Career or goals in life. Just have to have faith that it will happen for you!

Millennials as Entrepreneurs: Part 4 of 10 – Growing up as Tech Natives

Have you ever been with family or older friends and someone says they need help with their phone? You’re like “Sure. I’ll look at it.” and you help them figure out whatever their problem was without hardly thinking about it? Not to mention the next thing you know you’re now their personal tech support?

 

This has happened to me plenty of times. Personally, I love helping when I can with tech. I’ve always been a natural at it – even before it was considered normal. Back then I was labeled a geek of sorts, but it’s totally acceptable today.

 

The Rise of Social Media and Texting

 

Back when I was entering college, social media and texting didn’t exist as it does today. We were using AIM and ICQ as our messengers and texting ran up your cell phone bill like no tomorrow.

 

The first Social Media platform that I was aware of, wasn’t really even a social media platform persay. It was collection of member pages based around message boards, personal blogs, and funny videos (which were based on video game characters). You might have heard about it – Rooster Teeth.

 

Today, while it might not be up there with Facebook, they’re doing pretty well in their own way. When I started watching their videos back in 2001-2002, (and when they were known as Cock Bite – there’s a trivia answer for you!) I along with a whole bunch of other Halo players flocked to their site where they hosted their Red Vs Blue series. It was hilarious. But it was also signs of what was to come.

 

Since then, they have added on several side communities and series (Rage Quit is hilarious – if you can take the swearing!).

 

I used RT regularly until Facebook started becoming the behemoth that we know it as today. The longer I stayed at RT, the more I realized that I was being surrounded more and more by fans of the company. They weren’t using it as a tool like I was. No, they were fanatics about it. So much so that they even went to conventions that the company puts together.

 

I don’t think I could ever be that big into something now that I didn’t have ownership in. 🙂

 

 

I think this story kinda holds true for a lot of other Millennials. While I never used them, Xanga, Tumblr, and LiveJournal are a few blog sites that lots of people flocked to early on but now have been replaced by today’s big names.

 

The Current Kings of Social Media

 

In marketing, there’s a handful of social media sites that need to be considered when building a brand. Obviously, you have Facebook. Then there’s Twitter and LinkedIn. Next you’d see sites like YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Unlike the previous generation of social media sites, one can see the current top sites as tools that fill an inherent need to socialize. Typically people use them because their friends do.

 

When Facebook added the ability to let anyone into the site in 2006, not to those just in colleges, numbers shot through the roof. As of 2013, the count for Facebook users was considered to be half of all online users.

 

As tech savvy Millennials, we’ve been able to use these sites as they’ve evolved. Due to that fact alone, we’ve been able to keep up with the latest abilities that each site has given us.

 

On Facebook, marketing tools really shot up when apps came online. After apps, we had Pages. Now it’s less Pages and more shareable content. It’s always changing.

 

As millennials, we’re used to technology always changing. So really, we have the upper hand when it comes to these platforms. They’re part of who we are and how we communicate.

 

However, as we’ve seen, this comes at a cost as we depend more and more on the newest of technology.

 

In with the New, Out with the Old

 

In 2014, pretty much half of all internet users were using the web through the use of smart phones or a tablet. Personally, I think it’s by design. Companies know that their potential customers like to be on the go. If they can get themselves in front of their audience as they are on the go, then they’re going to get a higher ROI than if their audience saw their ad at home.

 

The cost of acquiring these new mobile devices has been a constant distraction. Even though people have as much time as ever, they feel that they’re life is faster paced.

 

Why? Because the distractions are constantly giving them a to do list. See this, laugh at that. Poke that button.

 

People are spending less and less time creating.

In this new world, if you have enough will power to create, you can build an audience and therefore a business.

 

Building Will Power

 

In the comments below, let me know about some of your tricks in keeping your technology induced distractions down. If you’re having problems with distractions, let me know too! I’d be glad to help you come up with a plan to keep them from influencing you!

