The Gen Z entrepreneurship journey

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Offline Khan Ehsanul Hoque

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The Gen Z entrepreneurship journey
« on: December 08, 2023, 11:43:56 PM »
The Gen Z entrepreneurship journey


Entrepreneurship has become a popular career choice, especially for Gen Z. From clothing brands to the beauty industry, Gen Z is choosing to navigate their way through the work force as their own bosses. According to the Square Future of Commerce report, 54 percent of Gen Z consumers that were surveyed reported that they are considering starting their own businesses – leading people to question why this generation is straying away from the typical 9-5 lifestyle to start their own business ventures.

Teonna Daniels is a 22-year-old photographer in the Indianapolis area. While she is a business owner, she works a traditional 9-5 to fund her business. However, her ultimate goal is to be in business for herself.

“I haven’t completely opted out of the 9-5 because I still have a 9-5 that supports my entrepreneurial business. At the end of everything, I want to be my own boss, I want to work for myself, and I think a lot of people want to work for themselves and be their own bosses. Plus, I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather has run his own business his entire life and there’s other family members that are entrepreneurs as well, which inspired me to take that leap and become an entrepreneur myself,” says Daniels.

Daniels’ photography venture began when she was asked to capture a high school student’s senior photos. “I jumped into it unexpectedly. I had a camera for 3 years and took photography in high school,” states Daniels. “I didn’t use my camera like that until I volunteered to do someone’s senior pictures. I had never taken anyone’s pictures before so I was like you can’t just throw me out there like that. When I was at the shoot, it just gave me a feeling like I really enjoyed this, and I was happy with the outcome. Just the whole process of that and afterward, I saw myself being passionate about it and something that I wanted to get into.”

Jaden Payne, owner of JL the Label, also took the nontraditional work route and chose to be a businesswoman. Payne has worked traditional jobs since she was able to, but after launching her own business and interning at a dentist’s office, she realized that dentistry, which was her intended career, was not what she genuinely wanted to pursue.

“I’ve always had a 9-5 job; this is the first year I decided not to. I went to college to hopefully become a dentist. I ended up interning at a dental office and realized I didn’t like it,” stated Payne. “At the time, I was making more money selling clothes than I was working at the dental office.”

During her internship, Payne felt as if she was not maximizing her time. “I continued working at the dental office, but I didn’t like being there. I just didn’t feel like it was fulfilling my purpose,” stated Payne.

While Daniels found her passion before starting her business, Payne’s passion grew with her business. “I didn’t really know about my personal values and aspirations until I started my business. When I really got into it, I was like wow I’m making people happy. People really love what I do. I’m building people’s confidence; I’m showing people how to put things together,” said Payne. “My whole goal in life for myself is to be happy so if I’m making other people happy by posting clothes or as an influence myself for those trying to be in the same field as I am, then I feel like there’s a purpose in doing what I’m doing.”

Both business owners share the same perspective on risk taking – the greater the risk, the greater the reward. “When it comes to risk taking as an entrepreneur, you just got to do it. You’re going to fall, but it’s all about how you get up and recover that makes it worthwhile,” stated Daniel.

“Sometimes, you have to take risks and trust yourself. I don’t feel like any risk is a bad risk. If you’re losing something maybe financially, you’re probably gaining something mentally,” stated Payne.

Daniels and Payne believe there is nothing wrong with having a 9-5 while being an entrepreneur. Though they chose two different routes, the ultimate goal is running their own successful businesses and inspiring others.
Khan Ehsanul Hoque

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