The business environment faced by young Millennials today is very different to those experienced by their predecessors, the Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. Millennials are the first generation to have grown up with free access to the internet and digital technology, and having the world literally at their fingertips has seen the rise of a mindset in many young people that is perfect for the modern entrepreneur and crucial for sales professionals.
The days of a ‘job for life’ are long gone. Young people are now moving jobs more, starting out on their own younger, running businesses while they are full-time employed and setting up enterprises in order to pay their way through university. However, the pace of change of technology and the increasingly global reach of marketing means that businesses need to be more flexible than ever before. And if you’re a young sales professional, that means you too.
Through my global networking community, MYCOMEUP WORLD, I am connected to more than 125,000 young entrepreneurs, creatives and talents. These two characteristics are key to their sustained success in the new business environment, and they will serve a young sales professional well too.
Millennials are starting their careers in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, but they are also equipped with the tools and attitude to react quickly to changes and spot new opportunities. More established, rigid company structures often restrict the ability to respond quickly, but today young people can set up their own simple enterprises in a matter of hours using only technology they already have in their laptop of smartphone.
The thousands of young people who transfer skills between a day job and their own personal projects are increasingly recognised as 'intrapreneurs' whose resourcefulness and ingenuity can be harnessed to improve how things work for their employers too.
What’s interesting is that while more and more young people are determined to take control of their own destiny, they also recognise they cannot do everything themselves. It’s said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in something, but you can hire that expertise in minutes, and young professionals are increasingly taking that approach, collaborating with other talented young people.
While previous generations may have seen a failure as a reason to stop, we have hundreds of users who are already on their third or fourth business by the time they reach their mid-twenties. There is a growing mentality that mistakes are something to be learned from, and that includes being open so others can benefit from that experience too.
In fact, in some ways my own failed business led to the creation of MYCOMEUP WORLD. When legislation changes killed my first start-up business almost overnight, I blogged about my experience and quickly realised there was an audience of like-minded people around the world who wanted advice and motivation tips to overcome their own challenges.
The rise of digital technology really has made the world a smaller place. Today I can work as quickly and effectively with someone in Tokyo or Trinidad as I could if they were in the same room. While this means that new businesses now face competition from all over the world, conversely, millennials not only have a potentially global audience for their projects from the start, they also have the potential to find and connect with the best talent in the world.
By Leonard Sekyonda is the founder of MYCOMEUP WORLD, a global networking community that connects young entrepreneurs, creatives and talents.