Gen Y is often unfairly characterized as a generation of lazy and spoiled young people who expect all things, including success, to be handed to them. However, as recently explored in PayScale’s Gen Y data, 15% of management positions are currently being filled by the Gen Y age group, with the average salary of $39,700 being earned. Additionally, Millennials have been inventing and becoming overnight millionaires almost regularly. Is it possible that we could learn more about business and success from this generation?
Four moguls who started as teens or younger, recently shared their secrets to success.
Fraser Doherty: “Start small. You don’t need to quit school, borrow money or jump in at the deep end. If you don’t take crazy risks, you’ve got nothing to lose!”
After learning how to make jam from his grandma’s secret recipe, Fraser went on to make his own jam and by the age of 19, became the owner of a million-dollar jam company called “SuperJam”.
Believe in Yourself
Juliette Brindak: “Don’t give up! If there is a will, there is a way. I am so happy that I didn’t give up—even after people told me it wouldn’t be successful. Not everyone is going to believe in you, but you have to find the people who do, and you will be successful.”
Juliette, 24 year old, self-made millionaire, created a social community for tween girls. She was 14 years old when she launched “Miss O and Friends”, which now has more than 4 million users.
Learn Everything You Are Passionate About
Adora Svitak: “Accomplishing your dreams begins with grounding them in reality: Build foundations of experience—learn everything you can about what you’re passionate about—so you can excel. And find supporters who will provide unconditional encouragement as well as honest criticism.”
At the age of seven, Adora Svitak, author of “Flying Fingers”, received her first book deal. By the age of 12 she was speaking at her first TED conference, and today at the age of 15, she is organizing her fourth TEDxRedmond youth conference and researching a new nonfiction book. She plans to be in an elected political office or position by the time she is 25.
Failures Define Successes
Daniel Feuer: “Follow what makes you curious, because through such inspiration comes the drive of success. And remember that there are always times of difficulty, but failures define successes and make them that much sweeter.”
Inspired by his grandmother who was battling colon and breast cancer, 10 year old Daniel Feuer looked for ways to make the patients of chemotherapy treatments feel better. He decided when accompanying his grandmother, that he would bring healthy, homemade smoothies. His idea eventually became a nonprofit and in 2004, at the age of 11, Smoothie Kidz, was launched. The nonprofit now has more than 80 volunteers who help 1,500 patients annually, with plans to one day franchise Smoothie Kidz school clubs nationally.
Besides being intelligent and ambitious at early ages, all four moguls also had something else in common – a network of supporters and people who believed in them. It may be time to take Gen Y a bit more seriously.
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(Photo Credit: By eschipul/Flickr.com)