Written by: Elijah J. Staley, Co-Creator of V O Y A G E P R O . C O
Today we are going to be starting with a topic that I have actually wanted to write about for a long time…and that’s lining up the ideals of the millennial generation with the philosophy of the entrepreneurial spirit. I have felt that there are many times that the entrepreneurial spirit has reflected the ideals of the millennial, but thats just me. I think if I’m going to convince you, I might have to try a little harder. So, let’s start where my curiosity first took hold, and that’s by really diving into what it means to be a millennial and what it truly means to have an entrepreneurial spirit. I mean if we're really going to get to the bottom of this we're going to have to outline the cultural definition of each aren't we?
If you’re taking into account the sensitivity that of a millennial, I guess you can say we’re starting with the more “controversial” topic of the two… and thats, what does it actually mean to BE a millennial? Speaking as a fellow millennial, I know big shock, I’ve come to learn that it can mean literally what ever you want it to mean. Let’s look at what everyone else says what a millennial is first though.
Now don't think that i would just end it right there. Live Science also outline some of the typical positive characteristics. They continue on to say,
"They have also been described in positive ways. They are generally regarded as being more open-minded, and more supportive of gay rights and equal rights for minorities. Other positives adjectives to describe them include confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living."
Brief pause real quick. There are definitely other characterizations out there that are a-lot meaner and also some that are more praise full. I was specifically looking for articles that had both arguments with in the study to make it as un bias as possible.
Now that we have a basic un-bias description of "The Millennials" let us scratch a bit off what it means to have "The Entrepreneurial Spirit'.
For the insight on what others are saying about "The Entrepreneurial Spirit", I've decided to go with Forbes. Thats just because, in my opinion, they really have their ear to the ground for a pretty sweet inside-ish scope on the business realm from start ups all the way up to the big fortune 500's.
As Michael Kerr, an international business speaker, author and president of Humor at Work, says in Forbes 'How To Keep Your Entrepreneurial Spirit Alive As The Company You Work For Grows', “It’s about seeing the big picture and thinking like an owner,”
Jacquelyn Smith with Forbes originally started out by saying, "Entrepreneurial spirit is a mindset. It’s an attitude and approach to thinking that actively seeks out change, rather than waiting to adapt to change. It’s a mindset that embraces critical questioning, innovation, service and continuous improvement."
Who in there right mind would think that we exist in a universe where those two worlds collide? ...me. Now that we have a good idea what people define a "Millennial" and "The Entrepreneurial Spirit", lets jump into the real reason why we're here...the comparison
Im going to bring up Forbes for my main comparison. They references in their article 'Entrepreneur, Millennial-Style', they bring into light a Minneapolis-based startup who's craft is Chinese liquor, or otherwise natively known as, Baiju. Ganbe Baiju, said startup, had a different approach to get the ball rolling as far as the over all goal for their business.
By having such confidence and perseverance in new age big ideas that until recently weren't given the time of day. Now, isn't that what we just determined is the meaning of the Entrepreneurial Spirit? Venturing outside the norm to have opportunities that other wise would never have been possible.
"JUMP BACK TO WHAT GANBAI BAIJU DID SPECIFICALLY"
Jeez, ok. So, one of the specific approaches that was talked was globalization. The interconnected reality that we live in, and that was also shaped by Millennials, for Millennials, because of Millennials, put Ganbai Baiju in the prime position to create a globalized distribution network so naturally.
Yes, the stigma on Millennials is that they want all the success that came before our parents without putting in nearly half as the amount of work that it takes. Some thoughts that i have on that are that we live in a day an age where things can get done with one key stoke, when, ten years ago it would have taken 2 whole days...like writing something that could be easily accessed by hundreds or thousands of people.
Now, if you don't mind i would like to ask you a question or two...maybe three. How many ads do you see on social media, or really just in this digital age, of people and businesses promoting things like, "Want to make 6 figures a month? Just take this course"
And then theres my favorite... "The only 3 steps you need to become a millionaire".
Does that seam realistic? Is that fair to be pushing that in Millennials faces while older generations know just as well the young impressionable dreamers that they are?
Millennials and non-Millennials reading, my goal for this article is understanding. Understanding for non-Millennials, that there is a lot more to the mindset of the Millennial other than the stigma of entitlement and self-righteous pride. Also, understanding for Millennials that there is so much that we truly take advantage of and there is so much more left on the table. If we were to just stop every once in a while and take in the value of our surroundings that life has to offer, other generations might be more gung ho of the newer generation coming to age.