Jonathan and Dean, leaders of a young, growing energetic community in North Shore have a simple mission. They want to let students follow the freedom of choosing their path. Each and every day, they lead Startup Link, overseeing and providing young students with a chance to embark on a self-starting journey, supporting them the whole way through.

At school, we were all educated to study hard and work for a big company, settle down and have kids. Whilst some people loved it, others didn’t, ending up doing something they hate for the rest of their lives.

We hope to make a change for the next generation in Australia

Startup Link Leaders Dean Nathanson and Jonathan Herman

The decline of the corporate path

In the last few years, the explosion of interest in startups that had already engulfed the US had been resurrected in Sydney. In a conventional sense, it has apparently become ‘sexy’. The lifestyle, flexibility and cool workplace make up the image of this entire package. This has piqued the curiosity of many young Australian kids growing up. Now people are driven by the desire to break away from the corporate world. They want to control their own hours and work for themselves. The old generation had an acceptance of how the working world works. Our generation is breaking this apart.

The Birth of a Startup Spirit

Something strange has recently emerged within the industry. We have seen it firsthand by this increasing demand. All these luxuries of a cool office and flexible hours are just the surface level. I am talking about something even deeper and it lies within the mentality.

This isn’t just about the desire for people to start their own company. I am talking about why many of these young students are growing up with a desire to work in start-up companies, even for free. There is an essential spirit, a movement of a go do it attitude that is slowly emerging. This doesn’t just apply for start-ups, it applies to everyone who wants to find their passions.

It’s not just that everyone wants to be their own leader anymore but to be a part of the process. There’s something beautiful about this. I mean think about it, why would they want to work for a small company with no resources and has a big chance of closing down in the next 6 months.

The reason?

They want to strive for something themselves. After everything we’ve seen, it’s this personal freedom that drives them to be a part of something special, to grow and make impacting changes that build a dream together.

Skills are changing

When I was working at a start-up, I found out that it’s unstructured in a way where you are not confined to a single role. I was working with the CEO on sales and business development and the next hour, I was sitting with the engineering team learning how to build software and database. One way or the other you will learn to be an all-rounder.

When you go in there head first it becomes favourable in learning anything. From a foreign language, computer skills to a sales pitch. This leads to a willingness to learn that starts to develop within. Times have changed. The next generation will unlikely work the same job for the rest of their life. Skills that are in demand are constantly moving forward and with the way the world is going, skills will transition quickly.

It’s all on you

Everything above sounds ideal, however, working for a startup means everything is up to you to take action. When you pursue something you love, the ones that are really cut out for it are the people who have a will to get it done no matter what.

You can certainly dream about it but when you actually do it, it’s a completely different scenario. There are many people I have seen with the most brilliant ideas, but when it comes to executing, they stutter and lose that initial enthusiasm.

That’s why there are things that young people can take away from the older generation. The previous generation may not be so innovative but they certainly possess a ‘roll down your sleeves’ can-do-it attitude which is something young people should learn from.

The biggest challenge facing these young starters out there is that everything is on you. Once you take this path, your way to achieving your dream won’t move if you don’t move. That’s how it simply works.

Just Do It

In the end, it really comes down to not being afraid. Try and get involved with your passions as much as possible and it doesn’t have to be a start-up. Failures are going to come, but someone once said ‘every time you fail it’s another route to success’. A common theme and paradox for successful founders are that they experienced all the failures, but they came back from it.

However, do know when to quit. That doesn’t mean giving up but taking a deep breath and re-evaluating your path to get to your dream. Not every success story is a classic fairy-tale. Sometimes the best decision is to know when to step back so that perhaps, another door, another chance will open.

Journo for ECX Magazine

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