Doing anything new is challenging;
combining this with doing something new in a new place. This is both challenging and overwhelming considering the relearning of social norms, activities, networks and more. We often hear of many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who came in as immigrants, migrants and more and have excelled beyond even natives to achieve outstanding success. This then leaves people who are immigrants coming in, aware of this illustrious track record feeling more overwhelmed. No one will understand how hard this is because “so many” people have done well. Now we really have no excuse. To be honest – that is the truth. There is no excuse, for anyone – unless a genetic or mental disorder or an event simultaneous a disaster has occurred in ones life – there really is no excuse. This article is not to debate those viewpoints, or to make the immigrants feel even more burdened or to take away any sympathies. It is rather to recognize the challenges and to give support to those who have made that decision to found their start-ups in the US and those who are thinking of making the steps.
Why would you make take this particular step rather than found the company in your home nation:
Answer: Getting to the heart, the source materials of the start-up ecosystem
Steps to help the process become easier
If you have a start-up or have going through ideas that can birth a start-up joining onto an incubator can be a great way to mitigate the challenges of establishing a business in the USA. This because of the community feel and network you form, plus the material taught can be a massive boon to your overall understanding for business.
An accelerator is further ahead of an incubator for a founder and you usually need to have started your business and showcased some traction or growth. It is also an incredible way to build a strong network, make some friends with shared passions as well as support in the early stages of the entrepreneurial journey for those who are away from family and friends.
Doing volunteer work will make you feel good as well as help you make incredible friends. Often times when mired by the challenges and overwhelmed by pressures, supporting others and helping those who are going through much steeper problems helps to better manage personal challenges and gives a better perspective on your troubles. Plus, it works your idea muscles and strengthens your ability to make connections with ideas and people.
Meet-ups and Networks
Meet-ups and just over networking type of events are incredible ways to meet like minded people. In our digital era, joining in on meet-ups that are tied to Entrepreneurships and Start-ups can be quite easy and help in making friends, meeting co-founders, checking out new locations and more.
Things you Enjoy
Sounds silly but doing things you enjoy as an immigrant entrepreneur is an incredible way to manage the challenges of this stage of the journey. It better helps bring Serendipitous encounters into your life which can be significant. If you enjoy reading, try going to the library once in a while and say hello to the librarian, if you love working out – join the gym and run around a few parks once in a while – use the jungle gym. You’ll be surprised by the kind off people you meet at a park once in a while, or the insight you gain from doing fun things you enjoy.
Conferences and exhibitions are great ways to immerse yourself in the happenings of the new environment you are in. Tickets for some premier events might be pricey but you can volunteer to help out and be of assistance with either the logistics or general support with operations. At these programs, thoroughly maximize the period by meeting with people, sharing stories and showing interest in the happenings about what the conference and exhibitions are about.
Besides the cost of moving here, or managing yourself – an unconscious challenge is finances: whether you have abundances of cash or not. For me: coming here from London everything seemed super cheap and it was. So it is easy to get carried away because you make calculations in comparison to your local prices. It is best to speak with people and locals and find out what the right pricing is. Even ask the person selling the items – “will you pay this much for this?”.
The other key thing in managing such finances is not to buy too much things. The great thing about the US is the availability of so much stuff, in shops or by online shopping, but the best part are the people and the experiences. Make this period of acquisitions of friendships and experiences and not just stuff.
There are so many things that an immigrant entrepreneur can do to make the transition into the start-up ecosystem better to make an impact, however what can often happen is people revert inwards into their shell and do not engage fully with their surroundings until they are defeated or only want to return to the security of home. To steal an adage from the gym: “the best workout is the workout that you do”. All in all, take a look at the things that you can do, perform a brainstorm and generate personal ideas on the things you can do and select the easiest one or the best one you earnestly believe you can get started on. Take the first step.
Wrriten by Alumni Einstein Ntim, Co-founder Bloomer Tech, Immigrant Entrepreneur.