Millennials as Entrepreneurs, Part 1 of 10: Huge Expectation for Life

This is the first of ten installments on why Millennials (and some Gen Xers) Have Great Potential in Being Entrepreneurs. In it, I will be discussing why many members of Generation Y shouldn’t be looking for any old job. Instead, they should be searching inside themselves for the answers to how they’re going to make a living as well as finding their purpose.

So a little introduction of why I’m starting this series…

I recently found an article in Forbes about what the millennials want in the workplace. It’s funny, but as a hybrid between Generation Y and X, I don’t see why X has so much angst for the Millennials. Yes, they’re different. But is that such a bad thing?

I found these numbers about Millennials from the article to be even more interesting:

  • 64% of them say it’s a priority for them to make the world a better place.
  • 72% would like to be their own boss. But if they do have to work for a boss, 79% of them would want that boss to serve more as a coach or mentor.
  • 88% prefer a collaborative work-culture rather than a competitive one.
  • 74% want flexible work schedules.

Now, current employers are going to scream and carry on that these numbers are crazy and down right scary. Why wouldn’t they? They might have owned a successful business for 10+ years and wonder why an established company needs to bend.

Well, that might be true. But as we all know, change is always immanent.

The thing is that millennials, as the article mentions, are going to be 40% of the workforce after 2020. That means that they’re going to be a huge part of the working force (possibly even a controlling segment??). That being said, their collective voice does matter. If the wealthiest business leaders are already doing this, then most businesses should and will follow suit. Otherwise they might find themselves low on workforce.

That said, who’s better at catering to millennials than those who understand them – other millennials?

Can You Really Blame Them?

Unlike previous generations who value hard work and sacrifice, millennials don’t necessarily feel the same way. They want lifestyle vs expensive items.

Or so we’ve been told. In an article by Ben Carlson at, he explains that we have the same habits as our parents and grandparents. It’s just that we haven’t started our lives as early as they did. That makes sense, so many of us go to college anymore… and then play around for a couple of years.

But I don’t think that’s the only cause for the delay. I think that many of us want to be better at life then our parents or grandparents. We want to build on the foundations that they’ve given us. And why not? Hasn’t that been their goal?

Many Role Models

Us millennials have grown up with TV, movies, music, and sports as being the main things discussed about in culture. Few of us pay attention to world news and even fewer of us can picture what it would be like to not have media in our lives.  In the hierarchy of needs, I’d say that a lot of us haven’t had to ever struggle with the bottom tiers. We’ve been blessed to have the ability to look constantly at life and wonder how we’re going to be the next Brad Pitt, Eminem, or the next Peyton Manning.

Unfortunately, working a traditional 9 to 5 probably won’t let us get to that level. That’s why the above mentioned numbers are so huge. We can’t relate to just having a steady paycheck – even though that’s something that our grandparents aspired to have and made sure our parents saw the white picket fence as something worth chasing.

Nope. Each and every one of us millennials has a little rock star in us that is eventually going to want to come out.

It’s not OUR Fault! Our Parents Spoiled Us!

We’ve been programmed by society to think how we’re going to be the next celebrity. Many of us didn’t consider answering the question what do you want to be when you grow up with the answers Fireman, policeman, lawyer, doctor, etc. like our parents. We didn’t even know what we wanted to be until later in life when we were forced to pick a major in college. Hell, even then I don’t know how many of us really knew! We just wanted to succeed. And how did we succeed?

By doing what our parents told us to do… Get good grades, go to college, get a good job and have a family! 

But… but… that’s not part of me being the next Bam Margera,” your inner self protested as you followed the status quo.

End result? Now you have all of us who have gone through college seeking jobs that will allow us to be rock stars. Cause in our subconscious… that’s what we’re supposed to be doing.

So it’s not so much that we’re spoiled per say, it’s more along the lines that we’ve been influenced by old advice that our parents got from their parents (check out Generation Zero about that and more) and pop culture to an extreme. We’re to value the things that celebrities have but obtain them by how mom and dad obtained a house and white picket fence. There’s a huge disconnect there. No doubt, we’re all about the Me.

But what can we do about it now? Are we really naive enough to think asking corporations to treat us all as individual rock stars is really feasible? That each of us deserves $15 as minimum wage working at Micky D’s? Jobs that are typically reserved for teenagers??

Lol. When you really think about it doesn’t make sense.

We don’t fit the mold of the traditional employee. I mean, when you think of celebrities – do you really think of them as a typical employee or more of a freelancer?

The Chase of the Letter A

Those of us who have done what our parents wanted have probably gone to school and excelled. (Don’t worry if you didn’t – there’s good news coming up.) We have done the work that is necessary to get Good Grades. We also probably know what it’s like to not get good grades.

