Why Gen Z Is Thriving In The Entrepreneur Life

Several years ago, I had an intriguing conversation with two 17-year-old twins on a flight to Phoenix, Arizona. The sister was a brilliant straight-A student, while her brother was a highly entrepreneurial young man who had already started his own car wash business. He shared how he had already built five facilities in his region and had plans to expand with five more. When I asked about his motivation, he candidly admitted, "I hate school." At the time, he was completing online courses to graduate six months early, as entrepreneurship represented a way out of the classroom and into the real world.

This young entrepreneur, not even old enough to vote, was already well on his way to a rewarding and self-driven career. And he is far from unique among his generation. Generation Z is fast becoming known as one of the most entrepreneurial generations to date. A 2020 survey found that 62% of Gen Zers had plans to start or potentially start their own business someday, and more recent research puts the number even higher at 84%.

The desire for independence, flexibility, and work-life balance is a key driver for many young entrepreneurs in Gen Z. They also tend to be motivated by social, environmental, and ethical concerns, leading to the rise of social entrepreneurship. Additionally, entrepreneurship is seen as a viable path to financial security and personal fulfillment, in contrast to the prevailing view of previous generations who often prioritized the stability of corporate careers.

While entrepreneurship is far from easy, the practical side of getting started is less shrouded in mystery than it used to be. Digital and social media platforms provide accessible options for personal brand building and monetizing passions through online businesses. Furthermore, successful entrepreneurship is often more about personal character and work ethic than a formal education.

The author and serial entrepreneur Dave Liniger are optimistic about the prospects of Gen Z entrepreneurs. This generation tends to march to the beat of their own drum and has the mindset ready to pursue an entrepreneurial path. Whether they run their own business or pursue employment at an established organization, Gen Z and other generations that come after will be the future of the workforce, and it would be a mistake to underestimate their potential for success. 

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