Entrepreneurs choose to create a path for themselves that has not yet been paved by others. They are true freethinkers who can envision new innovations and take the risk to create them themselves. Entrepreneurship is becoming exceedingly popular amongst the younger generations that want to see their visions come to life.
The coming-of-age stories for most young people are thought to begin with the question, what do you want to do? This is the number one question our generation is asked when talking about the future. What seems like a simple question to answer is actually one of the most difficult.
People should instead ask, who do you want to be? Now this is a question that can generate a thought-provoking conversation about the person’s attributes, values, hobbies, goals, etc., which are often the foundations for entrepreneurial endeavors.
Entrepreneurs can envision a product, service, or venture that is inexistent or lacking based on their attributes. Young individuals around the country and the world have turned their passions and hobbies into profitable businesses.
Gen-Z members are keen on creating careers that don’t just pay the bills but bring satisfaction. They are challenging the conventional expectations for living and working a 9 to 5; they rather have a more meaningful and personal motivation for working.
The Voices of Gen Z Entrepreneurs
I connected with 5 individuals who have created their own entrepreneurial endeavors and gave their insight into the entrepreneurial spirit of the younger generations.
Gabby Alfveby and Kathryn Hennessy started 74 King Magazine to empower vulnerability and give people a platform to create and share their thoughts and art freely. Based in St. Augustine, Florida at Flagler College, the magazine has grown as a result of Alfveby’s commitment to its success and ability to lean on others for support.
Hannah Johnson is the host of All Things Universe with Han, a podcast that began as an outlet to express her thoughts but has slowly become something much bigger than her personal audio journal. The podcast reaches a broad audience of listeners wanting to delve into topics like spiritual awakening, soulmates, manifesting your dreams, energy and how to enjoy this human experience.
Matt Nusom is the host of Entrepreneurial Endeavors, a podcast that picks the brains of successful entrepreneurs who have gone through the process and are fortunate enough to share their experiences with the rest of us. Like many startups, Nusom listened to his gut when he decided to pivot from another startup idea and instead develop his podcast.
Angela Lunz is the founder of Rooted and Flourished Designs, a professional floral preservation company. Motivated by her personal love for nature and a vision to provide an inaccessible service in her hometown, Lunz established her business that now serves Western NY, Erie, PA and beyond. She professionally preserves flowers for weddings and funerals so people can forever enjoy the beautiful arrangements.
Alex Zdroyevski sewed his way into the world of fashion with his upcycled clothing brand, Zdroyevski Atelier. He creates one-of-one designs from upcycled fabrics that are hand-selected based on his artistic intuition. Zdroyevski is a self-taught, passionate, and dedicated designer. His persistence and patience with learning the fundamentals of sewing and the construction of clothing have allowed him to create unique pieces that represent his vision and love for vintage clothing.
What do they have to say about entrepreneurship in their own generation?
These individuals explored their own entrepreneurial potential and took the risk of bringing their visions to life. They are fueled by their desire to live a balanced life that can be lacking in the current work model.
Taking a leap of faith in oneself and navigating a self-paved path is extremely difficult. It is not always supported or understood but is an increasingly attractive option for creative thinking people.
As these ideas come to fruition and thrive, more individuals are enticed to create their own startups. This caused a spike in entrepreneurship across the country and around the world.
The interconnectedness that technology and social media creates has generated a thriving entrepreneurial scene. The internet is flooded with innovation which inspires people to launch their own service or venture.
Success begins with the right mindset
Entrepreneurship takes guts and dedication. Individuals who have the vision to create a new venture are not only creative but diligent. In order to succeed and have their business thrive, they must overcome monetary, logistic, and mental obstacles.
Networking amongst creators is simply building connections and friendships with like-minded people. It is huge for the entrepreneurial field. Connecting with those who have gone through the process of creating a new venture can relate in ways that others may not be able to.
Whether you call it networking, connecting, team building, etc, collective efforts from people around you can help your business thrive. What is often mistaken about entrepreneurs is that they are a one-man show. Historically, innovations are attributed to one individual, but behind them is a team of equally original minds.
The hardest part is starting
Starting is undeniably the toughest phase for entrepreneurs. Familiarity feels safe and the unknown seems daunting, but comfortability is not a place that cultivates growth. In order to prosper and reach one’s fullest potential, comfort is foreign to entrepreneurs’ verbiage.
Starting a new service, business, or brand is also an opportunity to make mistakes and grow from them. The fear of failure and the pressure to make the right decisions can be overwhelming. However, successful entrepreneurs recognize that starting is the vital first step towards transforming their visions into reality.
Making mistakes is a commonality between every startup that has ever existed. Mistakes are inevitable but shouldn’t deter one from starting.
Who do you want to be?
Gen Z is molding a new future for the next generations. Individuals that want to cultivate a life that symbiotically meshes their work with their lives. They are focusing on who they are and who they want to be rather than what they want to do.
So, who do you want to be?