- Generation Z will be a major player in entrepreneurship, with 45% very likely to start a business.
- Young people run the risk of being their own boss, according to Bloomberg.
- Here’s how Gen Z founders deal with loneliness, financial stress, and mental health.
Since hundreds of thousands of employees have lost their jobs, reduced their hours or reduced their travel during the pandemic, entrepreneurship has been on the rise. Indeed, more than 10 million new businesses have been created since the start of 2020.
Interest in becoming your own boss has only grown, especially among Gen Z.
These young founders play a major role in the entrepreneurial movement. In fact, 45% of Gen Zers are very or extremely likely to become Founders, according to a 2021 survey of 1,509 Gen Zers by Ernst & Young. But the realities of starting a business aren’t always what they seem.
While it can be exhilarating to start something on your own, a recent Bloomberg article warns Gen Zers to stick to their day jobs because “being your own boss is hard.”
Admittedly, the difficult aspects of a business – like paying self-employment tax and your own insurance, and the lack of a community – are often overlooked. But even with the pitfalls that come with starting your own business, young founders succeed.
Here, three Gen Z founders share how they deal with stressors like finding community, lacking experience, and making room to improve their mental health.
Building community helps alleviate loneliness
Isolation is a reality for many founders, especially those working solo or remotely.
“Being your own boss can mean long hours and many days of work with no real human interaction,” Lowry wrote in her post.
While some entrepreneurs experience this loneliness, others have found solutions. For example, social media can be a great way to connect with clients, potential recruits, or fellow founders. Alyssa Nguyen, the founder of graphic design firm ATNN design, relies heavily on her online community to feel less isolated as a founder, she said.
“Being good at Instagram is a really underrated tool as a business owner,” Nguyen, 23, previously told Insider. “I don’t just use it for marketing, it’s where my whole creative community is. It’s where I made friends.”
Finding help when needed avoids mistakes
Investing in growth can be tricky as a young founder, writes Lowry. “Do you have the financial resources, time, patience and managerial skills to outsource and train someone?” she asks.
While impostor syndrome and inexperience are inevitable for many Gen Zers, there are ways to learn and delegate when necessary. It can be helpful to figure out which aspects of running the business are better in the hands of a teammate or colleague, said Lauriel Mathis, the 23-year-old founder of the virtual assistant and the company. Coaching Lauriel Arkeah Co.
That’s why she hired an accountant and a financial advisor to help her with the area of the business she was least comfortable with: money.
Her advisor helped her determine her own salary, decide on her future investments and file her taxes.
Focusing on Mental Health Supports Business Success
Despite Gen Z’s push for better mental health practices, being a founder remains a taxing job, often requiring long and irregular hours. What makes the lack of “emotional and relational benefits of being
part of a workplace, like mentoring,” noted in Lowry’s article that it’s especially important to recreate.
Michael Yan, 22-year-old co-founder of job search platform Simplify, has maintained his own balance as a founder by working with an executive coach to manage stress, burnout and difficult corporate conversations, did he declare.
“If you don’t prioritize your own health, it’s hard to prioritize the success of the business,” he said, adding that he worked with his coach to determine the schedule for most beneficial work, fitness and sleep, and how to manage teams that are older than him.
“At the end of the day, a lot of it is related,” Yan said. “It’s important to keep that feedback loop rigid in keeping yourself mentally and physically healthy.”
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