There’s almost nobody who isn’t asking themselves the same question nowadays- ‘What am I going to do with my life?’
And with such poor opportunities- careers with inflexible hours, unclimbable ladders, and wages that barely cover the rising costs of living- it’s not surprising that so many people are considering trying to become their own hero by becoming an entrepreneur.
And you’re probably wondering to yourself- ‘Am I ready to make my own path?’ or, ‘Should I just keep doing what everyone else thinks I should do, even though it isn’t my passion?’
There’s a lot of argument about what makes an entrepreneur, what bragging rights it entails, and who really should even pursue that most difficult and rewarding life.
Part of the reason for this heated discussion is, of course, that the common definition of an entrepreneur is fairly useless. Highlighting only two traits- that one start a business and take on personal financial risk- it says nothing of the culture, mindset, or characteristics that drive someone to take on risk for a cause.
This definition, simple as it is, doesn’t do much to identify the greatest candidates for entrepreneurship; those desperate to make something of themselves, or those passionate enough for change to take matters into their own hands- in short, everyday superheroes.
Instead, the definition puts the attention simply on those with business history and disposable income- people who are highly capable of success, to be sure, but not necessarily the people most likely to make the most amazing or necessary changes to society or life as we know it.
Not those primed to become the everyday superheroes that the world needs.
This means that angel investors, educators, and mentors often miss the mark when trying to figure out where best to dedicate the resources at their disposal.
You might not be a millennial yourself, but if you are asking yourself those questions above, you’re an honorary part of a generation faced with massive opportunity, and equally massive obstacles to meet.
There’s a lot of reason to believe that we are about to witness the rise of the greatest entrepreneurial generation ever seen.
There are more, and higher-level, degrees being awarded than ever before, and entrepreneurship education has finally extended beyond the niche into an entirely mainstream subject. And the education is not meaningless either- more self-employed individuals are launching their businesses directly after finishing their education than ever before.
But while the desire and knowledge to make a difference are thriving, the flawed definition of entrepreneurship and an outdated mindset of what it takes to be successful in the corporate world is limiting the perception of the revolution that’s underway, leaving many completely unaware of that they are capable of becoming their own everyday superheroes.
The millennial generation has all the tools and fire to become the greatest entrepreneurs, but the obstacles in their way are equally great. The infographic to the side by the Kauffman Foundation will help us get a quick idea of what those are.
Though it addresses the strengths of the current educational climate, it draws some harsh criticisms to the financial situation that those same highly-educated individuals are finding themselves in.
Far too many of these students are crippled with debt, have less experience in the workforce, or have found themselves underemployed in careers that do not suit their experience, skill level, or the costs of their livelihoods.
These issues are what cause many to fear that millennials will turn out to be not the greatest, but the lost entrepreneurial generation. The numbers don’t make that a difficult fear to realize- you need simply look at the 12% drop in young entrepreneurs in the last two decades.
But those frightening numbers do not have to be a sign of doom, but rather a call of urgency to the need for the rise of everyday superheroes.
When it was easy to work for the current most wealthy corporation and make an honest living, it’s no wonder so many people became complacent with that situation. But all that did was centralize corporate power and ultimately led to the sharp decline in business competition, workplace wages, and the shrinkage of the middle class.
We started to edit the rulebook to their terms for a fairly understandable reason- if we believe the only way to succeed is to thrive in their environment, then of course we’ll do whatever they ask. If they demand college degrees in our applications, we’ll get those degrees. If they demand we work longer hours- well that’s the cost of doing business. We lost our desire to become everyday superheroes, and embraced a complacency to getting by.
This seemed a mostly innocent transition at first; do what the boss says, and maybe one day we’ll get to be the boss. But as everyone since the ancient Egyptians will tell you- there’s only so much room at the top of the pyramid. Eventually, we helped them shape rules which shrunk that top further and further, and playing their game became a no win situation.
The solution to these growing problems is easier than many think. We do not need to rely on government intervention or taxation to take back upward mobility and jobs we can be proud of, we simply need to begin creating the jobs we wished we had and taking the right risks instead of the ones forced upon us.
