If you pay attention to the news you will be told that the current generation of young people faces far greater barriers than the baby-boomers who grew up in the 1950s. Social mobility is in decline, inequality is rising and big corporations increasingly run our lives.
Really? Let me give you an alternative perspective on reality.
Here’s how opportunity works:
All of us are fantastically creative. Nearly everyone has a dream. If you’re willing to do the hard work, then success can be yours.
If you ever wanted to be a writer, this is the best moment in the history of the world. Thanks to the self-publishing and e-book revolution, there are more published authors and more books now than ever before. Traditional publishers are watching helplessly as their market share declines and independent writers seize the opportunities presented by e-books, print-on-demand services and online retailers hungry for new titles. And best of all, self-published authors make more than writers with traditional deals.
If you ever wanted to be a musician, then grab the opportunity. Thanks to digital music, YouTube and social media, there are more musicians recording and releasing music (and making money from it) than ever before, and more people buying it. Record a track in your home and sell it on iTunes. Film a video with a smartphone camera and upload it to your own YouTube channel. Use Twitter to create a buzz around your band.
Want to start your own business? Thanks to the internet, the ever lower costs of office technology and the proliferation of business opportunities there are more entrepreneurs and self-employed workers now than ever before. You can run a small business from home and outsource jobs to workers in any country. There’s no need to fear big companies – you can easily outcompete them, both in cost and innovation. In the past two decades, small businesses accounted for two thirds of all new jobs created in the US.
Want to be a poet? Or write essays or short stories? Start a blog or become a micro-poet on Twitter! You may not make much money, but you can gain a readership of hundreds or thousands. And it may lead to a book or another opportunity in the future. It’s in your hands.
Whatever your dream, the opportunities to pursue it are probably greater now than ever before. The internet, computers, smartphones and other technology are giving us far greater self-determination than any previous generation. If there are barriers, they are probably in your head. Don’t listen to those who say it won’t work. Don’t listen to the people who want you to fail. Get out there and prove them wrong.
Why are you still reading this blog? Go and live your dream!