I recently interviewed Scott Gerber, Author of “Never Get a Real Job.” Gerber is starting an amazing movement among Gen Y and I am so honored to be part of The Young Entrepreneur Council. In his book, Scott shares powerful statistics and a strong argument for why now is the best time for young entrepreneurs to start their own businesses (as long as they are not trying to become the next Facebook). Gerber’s book hits close to home for me as I am part of this growing movement of entrepreneurs who started companies straight out of college. Why add your resume to an endless pile when you could create your own company and stand apart from the rest? I believe in Gerber’s movement and think that his book represents a powerful view of the job market in the US and the way things are heading in this country. We need to become innovative in tough times and develop concepts that are built to last, regardless of age.
What made you decide to write Never Get a Real Job?
For too long we’ve been told the mantra “work hard, get good grades, and go to school to get a job”. But the fact is that hand-out, resume driven mindset no longer applies to generation Y. Someone needed to stand up to the antiquated social norm and help these young people thrive despite unprecedented unemployment and underemployment. In Never Get a “Real” Job, I do just that–teach young people how to build income generating businesses from the ground up without finances or resources in the same way I did. The book details my failures and successes and offer nuts and bolts, practical advice for Gen Yers as told by one of their own.
What are your tips for people looking to start a business?
Keep it Simple… Don’t try to reinvent the wheel or you’ll be doomed to be run over by it. Be unoriginal to be profitable. Build with what you have, not with what you’d like to get (or don’t have). And, most importantly, make sure that your business is capable of generating immediate revenue. Stop thinking Facebook and start thinking lawn care and pool cleaning companies.
What role do you think female entrepreneurs play in the new economy?
As you can tell by my Young Entrepreneur Council, entrepreneurship transcends gender, age and ethnicity. It is a universal practice that should be adopted by all. Women on my Council–and not on the Council–have been responsible for game-changing companies. I still think women are smarter than men (but don’t tell anyone I said that).
How can entrepreneurs brand themselves effectively via social media?
The key is not to undo what you’ve done in the real world. I’ve watched many photos of partying and stupidity destroy people. Be aware of what you put online. You might be on your way to becoming a captain of industry, but photos and videos have a way of surfacing with success and knocking people off their pedestal.
What are some statistics about entrepreneurship in the US as well as job stats for recent college graduates in the job market?
There are over 81 million young people unemployed worldwide with hundreds of millions more underemployed. In the US, youth unemployment is nearly at 20%–a historic high. Default rates for college loans are at 7.2%–also an historic high. Only 24% of recent 2010 college graduates had a job lined up after college. These are insane times–which is why we as a society must overcome these epidemics by retraining ourselves to create jobs to keep job–instead of thinking we can just tale them.
About Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor, media personality, public speaker and the most-syndicated young entrepreneurship columnist in the world. He is the founder and CEO of Gerber Enterprises, an entrepreneurial incubator and venture management company that invests capital, management expertise, and marketing services into innovative early and mid-stage companies. Founded in 2004, the company has since launched a diverse portfolio of businesses, including Yearbook Innovation, an end-to-end provider of print and digital media school memory products and services; and Sizzle It!, the expert in sizzle reel production for a global clientele of public relations, marketing and advertising firms. Scott is also the Founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, an advocacy group made up of many of the world’s top young entrepreneurs that works to help young people overcome the devastating effects of youth unemployment and underemployment by teaching them how to build businesses, and the author of the book, Never Get a “Real” Job.
An accomplished public speaker, Scott has taught thousands of students and young professionals his lessons about entrepreneurship. He is an expert in teaching aspiring entrepreneurs how to start business on shoe-string budgets and offers compelling insight on a number of topics including: pitching, fundraising, marketing, business development strategies and political and economic issues facing entrepreneurs. His most recent speaking engagements include the Entrepreneur Magazine Conference and the national Collegiate Entrepreneurship Organization conference. Scott has been featured in news outlets such as FOX Business, WSJ, Entrepreneur, Inc., The Huffington Post, New York Post, Open Forum, Forbes, The Street, AllBusiness, Mashable and The Business Insider. His syndicated columns appear regularly in media outlets such as Entrepreneur, Inc., BNET, WSJ, MSNBC, and FOX Business. Follow Scott on Twitter @askgerber or friend him on Facebook at facebook.com/scottgerber.