Home Advice For The Young At Heart Advice To Young Entrepreneurs – Think Like An Immigrant!

Advice To Young Entrepreneurs – Think Like An Immigrant!



By Patrick Bet-David,  CEO of the PHP Agency, and author of “Doing The Impossible: The 25 Laws for Doing The Impossible

There’s never been a better time to be a young entrepreneur in America. The opportunities are endless and money is easy to earn. In spite of this, many young entrepreneurs and small businesses continue to struggle, with many just getting by.

There is one group of people having massive success, however. They have little education and training, not a lot of money, many are fairly new to America and don’t even speak English. These people are immigrants.

Why are immigrants so successful under the most extreme circumstances, when at first glance, everything appears to be working against them? A closer look reveals a lot more: they have a completely different mindset, attitude, work ethic and behaviors than many of their American colleagues. The way they approach business and their lifestyle are very different from the American way of doing things, and these differences are what create those well-known immigrant rags-to-riches stories.

The good news, however, is that young American entrepreneurs can learn a few things from their immigrant counterparts that can help them be more successful.

A Work Ethic Like No Other.

In American businesses, most people want to do just what is necessary to get by. It’s all about counting down to the end of the day and looking forward to the weekend.  Immigrants, on the other hand, will usually work their tails off to not have to go back to where they came from. In Iran, where I’m from, people go to work at 5 a.m. and come home at 8:30 p.m. six days a week. The immigrant is not afraid of hard work, and is willing to put in the time it takes to succeed.  So naturally, when he’s competing against Americans who are conditioned to beat the nine-to-five, it makes it easy for him to get ahead.

A Greater Desire.

A study found that immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as those born in America. The desire for success for the millennial immigrant is personal. He wants to prove to his parents that they made the best decision by coming to America. It’s for this reason that immigrants are usually more aggressive in accomplishing the American dream. While most Americans are concerned with who is winning American Idol or posting to Facebook, immigrants are focused on success that will bring a life of freedom and opportunity for many years to come. Immigrants know how to have fun; they just have different priorities and a greater desire to succeed in business.

More Money Conscious.

Immigrants typically live way below their means whereas young Americans are notorious for running up large amounts of debt. Big houses, $50,000 cars and fine dining don’t consume the immigrant’s budget. In fact, many families are multi-generational families living under the same roof and sharing a vehicle even when they come to America. Prudent spending allows them to invest more in their business and see even greater returns.

Work in Teams.

Immigrants often go into business together. They know the value that working as a team can have. While the native born take a “Me, myself and I” approach, immigrants do it together. Since they tend to work so many hours, spending that time with close friends and family makes it a more pleasant experience. Immigrants starting out often have trouble with funding, so they create partnerships with other immigrant run businesses and succeed together.

A Belief That Nothing Can Stop Them.

The millennial immigrant knows the hardships his parents and grandparents faced in another country.  One of the promises of America is that anyone can make it big with dedication and hard work. This belief has been instilled in the immigrant since birth, and no one can convince him otherwise and nobody can stand in his way.  Immigrants don’t blame other people or outside factors, and they never compromise their integrity. They know they have two choices: fail or succeed. Immigrants take control of their destiny and do anything it takes to succeed.

America really is the land of opportunity. We are the envy of the world in many poor countries around the globe.  No matter what your current situation, success in the future is possible for everyone. Study the way that immigrants think and approach business, and it may just help make you more successful.

As Colin Powell said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”


Patrick Bet-David HeadshotPatrick Bet-David is an entrepreneur, author, visionary and self-made success who emigrated from war-torn Iran to the U.S. and is founder and CEO of the PHP Agency, one of America’s fastest growing companies.  He’s the author of the book “Doing The Impossible: The 25 Laws for Doing The Impossible“.