3 things every millennial should consider before launching a startup

There probably hasn’t been a new generation come along that hasn’t been accused of being lazy and shiftless by those who came before. Millennials are no exception. It seems like Baby Boomers and Generation X love taking shots at millennials to make up for similar abuse they had to put up with from their parents' generations.
So is it true? Are millennials underachievers when compared to previous generations? There have been countless studies purporting to prove and disprove the claim, so honestly it’s hard to know what to believe. There is evidence to suggest that millennials might be less likely than their parents to start a business, but then they came of age during one of the worst recessions in decades, and are more likely to carry huge student debts. That’s a considerable headwind to face when you’re trying to start a business.

Despite this, a recent survey by Bentley University found that 66% of millennials claim that they want to start their own business; so we know that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in this generation. But before taking such a huge step, there are a few things the aspiring millennial entrepreneur should consider.

1. Is the entrepreneurial life right for you?

One of the criticisms I hear of millennials is that they question many of the workplace rules that have been in place for over a century. They want to work flexible hours. They want more autonomy. They want to follow their own dress code. They want to work from home. While this can create headaches for managers, this sort of approach to work isn’t necessarily at odds with the entrepreneurial mindset.

" the millennial frame of mind is very much in sync with what is required to launch a business. "

Entrepreneurs usually want these things too. So in that way, the millennial frame of mind is very much in sync with what is required to launch a business. But there’s a catch. Yes, you might be able to work flexible hours, but what won’t change is the considerable amount of time you’ll have to invest. In the early days, at least, this will come at the expense of socializing, family time or pursuing pastimes you love.

And while you might be able to work from home, you’ll struggle with maintaining boundaries between your work and personal life. To say that they’ll begin to blur is an understatement. You’ll definitely have all the autonomy you ever wanted, but at the same time you’ll have to discipline yourself to meet all of the new responsibilities you will have to take on.

2. Will becoming an entrepreneur satisfy your financial goals?

Millennials are known for what some consider unreasonably high expectations when it comes to regular salary increase and generous benefits packages. If these are things that are important to you, the life of an entrepreneur might be challenging.

Depending on the type of the company you start, how good your idea is, how hard you work and many other factors, you could get rich. But most don’t. Most, if they are lucky, and don’t fail, manage to eke out a decent living, pay their staff well, and possibly reach a stage where they can offer those regular salary increases and great benefits packages millennials desire.

But as for yourself, your wage will depend on how successful you are, and any benefits package you enjoy will come out of your own pocket. It’s also worth noting that profits for small businesses have dropped by 28% since the 1980s. And if you aspire to incorporate, corporations have seen their net incomes drop by approximately 60% over that same time period.

None of this is to say that you can’t get rich or live comfortably, but don’t assume that entrepreneurship is an easy path to wealth.

3. Are your millennial quirks actually strengths?

Somewhere in between being called “lazy” and “shiftless,” millennials are often accused of having short attention spans. This might be so, but one thing I’ve noticed is that despite the fact that their interests may shift, when they are passionate about something, their focus is incredibly sharp. This is an excellent trait, especially in a serial entrepreneur. Many enjoy the process of building a business, but then grow bored when it comes to running it. There’s nothing wrong with this, so long as you recognize it.

Finally, there is the fact that millennials are digital natives, meaning all of that time you’ve spent online might actually pay off. The ability to adapt to new tech, research online and take advantage of all of the incredible tools in the cloud give millennials a big leg up over previous generations who often struggle to adapt. The online tools and resources available to entrepreneurs these days would boggle the mind of someone trying to launch a business 30 years ago, which is a great thing to remember if entrepreneurship starts to seem daunting.

By Nellie Akalp | Mashable



eZineInsider.com Career: 3 things every millennial should consider before launching a startup
3 things every millennial should consider before launching a startup
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