A recent article in the Examiner showcases that Gen Y is maturing and ready to take on entrepreneurship. The recession was one of the first real tastes of failure for many people in this generation. It prevented them from getting jobs and hurt ventures that they had set out to create on their own. Now that this period is coming to an end and things are looking up again young people are coming out with a new appreciation for success, options and life in general.

I think it is fair to say that most of us will be stronger moving forward after seeing some hard times. Especially when you compare it to entrepreneurship where you will likely go through a constant bombardment of these recession type periods in your own venture. You just have to push through and realize that it is all part of the ride.

The author Martin Zwilling outlines some traits that he thinks will help Gen Y in the business world but also some traits that may hold them back.

The Good:

  • Confidence
  • Goal and achievement oriented
  • Multi-cultural
  • Civic minded

The Bad:

  • Need to be scheduled
  • Minimal “street smarts”
  • Consensus driven

I think the best of these traits is our confidence. You need a tremendous amount of it when starting a company. Honestly you almost need to be cocky. I mean 90% of new businesses fail…If you think you’re going to beat those odds then you must be feeling pretty good about yourself! If everyone just remembers there will be hard times but to keep pushing through we can improve on that failure rate

The worst trait is a bit of a toss up for me. The lack of “street smarts” is apparent in many situations. There is a high demand for these skills when starting a company as you will encounter situations on a daily even hourly basis that were never covered in a text book. You have to re-act on instinct and gut feelings that many people would attribute to those “street smarts”.

However in the business world being consensus driven can be a killer. Collaboration is great and you want to make everyone happy which can lead to giving things up in negotiations. There is a point though where you have to look to win, even if it means someone else is losing. It is competitive out there and you don’t want to always end up on the losing side, you will have to make deals that help your company and not necessarily others.

What do you think? Is Gen Y coming out more prepared for entrepreneurship? What traits do you think are the best/worst?

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