Antidote For The Youth: An Entrepreneurial Way of Being
Young adults are getting caught in a trap. While influencers on Instagram and YouTube are telling our students to “make a difference,” and to “fight for what you believe in,” too often our youth are scrolling, or making tweets.
There is no they.
I remember, what is still probably my favorite podcast interview with Jeff Hoffman, on his “there is no they” story. Jeff, who had just made millions from co-founding Priceline.com, was watching the local news. The station had ran a news package about a women's shelter that had ran out of funding. The story went on to reveal that the women had precious few weeks before the shelter completely ran out of money, and thus leaving many women homeless, or at minimum, very unprotected.
After watching the story, Jeff said to himself, “They should really do something about that- like raise money.”
They he realized- “There is no they.”
“I still have that quote on my wall, Don. Until then, I saw these issues as someone else’s problem to solve,” Hoffman recalled.
Keyboard warriors, and Twitter trolls are a way for our youth to make them feel like they are giving back. But often times they are just arguing with others, compounded with hours of scrolling for “evidence” that “the other side” is stupid. And by “the other side,” I mean both youth on the right and left will spend hours dedicated to hunting down what they supposedly hate. I have adult friends that hate Trump so much, they dedicate at least 4-5 hours a day to see what he said next. Same thing with my conservative friends when Obama was in office.
Even worse is the constant scrolling through “stuff.” Instagram photos with perfect abs, great vacation spots, parties that I cannot get into, and an endless supply of people looking happier than the teen scrolling to become happy.
Not everyone should be an entrepreneur, but everyone should think like an entrepreneur.
At the STARTedUP Foundation, we believe we are at an epidemic of purposelessness, complacency, conformity, entitlement, consumerism, loneliness, selfishness, addiction to technology.
And that is why we believe that the “antidote” is “an entrepreneurial way of being.”
Does that mean we want all students to become entrepreneurs?
But we DO believe that solving problems like entrepreneurs is a start. Not everyone should be an entrepreneur, but everyone should think like an entrepreneur.
Seeing opportunities as a call to action (and not just making witty comebacks on Twitter), is “an entrepreneurial way of being.” Collaborating with people with different viewpoints to make things more inclusive, is entrepreneurial. Building solutions by testing taking some risks, and not being afraid of feedback, is entrepreneurial. Leveraging social media and the tools of today to build relationships and learn things is entrepreneurial.
This is why The STARTedUP Foundation provides monthly opportunities for high school youth to come together, hear from a smaller nonprofit and their struggles, then create a solution. We serve as an alarm clock, inviting young adults to wake up to a new “entrepreneurial way of being” by finding purpose, agency, innovation, personal responsibility, integrity/character, service, and humility. Practicing these fundamentals and monthly collaboration will lead to fulfillment and value generation in the future economy.
In the weeks to come, we will provide short, practical content on how to get into the entrepreneurial way of being, as well as shine some light on student entrepreneurs that are already on the journey.