Millennials get a bad reputation. They’re often characterized as lazy, selfish, and entitled. Other generations complain that millennials don’t understand the value of hard work in this “instant gratification” age. This, of course, angers most millennials: a faster-moving society doesn’t mean millennials aren’t innovative, creative thinkers.
And, there’s something about starting a company that sounds so appealing to this newer, faster generation. According to Forbes, over half of millennials surveyed said that yes, they would like to start their own business, and one in five said they were already planning to quit their day job to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. It might seem overly idealistic, as a huge percentage – 99% in fact – of startups are turned down by venture capital firms. But can millennials help change that statistic and get more businesses off the ground? And what makes this new generation so qualified and determined, anyway? There are a few possible reasons as to why millennials are drawn to the start-up life:
Millennials Hate the Corporate Mindset
For the past fifty years, the 9-5 life was the American Dream. Workers were told to punch in, go to meetings, sit in a cubicle, wash rinse repeat. It’s not a surprise the newest generation of workers are finding this routine dull. Plus, with growing corruption in leadership and government, relying on the powers that be doesn’t seem like a viable solution anymore. Many millennials want to take the power into their own hands.
Taking control can be a highly motivating factor when considering to choose a non-traditional, entrepreneurial career. Innovation and creation become more important than salary; collaboration is more valuable than hierarchy; and the work-life balance becomes understood and necessary. It’s no wonder that more millennials are jumping from the corporate ship to see what else they can create.
They Want Their Lives to be Part of Something Bigger
The idea of our lives contributing to more than our jobs is most likely related to the rise of social media. No one wants to Instagram a photo of their boring, grey-walled cubicle. We want our lives to be exciting and full of adventure, and we want our work life to contribute to that.
But beyond the portrait of our lives, millennials truly do want to break out of the mold and pursue a wide range of interests, using a variety of skills for one job. This is where start-ups sound so appealing. Because startups rely on such limited manpower, everyone has more than one role in the company. You might be calling clients one day, to learning how to organize a spreadsheet and send mass emails the next. There’s a diverse range of interpersonal skills needed to thrive in the startup world, and thanks in part to social media, millennials excel at that.
It’s Now Easier to Do Than Ever
It seems obvious to say that the Internet has made our lives more convenient, but it’s true – especially when it comes to starting your own business. When every answer is only a click away, learning all the skills necessary to get a company off the ground doesn’t need a Harvard business degree. The learning curve has been expedited so millennials can try and try again, using their curiosity and drive to create the next innovative product.
Plus, with advancing technology and the idea of the global workspace, the office environment is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Entire companies can be run virtually, where Skype becomes the boardroom. Again, this is especially appealing to the generation that’s getting burnt out on the 9-5.
As this trend of millennials and startups grows and more businesses are created than ever, only time will tell the lasting impact millennials will have on the way we view business and entrepreneurship. According to entrepreneur.com, there’s one thing we can know for sure: “the millennial startup revolution is here to stay.”