Born between 1982 and 2000, the Millennial generation for relatively some time has already started graduating from college and started joining the workforce. Worldwide, they are slowly replacing the notoriously famous baby-boomers, the longest living generation in history, who is currently reaching retirement age. For instance in Brazil, this new generation has reached 44% of the economically active population, circulating more than 250 billion Brazilian Reais in the economy, and such numbers will start escalating significantly sooner than anyone could expect.
The Millennial generation is specifically marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. Since an early age, they have been exposed to new gadgets and electronic devices, making them savvier and experts with newer technologies when comparing with previous generations. However, technical skills are not enough to strive in today’s marketplace. What else is needed?
These young adults are nonjudgmental, tech-savvy and admire startup founders. In the case of Brazil, they also grew up in a firm economy where open market and currency stability were taken for granted. In one hand they are very fortunate to experience so, they are looking for economic opportunities, but are they on the right track to become entrepreneurs?
To help answer these questions, here are some known tips for these young adults seeking an opportunity to venture in the business worl.
1.Find a business that has a meaning for you
Passion creates business. Knowing what truly motivates you, and gives you the urge to start your day pumped up is defining for your success. There’s no question that running a business demands time and effort, so investing in your passion is crucial. Steve Jobs said that the only way to be satisfied in your life is to do work that you truly believe in.
Nonetheless, passion is not everything you need to worry about. Don’t play games you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them. Truly understanding your industry inside out is a must.
Also don’t be easily impressed with new trends and quick return on investment opportunities, so follow your heart but keep your eyes wide open. There are many out there! If needed, consult with professionals to better understand if this is the right opportunity and fit for you.
2. Be resilient
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.” Henry Ford was a true believer that to succeed you will constantly have to overcome different obstacles. If, for some reason you don’t, you will find excuses for not attaining your initial objectives.
On the same pace, Sartre said that “The problem is not the problem”, and that all business entrepreneurs will eventually face down times, stressful moments, and will force hard and strict decisions to be made, but standing up and facing them one by one is the key.
From time to time look back to learn from your mistakes, but moving forward is the only way.
3. Know your finances
An American nationwide survey published by Ernst & Young, one of the “Big Four” accounting firms in the world, suggests millennials’ economic hardships prevent them from starting and continuing businesses. Financial restrictions are killing today’s young adults entrepreneurial dreams, so understanding this vital business element is a matter of keeping doors open or having to put an end to your dream.
It’s almost always harder to raise capital than you thought it would be, and it always takes longer. So create your financial plan before you begin. Take in consideration startup costs, license fees, payroll and cash flow. Establish spending priorities for the first years. When you start spending on your business, be vigilant to spend it cleverly. It’s easy to spend too much on nonessential expenses and run out of capital soon.
The advice is to talk to accounting and legal professionals. They can help you realistically build your financial strategy and avoid pitfalls.
4. Establish networking groups
Once talking to the CEO of one of the largest furniture manufacturers and retailers in the United States, he said that the biggest tip he could give me to succeed in my business was contacts and networking. Eventually, this became clearer to me as my business grew, since positioning my product and increasing my revenue started depending more and more on having diversified suppliers, long lasting contracts, and elaborated advices.
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, once said that the fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be. He couldn’t have said it in a better way.
Take advantage of online business networking tools, and don’t forget face to face contacts. Be present in conferences and promote yourself and your new venture with the movers and shakers of the industry. They will give you company visibility and consequently will bring more costumers your way.
5. Pay your dues
No one reaches victory without having to work for it, and everyone was once at the starting line. As Steve Jobs once said, “If you look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” Don’t be afraid to invest time in what you believe. Commit 100% to what you have set as your objectives.
Many people have awesome ideas, but success only comes through action. Walt Disney believed that the easiest way to get started is to quit talking and start doing. That’s true for your success as well. So, roll up your sleeves and get down to business.
6. Master Business Languages
For Brazilian Millennials, this is of upmost importance, and it doesn’t matter the line of business you are in. Domestic and international corporations doing business in Brazil demand fluency in English as a prerequisite for hiring.
Noriyuki Suzuki, the General Secretary of the ITUC-AP, said “For business, English and Chinese are obviously the most important languages now. This is a phenomenon that reflects the change of the times”.
English for starters is not easy to learn, but unquestionably is the official language adopted by foreign companies and trade organizations, and is the most effective path to gain access to international commerce and dealings. As you read this article, close to two billion people are currently learning English, so do not cast yourself out from this group.
Being proficient provides an efficient way to conduct business. Disregarding where you are from or how small your business might be, terms, processes, negotiations and procedures are predominantly in English, and to be a player in the market is essential to have this expertise.
Start learning now. Don’t wait for great opportunities to pass you by.