Recently on Facebook, I watched a video
that talked about millennials in the workforce. In it, Simon Sinek
very eloquently breaks down the reason why millennials are struggling to find meaningful employment. While I’ll leave it to Simon to talk you through it, he made an interesting point that stuck with me about the perception of impact:
“It’s as if they’re standing at the foot of a mountain, and they have this abstract concept of something called impact that they want to have in the world which is the summit. What they don’t see is the rest of the mountain.”
Starting a business is easy
these days. Not long ago, starting a business meant having capital saved up for an office, tools, and more. Now
, you can create a store in minutes and start selling those bobbleheads you make in your spare time and
have a global audience to boot. The Internet has changed business: and yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
(2012), about 50% of all new businesses survive 5 years or more, and about one-third survive 10-years or more. (There are some even more impressive statistics on how since 2008 more businesses in the U.S. have closed than started every year
With headlines touting multi-million dollar acquisitions and funding rounds it’s no surprise that people are flocking to get their businesses started. We think each business has been an “overnight success”, but we lack to see the path before that point. By glorifying the successes of others and not talking about our stories, we lack context to how things come to be.
We think things are easier than they are, and when they’re not as easy we tend to give up. We get caught up because we don’t know why we’re not getting asked to be in newspapers, aren’t being offered large sums of money, or aren’t known in the community despite all the time we’ve put.
Part of this comes down to people looking out and seeing how
others achieved what they have. Listen to them speak in interviews and catch what they talk about. Stewart Butterfield (Slack) talked with First Round
about how their launch strategy wasn’t overnight, and I think that’s a good start, but his story is one in many. If we lack the will to learn, we lack the ability to do more than just “start” things.
There will always be someone who’s a step ahead and that’s a good thing. Watch them. Learn from them. Let’s start using that as motivation. Get focused, and go.
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or doing a Facebook Live reading of this week’s issue for your friends, it would mean the world to me.