You’ve likely heard the stereotypes about millennials: They’re a generation of entitled misfits. They lack a strong work ethic. They’re only interested in activities that offer immediate gratification.
You want the truth? This generation isn’t going to wreck the world. They’re going to save it.
If millennials feel entitled to anything, it’s the opportunity to be passionately engaged in a vision they can pour their entire heart and soul into. Show them what success looks like, then get out of the way and watch what awesome looks like.
I’d like to introduce you to Mike Derheim, one of nine millennials I interviewed who have faced and overcome significant obstacles that stood in the way of their goals and dreams. It’s a privilege to share their inspiring life stories with you here.
Click here to see all the Millennials Rising stories.
Mike Derheim, born in 1978, is cofounder of The Nerdery, a Minneapolis-based custom software design and development company. The Nerdery made Inc. magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing companies for seven years running.
After switching majors three times, I dropped out of North Dakota State College of Science in 1998 to work in tech support at a small, growing company called Minnesota Internet. The owner was a super entrepreneurial, kind of take-over-the-world guy named Tim Davis. I worked for the Internet Service Provider half of the company. The other half did custom software development for legacy systems on old green-screen terminals.
I hit it off with Tim right away and he became my de facto mentor. I rose up the ranks very quickly because I worked so hard and learned so much. Within a year, I was doing system administration and networking. I worked ridiculous hours and (more…)