 

Also, stay tuned for next week’s post in which we’ll be exploring the changing economy and why Millennials are in the right spot to make their mark on it.

 

Millennials as Entrepreneurs Part 3 of 10: Business Opportunities Galore!

Business opportunities are everywhere for us. With the internet opening up the whole world for commerce in the 90’s, many of us have just grown up with it as being there. Personally, I think I just ordered a few items offline before I made the jump. And man, when I did, it was so easy to keep doing.

 

I remember one of the first things I ordered was a movie poster for one of the Ace Ventura movies. It’s still somewhere, rolled up… collecting dust. When I ordered that, I was totally into whatever Jim Carrey was in. Heck, one of my first CD’s I ever bought was the soundtrack to Dumb and Dumber. So when I found out that I could order this poster, I sent in my money order to some random place and 3-4 weeks later I got my order.

 

Many of you will never know that pain. I don’t even think I could put up with it myself anymore.

 

The 21 Jump Street Epiphany

When I finally got to see this movie, it totally rocked me in how it portrays the difference in high school from when I went to what it’s like now.

 

When I went, there were definite cliques, yes. At most schools, jocks weren’t band kids or geeks. However, they were the popular ones. It was simple. (At my high school, they did intermingle a bit – but I write that up to class size and my class being a Gen X and Y hybrid.)

 

In a particular scene in the movie, however, it shows just how much that is changed. Ha, I felt Jenko’s pain. I mean, I recognized him as cool, but the kids didn’t. The kids in fact thought of him as an out of place dinosaur.

 

I realized it was a whole new world. It’s no longer cool to not be a geek about something. Even jocks are geeks about sports. Look at Andrew Luck! There are so many types of people in the Millennial culture. Because of just that, there are plenty so many business opportunities.

 

 

Mike Rowe and the Blue Collar Revival

 

If you think that all business opportunities have to be online, that’s because we’re in a digital age. However, one of the shows that I loved watching as I was going through college was Dirty Jobs starring Mike Rowe as the host. As I was watching the show, it occurred to me that a large portion of the people he shadowed were business owners.

 

Yes, they were all dirty jobs, but as the theme song says, someone has to do it.

 

Since the show, Mike has started a foundation called Mike Rowe Works where the main focus is to educate people in the need of trade workers. He continuously states that college shouldn’t be the destination for everyone. And to be honest, I don’t think it needs to be with all the types of people that are out there.

 

Currently, as it is, college is a one size fits all model. Sure, you have different majors, but everyone that goes through it is going to come out being ready for a white collar job. (It also takes creativity out of most students… but that’s for another post.)

 

If you’re passion and interests lie in the real world and/or you’re a little more of a tech immigrant than most Millennials, consider listening to Mike.

 

Tech is Our Friend

Obviously, most businesses right now are being started online. A good reason for this is because it gives you unlimited potential for customers. Another is that there is lower overhead compared to that of a Real Life Business.

 

There are many ways to do an online business. You can take advantage of companies that already exist and have a virtual store with eBay and Amazon. You can build your own website from scratch and sell virtual products. You can also make SaaS Products for individuals. Or heck, you can just run a site that points to places where people can buy things and get a finder’s fee (affiliate marketing).

 

Here’s the fun thing about all of those: you don’t need a degree and you can be yourself each and every day. In fact, it’s preferred (unless you’re a complete asshat!). Remember, there’s too many kinds of people out there not to be yourself. It takes too much energy to fake it!

 

There’s So Many Choices!

 

In the comments below, quickly let me know your thoughts on what kind of businesses you might be thinking of starting. Give me up to 10 possibilities. The more you list, the more you can eliminate for sure later! (Believe me, this is really important. You don’t want to be constantly thinking What If when you’re building your business!)
Also don’t forget that they don’t have to strictly be online! If you want to be an independent vet, author or speaker, say so!

 

In next week’s edition of the series, I’ll be diving deeper into Technology and how it has offered a distinct advantage for Millennials.

