Posts Tagged ‘millennials’
When I was twelve, I wrote down this quote from Marilyn Monroe:
I was never told that I was beautiful when I was younger. I think that all young girls should be told that they are beautiful even if they really aren’t.
And ever since then, I’ve heard her words in my head. I, too, believe that every little girl should be told that she’s beautiful. But I disagree with Ms. Monroe that little girls are not beautiful. When you’re little, the world is yours to take and create. You can achieve whatever you set your mind to, and you can do whatever you want to do.
Last week I read this correspondence between Albert Einstein and a little girl who wanted to be a scientist. In it, he gave her the best advice that every woman can apply to her career and anything that she sets her mind to.
As a woman, I encounter so many articles about women in work and the role gender plays in success. I have been part of conversations about how to we need more women in the tech field, how brogrammers have created a world that is challenging to play in, and that women still can’t have it all.
As a member of Gen Y, we know that the world that we’re working in now is way different than every other generation that came before us. The majority of us are working jobs that did not exist 10 years ago or even before we had them. We see work as an activity, not a place we spend our days. And most of us have a side-hustle, hobby, or passion project that we created ourselves and devote time beyond the 9-to-5 building.
And even though we’ve been accused for being the cheapest generation, we’re working hard, despite the horrible economy, to build a life that we want. And we’re filling it with the people, experiences, and the things that we desire.
We were raised to believe that if we want something bad enough, all we have to do is work hard and we can do it. And we’re very aware that we can’t do it alone, because if we could, we wouldn’t want to.
Marilyn Monroe wants every girl to know that she’s beautiful, whether she is or is not. Gen Y has was raised to believe that we could do anything that we set our minds to.
But as we get further and further into our version of adulthood, we realize that we can’t have everything that we want, when we want it. We get confused after reading articles that tell us that women keep other women from getting ahead at the same time that others tell us that women can be our closest allies. We aren’t sure what to think. We forget the hopes and dreams that we secretly scribbled into notebooks when we were teenagers. We get consumed in the struggle.
A friend says the right words, at the right time. They pass us a book that brings us back to where we need to be. Someone throws us a life vest and we read something that was written for what we’re experiencing in that very moment.
We realize what Einstein was right—who we are and what we want to be is possible, and not to let something that we can’t control, like being young, a woman, inexperienced, or something else, get in our way.
In our world, non-beautiful girls can be beautiful and little girls can grow up to be scientists. Rules and expectations were set by the generations who came before us. And they created their definition of success.
This is our world, and success is what we make of if.
Photograph by Elliott Erwitt via Mycroft Books
It takes thirty days to form a habit and three days to break it. In other words, life happened, so get over it.
And even though my week was sans blogging, it doesn’t mean that others were not. So here you are four articles of substance and two that are (mostly) just for laughs.
Princesses, Courage, more Hipster Entrepreneurs, and Highly Connected People
Totally Stupid Shit I learned from Disney Princesses by Therese Schwenkler on the Unlost
Read this because: You grew up watching Disney movies and devouring teen magazines to tell you that you were normal and not a unique freak.
Spoiler alert: It’s okay. But Ms. Schwenkler is here to help you unlearn all that (and still appreciate the beauty within the beast).
Courage isn’t always glamorous. Actually, it almost never is. by Jenny Blake on Life After College
Read this because: You live in a world where you are required to embrace what you’re passionate about, give your finger to ‘the man,’ and make your dreams real. You are supposed to push your own envelope, do one thing every day that scares the shit out of you, and come out on the other side smiling. Right?
And Ms. Jenny is here to set the record straight: “Courage is earned . . . through tears, fears, heartbreak, and failure. It’s messy. Ugly. Rocky. And you find your courage when you have no choice BUT to trust it.”
Bonus: Jenny’s blog is jam-packed with advice on how to keep the post-college journey on the right track. And the best part? This advice comes from a person who’s in the thick-of-it herself.
Millennials are Born Entrepreneurs. Wait, Really? Commentators are claiming that Gen Y-ers and Millennials are start-up naturals, and great salespeople. Or are they just victims of circumstance? by Jessica Stillman on Inc.com
Read this because: The hipster entrepreneur conversation keeps going and each writer is going one step further. Instead of exploring what they are and if they are entrepreneurs or not, this article is starting the obvious – what if there isn’t anything special about millennials, but they’re just victims of a shitty economy and the end of the traditional job market that our baby boomer parents knew and thrived in?
My question to the writer: Aren’t all generations victims of the circumstances that are happening around them?
