Something that drives me crazy is when other students tell me there are no opportunities for youth to make meaningful impacts in the community.
I recently travelled to Halifax to attend the 2015 Enactus Canada Atlantic Regional Exposition. Enactus is an organization that brings together student, academic, and business leaders committed to empowering communities in economic, social, and environmental ways through entrepreneurial action.
In 2014, 59 teams from across Canada implemented 259 community development projects, helped 1,600 people find employment, and impacted more than 650,000 people across the world.
The purpose of the Exposition was for Enactus teams to showcase the impacts they have had on their communities over the past year, and originally I was going to write about some of these projects to prove that by working together youth leaders can make meaningful impacts on our society.
But one of the things that really stood out to me during the event was during the keynote speech by Alex MacLean, CEO and Founder of East Coast Lifestyles Inc. and 2014 Enactus Canada Student Entrepreneur of the year.
“Entrepreneurship is not a 9-to-5 job, it’s a 24/7 lifestyle.”
…and while I agree with this 100%, I think we can take this idea even further.
The point Alex was trying to make was that when you start your own company there’s no time for excuses and putting things off until tomorrow, building a company is done through hard work, determination, and hustle. After all, someone’s got to do the dirty work.
But I don’t think this is necessarily only true for entrepreneurs, I think it’s true for anybody who is truly passionate about something. If you love following the Toronto Maple Leafs, and I’m so sorry if this is you, then you’ll find ways to make time to watch their games. If you are truly passionate about learning about ancient Greek History, you’ll make time to explore the deep depths of Wikipedia.
We always hear clichés like “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” and “Time flies when you’re having fun!” but I don’t think many students ever really take these things seriously.
Alex doesn’t run his business because someone is making him; he does it because he ENJOYS it. I’m not writing this blog because I’m getting paid or for class project, I’m doing it because I ENJOY seeing the impact young leaders can have on our community. And I’m pretty sure that people like J.K. Rowing, Taylor Swift, Lebron James, and the creator of Trivia Crack probably enjoy what they’re doing too.
I think something that defines the millennial generation is opportunity. We have the opportunity to travel the world. We have the opportunity to be the leaders of the future. We have the opportunity to make a difference. We have the opportunity to chase our wildest dreams. And we have the world at our fingertips and the opportunity to learn to learn about, discover, explore, and pursue our passions, no matter how crazy they may be.
And so, I’d like to finish off by leaving you with one simple idea…
Being passionate about something is not a 9-to-5-job; it’s a 24/7 lifestyle. So cut the bullshit about not having opportunity and find a way to turn your passion into one. Because guess what, if you truly care, you’ll find a way to do it for the rest of your life.
What’s your 24/7 lifestyle? Tell us more about it on twitter using the hashtag #theMillennialDream.