In the past, professional athletes were the role models that many young people looked up to. Their heroic actions on the field were what dreams were made of. If you asked children generations ago what they would want to aspire to be, many of them would tell you they wanted to become a professional athlete. Nowadays, however,  today’s youth are looking to a new class of individuals for inspiration: entrepreneurs. In a study surveying nearly 200 high school students, 72%t cited aspiring to achieve entrepreneurial goals in their future.

The freedom to think and work independently from other people’s expectations is something that has driven many younger individuals to look up to entrepreneurs. In young minds, self-employed individuals have it all. Entrepreneurs can set their own schedules, determine how much they make, and travel wherever and whenever they want to. Their success is really only limited by how much work they are willing to put into forward progress.

There is also a certain sense of freedom that stems from the limited list of boundaries associated with becoming an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter what race you are, what sex you are, or where you come from. There are countless stories of entrepreneurial success originating from all walks of life. They only caveat is that you must truly believe in yourself and work hard, both of which are inspiring lessons for young hopefuls.  

Because of the increased demand for entrepreneurial role models, there is a corresponding increased need for business founders and owners that possess positive qualities and stand out as to today’s youth. The more that teens and young adults are exposed to a wide variety of entrepreneur success stories, the more plausible their dreams become. Successful entrepreneurs should strive to demonstrate devotion and dedication to their craft in order to set realistic expectations about the amount of work it takes to make your own dreams come true. While the rewards of being an entrepreneur are hard to deny, the risks and sacrifices are also significant.

As we move forward, we might find that more and more people are cheering for their favorite businesses as opposed to their favorite sports teams. As teens and young adults all over the world continue to look up to entrepreneurs, it is crucial that those currently dominating in their fields focus on practicing the right skills and portraying the positive characteristics that will inspire future generations of entrepreneurs.