How to Be Taken Seriously as a Millennial Business Owner

You’re young, smart, hard working, well spoken and a millennial business owner.

You are a rare specimen, especially in this generation.

Most millennials are getting out of college with thousands of dollars of debt, no job and no idea what they are going to do with their life. On top of that we are seen as lazy complainers that need safe spaces if people hurt our feelings.

But if you are reading this, you’re probably some of the rare few that have escaped that stigma and are killing the game.

Shaking off that stigma can be daunting but not impossible.

Follow these 5 rules, and you’ll be taken seriously by anyone you come across. These rules apply universally to anyone and should be practiced by all.

I specify millennials because we have a negative stigma attached to us.

My biggest fear when opening up a business was that I was not going to be taken seriously by customers or business people because I look like I’m seventeen years old. I even have braces and no facial hair. (I was 25 when I went into business.)

Young entrepreneur

This fear was bigger than my fear of not making any money.

Luckily, I had plenty of practice overcoming my fear of being a young business owner. In reality it was an insecurity. In my previous jobs, I would always be the lead mechanic and in charge of people. I developed the skills to show people I was a mature young man and not a lazy millennial.

Young entrepreneur

23 years old with my team.

I got over my insecurities of being a young millennial by applying these five rules.

1. Have Manners

Manners are underrated. Most millennials where never taught the basics of etiquette and human interaction.

Shaking hands, eye contact and positive body language are all part of having good manners.

Learning your basic manners will put you above all your peers.

Shake hands firmly and hold good eye contact. Do not interrupter people while they are speaking. Respect peoples time and always be punctual.

Show people in the first 10 seconds of meeting you, you are someone that gives and demands respect by having manners.

 

2. Listen More Speak Less

Most millennials think they know everything. It’s our sense of entitlement given to us by years and years of coddling. We do not know everything, and a nice humbling life slap is, sometimes, not given to us until later in life. You do not know everything and that is fine.

Respect the fact that some people know more than you. I hate saying “be humble” because that is what losers say, but, you know what I’m saying.

Internalize this knowledge, it will prevent you from having a condescending tone.

Be open to ideas and ask more questions than are asked of you. This is the easiest way to show respect for someone and give off a good impression.

 

3. Do What You’ll Say You’ll Do

Lazy people do not get ahead no matter what age they are.

For millennials, they have a tendency to say they will do something and never actually do it.

We have forgotten the old saying, “your word is worth more than gold”. Its an honor thing, many millennials have lost it.

If you do what you say, you’ll be ahead of the game and people will be able to count on you.

Accountability is a big deal in business and in life. If people can count on you, they will trust you with more responsibility. With responsibility comes more opportunity. With more opportunity comes success.

ALWAYS do what you say you will do.

A mans word is worth more than gold.

 

4. Dress like you want to be taken seriously

I do not know when the CEO wearing a t-shirt to business meetings trend happened (maybe in the early 2000’s when tech companies where big) but it’s stupid. It makes millennials think it’s o.k. to wear rags to work.

I’m not opposed to casual Friday, but I am opposed to Mark Cuban wearing a t-shirt to presidential nominee rally. Millennials think it’s o.k. the wear rags to important events. Cuban is already rich so he can get a pass on this one but you aren’t rich, yet. When you become rich, you can wear t-shirts.

Young entrepreneur

The way you look is still 90% of how people judge you when they first meet you.

If you wear a t-shirt to a meeting, people will think you’re a dumb kid.

Wear a suit if you’re going to a meeting and look presentable.

Start building a good wardrobe and start dressing like you want to be successful.

#disruptcensorship

Steve jobs wore a suit every day until he became filthy rich. He began to wear his black turtle neck shirt and jean uniform AFTER he changed the world and became rich.

Young entrepreneur

Suit up, be presentable and look like a winner.

 

5. Work Hard

Working hard is the ultimate testament that you are a force to be re-conned with.

Our society is all about instant gratification and many millennials hate hard work. Giving up is normal and many will throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

Older generations knew what it took to be successful. Grit is lost in many millennials. It’s probably because trophies where given to millennials for just participating.

If you have an idea and are willing to put in the work, you’ll have a leg up and succeed.

Develop a strong work ethic by cutting out all the shit that doesn’t make you smarter or money. Stay away from social media and video games. Cut out the friendships that drag you down.

If you aren’t successful, you shouldn’t be doing anything but working on a project that will make you rich.

People notice a hard working man. If you bust your ass and don’t let opportunity pass you, you will find success.

Bonus

6. Destroy Your Entitlement Mindset and Develop a Value Provider Mindset

Entitlement is a big thing with millennials. Many feel like they are owed something by everyone. It probably goes back to the whole, getting trophies for just showing up thing.

Lets get this straight.

You are not owed anything and the world does not care about your desires or wants. 

In this world you have to take action and take what you want. No one will give you anything.

Get rid of this entitlement mindset and develop a value provider mindset.

Value Provider Mindset: 1. A person who internalizes the idea of giving and providing value to others. 

Ask your self “How can I create products or services that provide value to people?”.

If you are not asking that question, you’ll never succeed.

Say to your self:

“Is my service valuable enough that someone will pay me for it?”

“How can I make this product or service better and provide MORE value.”

“Is what I am saying valuable and can help someone?”

Always think of providing value. It will destroy your entitlement mindset and lead you to success.

 

Conclusion

At the end of the day business is black and white. Few people will care about your age.

You will either deliver good work or you don’t.

Help your odds of success by being polite, working hard and providing people with value.

Like most things, its all in your head. People where taken back by my young face, then got passed it as soon as I carried my self with respect. I showed them I could provide value and good work. You will do the same.

Stop being entitled.

Dress like you want to succeed.

Have good manners.

Ask questions.

Take action and work hard.

Follow these basic rules and people will forget you’re a young gun.

 

I wrote this post and got recommended a great book by Charles Murray: The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don’ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life. Charles gives his insight and advice on what it takes to succeed in a world of lost millennials.

Curmudgeon: Noun, a bad-tempered or surly person.

Read the book and you will get ahead!

 

-The free market will tell you if you’re work is good or not.-

Nestor, The Mechanic.

 

  • Hey Nestor, I liked this article a lot. I share the fear because I’m cursed with a baby face – I still look 18!

    Your guiding principles here are simple but sweet – common sense to our grandparents no doubt…

  • Ignacio Garcia

    Thank you Nestor. Great advice !!