By Zev Herman, president of Superior Lighting.
We've all heard people say that millennials are lazy, disloyal, disrespectful, etc. But is that true? In my experience as a business owner, I've discovered that there is a lot to learn from millennials. For example, millennials typically aren't focused on finding work-life balance -- instead, they strive to create lives they love to live, all the time. And when it comes to work, millennials want to believe in what they are doing and why they are doing it.
In my opinion, millennials have many admirable qualities in their approach to life and work. Now is not the time to condemn them for everything they might be doing wrong. We need to embrace the next generations and appreciate the innovations that they contribute to the business world.
Understand Change Is Coming, Then Act Accordingly
Many people are afraid of change and the unfamiliar, but not everybody is. In fact, I am a person who embraces change and innovation. If you're a business owner, then you should be this type of person, too.
Even if you don't adopt every change in your company's industry, you must be aware of the changes that are coming or happening already. Read industry publications and news to stay up to date. Otherwise, you will be blindsided by something that everyone else has already jumped on board with -- and this can spell the end of your business.
I work in an industry that is constantly changing. I bought my business in 2008, when the entire lighting industry was on the brink of revolution. But we rolled with the changes andcame out alive on the other side. From my experience, I know change can be a good thing.
Know Why You Do What You Do
Every business needs a mission statement to determine the company's direction and strategy. My company's mission is "to help our customers choose the most energy efficient lighting." Everyone who is a part of my team strives to stay true to this mission every day at work.
This may sound corny, but I think the millennial approach to work and life is like one big mission statement. Millennials don't simply want work-life balance -- they want their work to be just as important and meaningful to them as their lives outside of work. Get inspired by this mindset to find value and purpose in the work that you do.
Take a Bad Quality and Make It Better
Every negative quality pinned to the millennial generation can be transformed into a positive one. For example, "Millennials are lazy." Instead, we could say, "Millennials are smart because they can do the least amount of work to accomplish the best results."
Similarly, to remain successful and innovative in our industries, we must always look for the positives in a negative situation and focus on what we can learn. Millennials are incredibly innovative and they learn quickly -- there's no doubt about it.
With industries rapidly transforming because of advancements in technology, there's no escaping the fact that we need millennials, both for their abilities to adopt new technologies speedily, and for their desires to do only what they view worthy of doing -- because that's how the world ultimately becomes a better version of itself.
Look at Every Experience as a Learning Opportunity
The main takeaway here is that you must view every experience as an opportunity to learn if you want your business to succeed. You don't have to transform into a millennial yourself, but take a few key lessons from the people who want to live their best lives -- your business may just thank you for it.
Entrepreneur focused on growing wholesale light bulb and lighting business. Specializes in energy-efficient lighting design and retrofits.