The road to success: what entrepreneurs can learn from immigrants
Blogging for Contractor.com Entrepreneur from Turkey Zeynep Ilgaz talks about his experience of living and working in America from the perspective of an immigrant.
“Many years ago, my husband and I came to America with only two suitcases, love for each other and for entrepreneurship. We didn’t have the money - just like the concept of American culture, but we had the passion and desire to work day and night to succeed.
The main advantages of the immigrant way of thinking: we calmly accept a certain discomfort, we love to learn and are willing to take risks - and these are the most important ingredients for starting a successful business.
Many immigrants made a fortune on this mentality. According to a Duke University study, almost 52% of Silicon Valley startups running between 1995 and 2005 were founded by foreigners who moved to the US. The likelihood that an immigrant will do business is twice as high as those born in America. U.S. companies with top managers born outside the country have a profit margin twice as high as equity.
With this, everything is clear, but it is not necessary to be an immigrant to think like them.
As with entrepreneurship, immigration is like a roller coaster. Both in this and in the other there are inevitable ups and downs that require maximum flexibility and positive thinking. But the global way of thinking goes far beyond character and determination: it also has an element of global awareness.
Even if your business operates only in the domestic market, America has already become a global society in which many cultures, habits and social norms are represented. In order to better respond to the requests and needs of your customers, it is in your interest to develop and maintain a global outlook. This means being open to new ideas, solutions and growth opportunities. It also means being culturally receptive and willing to learn from others.
Without global thinking, your business will miss its golden chance to emerge and gain a foothold in new markets. But if you are open and adaptive, these new opportunities will come to you. No matter where you're from, a global perspective can be instilled into any business.
Create a corporate culture in which people with different philosophies and backgrounds are welcome. Such a diverse workforce will help your startup enter a wider circle of clients and, in general, improve your business. One study showed that return on investment from companies with a multinational state is more than two times higher than from companies that cannot boast of cultural heterogeneity.
Learn cultural tricks
Culture plays a very important role in shaping consumer behavior, business practices and general business etiquette. Take the time to learn yourself and teach your company to understand cultural differences, norms and values. The aerospace company Boeing practices several ways to explore cultural differences, including seminars and training for its staff at 300 000 employees, aimed at teaching them how to communicate with international clients.
Learning anything without practice is very difficult, so it is necessary from time to time to dive into different cultures. Give your employees the opportunity to travel to other countries, especially those with whom you may have to do business, and also attend international exhibitions and meetings. Employees need to personally see how different cultures work and cooperate.
Before this happens, you, as a leader, are required to determine your own beliefs, strengths and weaknesses, and how they differ from others on the planet. Understanding who you are is the first step to understanding others.
If you are doing business, but resist the changes and you are not interested in the views of other people, you need to seriously consider your choice of work. Developing a successful business requires drive, flexibility, and, most important, understanding. ”
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