We've all heard the same old stereotypes about millennials being lazy, entitled and impatient. As a millennial, I don't pay any attention to these generalizations. I prefer to focus on the the real strengths millennials possess, the strengths that are so often overlooked by other generations.
Since millennials see the world from a new perspective, they are uniquely qualified to launch the next wave of game-changing businesses.
Here are seven reasons why millennials make the best entrepreneurs.
They know influence is the new currency
Gone are the days of captive audiences influenced by television and radio commercials. The rise of digital media has turned influence into a commodity with real monetary value. Influence is the new currency, and you can't just "buy" it.
"Millennials understand the new influence economy and are seizing the opportunity to build more than one way to monetize it, thanks to platforms like social media, where we can build an audience and consumer base digitally," says Chelsea Krost, a millennial expert, speaker and influencer. "Instead of purchasing expensive, traditional ads, millennials know how to craft authentic campaigns, curate original content, and activate influencers to help excite new consumers, subsequently cultivating an engaged community around their brand."
Culture is their foundation
There's a reason companies with a strong culture perform well. Intentional culture development brings clarity to the values and mission of a business, which helps to align the entire company to a core purpose.
"For the purpose-driven millennial, culture is the foundation for building businesses that reflect their values and aspirations, says Chrissy Horansky, an author and expert on millennials. "Millennials aren't guided by profit. They're guided by making a difference - and you can see that in the culture of the startups they build. The world we want is more inclusive, interconnected and focused on solving the problems before us."
They have nothing to lose
The shift in preferences and attitude among Millennials is a result of their coming of age during a time of economic collapse and recession. Many feel behind compared to previous generations.
"Millennials have a loose attachment to the traditional idea of the 'American dream'," says Ivy LaClair, co-founder of the Motivational Millennial Podcast, with co-host Blake Brandes. "We actually don't care about the Porsche, the title or the corner office. We want to do meaningful work, and we want what can't be taken from us: experiences, influence and impact."
They get bored
Millennials are commonly labeled as lazy when it's really because they're bored. Lots of things come easily to millennials, we work quickly and we aren't motivated by making money for the sake of it. And that's a good thing.
When I get bored, I get curious. I get hungry. It motivates me to dream and create new things. Boredom is a driver. As a group, millennials are bored of the status quo - which is how great companies and businesses are born.
They are social and digital natives
Many millennials are digital natives and came of age using social media. Not only do millennials understand that influence is currency, they know how to use the channels where this new currency is most valuable.
Using social media is second nature to millennials. They can easily use social platforms to build both business and personal brands, which is essential for success in today's world.
They want to control their fate
Entrepreneurs are people who want to create something from nothing, take risks and control their fate. Millennials are naturally inclined toward this path, having seen what loyalty and climbing the corporate ladder did to our parents. Likewise, many millennials reject the idea that corporate life is the route to security, choosing instead to blaze their own paths.
They shape the world through innovation
Millennials are driven by purpose, passion and the desire to make a difference in the world. This doesn't just manifest in company culture, it also manifests in the way we seek new solutions to old problems. You can see this evident with Airbnb, Indiegogo and other truly innovative companies.
Millennials really aren't all that different from previous generations; we all do the best we can with what we know and perceive. Where others see entitlement and laziness, I see a group of people who are perfectly suited to lead the conscious and meaningful companies that will create the future.