 

Millennials as Entrepreneurs Part 2 of 10: The Power of the Trend Setter

The world of the Millennial is already upon us. It’s really ours for the taking. Those who have realized this have already started doing so.

 

Just look at Chelsea Krost. I didn’t even know she existed until a week or so ago. And what does she do? She talks about the characteristics of Millennials as a whole. Yeah, there’s plenty of us who do this – but wow – she’s been on shows like Good Morning America, Today, and Tyra. I mean, for a person in their early 20’s, she’s doing great!

 

As it was eluded to in the last post, there are some that will really have a hard time coming to terms of our demands as a generation. Millennials have a completely different value structure than those that came before us.

 

However, we’re here and we’re creating a lot of change early in our career.

 

Case in Point? Look at Today’s Fashion

 

Have you ever actually paid attention to what people are wearing? Like, just looking at what they wear? Is it new? Is it old? Is it something new to look old?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably thought about it at least once in your life and laughed and said, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!”. And even then we question whether or not we’re behind in fashion.

 

Personally, I’ve found myself thinking this more and more. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it’s almost not worth bothering about what you wear.

 

If you look at what makes Millennial fashion unique… you might think of all kinds of different things. Let’s look at glasses, for example. It would seem that predominant style is thick black frames. However, thin seems to be still in as well. Or heck, you might even see something from the 60’s (You know the ones with the little corners with gems or designs peaking out of the corners? Yeah, I’ve seen those around too!).

 

Or heck, let’s look at pants. Who would have EVER thought that leggings would come back as hard as they have. Oh man. If you were to tell my early college self that those would be coming back, I would have thought you came to the future with Marty McFly.

 

And now, not only are high school and college kids wearing them – but their parents who probably wore them originally in the 80’s and 90’s are wearing them again – even after the originally said “Never again!”. Lol.
We’re setting the trend.

Other Successful Industries Have Started Catering to Us

 

The Baby Boomers, obviously, were the last generation to set the trend. As discussed in the last post, much of what we do today is based on their principles and values. That’s not bad, but it’s not necessarily great either. I would like to believe I have a work ethic similar to what Baby Boomers would expect everyone to have. However, at the same time, I think much of what’s wrong with Washington is that those in power want to keep the lifestyle they’re accustom to and they’ll gladly take money from lobbyists to do so. (Check out Generation Zero about this.)

 

Millennials – we’re not like that so much. There’s so much of a difference between Baby Boomers and Millennials that I believe right around 2020 – there’s going to be a HUGE shift how everything is run.

 

Many Industries have already seen the writing on the wall and are totally skipping over Gen Xers and their tastes and going straight to us. A big part of that is because we’re larger than the Gen Xers as a demographic. However, we also have more disposable income as a whole. Most Gen Xers are already in midlife and have to worry about putting houses over their families’ heads. There’s other reasons why they haven’t been counted, and you can refer to this column here for that info.

 

To survive, major conglomerates will have to change their tune. For example, today, Comcast sells things for convenience. The larger a bundle you have, the more you’ll save for more channels. This caters to the Baby Boomer audience. For the most part, they don’t want to mess with the technology to get their entertainment fix.

 

On the other hand, if you see what’s been trending in popularity, it’s all about On Demand. Whether that comes from Comcast is up to them. Why? Because us tech savvy Millennials are, (as we explored last post) all about “Me!”. We don’t care if we get our entertainment fix is from Netflix, Roku, Apple TV, etc.

 

Think about it. Do you think there are more cord cutters in the Millennials or the Baby Boomers? Comcast sticks to simple and possibly outdated tech for the Boomers (who really needs a landline?). At the same time they’re transitioning to On Demand for Millennials. That being said, they better work on that price structure a little more to keep us around!

 

 

Mind The Gap

 

So really, rather or not companies would like to complain about how much we’re different than X’ers and Boomers is not the point. The point is, again, we’re setting the trend. They can’t help but figure out what keeps our interests if they want to survive the big change.

