So many out there want to give advice to Millennials. While that is great, many of us fail to notice that Millennials themselves have great advice. Many have not only made it but are some of our world leaders in business and technology.
Mark Zuckerberg? Millennial.
Nathan Blecharczyk? Millennial.
While Mark and Nathan are two of the richest Millennial entrepreneurs, there are many more like them who have become very successful.
Since this generation has become one of the most successful, it's about time we start learning from their success. Who better to give startup advice to Millennials than successful Millennials?
Here are nine pieces of advice from Millennials who have made it.
- Don't Just Do It for Money
Ben Lee went from co-founding a bootstrap startup to one of Inc.'s 30 Under 30. Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency, and creator of the app development boot camp Rootstrap. His advice:
"Don't ever do anything just for the money. Strong motivators create strong results. Surround yourself with smart, loyal people. You hired them to have someone to tell you what to do, not the other way around. Always be aware of the culture you are creating in your company and not just plugging holes with personnel. Study the competition so well that you make as effective a case for them as you can a critical one. Know your field better than the experts so you can ignore all expert advice. (Half kidding.)"
- Do Something You Enjoy
Robbie Dickson knows a few things about following your dreams. He is a serial entrepreneur who turned his love of Lamborghinis into numerous ventures. He is the founder of Firgelli Automations and Attivo Designs and the co-founder of the Canadian Bullrun Rally. His recommendations:
"To be successful, you must be out there. Hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you, and with a bit of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can't guarantee it just by following someone else's formula. Entrepreneurship is about turning what excites you in life into capital, so that you can do more of it and move forward with it."
- Deliver Exceptional Results Quickly
Jason Raznick is a 40 Under 40 honoree and the founder and CEO of Benzinga, a fintech media startup empowering a new generation of investors. Raznick launched Benzinga in 2010 and it's since grown to become a hub for actionable information on the capital markets. He says:
"Someone starting their own startup needs to get the product in the hands of end users as quickly as possible. Then, repeat a two-step process: iterate and listen. Iterate and listen. Too many people starting companies these days spend months and months on internal research without ever releasing an actual product to customers. The quicker you can get it out the door, the quicker you can improve your product."
- Determine Whether Something Is Actually Important
Lingke Wang is the co-founder of Ovid, an exchange that is disrupting the life insurance settlement market. In 2015, while in school, Lingke and his roommate, Peter Colis, launched Ovid and the company has since helped to sell millions of dollars of life insurance. He says:
"Founders need to be careful of spending time on things that feel important but aren't. Take networking meetups. Networking certainly feels important, but is it really the best way to spend your time? One way to distinguish between what feels important and what is important is by imagining yourself answering the question 'how exactly will this grow the business?' to a mentor or investor."
- Criticize Yourself
Zain Dhanani sold his first multi-million dollar company a few years back. Instead of retiring, he decided to take on the financial industry. Now the founder and CEO of Atlanta-based investment and advisory firm Tinsli, Dhanani has plenty of advice to give Millennial entrepreneurs. The most important? Make sure to criticize yourself.
"Be fiercely critical and analytical about your successes and failures. Early wins and losses can be as misleading as informative, and a shrewd, unemotional understanding of their causes is an essential requisite to every decision you make."
- Be Passionate About Everything You Do
Shazir Mucklai is an angel investor and adviser in disruptive startups. He is a financier and specializes in options, IPOs, derivatives, and Greek analysis. Mucklai currently runs a six-figure PR firm helping startups commercialize their products and launch their ideas. He also writes for numerous publications, including the Huffington Post and USA Today. All of this while still attending college at the University of Texas at Dallas. He says:
"You should never focus on why you can't do something. This is what the vast majority of people do. Rather, you should always focus on execution. Everyone has ideas, but it's the top 1 percent that executes them."
- Build, Scale, Sell, Repeat
Eddie Madan is no stranger to entrepreneurship. He has sold numerous companies along the way to becoming CEO of Toronto-based Edkent Media. He has been quoted in publications such as Forbes and the Huffington Post. For Millennials, he recommends a cycle of building, scaling, and selling--and looking to mentors for guidance. He says:
"First step to being a successful entrepreneur is to make relationships with people who are more knowledgeable and experienced than you. Not only will you get valuable advice from them, but they will also guide you when everyone else will look down upon your bad times."
- Confidence Leads to Success
Select is a way to bring the Black Card closer to the Millennial generation. The company was founded by Carlo Cisco in 2015 and has since been dubbed the "Amex for the Next Generation" or the "Black Card for Millennials." It was his confidence that allowed Cisco to grow the company into one of the most desirable charge cards for those between the ages of 25 and 40. He advises:
"Be passionate and be confident. Many Millennial entrepreneurs are building a business for the first time, so it's imperative that they come across as knowledgeable, passionate, and confident. They need to know their industry inside and out and be able to articulate why they will be the best to bring on prospective hires, investors, customers etc. They should be ready to confidently field whatever questions or obstacles may come their way."
- Don't Let Age Determine Your Success
SentryStone Capital managing partner Trevor Gormley doesn't think age should play a role in success. You may have seen him on CNBC with the likes of Kevin O'Leary, Kelly Evans, and Bill Griffith discussing retail investments like Apple and Tesla. He says:
"Don't let your age dictate your ability to create value and achieve success. People will always question the early stages of your work, primarily because they don't think you personally have the abilities to execute."
Are you a Millennial who has used any of the advice above? What do you think of the tips these successful Millennials have given?