I remember the first time I got a C worth remembering. It was my first semester at Purdue. School had always come easy for me. I studied very little to be an A/B Honor Roll student in high school. By the time I got to Purdue, I didn’t even KNOW how to study.

Well, there I was in a remedial class doing algebra – a high school course. Day after day went by and I got Cs and Bs on my quizzes. As on my homework. Being one who never kept score of my progress, I thought I had it in the bag to get a B for the semester. Well, finals came and before I knew it – I was done with my first semester at school. I checked my grades the following week and… there was the proof the crappy semester I had had. 1 B, 3 C’s, and a D.

Omg, I didn’t know what to do. As far as I knew, I had put in the work and did as well as I thought I ever had done. Well, little did I know I was doing less than mediocre. I had to improve… and I eventually did.

The good news is that you can eventually learn to play the game. Just stick with it long enough.


The point of that story is that many of us don’t know that we’re living mediocre lives. We’re doing the status quo and expecting that it will get us the results we’re looking for. But if we’re following a plan that is outdated, how do we even know that it’s going to get us where we want to be? Hell, like me and “studying”, you probably don’t even know the plan of Getting good grades… is outdated.

The thing is that we live in a world where we’re really all a bunch of freelancers. Those of us who have been employees know that we’re going to go from job to job to job in our career. The days of hanging our hat in one place are over. The game has changed.

Sadly, many of us still seek the shelter of our employers with that W2 instead of going for the 1099. But when we opt for the W2, we’re telling the employer that we’re not his equal. That we are a servant. We’re selling our time for money. We’re playing the old game.

Whereas a 1099 could signal that you’re an equal.

A W2 tells the employer that you need him. Whereas as a freelancer (or consultant) you’re prepared to move if needed and you don’t mind having the responsibility of taxes. One less thing he needs to worry about.

Being an employee is using an old plan… and it’s going to get you a C in life. Being a freelancer, consultant, or other type of business owner gives you the opportunity to get an A. But like studying super long hours in college to get the A, being a freelancer comes with extra responsibility.

So it’s really up to us in whether or not we want the potential for a C life or an A life.

Which would you rather have? Your parents old desk job that they slaved away at for years or your self defined dream gig? Which one would you prefer to work towards?


So real quick, what are your initial thoughts of millennials having huge plans for their life? Did you have any yourself? I know you wanted to be something (even if it was an astronaut or fire fighter) that some might consider a stretch.

Share what you thought (as a high school or college student) you were going to be if everything went your way in life by leaving a comment below. Did you arrive there?

By the way, stay tuned next week when we explore Part 2 of the series: Millennials as Trend Setters.

The String Story: One Step at a Time

So this is a story that I heard from Jim Vaughan, editor of Learn From the Giants, that I think that anyone can put to use in their life. It’s called “The String Story”. Basically in Jim’s long career, he has done many jobs. He almost sounds like Mike Rowe to me. One of those things that he did was help install electrical lines. In Florida, where he is a native, you might be aware, that they have swamps like crazy down there. Well, one day, he and the group that he was working with was tasked in getting an electrical line across one of these many swamps.

Now, personally, I never thought of how one could do this until Jim told me the story. I mean, I suppose if I had thought about it, I would have assumed that they would have used a helicopter. Well, they might in some places or when they’re installing the tower, but they didn’t when putting up the actual wire. Apparently, instead of taking the entire electrical wire across the swamp (which the size of this wire is ginormous) which would be almost impossible, they have a strategy for doing so. They get in a small boat with a spool of string. They take that string across the swamp to the pole. Next, on the other end, they tied twine to the end of the string and pulled that across, next they tied rope on the twine and then pulled the twine across!

Eventually, they got large enough rope going across that they tied the wire on and then pulled it across. After which, they installed the wire and moved onto the next tower.

Now, this is a rather simple story, but it can be applied to so many things in life. For one, it can be applied to sales in the matter of the upsale. Just get someone buying something for $9.99 from an infomercial and the next thing you know, you have them buying a $100 or more for a deluxe set of knives or $200 or so for jewelry.

Or it can be applied to building a strong relationship. As you might or might not know, I have a “traditional” view on relationships. I think the reason so many people have problems with their romantic relationships is because they put about as much time and effort into a relationship as they do in their finances. Many people are in financial debt and what I call “romantic debt” (which I’ll talk about in a future post). If they would start with a sound foundation, and work on building it up from the ground up, people could get anything they wanted – financially AND romantically. However, society has taught many of us not to think this way. Most of us don’t know how to put off the good for the great.

I’m sure there’s other uses of “The String Story”, but I thought I’d give you these examples so that you can figure out ways to implement it in your life. Speaking of… what are some instances where you might use it?

Class Warfare 101

I listen to and read a numerous amount of sources about politics. One of those sources is reddit. If you don’t know what reddit is, I highly recommend you take some time to make an account and explore it. Whatever your interests are, you probably can find a subreddit there.

