Lessons You Can Learn From Successful Immigrants

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“Desire is the starting point of all achievement.” (Napoleon Hill) As an American entrepreneur stop and think about what that statement means to you. In starting your own business what is it you desire? How much do you really want it? Are you honestly working your hardest and smartest to achieve the greatest possible success? Before you answer, consider the thousands of successful immigrant entrepreneurs in this country creating and living the American Dream.

Most immigrants arrive in the United States with little but the promise that anyone who works hard and is dedicated to their business can succeed. And, based on the growing trend of immigrant entrepreneurs finding success in this country, that promise holds true. Immigrants routinely arrive with little money, few English language skills and no connections with American businesses. Yet, they make it work. What are they doing that you’re not? There are five traits these entrepreneurial immigrants share. Consider what you can learn from their examples.

You Can Have Results OR Excuses, Not Both

Everyone can have a dream. Unless you are willing to put your entire heart and soul into your venture, success will most likely remain a dream. Immigrant entrepreneurs will admit mistakes and failures without giving excuses. Do you truly take responsibility for your actions/inactions or do you have a litany of excuses for why things don’t happen? Unless you are honest with yourself, you will not move forward.

Your Desire For Success Should be Greater Than Your Fear of Failure

Immigrants are more than two times as likely to start their own business as those born in the U.S. They want to succeed and are unwilling to leave their fate in the hands of others. Along with taking full responsibility for their lives, they take responsibility for their success. They are willing to skip pop culture distractions and focus on the prize.

How much time do you spend watching television? on Facebook or other social media? Do you know more about the Kardashians than you do about your competitors? (Remember, no excuses – just honest answers.)

All For One and One For All

It is common for immigrants to pool together their resources to help one another succeed. Businesses often become partnerships with everyone in one or more families involved. Work time is not time away from family, it becomes the bedrock of the family.

Are you in business solely for yourself? Have you considered working with another family member or joining forces with a partner to strengthen your chances for success?

There is No Substitute for Hard Work

It is common for immigrant business owners to work 80+ hours each week. They do this without complaint because they understand that that is how one succeeds. Many have left countries where people are expected to work well beyond 40 hours a week for little pay. Immigrants see a chance to be rewarded for their hard work in this country.

Do you feel put upon when you have to work more than 40 hours a week? Do you consider yourself to be entitled to free weekends year-round? Are you substituting the typical American notion of being entitled to certain things for hard work?

Live Simply. Be Grateful. Dream Big.

Immigrant entrepreneurs are known for living below their means. They often share modest homes and cars with other families. They do not take big vacations or eat out often. They are grateful to be here and to have the chance to be truly successful. Extra cash is dutifully put back into their businesses.

What are you grateful for? Are you living beyond your means? Are there ways you can cut back at home and at work to further your dream?

Everyone, native-born or immigrant, has a chance to succeed in the United States. The American Dream is not dead. Take a few lessons from successful recent immigrants. If you feel entitled to things simply because you were born here, step back and rethink those feelings. A few adjustments in your outlook and habits might be just what it takes to get you that much closer to true success.

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About guest author
George Meszaros is a serial entrepreneur and the co-founder of Success Harbor. SuccessHarbor is dedicated to document the entrepreneurial journey through interviews, original research, and unique content.

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  1. Samir Mei 27, 2014

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