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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

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Last Updated on September 23, 2020

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Do What You Love and Love What You Do to Achieve More

Are you waking up each day looking for that perfect thing, activity, or job that will make your life work? Or, maybe you are looking for that perfect relationship. Once you “get” this new thing that will allow you to do what you love, you are sure that you will be happy forever.

In reality, life doesn’t work like that, and we would probably get bored if it did. There is likely no one thing, experience, or activity that will keep you feeling passionate and engaged all the time. What’s important is staying connected to what you love and continuing to grow in the process.

Here, we’ll talk about how to get started doing what you love and achieving more in life through the motivation it brings. Doing this doesn’t have to take a long time; it just takes determination and energy.

Most People Already Know Their Passion

So many people walk around in life “looking for” their passion. They look for it as if true passion is some mysterious thing that is difficult to find and runs away once you find it. However, the problem is rarely lack of passion.

Most of us already know what we love to do. We know what excites us, even if we haven’t done it for years. Instead, we focus on what we think we “must” do.

For example, maybe you love building model cars or painting pet portraits. Yet, each day you work a completely unrelated job and make no time for the activity you already know you love. The truth is you probably don’t need to find your passion; you just need to start doing what you already know you’re passionate about[1].

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No Activity Is Exciting All the Time

Even people who are living their dream lifestyle or working their dream job don’t love it all the time. Every job or lifestyle has parts of it that we won’t like.

Let’s say your dream is to become an actress, and you succeed. You may not enjoy the process of auditioning and facing rejection. You may experience moments of boredom when you practice your lines over and over again. But the overall experience is totally worth it.

Most of life is like that. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by demanding that life be perfect all the time. If things were perfect and easy, you would ultimately stop learning and growing, and life would begin to lack even more meaning in that case.

Be grateful for both the good and bad moments as they are both entirely necessary if you genuinely want to do what you love and love what you do.

Doing What You Love May Not Be Easy

Living a life you love is unlikely to be easy. If it was, you would not grow very much as a person. And, if you think about a great book or movie, the growth of the main character is what matters most.

What if the challenges you meet along your path to living a life you love were designed to make you grow as a person? You may actually start looking forward to challenges instead of dreading them. An easy life hardly ever makes a compelling story.

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If you struggle to overcome challenges, try writing them down each time you encounter one. Then, write down three ways you could tackle it. Try one, and if it doesn’t work, try another. This way, you’ll learn what does and doesn’t work for you.

How to Do What You Love

There are many small steps you can take to ensure you are making time to do the things you love. Start with these, and you’ll likely find that you’re already on the right track.

1. Choose Your Priorities Wisely

Many people claim they want to do something, yet they don’t do it. The truth is they might not really want to do it in the first place[2].

We all end up following through on what matters most to us. We make decisions moment by moment about what we need to focus on. What we choose to do is what we deem most important in our lives.

If there is something you claim you want to do but you don’t do it, try asking yourself how much you really want it or where it’s currently placed on priority list. Are there other things you want more?

Be honest with yourself: what you currently do each day is a reflection of your priorities. Recognize that you can change your priorities at any time.

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Make a list of your priorities. Really take the time to think this through. Then, ask yourself if what you are doing each day reflects them. For example, if you believe your top priority is spending more time with your family, but you consistently take on extra hours at work, you’re not really prioritizing things in the way you think you are.

If this is happening, it’s time to make a change.

2. Do One Small Thing Each Day

As stated above, doing what you love doesn’t have to mean finding that perfect job that makes you want to jump out of bed in the morning. If you want to do what you love, start with one small thing each day.

Maybe you love reading a good book. Take ten minutes before bed to read.

Maybe you love swimming. Get a membership at the local YMCA, and go there for thirty minutes after work each day.

Dedicating even a short amount of time to something that brings you joy each day will improve your life overall. You may find that, over time, a career path related to what you love to do pops up. After doing the thing you love each day, you’ll be more than prepared to take it on when the opportunity arises.

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If you need help making time for your passions, check out this article to get started.

3. Prepare to Make Sacrifices

If you are an exceptionally busy person (aren’t we all?), you may have to make sacrifices in order to make space for the things you are passionate about. Maybe you take on less extra hours at the office or take thirty minutes away from another hobby in order to develop another that you enjoy.

Looking at your priority list will help you decide what can get put on the back burner and what can’t. Remember, do this thinking about what will help you feel good about how you’re spending your time. 

For example, if you love writing but rarely make time for it, consider getting up 30 minutes earlier than normal. Or instead of browsing your phone for 30 minutes before bed, you can write instead. There is always a way to find time for what you love.

Final Thoughts

If you love what you do, each day becomes a joyful adventure. If you don’t love what you are doing, life feels like a chore. The best way to achieve success is to design a life you love and live it every day.

Remember, doing something you love doesn’t have to include big gestures or time-consuming projects. Start small and grow from there.

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Featured photo credit: William Recinos via unsplash.com

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