One of the subreddits that I follow there is the “political” one. For the most part it’s full of progressive thinkers.You can find that out yourself by checking it out at reddit. As a follower of this blog, you probably know that I take the opposite stance of that perspective. I don’t understand how people can think that the economy can be fixed by just spending money… the government spending money – that we continuously have to raise the debt ceiling. I mean, we might as well raise it to a Gazillion dollars, ya know?

Today there was a post that was shared from a lefty blog that just made me laugh. (Here’s the link to the reddit link.) It just boggled my mind. Basically the writer of the post was going on about how there’s more of an income gap between classes here in the US than there are Egypt.

Well, duh. Yes there is.

Egyptians were under a dictatorship… we’re not. I would assume they were forced to be in certain income brackets – where, we’re not. No one is stopping anyone here from starting a business and making more money… other than the Bush and Obama administrations taxing and spending more.

Face it, the reason we have an income inequality gap is because the wealthy isn’t doing anything with their money (smart thinking!!) because they don’t know what to invest in because the past two administrations suck and the poor needs that money flowing otherwise they get poorer.

The writer of this post simply was wanting people with less money than “wealthy” people to envy them. Make them think that they’re the problem. That they’re the ones to blame. This has all the makings of class warfare ala Nazism vs the Jews.

I mean according to this blog… apparently all rich people are bad. So you best not try to be one yourself!! You’ll be bad too!

This is silly.

In my experience, money is simply an amplifier of a person’s personality. If the person is bad, they’ll do bad things with the money, if they’re good, they’ll do good things with it. In either case, they shouldn’t be forced to do anything with it. That’s essentially what taxes look like to everyone. However, taxes are needed – but definitely not in the percentages we see today through different classes. If they are forced to, others should pay their fair share of taxes if we’re gonna tax the heck out of the wealthy. People who are willing to work for that money shouldn’t be penalized because they were successful in obtaining it. Most often than not, they weren’t shaisters to get it. Most wealthy people become wealthy by actually helping others in selling a product a service…

The Solution:

Let’s just have a flat tax on everyone so the job making wealthy know what they have to earn to out earn their taxes so they can buy that new mansion and the middle class can figure out if there’s indeed a need for new mansions – which would probably provide 3 or 4 jobs for a good part of two years for those who can’t start a business right now!

If you don’t start your own business (you’re own safety net), you’ll always be dependent on someone else for your income. It’s your decision to make more money than you’re paid on an hourly basis – not someone else’s. Maybe you’ll never make as much as them, but you won’t know unless you try. But you shouldn’t tear others down, just to build yourself up. Don’t blame others for your situation. Hitler did – it didn’t end up working out so well for him, did it?

The E4 Project – Not Just for Glenn Beck Fans

I don’t really listen to political talk too much any more. That’s kind of sad considering at one time I was a political junky. I might just still be, but I tend to stay away from it. On occasion I will listen to your typical political talking head just to get an idea of what’s going on out in the world. For the longest time I used to listen and watch Glenn Beck all the time. From time to time, I’d also check out what Rachel Maddow had to say.  Totally too opposing points of view. But to be honest, I started thinking that both of them eventually had the same thing to say over and over. Plus, I started instilling a rule into my life: if it’s something I can’t do anything about, then I’m not going to worry about it. Thus, I simply stick to my standards (as mentioned in the last post) and live life.

But as I said, I do tend to turn in from time to time and heard Beck talking about this new project of his not too long ago: The E4 Project. The E4 Project is called as such because it focuses on 4 words each starting with an E – Enlightenment, Education, Empowerment, Entrepreneurship. All of which I think are important to know and think about.

In a squidoo post I found on the web, Brooke Allen discusses what each word means as a Beck fan. But I’ll go over them fairly quickly and mention their importance in self improvement.

Enlightenment – Faith. To me, Faith can be understood in two ways. It can be understood in the spiritual sense. That if things are meant to be, then they will happen. Or if you’re more of a numbers person, then Faith would be a single term for the phrase “chances are…”. If you have faith, it will happen! Understanding the fact that if certain things are done with a certain result in mind, then chances are that result will happen.

In the world of improving ones life, it should be known that a fundamental change of a person’s life isn’t going to happen over night. Faith is illustrated over an expanded period of time that a goal will be achieved if you continually work towards that goal. Faith is simply knowing that the crock pot is going to cook the food; that the seed is growing to grow into a plant and letting time and a process do its thing.

Education – We’re all familiar with this term. Personally, I love learning. I always have. I’m just naturally curious about the world and whenever I have a question, I find the answer. Just like in everything else, you can never know too much about yourself, others, and self improvement in general. You can spend your entire life learning how to better yourself and those around you but you’ll never know it all.

Empowerment – Once you have a basic understanding of how people and life works, you need to put it into practice. Start making your life better. (For example, make your own list of standards and start living by them!) Start making the lives of others better by adding value to them. Go out of your way if you need to at times!

