On a flight last week, I was sitting next to a boy and a girl who were both in their mid twenties. The girl noticed the “start-up magazine” in my bag, pointed to it and said to the boy, “Hey, have you heard of this magazine?” It was an obvious and awkward moment where I knew she wanted me to ask, “Do you have a start-up? If so, what do you do?” So.. I asked, she enthusiastically said, “YES!“ and then, blushing, said “OK. Here’s my spiel.” Her “partner” winked and gave her a look that said, “You go girl. You’ve got this!”
She gave me their scripted pitch as if she’d rehearsed it 100 times in the mirror. I had flashbacks of feeling how she did in that exact moment. Except my flashback was from a time more recent than you think. They told me that they both recently graduated with MBAs and, after six unsuccessful months on the job market, decided to start a business.
It’s happening with everyone. Baby Boomers aren’t retiring. They’re starting businesses. Gen-Y’rs are graduating college only to be disappointed by the lack of opportunity within the job market. And X’ers are
having early mid life crisis’s like I did and wondering “Am I missing out on something here? Should I be opting out of corporate america and chase my dreams?”
I’m having these conversations every day with friends and people in my network, including people from all age groups. This certainly has become the cool trend.
As I approach the anniversary of my first year as a full-time entrepreneur and reflect back on the highest of highs and lowest of lows, I wonder: Do some of these people have what it takes? Starting your own business doesn’t always work out like the Facebook fairytale. I’ve learned that if you don’t have a ton of cash you have to be resilient as hell, that you must have a strong network and a boatload of Social Currency built up with that network (thank you @unmarketing), and you have to be willing to push yourself so far out of your comfort zone that it sometimes makes you want to throw up.
Not everyone’s cut out for it. In fact, maybe most people aren’t cut out for it.
What do you think?
Does entrepreneurship require a certain DNA? If so, what’s the profile?
If you have experience in entrepreneurship, what tips would you give someone starting out?