I strongly believe that inspired immigrants, the ones that have “felt the call”, have everything they need to succeed if they decide to start their own business, independently of what they were or are doing in their native country. Yes, I know I am putting a smile on someone’s face, but being an immigrant is actually an advantage when it comes to becoming an entrepreneur, and not an excuse to justify not even starting.
Entrepreneurship is “potentially” for everybody; you don’t have to be a genius and neither do you need to have specific genetic information in your DNA to start your own successful business, but changes, often radical ones, are required.
Many people wish to go into business, but only a few really want to be entrepreneurs badly enough to do what is needed.
A strong will is necessary to change your self-image and your beliefs about the world around you, which will automatically change your actions.
Every single time an entrepreneur fails to succeed, it is because these changes have not been made to the right degree yet.
An immigrant that was already a business owner before immigrating will most likely make the decision to be one again in the new country. Maybe not immediately, but it will happen; the mentality is already there, but a few adjustments to the new culture are obviously necessary to succeed.
But when the immigrant has been an employee all their life, and/or exposed to a family mentality that would promote the “employee” outlook, they will most likely be looking for the same thing even as a newcomer; it is a program in their human hard drive, the subconscious mind!
Well, this was not my case when I became an Immigrant, and neither has it been the case for many others!
When I arrived in North America in 2001, my desire was to own a business, something that I had been afraid to wish for until then. I was excited about it, emotionally involved with it; I wanted it with all my heart, but my actions were showing different intentions. Unfortunately, I still hadn´t understood that there´s a difference between our outer, conscious part and our inner subconscious part. Wanting something with all your heart only works if your subconscious belief system agrees with your heart. The more that one part of you wants something while another part of you deep inside believes that you are not capable of getting there, the more this inner conflict will just cause you frustration and pain.
I love this quote by David Karp: “Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.”
An entrepreneur is a creator, someone who first creates in his mind the type of service or product that he is going to share with the world; he imagines how his company will operate, and then gradually, without caring about anyone´s opinions, he makes this dream become present in the physical world. Hence, imagination and drive are the two must-have features.
I was raised in a reality where you need to see something first before you believe it can exist there, and that is the exact opposite of David Karp’s message.
I am pretty sure that I must have read or heard similar messages prior to leaving my lovely Italy. Self-development was certainly the “thing” that started even in Europe in the ´80s; it wasn’t as popular as in North America in the ´90s, but it was definitely there! The problem is that my personal world was not absorbing this kind of information; I was culturally deaf and blind to it!
There I was; 27 years old, in a new country, with this desire to have my own business and the will to work very hard… But did I have the self-image of a “creator” and the confidence of a real “doer”?
I wanted to be self-employed, but deep inside I did not believe I could do it!
Until then, I believed that imagination was for kids, creation was only God´s work, creativity was for artists, knowledge for the school geniuses, and that to have what it takes to succeed, you had to be born with it.
A few years went by, and the miracle of the Power of Immigration started to unfold within me. I started to see that some people could succeed without being educated, I learned about great ideas coming out of humble minds and successful projects being executed by people raised in negative realities.
Am I saying that these inspiring situations were totally absent in my native country and for that reason I did not know they were possible?
Absolutely not! These situations were and are present all over the world in every country, obviously in different degrees, but they are present!
What am I trying to say then? I could not see them in my world because the belief system I had filtered them out! We see life around us through a distorting lens; we perceive and judge according to the information implanted in our subconscious minds by others, sometimes from several generations ago! They are not even our ideas… but they have so much power over us.
The Power of Immigration allowed me to perceive things differently because my old belief system was easily replaced by the new one. Immigrating in a new country and immersing yourself in the new culture motivates you to push the “reset” button, especially in regards to the opinion that you have about yourself, but also about the type of people you want to surround yourself with, allowing new ideas into your belief system, and that’s what happened to me. I woke up one day with the urge to read my first book in the English language. It took me forever because I had to use my English/Italian dictionary (no Google Translate at the time… LOL).
Reading extra academic books was something that I did only once in my first language, but so far I have read more than 40 books in the new language that I am still learning, and this is only one piece of the big puzzle that represents the new me!
I gradually found the courage to make more changes. None of the people that made me believe that reading was for nerds, that money is for bad people, that success needs good luck and that dreaming is for kids were around anymore; naturally, I attracted new people into my life that were in sync with the new Frank that I was becoming. The building of a new Entrepreneur had begun, and the first results in my new adventure didn’t take long to appear.
I will always be grateful for what the Act of Immigrating did to me. It does not happen to everybody; even if it seems so obvious, few can see it. I was lucky to see it, and I want to help as many immigrants as I can to see it. I want to make some noise; immigrants all over the world need to know this… “Look at me, I am dreaming again, and I can’t stop… because working towards a dream is what life is about, and immigrating was what allowed me to do so, it gave me a second chance…”
If as immigrants we don’t see this power, we won’t allow any new ideas into our belief system and no changes will happen. We will keep surrounding ourselves with the same type of people that made us believe that Entrepreneurship was not for us. We have to wake up, discover what we really want and find the strength to achieve it, to act on our dreams.