No matter where you’re at in your entrepreneurial journey, having someone to help guide you along the way can be one of the most important keys to success.
The advice I’ve gotten in the past from fellow business owners and side-hustlers has helped me navigate the unknown and think even bigger about the kind of mark I was to leave with my brand. Not only has that guidance pushed me forward as an entrepreneur, it’s helped me avoid potentially costly mistakes.
The reality is not everyone has direct access to someone they can count on like that, though. Building this kind of relationship takes time, and there have been points in my journey where I needed help but didn’t always know where to turn.
Thankfully, there are almost always business leaders willing to dole out a bit of wisdom if you know where to look.
Here are 5 pieced of advice from Generation X entrepreneurs to millennial entrepreneurs!
Gen X Advice for Millennial Entrepreneurs
1. Don’t Underestimate Hard Work
“Work is called work for a reason; it’s not always fun but can be satisfying and generates income because you’re paid to do something that somebody else may not want to do or not have the skills to do. The catch being; if it was fun everyone would be doing it and no one earn a cent! You can have a piece of paper that says you have skills but that doesn’t mean you know how to use them!” – Lynn Scott, Mantaray Island Resort
I love this quote from Lynn because it reminds me that the hustle isn’t always going to feel good. Sure, there are going to be moments where you feel on top of the world, but there are also going to be days where you lose sight of the mission.
Lynn is encouraging us to keep sight of our skills and ideas and recognize that it’s those abilities that afford us the opportunity to be entrepreneurs in the first place.
2. Get to Know Your Audience – and Speak Directly to them!
“Every generation thinks differently and communicates differently. If you’re not serving other Millennials, get to know the age groups you’re doing business with. Communicate with them in a way that works for them. It’s also ok to slowly teach them about new technologies, some will embrace it, others will want to stick to paper and pen, aka My husband.” – Belinda Irvine, Consultant & Digital Marketer
This advice from TKTK is priceless. It’s so easy to get caught up in your own way of thinking, or even communicating, that you forget there are different approaches. Remeber to cater your message to your audience in everything you do, or it could be falling on dead ears in the end.
3. Get Creative with Your Business
“Change things up. I’m more tech-savvy than the average GEN Xer, and I’m all about efficiency so I get it. But, meet your clients in person sometimes, attend networking events or lunches to have some real-life human connection. Every single time I get from behind my computer and enjoy some time off or catch up with a colleague or client I’m met with incredible insights and opportunities. Perspective is everything!” – Belinda Irvine
Just like TKTK, Belinda’s advice is all about being willing to meet your audience on their turf. Whether that’s networking with a fellow business owner, or pitching a prospective client, you might actually learn something new by stepping outside your comfort zone once in a while.
4. Learn While Doing
“Listen Listen Listen, ask thoughtful questions, appreciate the opportunity to learn on the job about being in a job.” – Cynthia Copeland, Business Consultant
Sit down, be humble. Cynthia gets it. We’ve all been there. Things start going well in your business, and you feel like you’ve got it all figured out. One of the biggest pitfalls I’ve experienced on my journey has been failing to heed advice from others because I thought I knew better than them. It’s a hard truth to admit, but it happens to the best of us.
Make it a point to stop talking and listen instead. It could save you all sorts of heartache in the long run.
5. Stick to Your Goals
“Put some effort into it! Many young entrepreneurs simply don’t want to do the hard work because they are used to being rewarded without having to do anything! Focus on the future of business.” – Sarah Quinney, The Ecommerce Business Coach
To Sarah’s point, you have to be willing to put in the effort if you want to reap the rewards. It’s a simple fact of business. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, and don’t get so caught up in the idea of success that you forget to put in the time it takes to earn success.