Talking About Y Generation
Generation Y is the group of young people from 18-25 years old. In a recent Australian survey, it was revealed that a third of them will start their own business sometime in their lives. This is driven by a determination to have financial security at an early age and be in control of the world around them. It’s likely that this trend is occurring in most other developed countries around the world.
How times have changed. When I was in that age bracket 20 years ago this percentage wouldn’t have been nearly as high. In those days, scoring the job at the large Fortune 500 Company was the status symbol of success and owning your own business was viewed as something reserved solely for the brave entrepreneurs among us. Nowadays, business options are many and varied so the statistic is perhaps not really surprising.
The company who conducted the research stated that Gen Y were happy to shun a career working for someone else and make their own way in the world. Unlike Generation X immediately before them, they are happy to do direct selling and have a positive view of franchising. The generational group portrait indicates that they have an increased sense of entitlement that leads to their desire for a better work/life balance, ambition and increased entrepreneurial activity.
So, what has inspired the change? One factor is that they are growing up on the back of a global financial crisis. They’re well versed in working with uncertainty and networking with other people. They’ve seen people around them forced out of their employment and having to reinvent themselves as independent contractors, freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs. The result is that they view self-employment as a way of achieving personal and professional success.
The major influence in this changing trend though is undoubtedly technology and especially the evolution of the internet. Their mentality of Gen Y is shaped by people like Richard Branson, Bill Gates and online success stories such as Google, YouTube and Facebook. They’ve realised that with technology, you can start creating wealth with basic skills, little money and a positive attitude. As a result, the level of interest this age group has in being self-employed is higher than ever before.
Previous generations used products such as Avon, Amway and Tupperware to create their own home business. Young people today are still selling these products but instead of the catalogue arriving under your door you will find it in your email inbox or social networking website. Direct selling companies have even changed some of their product lines because they recognise an increasingly younger sales force selling to younger clientele.
Annually, these companies sell about $ 1.6 billion worth of products in Australia and have experienced a 12.5% sales rise in the past three years. This boom has been largely attributed to online sales in the under-25 age group. Quality products are obviously important but it’s the use of technology that has really driven this increase. The internet has been employed not only for advertising and sales but also gathering new clients. It’s a shop window that is always open.
While the proportion of Gen Y entrepreneurs is relatively high, the survey revealed the average across all age groups was less than 5%. This is an interesting statistic, born largely out of the mindset that we grew up with. Apart from growing up in an era of social media and online networking, the difference is that Gen Y has recognised the ease of beginning a new business nowadays. They understand it doesn’t require a large financial commitment, the inherent risks are low and potential returns are high. Often a business is developed from a simple hobby they had at school or university.
As the world changes, so we can change with it. We can learn from Gen Y and what they are doing. There is nothing to stop anyone, regardless of their age, taking a leaf out of their book and having the same success. Young entrepreneurs today are generally educated and experienced in some form of employment but that’s not the reason for their business achievements. More often than not it happens through other attributes such as initiative, attitude and resourcefulness.
These are qualities that people of all ages are blessed with…all we need to do is mix it with an open mind and some youthful optimism.
My Money Fish – Over 3000 digital products for only .95: http://www.newcashconcept.com