Through her eyes: A millennial girl takes on Central Florida

By Alisha Ashford

There is an upcoming generation of entrepreneurs that strive to create businesses by taking what they’re passionate about and making a living out of it.

According to a study conducted by the NCES in 2017, Business is the most popular college major among undergraduate students. This statistic really does not surprise me as it seems that most people I know have selected business as their major.

Even apart from some business students who aspire to use their college education to become an entrepreneur, there are many millennials who are skipping right over college and starting up small businesses right out of high school. Some are unsuccessful, but others are putting in the work and commitment so that their aspirations can come to fruition.

It’s hard to tell if the majority of these people are becoming interested in business because they enjoy that field of work, or because they have their heart set on business solely to stay far away from a regular desk job. Some people seem to claim business as their career goal for some of the wrong reasons, such as disliking their bosses, wanting to work less, or hating the job their currently in. However, others have great leadership skills and work ethic that directs them toward this career path for the right reasons—some of those reasons being working towards a passion, noticing an opportunity, or creating something innovative.

I know I have certainly encountered people on both sides of this spectrum, especially on social media where it seems many popular influencers are using their platform to “inspire” their followers to live a more fulfilling life by pursuing work that allows them to escape from the typical nine to five workplaces. In reality, these influencers are falsely advising their followers that a fulfilling life must come from escaping the mundane instead of just finding joy in it. I believe that people can be passionate about what they are doing each day, even at a desk job, as long as they have the proper mindset. On the other side though, some people have their head in the game for all the right reasons and in turn will be more successful in their endeavors.

One individual who is committed as an entrepreneur is 20-year-old Central Florida resident, Zishan Manji who officially started a business called Ecommerce about six months ago which markets a variety of products to people through analyzing the consumer’s interests. Zishan is a fitting example of someone who takes an idea and runs fully towards his goal without procrastinating. Even at such an early age, he has already seen much success with his business, allowing him to move into office space along with two of his employees.

Zishan knew at an early age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Even at 13-years old, he began to understand what his goals were as everyone in his family did business in some form. People around him often preached about “being your own boss,” and that was exactly what he wanted.

During his high school years, he taught himself sales techniques and other things that would later prepare him for what he is currently doing. Through selling Amazon Firesticks, he learned about the ins and outs of sales. By investing in stocks, and experiencing both downfalls and successes, he learned the value of risk and reward. He also taught himself how to code, helping him to improve the quality of his websites.

When being asked how he turned his ideas into a reality, he responded by saying “I fell in love with the grind.” He went on to explain that virtually all of his free time consists of activities that will bring him closer to his goals, whether that’s meeting with a successful person, or watching Youtube videos about business. He spends his time this way not because he feels obligated to, but because business is something that he is genuinely passionate about.

Even though sometimes the responsibility to keep things growing and running smoothly can become heavy, Zishan understands the concept of short-term pain for long-term gain.

His story inspired me and can certainly inspire many other young people who think that their dreams are unattainable, or that they’re too young to create something for themselves. Even though my goal is not to become an entrepreneur, being able to sit down with Zishan and hear about the trials he has overcome to get to where he is, encouraged me to keep going after my own goals.


Alisha Ashford is a graduate of Lake Mary High School and spent a year in Spain through a student exchange program. She is currently a journalism major at Seminole State College.

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