The Mark Zuckerberg Complex: 5 Reasons Why Your Quarter-Life Crisis Makes No Sense
Members of the previous generation might have experienced the quarter-life crisis if they weren't married by their 25th birthdays; it was simply a shame that was unbearable. All your friends would be married and having children while you would lurk in the corner still... *pause* single.
For Generation-Y, the quarter-life crisis is a bit different. We experience finger-trembling nervous breakdowns by age 25 if we don't already own startup companies or aren't making more than $100,000.
It may seem unreasonable and unrealistic, but when we are surrounded by local success stories of 20-something app developers making it BIG, many of us inexplicably start believing it to be the norm. A friend of mine once cleverly dubbed this phenomenon: the Mark Zuckerberg complex.
It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is pitching a genius idea and claiming that it will be the next high-profile project. And, since I don't aim to burst their bubbles, I let them float on. However, here are some core facts most sufferers of the Mark Zuckerberg complex don't seem to see.
1. Education is never a waste of time
Many will argue that college is a waste of time and that you don't need to complete degrees to succeed in life. These people often use Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as examples.
OK, so both of these remarkable billionaires didn't graduate, but what people fail to realize is that they were smart enough to get into Harvard and were both writing code at very young ages.
Remember that they are exceptions and that neither of them would ever call education a waste of time.
2. You need a well-balanced idea
In order to ensure that your startup will be successful, make sure that your idea is different, yet relatable. Obviously, this is a tough balance to achieve. There is an overload of ideas flying around and most consumers can feel a bit overwhelmed.
I know that I certainly do, especially when my friends insist on communicating through five different platforms interchangeably. Thus, the difficult task is to find something that is original, but not far-fetched.
3. You can't go all in
The way to approach your idea must be balanced, as well. In order to achieve an unbiased perspective, you must be dedicated, but also unemotional. This is the only way you will be able to hear constructive (or not so constructive) criticisms without a clouded mind.
As "Shark Tank" has taught us, it's an awful idea to gamble your entire life's savings on one idea. Thus, it is recommended to have a safety blanket, like a full-time job, and save your passion project for evenings and weekends.
4. You need social skills
You might have an amazing idea and have all of the knowledge you need to make it a reality, but if you don't have presentation and management skills, you will not succeed. You must have great communication skills and be personable.
It is the only way people will be attracted to you, and by reflection, your idea. Work on creating a network and learning basic business knowhow.
Once you have practiced pitching your idea in a tangible manner, you will become believable. People will then invest in your project and will actually be encouraged to use your development.
5. It's like winning the lottery
The truth of the matter is that success doesn't happen overnight, and luck plays a huge part. It's all about meeting the right people at the right time and none of that is predeterminable.
Realistically, becoming the next most talked about business tycoon is like winning the lottery; your chances are low, but your spirits should always remain high.
Yet, this is why we should have back-up plans to cushion those low days.
Our generation, as a whole, needs to realize the importance of doing due diligence to allow success to follow. If at 25 years old, you don't feel mature enough to settle down, get married and have children, chances are strong that you will not be mature enough to handle an entire corporation, either.
Not every person needs to work on his or her own start-up company. There are different definitions of success, and while the traditional way to inch up the corporate ladder may seem boring and too old school, there are enough examples that prove it to be an efficient method. So, why not give it a try?
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