If you were to believe everything you read from the AARP, you’d think that Millennials were all lazy, broke bums who want to get paid $15 an hour to sit around in their pajamas watching YouTube all day.
And while that does sound like a great life, it bears little resemblance to what I’ve seen in real life. On the contrary, most of my Millennial friends are passionate, hard working individuals who are turning their passions into careers.
You might write this off as association bias: most people we know own businesses because we network with other business owners.
While this might have some statistical bearing on our friendships, it doesn’t account for all of the longtime friends we have who have become entrepreneurs around the same time we have.
My wife’s lifetime best friend owns her own culinary magazine. My best friend from middle school makes a living selling e-liquids. My sister’s maid of honor started her own business making custom cakes.
And it’s not just our friend group: our city is filled with people our age who are roasting their own fair trade coffee, opening new restaurants, starting their own recording studios, and making art for a living.
In fact, more Millennials are entrepreneurs than Baby Boomers. This hardly fits the lazy Millennials stereotype.
It’s not entirely surprising, though. My wife and I graduated college in 2009—right into a crashing economy. Jobs weren’t easy to come by, and the ones that were weren’t worth their paychecks.
Many of us were struggling financially anyway, so we figured that we might as well struggle while doing what we loved.
Now, with the economy improving, we have been able to take those passions and create marketable skills out of them. Those of us who have spent the last ten years making pottery or perfecting cake recipes or practicing photography or writing blogs (hi) have become masters of our craft.
We can now demand a premium for those services, and actually make a living off of them.
If that makes us entitled, sure.