I predict that Generation Z, my generation, will change the world. We will be the first to run a business, attend high school, play a sport, and have a childhood. We are known as the “digital natives” and the opportunities for us greatly exceed those who came before us. I for one am grateful and inspired to have an extraordinary life.
We will be the ONLY generation to have had a lifelong use of communication and media technologies such as the World Wide Web, instant messaging, text messaging, social networks and many more to come, which is part of the reason I felt guilty about ignoring the immense possibilities for myself and my generation. I had seemingly endless ideas, but no specific way of harnessing them all together, to be successful and to give back. Ultimately my thoughts led me to co-founding Project 360, a charity-driven clothing and accessories company, with my lifelong best friend, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and New York entrepreneur, Kimberly Barth.
What are we getting involved in? Being proactive and understanding that we are the first generation to have the possibilities of business and charitable success at a young age. Understanding that we are different from the generations before and that we can make a difference outside of school, which lights the fire to start your own company.
THE FIVE WAYS
1. First, get in the right mind set for success. Don’t wait to “grow up.” Don’t listen to people who tell you that you are “too young,” and that you have to wait for college and the “real world.” The real world is NOW. We are young and we have everything we need to create success. Right now. If you want to take it a step further, meditate on your idea taking off. Visualize your company, your prosperity, all of the people you are employing, helping, what it feels like to succeed. Let it sit in the back of your brain if you have an idea block.
2. Second, you need to write down every idea. Find a niche within your passion & interests. Focus on what inspires you most and make a decision to create a concept and then a company out of it. Write about it in a journal, on your computer, or anywhere possible – even a napkin can start a company.
3. Share, research and become obsessed with your idea. Go on Google to see if there are any similar ideas. Talk to both adults and kids to get a balanced perspective. Reach out to innovators and entrepreneurs who’ve created their own success, ask them for guidance. Keep on molding your idea like a piece of clay until it takes the perfect shape. Just remember -- no great idea is ever finished, only abandoned.
4. Monetize off of your idea. In other words, your passion can become your prosperity. So, take that idea of yours and find various ways to make money off of it. How can you sell it? Pitch it? And most importantly, create a charitable backbone out of it.
5. Finally, from all of the research you’ve completed, the people whom you’ve talked to, written, contacted, from all of the time you’ve spent by yourself shaping your concept and turning it into a company, it is time to galvanize the right people to become your company. Find your investors, your partners, and your audience.
So to all you “digital natives…” Remember, we are the first generation to experience the world of technology while we are still so young. Grab that napkin and make your dream come true.
Meet Nick Sheinberg at Bloomingdale's in Santa Monica on Saturday, Oct. 25.
Follow Nick Sheinberg on Twitter: www.twitter.com/nicksheinberg.