering that many of these game-changers are all under the age of 30. This is just a short list of a few of the most victorious high profile Millennials to burst onto the world stage.

Mark Zuckerberg – 28

Let’s start with possibly the most successful entrepreneur of this generation. Zuckerberg was behind the launch the social media site: Facebook in 2004, and is estimated to currently have a net worth of at least $10 billion. He’s changed the face of the Internet, is giving Google a run for their money and completely altered the way businesses interact with their customers.

Dustin Moskovitz – 28

Moskovitz started out as a part of the Facebook team and has a 7.6 percent share in the social media site. He also started Asana, a website that uses web and mobile application that allows people to collaborate in one place. It has an estimated value of $280 million and his overall net worth is around $5 billion.

Drew Houston – 29

This former MIT student came up with the idea for Dropbox, the online file-sharing application that ushered in an era of cloud-based collaboration and pushed Houston’s net worth up to $600 million.

Ben Silbermann – 29

This innovator went from designing products for Google to putting together the groundbreaking social platform, Pinterest, which has filled a critical visual niche in the social media space. While it took a few years to gain popularity, the company is now valued at $1.5 billion and Silbermann’s net worth is at about $100 million.

Peter Cashmore – 26

The creator of Mashable, one of the biggest news sites on the web and valued at more than $200 million. Cashmore has an estimated net worth of $95 million.

All of these young minds are inspirations to the hordes of young business owners, talented programmers and innovative activists seeking to make their way in a new economy. I can’t wait to see who the next big name is—and how they shake things up.

Mike Mann is a serial entrepreneur and author seeking to drive real-world change using profits from his many profitable business ventures. To learn how to make your own business a success, and to hear more about Mike’s charitable vision, read or download his book.

Mankind is Your Business

If you read A Christmas Carol or watched one of its many film adaptations during the last Christmas season, you may recognize the statement, “mankind was my business.” If Ebenezer Scrooge were a businessman in today’s world of social media, he probably would not be very successful. Businesses must focus on people to be successful. You can offer excellent products and services, but if they don’t fulfill a need, you won’t find any buyers. On the other hand, if you meet people’s needs, they will come back to you, and they will bring their friends with them.

Focusing on People

It is people who make your company profitable, not products and services. Customers, employees, and investors are the most important resources in any business venture. Your products and services are solutions to your customer’s problems and sources of revenue for your employees, investors, and you. Thus, products and services are means to the end (making a profit), and not the end itself. While most business owners already know this, it can be easy to forget when bogged down in day-to-day operations.

Employees and investors want you to make as much money for them as possible, while customers want you to make as little money off of them as possible. The tension between these two groups will always be felt in business. Because you know your employees and investors personally but not your customers, it is easier to pay them their due attention as people. In the end, however, you must make your customers happy in order to pay your employees and please your investors. If you give the needs of each group—customers, employees, and investors—their due attention, you will be able to find the proper balance.

An “Organic” Approach to Business

In search engine optimization, the term “organic” refers to links to your site that people naturally create when they mention you in their blog or talk about you in online news forums. The term “organic” also applies when they ‘like’ you on Facebook or tweet about you on Twitter.

The Best Practices of Internet marketing require companies to focus on their customers as people. The same techniques that produce organic links to your website also produce pleased customers. Companies that don’t focus on people don’t get the organic links and social media chatter they need to rank on the Internet. And therefore, they are not visible to customers. On the other hand, companies that do focus on people will gain both organic links and social media attention. They will earn customer trust and referrals.

The Right Way to Please Customers

An “organic” business approach is one that pleases customers. Many customers have high expectations, and it can seem daunting to please them. However, there are ways to meet and even exceed your customer’s expectations that won’t break the bank.

First, do market research to find out what your target audience truly wants. Then, make it your whole focus to design products and services that go beyond your customer’s wants. This will pleasantly surprise them, earn their loyalty, and connect them with your brand. After that, you must keep producing high-quality products and services that will maintain that connection. This approach to business may be easier said than done, but it is essential to a people-centric focus.

When you meet your customer’s needs, they talk about you. When you meet their needs spectacularly, they actively market for you!