by Lauren Anderson
As a 20 something year old entrepreneur, CEO of Young Black Minds LLC Motivational Speakers Bureau, I understand all too well the pressures of balancing my desires against my age. In my peer groups, I am most often that stand out and unusual one. Even in older circles of friends, the same remains true. People are always impressed by young people making positive differences but the ability to be different at a younger age isn’t always an easy task. Let there be no misconceptions that starting a business is an easy feat, it isn’t. But, also let there be no misconceptions that sacrifice isn’t involved, it is. As young people, we generally are very active in our social groups with outings and fun activities to keep ourselves stimulated. Well, it is essential to comprehend that social sacrifice may be one of the biggest sacrifices among young people aspiring to be entrepreneurs.
Isolate Yourself: It is the key to organizing your thoughts and conceptualizing the reality of your goals. Great ideas can be inspired from social settings, but when it comes to strategizing your thoughts to bring your goals into fruition, alone time allows a clear mind, and is a catalyst to productivity.
At a certain time of evening, you can log on to a social media site and see all your friends discussing the newest reality show and notice how intrigued they may be the happenings. The pressures of having a conversation piece amongst your friends may be a deciding factor to draw your attention to the new show. We live in what’s becoming a highly technological society with products being marketed specifically to our age group on a constant basis. Technology isn’t the enemy; in fact, it can be our most valued asset as young entrepreneurs. But, we have to know when to turn it off. A recent article states that people look at their phones on average about 150 times per day. We are the generation that has become obsessed with keeping up with the newest technology.
Go Old School: The off button can be therapeutic. Turn off the TV, stop checking the Facebook for a few hours, put the phone on silent, turn it all off and go old school. Whip out a pen and paper and think instead of like writing a status update or a text message. You will surprise yourself without fewer distractions and be able to realize a gap analysis to your end goals.
Our peer group is most susceptible to celebrity influence and we yearn to be cool like what we see on television or what we hear in music and many young people seek to emulate those behaviors even at the expense of being completely fraudulent. But, as an aspiring young entrepreneur, be assured the coolest thing you can do is to be authentic in your own right with your original ideas and contribution to society. Your ideas and steps of action could eventually lead you to being the very person that your peers’ seek to emulate which in turn would only propel the cycle of entrepreneurship and become better for society.
Define Your Own Cool: Music, media, and everything else are defining what is considered cool for our age. Think outside of the box and don’t measure yourself against the mainstream. Reinvent what cool really is by being intelligent, resourceful, and thriving in accomplishing your own dreams. After all, the people that are considered the coolest are already living their dreams while we are buying their product; it’s time to produce your own.
We are bombarding with negativity, let’s be honest. The beats may keep us in tune and dancing to the beat but the messages being conveyed in music targeted toward our age aren’t the most positive messages which are true especially in the culture black popular music. We listen to highly degrading lyrics, we objectify ourselves at the expense of being appealing, and we are overly sexualized in the media as young people. We don’t often hear reassuring messages of our people in our music or in mainstream media to do anything other than party and have a good time because that’s what young people are expected to do. So, it’s important to be able to encourage yourself despite of negative influence, be proud of your consciousness.
Have Self-Chats: Be assuring to yourself in affirming that your sacrifices will pay off as an end result. Don’t allow negativity to consume your mind and convince you that the decisions you have made will ruin your life or that you’re missing all the fun times you will ever have. It isn’t true. Speak aloud to yourself, it’s not crazy to formulate your ideas and articulate them aloud in your comfort. Speak positively about your dreams and your plans to yourself and practice articulating your information to convey it to a potential client or sponsor.
Balance is the key to life for an aspiring young entrepreneur. It’s not necessary to become a recluse or socially awkward person to become successful or thrive toward success at our age. Balance doesn’t equate to being a workaholic either. But, it does require discipline in our lifestyle and the comprehension of social sacrifices. Being alone sometimes and defining your own coolness while reassuring yourself that you can make a difference and bring your dreams to life whether or not you use the old school method or technology can help a young mind balance your ambition and your age.
“To become great, you must become familiar with what greatness is to you…surround yourself with great people, increase your ambition, and take action to reach the level of your dreams! And Repeat!”-
Lauren Anderson, M.S
CEO of Young Black Minds LLC | Motivational Speakers Bureau