The 12 Habits of Highly Connective People by Valeria Maltoni featuring wisdom of Anil Dash on Conversation Age
Read this because: You’re an open or a closet connector who gets giddy when you get the opportunity to introduce one person to another. Bonus if the two had no idea the other existed or why they needed to know each other (but thank you profusely for the connection after).
May the 90s Rest in Peace and White Girls on Facebook
10 Things 90s Kids Will Have To Explain To Their Children by Chelsea Fagan on Thought Catalog
Read this because: You grew up in the 90s and you forgot about the Tamagotchi, Topanga, and how much you “wanna really really really wanna zig a zig ahh.”
Now slam your body down and rub it all around.
15 Things White Girls Love To Do on Facebook by Mary on 25 Pills a Day
Read this because: It went “viral,” is hilarious, and no, I won’t admit to which items I enjoy doing.
Warning: Mary’s a firecracker, and her rants about life may turn into your new guilty pleasure.
What did you read this week?
Photo Credit: zandwacht
Hi, my name is Laura and I have not blogged in
three four days. And last night I composed this blog while sitting next to my mom – who doesn’t read my blog and completely missed NaBloPoMo this year – on the couch at my sister’s house in New Jersey, and there’s a baby coo-ing, laughing, and desperately needs his awesome auntie to play with him. Today, Sunday, is my nephew’s first birthday. Last year I spent the last half of NaBloPoMo writing blog posts on my sister’s couch while we waited for my nephew to arrive, and it’s kind of surreal that now, a year later, we’re here and our family has this amazing, gorgeous baby boy in our life. Wow.
So before I get back to some much needed and awesome family time, here are some informative and fun stuff that’s been floating around the Internet this week.
Four Blog posts about Facebook Trends, Millennials, Failing, and Whining
Some Observations About 2011′s Most Shared Articles On Facebook by Tac Anderson on NewCommBiz
Read this because: You’re dying to know which celebrity or famous cat dominated conversations on Facebook this past year.
Spoiler Alert: It’s neither, but you’ll feel better about visiting this website every single day.
Understanding What It Means to Be a Millennial by Mike Krass
Read this because: You can’t get enough of the conversation about how the millennials are all hipsters who dream of entrepreneurship. Mike does a great job of taking the conversation one-step further and throwing the responsibility back on us – now that we want to be entrepreneurial, what steps are we doing to make that happen?
When Death Feels Like A Good Option by Ben Huh
Read this because: The best way to learn about success is through failure, and, as Ben Huh, the founder and CEO of Cheezburger Network, says, “Failure is an option, and a real risk. Failure and risk something entrepreneurs understand well, and learn to manage. However, death isn’t an option, it’s an inevitability. And before I die, I want to take as many swings at the fence as I can.”
Great advice for entrepreneurs, pre-entrepreneurs, and anyone.
Startups Are Hard. So Work More, Cry Less, And Quit All The Whining by Michael Arrington on Uncrunched
Read this because: We all like to whine and be that person at the party who stayed up until dawn working on a great project, hasn’t taken a vacation in three years, and is working too much – but all while doing something we’re passionate about, something that’s great. Whining is a ‘badge of honor’ in some circles and we need to get over ourselves and just stop.
Bonus: This reality check may make you shut up and become a better person.
And Two More for Fun
Clothes for your nerd boyfriend – Because you want the man in your life to look like the men who shaped modern hipsterism – like Jim Henson, Gene Kelly, the crew from Spinal Tap, Frasier Crane, Bob Marley, and Mathew Broderick.
The 25 Funniest Autocorrects OF DYAC’s First Year – In case you haven’t seen this already.
Just shared this with my parents. My dad said, “I’m so glad I don’t have an iPhone.” And my mom said, “That’s good. Will you send that to me?”
Consider these two things my gift to you.
Photo Credit: jencu
P.S. The cute kid reading the paper isn’t my nephew.
Every once in a while you get a tweet from someone in response to something you wrote – and then they write about it.
Remember Sunday’s post, How to be a Hipster, in response to the New York Times article, ‘Generation Sells’? Today, Monica Guzman published an article on GeekWire and yours truly was quoted. (Yippee!)
The article is awesome as it carries the conversation about the ‘entrepreneurial generation’ one step further as Monica interviewed a number of startup founders and small business owners about how they have used social media to build an “one giant cocktail party” that’s helped them build a community of people who will help them launch their business by evangelizing their product.
That’s one party I’m excited to attend. Every single day.
