Entrepreneurs are a very different breed; we are wired a bit different than the masses. I meet with and talk to business owners every day, and they all have that common entrepreneur spirit that I love to be around. Part of the fun and terror of being an Entrepreneur is that depending on time of day and day of the week we are on a different peak, valley, loop, or corkscrew of the rollercoaster ride that we have become immunized to believe is a normal part of life. I have read and hear people say that the entrepreneur spirit is dying with the Millennials, and that simply is not true. The Millennial Entrepreneur however is different than the entrepreneurs of other generations, and a lot remains to seen how we Millennials’ will deal with dark underbelly of entrepreneurship…failure.
The Millennial Entrepreneur is full of passion and excitement; call it youthful exuberance, but all new Entrepreneurs have that when they start, no matter how old they are. What will define the Millennial Entrepreneur will be how they fail, not succeed. What has made the American Entrepreneur so great is that throughout history failure has just been one more way not to achieve the desired result. Fear of failure is a great motivator, it makes people work hard to be successful, but it can also be crippling. Millennials are still young, we are in our 20s and early 30s, it is perfect time for us to take risks, and we have lots of time to recover should something go sideways. Every generation fears failure, what makes the Millennials different is how we have been raised to deal with failure…remember we are the first generation that had trophies handed out to everyone just for participating.
The stories are endless of the Entrepreneurs throughout history and how many times they tried and failed, and tried and failed, and failed, and failed, and failed until they got it right. Millennials can fight as hard as or harder than other generations, but will Millennials have that persistence to fight again if they lose a fight? Or will they just collect their participation trophy and go home? The Millennial Entrepreneur has proved that they are more than capable of trying, and there are many successful Millennial Entrepreneurs that have proven they can be very successful, but the question remains can they fail?, and statistics don’t lie, new businesses fail.
I have written about it before, Millennials are the most educated and specialized generation in the history of the world. Millennials want to be great at something; the problem with Millennials is that we were raised on the here and now; 24 hour TV and the internet, and if something does not work Millennials get bored and move on. Will Millennial Entrepreneurs pick themselves up, dust themselves off and jump back in the Entrepreneur fight when they fail?
I believe that Millennial Entrepreneurs are up for the fight, and while in the fight we will fight as hard or harder than any generation before us, but only time will tell if Millennial Entrepreneurs will get back in the ring and fight again after a loss. To have the success of the generations before, the Millennial Entrepreneur needs to not be afraid of trying, but more importantly needs to not be afraid of trying again. The Millennial Entrepreneur is very much alive and well, but only through failure will we know if the Millennial Entrepreneur will live.