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. Let’s learn a bit about millennial entrepreneurs:
1. They Understand Flexible Work Locations
Millennial entrepreneurs 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 millennial entrepreneurs 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?
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
Millennial entrepreneurs 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.
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,, 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.
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 @Designlico to send in your thoughts.
This article as originally posted as a guest blog by Designli partner Keith Shields on LifeHack.org. View the original post here.