Are you looking to venture onto a self-employed career path? Author, literary agent, and public speaker Caroline George from Girl Meets Publishing World stopped by my blog today to share her thoughts on pursuing a career as an entrepreneur.
Two statements an entrepreneurial person hates to hear: “You’ll need to get a real job eventually,” and “This is just a phase—a hobby.” Granted, a student fresh out of college with loans and big dreams must consider long-term goals. BUT—and I say that word with emphasis—strategic risks often lead to successful careers. So, how does a millennial entrepreneur navigate doubt, expectations, and dreams vs. reality?
A bit about me . . .
I graduated from Belmont University with a degree in publishing and public relations. I’m an author, literary agent, speaker, and freelance publicist. All that to say, I know the struggles of having an unconventional job and thinking beyond the margins of normal. People ask what I do, and when I tell them, they respond in one of two ways. They either view my career as a “cute” hobby—or they consider me super successful. No middle ground!
For those of you interested in pursuing a self-employed career, I want to offer some encouragement, insight, and an answer to the initial question: How does a millennial entrepreneur navigate and maintain expectations?
To start off, let’s acknowledge the simple fact: Our generation does things differently. We create abstract concepts and view the world in ways unlike generations before us. I blame our out-of-the-box brains on social media . . . and maybe coffee. Millennials sure seem to drink a lot of coffee! (I down at least two cups a day.)
Since we think and do things differently, how can we be expected to behave like and possess the same goals as generations before us? When surrounded by skepticism, how do we show our value without demeaning others?
Five ways to boost entrepreneur status and expect success . . .
- Believe in your dream and devise a plan to achieve it. The quickest way to prove your seriousness—your credibility—to friends, family, and strangers is to share your strategic plan, then put that plan into action.
- Acknowledge the struggles, but move past them. Building a career takes time and a lot of hard work. As a young female in a dog-eat-dog industry, I face countless cases of ageism (yes, that exists), sexism, and simply put, mean individuals. You’ll encounter similar difficulties in your entrepreneurial journey, but don’t get discouraged. The GOOD trumps the BAD. The time invested pays off.
- Understand not everyone needs to love your dream. Hard truth, especially if you’re a people-pleaser like me. I still battle negative emotions whenever someone doubts my goals, dislikes my book ideas, and believes I’ll fail. However, the majority doesn’t need to buy into the vision for that vision to come into fruition.
- Manage realistic expectations. Dream big by setting attainable goals for yourself. This may seem a balancing act, but it keeps you encouraged, focused, and strategic. Example of realistic expectations: I may not achieve total success this year, but I plan to progress, increase my earnings, and lay a foundation for next year’s goals.
- Give yourself grace and adapt to your circumstance. You won’t reach your destination without a few “bumps in the road.” However, if you allow yourself to pass those so-called bumps and adjust to move with more agility, you will arrive at your end goal. Recognize shortcomings. Adapt. Move forward.
Takeaway: You have what it takes to achieve your dream if you’re willing to work hard, set attainable goals, and manage expectations.
Caroline George commits her time and energy to telling stories in their many forms. A Belmont University graduate with a double-major in publishing and public relations, Caroline aims to pursue a career committed to helping authors, publishers and organizations project their stories to their publics. She spends her time agenting, writing for various magazines and authoring young adult fiction books (her current publications include “The Prime Way Trilogy” and “The Vestige”). She considers herself a not-so-southern Georgia peach, coffee-junkie and delights in being best known for writing the phrase, “Coffee first. Save the world later.”
You can learn more about Caroline by visiting her website authorcarolinegeorge.com or following her on social media: Instagram @authorcarolinegeorge, Twitter @CarolineGeorge_, and Facebook/AuthorCarolineGeorge.