You should read Monica’s article: You’re selling yourself, and that’s OK: Welcome to the entrepreneurial generation.
Last week’s most provocative and amusing thoughts were made possible by the letter “H,” specifically of the “hipster” variety.
The Hipsterfication of America
That’s right, hipsters are among us and as the NPR article, The Hipsterfication of America, declared, “Hipsterishness is a state of mind.” From the NPR article:
The Urban Dictionary defines hipsters as “a subculture of men and women typically in their 20s and 30s who value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”
According to this article, you might be a hipster if:
- You are authentic in your passions.
- You know “how to make the cheap chic, the disheveled dishy, the peripheral preferable.”
- You come in all stripes and all political persuasions.
- You are any age (“Not everyone who is hip is young, and not everyone who is young is hip,” though hipsterism is most prevalent in people born between the late ’70s and the mid-’90s, more or less)
- You live anywhere, from the urban metropolises to small towns in middle America.
This first article is, among other things, hilarious and informative. When I read it last Friday on the bus I was two breaths away from a serious case of the LMAO IRL in front of every other commuter. It took a deep look at the anatomy of a hipster and described that being a hipster is not about fashion and riding fixies but about how you see the world and your role in it. As a friend of mine pointed out on Twitter – we all have a degree of hipster in us.
You should read it.
The Hipster Entrepreneur Generation
Generation Sell or The Entrepreneur Generation, which appeared in The New York Times last weekend, went one step beyond just looking at the sociological tendencies of hipsters but figuring out what motivates them as a generation with regards to work. William Deresiewicz sums it up in these two paragraphs (bold is my own):
Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration — music, food, good works, what have you — is expressed in those terms.
Call it Geneartion Sell.
Bands are still bands, but now they’re little businesses, as well: self-produced, self-published, self-managed. When I hear from young people who want to get off the careerist treadmill and do something meaningful, they talk, most often, about opening a restaurant. Nonprofits are still hip, but students don’t dream about joining one, they dream about starting one. In any case, what’s really hip is social entrepreneurship — companies that try to make money responsibly, then give it all away. . . . Our culture hero is not the artist or reformer, not the saint or scientist, but the entrepreneur.
I personally love this opinion piece. I am psyched to be part of a generation of entrepreneurs who are either starting their own businesses or are living as an entrepreneur-from-within, full of drive and passion to be an indispensable part of building an organization.
But all of us were not pleased with this new label.
Some of us grabbed onto the title of the NYT piece and got, for lack of a better word, defensive over our generation being labeled as one who is only interested in “selling.” For example, Justin Kan wrote this article on TechCrunch called Generation Make, which some of the most passionate entrepreneur-millennials that I know rallied behind.
The funny thing is both Generation Sell and Generation Make make the same argument, but use different words.
Why Hipsters Hate Being Labeled by People Other than Themselves
First off, it was incredibly bold of Deresiewicz to declare that the generation of hipsters and business starters are only motivated by one thing – selling. As someone who as dreams of starting her own business, making the first sale is not what’s on my mind right now, creating my business is. And even though if you want to start a business or a startup (perhaps that’s really what got these tech kids all bent out of shape – being lumped into a pile of “small business” starters, not “start-uppers”) – the question you need to answer before you launch is how you’re going to make your first $100,000.
We know that. We know that we can’t start a business based on free love, gold stars, and accolades from our friends about how cool we are just to be doing what we’re doing. Yes, we know we have to sell if we expect there to be a second quarter and a celebration of making it the first year. But that’s not what motivates us. What motivates us is our passion and our drive to make it happen.
What motivates us is exactly what Kan described:
We are a generation of makers. A generation of creators. Maybe we don’t have the global idealism of the hippies. Our idealism is more individual: that every person should be able to live their own life, working on what they choose, creating what they choose. If you want to build a company to change the world, go for it. If you want to be an independent knife maker, what is stopping you?
We follow our passions. If we do it as a business, then we can create the ability to support ourselves doing what we love, and with some measure of security and autonomy that no institution is going to grant us. The Millennial path to self-actualization is the individual path, each man to create it for himself.
It’s more than just selling or making or creating. It’s about thinking beyond each step and thinking about our idea, our life, and our business in a sustainable way instead of through a single transaction. It’s a feeling that every single person who is part of this generation feels but doesn’t need to explain because it is who we are.
It’s a hipster state of mind.
Update: This blog post was quoted in Monica Guzman’s article on GeekWire: You’re selling yourself, and that’s OK: Welcome to the entrepreneurial generation.
Photo Credit: another.point.in.time