How Entrepreneurship is Different Depending on Your Age

Most of the time, new generations have a well-developed sense of entrepreneurship, but are they obsessed with 'discovering the wheel'?
How Entrepreneurship is Different Depending on Your Age
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11 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Living in a time when the flag of entrepreneurship seems to constantly fly in a sea of young professionals seeking to succeed in the business world, we often tend to drown in the uncertainty and confusion of the trillion dollar question: "What to do?"

Whether it is ancestral money that turns heirs into entrepreneurs, or the miracle of " crowdfunding " truly helping to finance someone's dreams from scratch, nothing is more important when starting a project than knowing in detail what it is trying to achieve, and more than anything the HOW we are planning to achieve it.

The Age of Our Fathers: Safe Work = Stable Economy

Unlike us, our parents did not have to face the philosophical dilemma that arises when thinking about whether or not our jobs are satisfying on a personal, intellectual, and even spiritual level. Their dreams, aspirations, preferences, and emotions had very little to do with the activity to which they were to engage; a job was a job, and a salary was a salary. In a post-war era, the working class - and any other class, really - had to be content with getting a job in a factory or company, a job good enough to allow the head of the family to provide food. , a roof and education for their children.

The masses were indoctrinated with the concept of a strong "nuclear family" with the intention of perpetuating the image of a certain lifestyle that was suitable for recovering Western economies after a period of political and financial uncertainty. High industrial growth and business expansion fueled by technology-driven globalization gave rise to an organizational labor standard that helped the children of the Great Depression with the peace that a 9-5 shift offered. Capitalism proliferated through the countries now "at peace" that had fought in the last great war, which meant that any businessman wealthy enough, or else, any heir to fortunes who had profited from international warfare could start investing your money in one or more commercial projects.

At that time, high school studies - or even just high school - were enough preparation to get a job and start a family; Such work was, not only good enough to support a family of -ideally- four, but also to acquire a middle-class status through a consumerism strategically programmed into the mentality of working-class families, the above, with the sole purpose of making them aspire to have the same "luxury" products that they had been hired to produce and / or sell. A satisfied working class is a productive working class. A productive working class brings higher profits to the company. More productive companies mean greater competitiveness in the market. More competition in the market equals better wages. More purchasing power translates to higher demand, and the cycle goes on and on. There is no need for entrepreneurship if the productive system of a society has everyone happy. It was only until globalization took an inconvenient turn for local producers that two generations began to contemplate the idea of self-employment as the most viable option to survive.

The Curse of Trends: The Stigma Carried by a Generation of New Entrepreneurs

Most of the time, the new generations have a well-developed sense of entrepreneurship, a tremendous thirst for innovation, the necessary means, a lot of will, and even the initial capital, but all of that is of little use when the frustration of seeking to reinvent the wheel blinds us to what the most practical goal should be: to improve the existing wheel, or even better, to provide services for said wheel: to offer accessories, make them viral, create demand through mass online markets and take advantage of the wave of fashion consumerism that currently moves sectors globally.

The economic development and technological advancement of our region would be significantly boosted if young minds, instead of constantly seeking to rediscover the black thread, spent more time analyzing trends, assessing perpetual market needs and taking advantage of the areas of opportunity presented in projects. that have already been released.

It is precisely this overexposure to this new wave of avid entrepreneurship that, paradoxically, restricts the possibilities of creativity of our generation due to a high supply of new ideas, which ends up limiting what it was originally trying to promote. Some may see this as an effective way to create a healthy sense of competition, but most of the time it ends up becoming a collective sense of "creative paranoia" among young entrepreneurs. Between trying to create something new and going through the bureaucratic legal process of protecting said idea under registration, new business creators lose sight of what actually makes their project grow: effective marketing strategies and proper management of the means of production and production. distribution.

Thinking "big" vs. Think right

Instead of striving for a mansion, it would be better to buy an old and neglected apartment complex, restore it, offer it for rent and make a profit that eventually allows you to scale the investment and, not only buy the desired mansion, but have the possibility of retiring without debts already at a comfortable age.

While recent graduates and young entrepreneurs of our time struggle to decide between following their dreams and succeeding in business, they are constantly being bombarded by unrealistic goals and false "needs" through the media and the endless cycle of trends that they are dictated by the marketing monster that is "pop" culture. Rather than educate and inspire with a true example of hard work, perseverance and innovation, the false icons of the industry, protagonists of the show and their overrated success stories for advertising purposes are constantly frustrating an entire generation thanks to unattainable expectations based on an unreal "shortcut" to financial and emotional success.

