2 Billion Under 20: Changing Millennial Stereotypes

2 Billion Under 20:

Challenging Millennial Stereotypes

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For Stacey Ferreira, invention is the name of the game. At the ripe age of 24, Ferreira founded two companies and she’s not done yet. Her current venture, Forge, is an on-demand temp agency, in the form of a mobile app. Right now, the popular gig is to be an Uber driver or a Postmates delivery person. The trend of working in an open format, where you can set your own hours affords you the luxury of supporting yourself while pursing a dream or other career, such as acting. That is to say, Forge retains the concept of flexible hours, but takes it beyond courier or transportation provider, into stints as a retail sales associate or working in QSR.

Ferreira, who wrote the book 2 Billion Under 20, is a college drop out. While this may not offer images of success, the one-time NYU student aims to challenge the notion that there’s one right way to do something, specifically that you need to go to college to be great.

No one needs to read the book to know that a formal secondary education is becoming more of a financial burden with lifelong repercussions than the key to success.

While some millennials are lazy and entitled, the same can be said of every generation. Ultimately, it comes down to media’s specific narrative, and the “lazy, entitled, etc.” narrative just stuck. Maybe it’s because of social media, maybe it’s because of the fact that most pre-teens have cell phones, but either way, is it Millenials fault that they were born into this digital time?

Another part of the Millennial narrative is the notion that they are over-dependent on their parents. Ferreira likes to give the credit of her initial success to social media, but really she should be giving her parents the credit. “If I hadn’t logged on Twitter and I hadn’t seen that Tweet coming through my feed,” she says, “we wouldn’t be where we are today.” The story goes that Richard Branson Tweeted about an opportunity to have dinner with him for the reasonable price of $2k a person. Being two “broke college students,” Ferreira and her brother borrowed money from their parents. Their parents said they wanted the money back in two months, (which was paid back using one million in seed funding from investors).

“If I hadn’t logged on Twitter and I hadn’t seen that Tweet coming through my feed we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Ferreira isn’t just another trust fund baby who wouldn’t be where she is without her parents. But even if she were, is it such a crime to accept help from parents who are willing? It’s true that not everyone has that luxury, but does that mean that people who are able to get family assistance shouldn’t? That being said, few people who responded to Richard Branson’s tweet – irrespective of how they funded their invitations – did great things with the results. And there are certainly people who took more than $2K from their parents and did absolutely nothing with it.

There is no one way to achieve greatness, or even mediocrity or failure. The founder of Snapchat graduated from Stanford University, while Stacy Ferreira, Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs didn’t finish school. Clearly, an education is more than just a degree.

Shannon Matloob

Shannon is a contributor at SWAAY. She has a degree in Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University with a passion identifying and researching other women on the path to greatness.

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