Millennials’ Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss

Is ignorance bliss?

There’s no question that millennials are convinced they are the entrepreneurial generation. We believe that the next idea we have is worthy of starting an entire business around. Well, that’s hardly ever the case. Most millennials are the under impression that they automatically know what it takes to start a business and help it survive.

There are so many questions us millennials need to start questioning ourselves. Some of which include: Are you going to do a sole proprietor, partnership, LLC, or LLP? Do you even know what all of those mean? Advantages/disadvantages to all of them? If not, you probably need to do more research. If you’ve thought through all of that, then what policies will be put in place, how will you gain capital, how many employees do you need and how many will you be able to pay?

Most important question: do you have that million-dollar idea? If so, you should assume that someone has already thought of that idea and is 10 steps ahead of you. So, what makes you any different or better than them?

Time to face reality.

Prior to working for AMPT I was convinced that I was going to be an entrepreneurial genius right out of college. I had it all figured out, or so I thought. After all of 30 minutes I realized just how little I knew about business as a whole. I am currently studying Business Administration at Nebraska Wesleyan University and I am shocked at the number of students that want to start a business right out of undergraduate. I was astonished. I know that there will be people in my class that make it big in their careers and I know that some of the students will probably be very successful entrepreneurs. What surprised me was the number of students who wanted to start a business right out of college but aren’t currently willing to work for a startup.

When I’m in a class that requires some sort of presentation I will almost always do my presentation over AMPT. Especially in my business classes. A lot of the students in my class know that I work for a startup, so after my class presentations they will ask me questions about what it’s like. More times than not, the students that ask me questions are completely shocked by my responses. They never would have guessed that working for a startup isn’t always smooth sailing. Most of them don’t understand the amount of risk involved in a startup or the fact that it isn’t always fun and games. Instead, the pressure is high and it is always crunch time.

After I explain that startups aren’t always full of pingpong tables and coffee bars (basically stop comparing them to the movies) all of the excitement washes out of their faces and they realize just how little they actually know about the structure of starting a business. My generation, the younger batch of millennials, think that they know what it takes to start a business. Unfortunately, a lot of them aren’t willing to intern or work for a startup while in college (or high school) because they don’t want to miss a paycheck or run the risk of the unknown that startups hold. Instead, they base their knowledge of starting a business off of successful corporations or the movies with all of these awesome offices and high success rates.

Millennials don’t actually know it all.

I thought that I knew it all. I thought that it would be easy. I was completely wrong. Even after interning and working for a startup company for the last few years, if I tried to start my own company after I graduate I would still fail miserably. What my generation is lacking is patience and knowledge. We don’t want to admit that we don’t have it all figured out and we think that we need to launch the next Facebook by the time we are 25. Well, that’s just not realistic. So, why aren’t more of us willing to take the risk and learn the ropes of a startup while we’re still in school?

If you have ever had the thought of starting your own business during or out of college, or think somewhere down the road you might want to, then I highly recommend working for one first. You have no idea the kind of experiences or lessons you will learn. You might even find out it isn’t for you. I’ve been working for a few different startup the last few years and I can confidently say its been one of the best experiences of my life. This is the time for all of us to take the risk. We have no major obligations in life. Ex: most of us don’t own homes, or have families, so we’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Take the risk, try it out. Learn the life lessons that textbooks fail to provide and discover the excitement, challenges, and obstacles that startups hold.

#YouDoYou – The Bon

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