As a Generation Xer, I was raised by Baby Boomers who had strict worldviews about jobs—once you obtained one, you kept it. Like many in their generation, they had grown accustomed to the concept of ‘cradle to grave’ employment with many of their peers working for the same company or in the same industry their entire adult lives.
Even at a young age, this was not appealing to me, yet I internalized it, until I realized that entrepreneurship could offer many of the same tangible and intangible benefits without the strings attached.
Fast forward to today and I am now the owner of a growing company comprised of writers, editors and other creatives. Because of the nature of the work that we do, I now have several millennials on my team and I love it! Why?
Every generation has an opportunity to learn from the one before it; we also have an opportunity to learn from the one after us. Although wisdom may come with life experiences, it is not necessarily attached to age. In fact, I have found that onboarding millennials, some of whom are more than twenty years younger than I am, has created a multitude of benefits for our company. It has added more value, more growth opportunities, a greater reach, and more profitability.
It all started with a willingness to move outside of my comfort zone which leads to the point of this blog: Millennials just may be the key to your business’ success and here’s why:
Technology is Ever Changing and Evolving—I am from the generation where computers, cellphones and even video games were coming into existence. I still remember the big, bulky cellphones and floppy disks. We, obviously, have come a long way. In a world of nanotechnology and e-commerce, the reality is that something new is being introduced to the market every day.
Teaming up with millennials who may have a firmer grasp on the newest innovations is a chance to learn without having to take the deep dive yourself. Whether you are a solo-entrepreneur, an emerging business, or a business with many employees, having capable and astute people on your team who can identify and implement your technological needs is a win-win.
Social Media is Fertile Ground for E-Commerce—Say what you want about social media, but it can literally help you move the needle. From greater visibility and branding to promoting your business and connecting you with your targeted audience, there are many who have leveraged their social media platforms to build capital and to scale up.
As a generation that has been surrounded by virtual realities, social media and e-commerce, many millennials understand the power of social media. They also understand the importance of branding. Connecting with millennials who are keenly aware of this eco-system can better position your business to tap into a potential customer base that can lead to measurable results.
Creativity Does Not Have an Age Limit—One of my least favorite expressions is, “Our Youth are the Leaders of Tomorrow.” The reality is that youth are leaders now. Many of the newest business trends have been started by young entrepreneurs, creatives, and innovators. Being willing to co-create with those who may have a slightly different worldview is an asset, especially if you want to stay ahead of the curve and maintain a level of competitiveness.
Overall, the key to any successful business is a willing to learn. In many industries, there are R & D (Research & Development) departments which seek out tools for ongoing improvement and success. Whether it is from a peer or from someone younger, connecting with new ideas and techniques can be rewarding experiences which lead to both professional and personal success.
Remember, sometimes being coachable outweighs being the coach.
About the Author:
Tyra Seldon, Ph.D. is a former English professor turned writer, editor and small business owner. Passionate about the English language and the craft of storytelling, she launched Seldon Writing Group, LLC in 2011. Dr. Seldon has worked with education tech companies, celebrities, aspiring writers, entrepreneurs, media outlets, Fortune 500 companies, school districts, and government agencies to develop their written content. A prolific writer, she has authored Write Like a Champion, Time to Pivot, Finish It and over 400 public blogs and articles. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling the world, one continent at a time.