My generation saddled themselves with student loans in a time when the economy quite frankly sucked. Especially older millennials such as myself entered the job market immediately after the 2008 market crisis.
Many of us either had to work as unpaid interns or delay our careers to make ends meet. And my generation is behind financially because of it.
But Generation Z is determined to be different. Even with another looming recession on the horizon, Generation Z will likely hold their own and come out on top.
Here’s why I believe this will be so:
1. The Founders
In 1991 and later in 1997, sociologists William Strauss and Neil Howe published books which popularized a generational theory. This theory proposed that American history revolved around major events. Each generation who experienced these events reacted similarly to their historical counterparts.
They were reacting to the events and in response to the previous generations’ choices. And thus, their choices were predictable.
Strauss and Howe floated the idea that the past could predict the future. And they began to make predictions on how each generation alive at the time their books were published would react.
They coined the term Millenial. They wanted to name Generation Z “The Founders” but it never stuck.
And while this theory is not scientifically sound, it’s more optimistic than any other generational theory out there. And thus, I’m apt to want to believe (cue the X-Files theme).
The Founders (Generation Z) are supposed to take what us Millenials have torn down. Like the “Silent Generation” before them, they are supposed to “remake” America how they see fit.
They grow up overprotected (my generation are such helicopter parents!). They are well-socialized conformists who become process-oriented leaders in mid-life. In essence, they get stuff done.
This generation will also produce some incredible artists (while they’re called the “artist” generation). Remember Andy Warhol? Yeah, he was part of an “artist” generation.
All of these tendencies, coupled with an immersion in everything tech, The Founders/Generation Zers will take the entrepreneurial scene by storm.
2. Why Gen Zers Will Make Great Entrepreneurs
41% of Gen Zers plan on becoming entrepreneurs. You might scoff at this statistic and say, “pff, they just think Instagram influencers are entrepreneurs.” But the fact is, only 9% of Gen Zers want to become famous or influential.
Why Are Gen Zers Thinking This Way?
Because the connections and visibility the internet created made it so. Venture capitalists and founders were only visible in the Wall Street Journal and print magazines when Millenials grew up. But Gen Zers get to see them on shows like Shark Tank.
Entrepreneurialism is glamourous now. It’s also a category that’s broadened in the past ten years or so.
When before you had to jump through a billion hoops and garner real backing to start a business. Now you can start a business online for mere pennies (whether you’ll succeed is another matter entirely).
Sure, for beginners who want to start a physical business or a multi-million-dollar startup, certifications might be required. But if you’re starting a purely online venture, you don’t need much. Gen Zers know this.
While Boomers taught Millenials that entrepreneurialism meant instability and possible joblessness, Gen Xers and Millenials are teaching their kids the opposite. And we’ve taught them that failure isn’t a bad thing.
Peer To Peer Apps Paved The Way
Wanna get a summer job driving people around in your car? How about Uber? Want to walk people’s dogs for money? Rover!
Gen Z doesn’t know a world without the P2P economy. And they were pretty much forced to rely on it to make money during the end of the recession.
Gen Zers know how to hustle because of these apps. They know what it is like to work for incentives and the value of customer/client satisfaction (you want the five-star review, right?)
They “Own” The Social Media and Tech Scene
Marketing is going to be a breeze for these kids. On here we’ve talked a ton about how video engages better than photos and how you can use Instagram stories to garner leads. These kids don’t need any instruction in how to gain a following.
Just like we learned to type when our parents were hunting and pecking, Gen Zers are at the starting line with 1000 followers while we’re scratching our heads at our scant 500.
Their Innate Acceptance of Diversity
Especially in the U.S., Gen Z is the most diverse generation. And their comfort with other cultures will allow them to bridge gaps other generations failed to construct.
While prejudice and racism will never disappear entirely, the Gen Zers won’t tolerate it in the workplace. Not only that, they’ll invest time in understanding and empathizing with other cultures. This will make it easier for them to network with people across the globe.
A Few Are Already Rich Because of Blockchain
Business transparency will become a thing. Gen Zers grew up with Google and Facebook being too shady with their parent’s data. And they’ve likely already mastered cryptocurrency.
This means that the niche industry of blockchain will become mainstream. We’ll see companies arise which pledge to be transparent in how they deal with your private data. And blockchain will be the way in which we ensure these companies keep their word.
Make The Future Bright
Gen Z grew up through the recession and yet didn’t have to suffer the ills of their parents and grandparents. They were able to observe from a safe distance.
They’ve watched us tear down old institutions and you better bet they’re taking notes.
These kids will build a world which suits their needs best. They will be determined to do things differently than previous generations.
If you see a Gen Z company pop up, I’d invest. Make the future bright for these young entrepreneurs.