The idea behind the fallacy of "success through cheap, hollow wealth" has two purposes as dark as it is effective: First, a depressed youth who constantly validate their self-worth through a programmed sense of "I am not enough." he tends to try to fill his existential void by consuming the products advertised by his idols; On the other hand, it is easier and more profitable to create and sell testimonials of "success" than to actually finance them and support the restructuring of an educational system to teach the new generations to direct their own path and not to be directed by someone else ( almost always dealing with consumerism and a sense of acceptance).

Despite the fact that some countries are spearheading an international shift in educational standards and programs, there is still much to do, especially in countries that have not wanted to realize - or rather, accept - how much their economies would benefit if they will stop sustaining their GDP through the numbing consumerism of their own people and will begin to work to provide the educational opportunities necessary to better prepare their youth. Schools should be teaching them to build their own progressive knowledge and acquire an interdisciplinary sense of collaborative skills; parents should support particularities and differences rather than indoctrinate through fear of uncertainty and misconceptions of what previous generations viewed as "being successful."

Diversify: Marrying a project only leads to divorce

Another lesson often repeated in this new fashion for entrepreneurship is that of "all or nothing." Initially, this now famous business mantra used to refer to the fact that, when starting a project, you had to give everything and work tirelessly to make the dream come true, but it is precisely the aforementioned mentality of the dark capitalism of our times that , through consumerist financial programs, they aggressively sigh in the ears of an entire generation " bet everything, ask for a loan and drown yourself in debt for the rest of your life ." Yes, you should probably consider a short-term, low-interest loan - if that was actually possible - but instead of betting everything on one project, you should consider diversifying the investment and dividing the initial capital in three or four small projects with fewer risks. In this way, if one of the projects does not turn out as expected, all is not lost and you still have the opportunity to analyze the situation and take the necessary measures to stay afloat.

Considering the adversities: The triple "R"

Withdraw . Lamenting sadly while a business idea falls apart is not going to fix anything, just as it will not teach a lesson or help with the next project. It is always difficult to accept that things do not go according to expectations, but instead of considering it a failure, it should be taken as a lesson learned and a valuable experience. It is very heroic and noble to think of sticking to the original idea and sinking with the ship, but no captain can tell his story or command another ship if he does not resolve to take a life preserver in time during a catastrophe.

Reframe and Reinvest : Every step we take, whether fruitful or unfortunate, brings with it the opportunity to do things differently, and with it one more opportunity to be successful. Even if almost everything is lost, we must take what we can and, although not resuscitate the original project, see what can be done with what is left of it. If the engine of a car breaks down and is irreparable, we may not have enough money to buy a new car, but we can sell the rest of the parts as spare parts and with the profit give the down payment for a pre-owned model. The luxury and comfort may not be what you want, but it will help keep you moving.

Strong Government Campaigns: Why Now?

In countries like ours, tax diversion is something that makes us a tax haven for the large conglomerates and oligarchs that control the predominant sectors of our economy, that is why, thanks to the influential advantage that their leaders have in base to the decisions and direction of Mexico, it is easy to find small - well, large enough for billions to filter - nooks and crannies between the lines of tax law so that what corresponds to your profits in terms of taxes can be "redirected" . However, the small business owner who begins to make a profit from what one day began as an informal family business is cordial, energetic, and constantly invited to regularize and register as an entrepreneurial taxpayer who pays their taxes.

The foregoing fully and simply explains the encouragement that the country's government has endeavored to carry out through an aggressive mass media campaign and "new age" educational programs that have been shaping young people for almost 15 years. years. It is not trying to help someone to fulfill their dream and "be their own boss" like José and Antonio, but rather to find a way to replace, through many small taps, what the federal monetary flow stopped supplying by being privatized and manipulated at the convenience of those who drink more than they need.


Either due to a murky strategic manipulation of the high governmental and commercial spheres (nationally and internationally), or due to the generational tendency to stop being someone else's employee and seek the utopian "economic freedom", entrepreneurship is a reality that concerns the last two generations and has to shape the one that follows, therefore, and with the intention of not losing sight of the benefit of who wields it, the following should be considered with respect to the entrepreneurial model:

The planning process is important, execution is vital, and direction and control are crucial, but the most important thing is to work firmly with the conviction that the idea is not to follow in anyone's footsteps or measure yourself against the achievements of others. The path to success has only one judge and only one participant: Yourself.

Let's measure success based on our own progress and use the progress of others as inspiration, not as a comparison that frustrates or limits our creative process. We are only as big as our best intentions and only as weak as the number of times we give up.

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