 

But they’re at a disadvantage. Why? They have to higher millennial consultants, like Chelsea, to tell them how Millennials minds work. You and I, on the other hand… we have the upper hand. We are millennials.

 

So, in the comments below. I want to know about what kind of trends you’re starting with your friends and other people you have some influence with. Something as simple as a new app you’re using or a new website you’re following that you’ve shared. Then, I want you to think on whether or not they think of you as the source of particular new things in their life.

 

If you can do that simple exercise, you know that you’re adding value to someone. You are a trend setter.

 

Also, stay tuned for next week’s post in which we’ll be exploring the reasoning on how there are so many types of potential business out there.

 

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 awealthofcommonsence.com, 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?

Thoughts?

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 Emperor of Books on Empire Road

Somewhere on a road in South Africa is a homeless man. This homeless man, is no beggar, however. Instead, he earns by adding value to those around him. How? By doing something that is so inherently simple but so removed from his current condition that it’s kinda out of this world.

Philani reviews books. Not only does he review the books, but he also reviews authors AND publishers as well. The guy is amazing. To have that kind of knowledge, you have to have to read a ton!

When asked why he doesn’t sell drugs, he says, “I hate what drugs can do to you. You continue on into a money making machine.”

Watch more about Philani below:

In a world where people are looking for the next handout, this should serve as motivation for them to add their voice to the world. This guy is homeless – but yet he has it figured out. He’s adding value to the world and I’d be surprised that he’s on the street that much longer. Comment below on how you are or could possibly add value to the world.

How to Successfully Go Through the Minefield

Recently, I had the chance to listen to Tom Kunz, past president of Century 21, tell a story about a fellow who had the opportunity to have a private golf lesson with a certain professional golfer. There wasn’t much to the story but there was definitely a key part that I remember that went something like this:

“(The man) was out playing golf with the professional golfer. The Pro was watching him, trying to find out how the guy could improve his swing. In doing so, the Pro asked the guy what club he used the least and asked for it. The Man gave him the club and the Pro continued to swing the club as he would with one of his.

The ball flew and landed where he had aimed. He then turned around to the Man and said “Well, we now know it’s not the equipment!”

What Does It Mean?

There are various things we can pull from this story. For instance we could have realized that people are professionals because they can do things that most others can’t do as well. To become a pro, he probably had to put a lot of time into his craft.

The obvious thing I got from this story was that most of the time… it’s not the equipment. It’s not anyone else’s fault that you haven’t succeeded. You are a product of your own choices. The man probably wasn’t great with that club because he hadn’t used it.

Association is Key

Even those two things stick out there’s probably a more important aspect that is probably more important that might escape all of us at first. We might miss the forest for the trees. How? Well, this story reminded me that is association is important. Luckily, the man in the story had decided that he wanted to have help with his golf swing and found someone that had success at the level that he wanted. It would have taken him a lot more time if he had tried finding out the problem himself. Heck, he probably might not have ever tried using the club and would have focused more on just changing his swing on other clubs that he was better at. Now he knew that if he spent more time honing his time on this new tool, he might have more success in the future. Which was the better path to take? Personally, I don’t know. I’m not a golfer. However, the Pro had more experience and gave the man a pro’s perspective.

Once you figure out where you want to go in life, association with those that have been where you want to go is very important. It’s better to get experience from those who have already gone through the minefield so that you don’t have to find out the answers yourself.

Thoughts?

Personally I have gotten to associate with plenty of people who are where I want to be in the future. But I still would love to get more time in with those are more successful than me in topics like internet marketing, passive income, and success.

What are your thoughts in finding association. Is there anything that is key that you would look for when you are looking for people to help you?

I look forward to reading your responses. Have a wonderful week and congratulations to the Boilermakers football team who once again was able to beat Ohio State! Boiler Up. 🙂

Cheers!

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?