The Elephant in the Chat Room
The new generation has grown up so closely with the lightning speed rate of the internet, they often overlook the significance and novelty of it altogether. The ability to learn a six-figure skill while wearing your pajamas in bed is completely new, and the fact that you can utilize that skill without ever taking off those pajamas is opening doors nobody would have dreamt of knocking on in the early 80s.
Take a look at how much money is spent on the internet in ten seconds in the infographic below.
400 thousand dollars every ten seconds is no paltry sum- and though the internet may not be a truly level playing field, it is exceptionally more approachable than the old boy’s club of business that has run the free market for most of capitalist history. Everyone who became a hero identified an opportunity and took it- and this is the biggest and most accessible opportunity that has ever presented itself to everyday people.
And not all of the new money is moving through e-commerce. The internet has opened doors for people to make money off taking selfies on Instagram or creating their own videos or games and uploading them to websites like Youtube or Newgrounds.
Superhero Academy itself thrives because of the opportunity afforded by the internet. Whereas a traditional four year business degree would typically cost 40 to 120 thousand dollars, we are able to offer a full year’s classes, networking opportunities, and so much more for less than what many people pay for a single semester.
When you live in an age where your value can be built off the amount of people who follow you rather than the amount of time you spend building an empire, your limitations become less of a box and more of an actual universe, full of possibilities for even teenagers to become millionaires from their dining room table.
This is what it means to be an everyday superhero: deciding that the passionate drive to excel within you is worth giving it’s best opportunity. Or realizing that the ideal world you believe in can be created if you take charge and build a tribe around tangible, sustainable efforts aimed in the right direction.
If you’re reading this article right now, I can guarantee you have every tool you need to reach an audience, build a network, and launch a business of your own. Part of having this power of unlimited information and networks means recognizing we have another option waiting for us, in fact one that doesn’t ever sleep.
Our biggest limitation is our willingness to take on the challenge.
Cultivating a Take-Charge Attitude
There’s definitely hope, and that can be found less in the raw data of what young people are doing with their lives, and more in studying their attitudes.
“Millennials are realizing that starting a company, even if it crashes and burns, teaches them more in two years than sitting in a cubicle for 20 years,” Tuffile says. “While they know their chances of creating another Facebook are low, they do think it’s fairly easy to create a cool startup.”
Millennials will tell you themselves that they’re compelled by several key desires: the need for flexible work hours, the distaste for climbing an old corporate ladder, and an increasing desire to work remotely. These traits, though they could appear to signify a culture that’s lazy and irreverent, work excellently with the ‘always-on’ mentality of an over-connected culture. They will not happily give you eight hours in an office, but will instead give you regular work spread across the entirety of their waking hours. Even 37% report that they will always check a work e-mail, no matter the time.
At the end of 2014, a third of the workforce was made up of millennials- which means this new attitude is nothing to be trifled with. While college degrees are becoming more standard, and college debts are rising astronomically, the system is slowly being subverted by a cultural mindset which ignores the old rules almost entirely.
Do you hear the siren call of this new mindset? Does the idea of taking charge of your life, your career, and your impact on the world send your heart racing? You’re not alone- and it’s important to realize one more thing; There’s more opportunity at your fingertips right now than you could even imagine. You CAN become an everyday superhero.
Are You Ready To Make Something of the New World?
We started with the question of whether you were cut out for blazing your own path, and the goal of every fact above was to accomplish one simple feat:
We at Superhero Academy want to convince you that you are capable of becoming an everyday superhero.
The opportunity for you to thrive is sitting right in front of you, but that doesn’t mean it’s all smooth sailing once you realize what you’re capable of.
Many people come up with what they believe are great ideas and never make a dime. Everyday Superheroes that never see their potential fulfilled don’t know…
- How to create an idea that provides real value to a population
- How to build an audience around a valuable idea
- How to rally a team capable of bringing an idea to life
- How to craft a pitch that will turn an audience into customers
- How to monetize creative content
We’re here to help. You can read on to discover how to Start a Project if you want to get a better idea of what you might want to accomplish.
But if you’ve read all of this, and somewhere in the back of your mind you already know what dreams you want to see lived out, maybe it’s time to step up to the plate.
Start by filling out your Impossible List and we’ll get you started on the right path.