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Characteristics of the millennial entrepreneur

Millennials are known for consuming copious amounts of overpriced takeaway coffee, sporting their grandparents’ attire and having a predilection for cycling.

In spite of this reputation, Generation Y has done pretty well for itself in terms of enterprise. Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Andrew Mason (GroupOn), Brian Chesky (Airbnb), Sean Rad (Tinder) – the list really does go on.

But what notable traits do these magnates have in common? Read on to see what you can learn from them.

They design their career around their lifestyle

“Work life versus private life has changed, and continues to change. The thing with millennials is, they aren’t content with ‘work hard now for the things you want, reap the benefits later in life and be comfortable then,’” says JP Prinsloo, owner of South African events coordination company Prifactor.

Millennials, more often than not, identify their passions, interests and desires first, then identify a career or business undertaking that supports those objectives. For instance, a millennial might be interested in writing and travelling. They might then very well start a website that gives detailed travel reviews of backpackers and resorts to other travelers, and make a living off that.

Get the picture?

They choose an undertaking they feel strongly about

Millennial entrepreneurs don’t just ask themselves, what does the consumer need?, and then make a living off that. Instead, they find something they feel passionate about and see how they can make a business based on that passion.

“No wonder we’ve seen such a surge in handcrafted beer and home cured meats, independent photography, blogging and community markets. Millennials like to know where their purchases and products come from, who made it, and if supporting it is sustainable,” says Prinsloo.

Basically, millennials realise the potential of working towards something they truly care about, and find reward not only in financial gains, but also in being of service.

Corny? Perhaps, but also deceptively effective and practical.

They make the circle bigger 

Generation Y is often cited as being narcissistic and egocentric. The onslaught of online dating apps, make-believe lifestyles designed by actively partaking in social media and the exploiting of your ‘niche’ has been the subject of many subjective studies.

“Millennials, however, tend to try and involve as many people as possible in their venture. One entrepreneur doesn’t aim to hold a monopoly on a certain market, but instead looks at ways in which they can involve peers to monetize upon the opportunity too,” Prinsloo says.

The aforementioned travelling blogger may, for instance, instill the services of a photographer, graphic designer and social media influencer.

If there is anything to be gleaned from the economic model of the millennial entrepreneur, it’s this; doing something that you’re passionate about in order to make the world a better place is the best recipe for success and personal growth.

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