Anyone with the right knowledge and skills can become an entrepreneur. However, if you tell that to a baby boomer CEO, you might be faced with backlash. Some people believe that entrepreneurs can only develop from the experience that comes with age. They may see young people as lazy and unprofessional. If you’re a millennial, like Sawyer Howitt, you may be subject to these stereotypes, according to experts. How do you make the older generation aware of the fact that millennials might have better business skills than their more experienced peers? Young entrepreneurs weigh in on the techniques that they’ve used to establish themselves as reliable, effective businesspeople.
Statistics About Young People In The Workplace
Studies that look into “millennipreneurs,” as influential youngsters are sometimes called, are finding that millennials are often in their 20s when they start their businesses. This is young compared with the baby boomer generation. On average, entrepreneurs who are now in their 50s and 60s were closer to 35 when they founded their companies. Fortune says that millennials are starting more businesses than baby boomers ever did, and they’re bringing in bigger profits.
5 Ways Young Entrepreneurs Can Stand Up To Ageism
As millennials make their moves, older employees fight to stay relevant. This creates an age gap and discrimination against the newer members of the workforce. If you’re a 20-something entrepreneur, how can you stand up to this type of reverse ageism?
- Prove Your Value
Some employers notice your age, experience and career history while overlooking your actual accomplishments. Sometimes, the only way to prove yourself is through work. Don’t be shy about your accomplishments. If you work diligently and effectively, the results will speak for themselves.
- Market Yourself
If you’re doing a great job in your career, let people know about it. You could be passed over for promotions if you don’t make yourself heard. Especially in a larger corporation, you might not stand out in the crowd. Although you’ve done fantastic work, your boss may not see it unless you point it out. List your accomplishments during your reviews, and provide updates on your successes.
- Be Honest
Don’t pretend that you know everything. Even the most seasoned entrepreneur learns something new every day. If you act like you’re an expert in every area, you will set yourself up to fail. Instead, show that you know how to access the resources that you need to get a job done even when you’re working in an unfamiliar arena. Research shows that millennials are adaptable and learn quickly. Those characteristics can benefit you when you don’t have specific knowledge at hand.
- Don’t Give Up
It’s easy to get intimidated by people who have made a mark in your industry for years. If those individuals are snubbing you because of your age, don’t back down. Continue to demonstrate your usefulness. If possible, provide them with statistics that illustrate the ways in which you can provide value to the industry. Assumptions can be changed with hard facts.
- Turn Your Age Into An Advantage
Some people will try to say that your youth is a disadvantage in business. Show them the ways in which it can serve as an asset. Perhaps you’re more proficient with technology than your peers. Maybe you have the energy to work late and finish projects on the weekends. You’re not tied down by a family, and you can leave for a business trip at a moment’s notice.
Tips For Young Entrepreneurs
Sawyer Howitt knows what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur. He became a project manager at Meriwether Group in Portland, Oregon, when he was in his senior year of high school. He credits his boundless energy and wide-ranging breadth of experience for helping him succeed.
One of the primary factors in Sawyer Howitt’s success is his innovative mindset. He has his finger on the pulse of today’s society. He is involved in the community and understands how cultural trends intersect with business.
On his blog, Howitt shares five tips for young entrepreneurs. His advice centers on motivation, people skills and business savvy.
Sawyer Howitt recommends that entrepreneurs use their passion to move toward their vision immediately. If you wait for the right time to start, you may miss opportunities that are available to you now. He recognizes that the learning process is ongoing and says that the best way to learn is through practical experience.
The fresh-faced entrepreneur also recommends paying attention to company culture when hiring employees. Even if someone has a lot of experience, the wrong fit can create friction in your business. Help things run smoothly by working to build morale and keep employees happy.
Entrepreneurs are often plagued by a barrage of great ideas. Distraction can prevent you from achieving your full potential. That doesn’t mean that you should ignore your brilliant schemes, however. Write them down so that you don’t forget them, and when you can delegate the work necessary to complete your existing projects, you can move forward.
Let data drive you. Although most business people are keenly aware of income and expenses, they may neglect to analyze other numbers. Measure everything so that you can spot growth and toss out techniques that are keeping you stuck.
Howitt’s final piece of advice is to get social. In an environment that involves incessant amounts of networking, you need to have people skills. If you don’t, find a partner who does. It takes a strong communicator to push past the boundaries of ageism and establish a footing in today’s market.
Want to learn more about Sawyer Howitt? Click here to view his racquetball statistics.