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4 Ways Millennial Entrepreneurs are Displacing Start-Up Norms

4 Ways Millennial Entrepreneurs are Displacing Start-Up Norms

So, you’re a millennial. Odds are, you’ve heard the stereotypes: millennials are “narcissistic,” “lazy,” and “self entitled.” The accuracy of these broad assessments – or lack thereof – is a conversation for a different day. What doesn’t get as much coverage in the press, though, and what we’re here to talk about today, is a different type of phenomena.

Millennials are entrepreneurial. In fact, they aren’t just startup-minded in the classical sense of older generations. Instead, they are approaching the prospect of business ownership in new and exciting ways, rethinking the way things have been done in the past.

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1. They Understand Flexible Work Locations

Millennials are refusing the norm of moving to the typical ‘hot cities’ to grow their startup. The train of thought used to be that you had to be in Silicon Valley, New York City, or other similar tech hubs in order to advance your startup. What Millennials are coming to realize is that, especially in the internet age, a business can be run from anywhere. We’ve found this especially true, running an app development agency where we’ve only met about 80% of our clients in person. The landscape of modern business is much different than previous generations found it to be.

2. They Think Small to Get Big

Not only this, but millennials embrace small towns. Millennials are interested in making a name for themselves and their businesses, and understand that a small city is a great place to do this. They recognize that it isn’t always beneficial to be a small fish among a pool of sharks. Instead, why not be a small fish among other small fish in a stable and startup-friendly city where the inhabitants pool resources to support local growth?

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Odds aren’t great that there will ever be another name as recognizable as Michael Dell in Austin, Texas; but, you may be able to become the Dell-equivalent success story of small but beautiful Greenville, South Carolina.

3. They Cut Costs in Creative Ways

Millennials are students of the “lean startup” methodology, where you prove your concept and bring in revenue before scaling up your costs. They are okay with bootstrapping. Aside from paying for their monstrous student loans, millennials that are business owners pay themselves just enough to get by and invest in advancing their companies instead. Not only this, but millennials cut costs in creative ways.

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An abundance of stories are shared where startup teams live in shared houses in order to combine rent and office space costs. Bootstrapping takes sacrifice but long-term vision and a desire to change the world trumps temporary living conditions. Our company, Designli.co, pulled out all the stops – including a shared house turned home-office – to bootstrap our way to cash flow, and this is not as unusual as you may think. Imagine grouping five guys’ living expenses, as well as working space, into a single monthly payment; it makes sense, right?

4. They Stay Lean

Modern company structures have even changed. Gone are the days of desiring to hire as many employees as possible. Millennials are creating platforms rather than bureaucracies. This is why companies led by millennials have the ability to scale to a near-infinite level. Companies like Uber are now the ones that reign supreme in the minds of aspiring entrepreneurs, where a company’s infrastructure can be a single app rather than tens of thousands of employed drivers. Millennials create consumer-facing apps and website platforms rather than brick and mortars.

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Have you noticed other ways in which millennials are approaching business ownership in different ways? We’d love to hear from you. You can also tweet at us @LifeHackOrg to send in your thoughts.

Featured photo credit: Neat office Desk With Book, Pen And Glasses Case / Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Keith Shields

CEO, Designli

woman-on-computer-startup 5 Common Habits of Effective Startup CEOs 10 Signs That You Should be An Entrepreneur and Start Your Own Company Have An App Idea? Here’s Where to Start 4 Ways Millennial Entrepreneurs are Displacing Start-Up Norms

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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