As a Millennial, it’s easy to notice that everyone is about their paper, or so it seems. It looks like everyone is pursuing their dreams at an alarming rate. In fact, according to the Atlantic, everything isn’t what it seems.
“Millennials are on track to be the least entrepreneurial generation in recent history,” John Lettieri, the co-founder of the Economic Innovation Group, testified last week before the U.S. Senate. The share of people under 30 who own a business has fallen by 65 percent since the 1980’s and is now at a quarter-century low, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Federal Reserve data. These statistics go against the typical media portrayal of an American start-up –The Myth of the Millennial Entrepreneur by Derek Thompson
So where’s the disconnect? When I venture on pretty much any social media site I’m bombarded by images of young people advertising their YouTube, blog, sunglasses start up, their bundles business, make up and or lash line, etc. It doesn’t look like we are the least entrepreneurial generation to me and it’s very easy to get caught up in those images with the surge or social media and even easier to feel like you aren’t doing enough with your life.
Britt Hysen, the editor-in-chief of MiLLENNiAL magazine, claims that “60 percent of Millennials consider themselves entrepreneurs, and 90 percent recognize entrepreneurship as a mentality.” Young people very well may lead the country in entrepreneurship, as a mentality. But when it comes to the more falsifiable measure of entrepreneurship as an activity, older generations are doing most of the work. The average age for a successful startup-founder is about 40 years old, according to the Kauffman Foundation, a think tank focused on education and entrepreneurship. (In their words, one’s 40s are the “peak age for business formation.”) The reality is that the typical American entrepreneur isn’t that hover-boarding kid in a hoodie; it’s his mom or dad. In fact, the only age group with rising entrepreneurial activity in the last two decades is people between 55 and 65. –The Myth of the Millennial Entrepreneur by Derek Thompson
The article goes on to say that the disconnect is due to student debt and because of such Millennials are looking for the “stability” of a job opposed to the riskiness of entrepreneurship. There’s an actual term associated with it called “Wantrepreneur.” These people who want “it” but aren’t willing to do what it takes to get it and/or keep it. If it means foregoing the comfort zone of money deposited into your account on the 7th and the 22nd for traded work or hours, are you willing to do it? How much are you willing to give to make your dream a reality? If the answer isn’t 100% or over, then you may be a wantrepreneur or a fake entrepreneur, which is someone who is an employee at their own business-trading time for money. The tell-tell signs of a true entrepreneur is the following (see list below), if you don’t have these components then you might fall in with the statistic of looking at entrepreneurship as a mindset and not a lifestyle:
- The Hustle-Drive; Ambition; strength, ability or energy as an attribute of physical action to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction or goal
- Resilience-Ability to take risk, knowing that it can either “sink or swim” and if it sinks, not giving up; the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness; the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.
- Defiance of the status quo-Thinking out of the box. Creating, if it means being the best at what you do; open resistance; bold disobedience of what is perceived as “normal” by the masses
Nothing is stable, not working for yourself, not being an entrepreneur and not a 9-5. There’s no guarantee, none, not one…is guaranteed which is why it’s important to have those characteristics working in your favor. I love seeing everyone’s glo up but according to these statements, it’s looking like it’s more show than actual ownership. So where do you fall in this and what are your thoughts about it? I would love to know, please leave a comment below to begin the discussion.