Entrepreneurship – If you’re unemployed, underemployed, or not making enough money – then perhaps another job isn’t the answer! Even in this economy, there are so many opportunities out there that aren’t being taken advantage of that is no excuse not to be able to develop “side” income. However many people don’t even think outside the box. It’s a major case of “Who Moved My Cheese?”. To put it simply, the old system is broken and not producing money where we’re used to finding it.

With that said, it doesn’t always take money to make money. I almost find it amusing when people limit themselves based on the lack of money is the reason they don’t do something. “Uh, duh! That’s the reason you’re in this spot in the first place! You haven’t figured out a way to make additional income. This is your chance!” If people just simply start adding some habits in their life that can make them money outside of a job, then they won’t be upset because their job doesn’t pay them. Especially with the advent of e-commerce, the sky is the limit. If you can find a need, fill it, make a profit, and do so with a passion, then you might just have your real career at your fingertips.

Why Working a 9 to 5 Probably Won't Get You Your Dreams

That is if your dreams include doing things on your own terms. You know, the sky is really the limit. It’s just that most people don’t know that they need to keep reaching for the sky. Most people let “things and stuff” get in their way of living the way they’d prefer. Many times those “things and stuff” is actually their day job. The truth is that the same reason that a lot of people want to gain wealth is the exact same reason that they never get it in the first place. They think that they are limited by what they can earn by trading hours of their life for dollars. Only problem is that you can’t out earn the problem.

Simply enough, if you want a Ferrari, if you want that big mansion, or heck, if you just want to get another $500/month outside of your job, then you’re going to have to do just that. Produce money outside of your job. Because a job by its nature only pays you enough that it will keep you around – that includes all those nice perks you get (if you’re lucky enough to get them).

The truth of the matter is that if you don’t control the accumulation of assets, then you don’t control the accumulation of wealth. If you don’t control the accumulation of wealth, then you simply don’t control your financial future. Thus working a 9 to 5 job, whatever it is – however cool it is – simply won’t get the job done. Sorry about the pun.

For a good example, here’s our buddy, Pat Flynn of the Smart Passive Income Blog, on this topic when it comes to building online assets:

Whether you’re trying to be a lifestyle or serial entrepreneur (by the definition of what they are, situational entrepreneurs don’t normally have the same goals as the other two), your end goal is to develop enough assets so that you don’t need to trade hours for dollars.

Tip #2 For Young Entrepreneurs – Taking Small Steps

One of the things that I think is key in developing a successful version of yourself is by doing things that most others wouldn’t do. This is true. However, there’s another thing that makes people more successful than this. Its when you choose to do those other things – over and over and over again – that actually leads to success. For example, what makes the difference between sport champions and other athletes? What makes Peyton Manning and Tom Brady different than other QB’s in the NFL? It’s taking those extra steps to prepare – to practice. It’s taking those steps to study the other team.

What made Tiger Woods who he is? He prepared throughout his entire life to be great. In the following video, “Tip #2 For Young Entrepreneurs”, Mark Nathan asks Derek Kosek what he has done to be successful in his entrepreneurial career. He makes great points.

Obviously being a successful entrepreneur and sports player isn’t the only way that you can put this principle to good use. I’m sure some of you have already put this principle to use. I’d love to hear how you might have already used it in the past… but maybe you weren’t aware that you were doing it?

Innovation in Indiana 001: Techpoint Innovation Summit 2010

In the past year that I’ve been in Indianapolis, one of the groups that I’m glad to be plugging in with is Techpoint. Essentially Techpoint’s goal is to help foster up-and-coming companies from around the state. Also, they act as a podium to bring together speakers from various backgrounds to come and give their two cents on given topics.

On a yearly basis, Techpoint holds two large events that recognize entrepreneurship in Indiana. One, the Mira Awards, features companies from around the state that have done well in their respective field. It is generally sponsored by several schools including Purdue, Indiana, and Ivy Tech as well as several other key names within the state such as Indiana Business Journal, Barnes and Thornburgh, and ExactTarget. While seeing the companies being recognized for their achievements is great, the networking opportunities are awesome. And considering that this is a site dedicated for helping you with your new path(s) in life, if you are in Indiana and specifically Indianapolis, don’t pass up next years Mira Awards!

Secondly, the Innovation Summit is a place where a collection of speakers and business owners can get together and share ideas. In a way, you could think of it as Indiana’s Innovation TED. While I have not attended the Summit, I am looking forward to attending it next week on October 27th. Here’s a video for you to get a glimpse as to why I’m looking forward to it!

Link to the full story via their Blog.

If you’re an Indiana based Entrepreneur/business owner who would like to mix with some of the best minds in the area, I would say it’s in your best interest to make it to a Techpoint meeting in the near future!