In a 2014 Huffington Post article Jack Nadel, internationally acclaimed author and entrepreneur, proposed a solution to the many obstacles millennials face, “Based on my seven decades of business experience, I can see only one solution: millennials must create their own jobs.”
Turns out, successful millennials are doing just that.
Intrigued by the unique career paths that seemed to characterize successful millennial entrepreneurs and leaders, I embarked on a journey to interview over two dozen Gen Y “movers and shakers”, publishing their stories in a March blog series (hashtag: #millennialspotlight ) . Upon interviewing these talented men and women, I recognized distinct characteristics dominating their unique paths towards success. Regardless of their chosen industry, geographical location, educational background, etc. there were three characteristics these young trail blazers all shared:
Not Afraid to Stand Alone
Few pioneering personalities receive a standing ovation for their “far out there” ideas and unproven projects. Just as the medieval Europeans clung to theory of a flat earth, so do many in our society default back to comfortable fallacies when presented with a problem. Just as Galileo challenged this long held theory, so have many of the successful millennials interviewed. Whether it’s proposing a better way to run governmental programs, or produce necessities domestically vs. offshore, these talented young men and women are not afraid to defend their initiatives, even if it means standing alone.
Invest in the Long Haul
Caroline Kennedy stated, “Change isn’t easy, it takes time.”
Successful millennials understand that their path to prosperity is a long-term investment. Few bank on “overnight successes”; instead, they focus on building their organization one-step at a time, demonstrating a strong resilience uncharacteristic to our “instant-culture”. Successful millennials believe in their initiative, even when it’s stuck in that not-so-promising “baby stage” required of many a boot strapped venture. They understand that building something sustainable often involves a long-term investment, and they aren’t afraid to weather all seasons of their pioneering pursuits, even the cold, lonely ones.
Believe They Can Change the World
Nonprofit Hub reported that 74% of millennials believe they can change the world , and our round-up of successful Gen-Yers included an overwhelming echo of similar belief. As a generation, millennials are not afraid to acknowledge the environmental and social issues plaguing our culture; as generational leaders, successful millennials are not afraid to confront such destruction in an effective manner. For some, this means raising money or signing a petition; for others, it means forming as organization (for-profits included) to address the need. As socially-conscious visionaries, millennials aspire to leave our world a better place than they found it.
If you’d like to follow our one of a kind Millennial Spotlight blog series, check out The Motivated Millennial blog. I hope these inspirational stories motivate you to consider leaving your mark on history by becoming a millennial entrepreneur—a brazen pioneer, dedicated to making the world a better place by creating opportunities. Be sure to follow The Motivated Millennial on Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn to receive updates on new posts and to join the community of pioneering millennials.
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