Why Immigrants Are More Successful than You!

Laxmi Mittal - indian immigrant

Who would have ever thought that there would be so many successful immigrants? If you look at it from a surface level, it just doesn’t make sense, right?

Many immigrants are coming from third world countries. They have little to no money, and they barely speak English. How the heck do they become successful?

Wondering why immigrants are more successful? This 8 reasons cheat sheet will tell you “why”.

Well, if you dig a bit deeper, it makes a lot of sense

Love is overrated

Immigrants don’t come to this country to do what they love; they come here to make money. Happiness is the last thing on their minds because all they care about is making money.

With that money they can provide a better future for their families and, most importantly, provide their kids with the things that they never had.

The big difference between immigrants and you is that you were taught to do what you love. For example, if you want to be an astronaut, throughout your life your parents and teachers encouraged you to follow your dreams. Immigrants, however, are taught to do whatever makes money.

The 80-hour workweek

Do you love the 4-hour workweek? Well, immigrants don’t! If they don’t believe in the 40-hour workweek, there is no way they believe in the 4-hour workweek.

Instead of trying to figure out how they can work fewer hours each week, they try to figure out how they can work more hours. Sixty, seventy, and even eighty hours are the number of hours immigrants try to work each week.

For example, I know a few Indian immigrants who have two full time jobs, which means they are literally working eighty hours every week. And although working eighty hours a week doesn’t give you the best quality of life, it gives you the potential to make more money.

Investors love immigrants

I am a big believer in making money off other people. I always look forward to making money off immigrants. The hard part is finding a business that they are interested in running.

Plus, if you give them a small stake in the business, they’ll work a lot harder than if you paid them to work eighty hours per week.

Immigrants stick together

One thing that I never forgot is that when my parents immigrated here, other immigrants helped them out. From providing free temporary living accommodations to helping a fellow immigrant to find a job, or navigating eligibility for a U.S. visa, immigrants help each other succeed.

Even after being in the US for over twenty years, my parents still have some stuff, such as furniture, that was given to them by other immigrants.

There’s nothing wrong with being frugal

It’s easier to save money than it is to earn it. This is why immigrants are frugal. They understand that it is really hard to earn money, especially if you are working 80-hour weeks.

They are never afraid to ask for discounts because they know that if you never ask, you’ll never receive. From bargaining at stores and markets to only buying things that are on sale, immigrants always find ways to save money.

Education is everything

When times get tough, the one thing that increases your odds of success is having a good education. Whether you are a teenage immigrant or a middle-aged immigrant, it is never too late to go back to school.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, on average you’ll make $900,000 more over your lifetime than someone who just has a high school diploma. And if you have a master’s degree, you’ll make $1,200,000 more in your lifetime than a high school graduate.

There is no excuse for not going to college as there are online and nighttime classes.

You never take “no” for an answer

Just because someone tells you no doesn’t mean that you can’t change that no to a yes.

When my family first immigrated to the US, my mom could not find a job as a preschool teacher, which is her occupation. So, when she was told no by one particular school, she told the school administrators that she would work for free. Months later, they decided to hire her and, more importantly, pay her.

If someone tells you no, it just means not right now. That not right now can turn into a yes later on.

The grass is truly greener

Have you heard the saying that the grass is greener on the other side? For immigrants, it usually is greener.

Although they may not be living in a fancy home or a rich neighborhood when they first immigrate over, those living conditions are still better than the ones they came from.

This is why they rarely complain about life because there really is nothing to be sad about. In their eyes, life is truly good. They have a roof over their heads, and their kids are getting a great education.


Next time you encounter immigrants, don’t judge them because of the job they have, the way they talk, or the clothes they wear. Be careful as some of the richest immigrants I know still drive their old beat-up cars and buy their clothes from Wal-Mart and only when they are on sale.

Immigrants are successful because of their beliefs and the way they were brought up. So, take a page out of their book and learn a few things because it isn’t too late for you to pick up a few useful approaches to life and, more importantly, become successful.

What other traits do you think make immigrants successful?

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  1. I don’t think the woman in the photo is migrating to the US anytime soon.

  2. Nice, that You’ve say that and yes we work very hard even in our country, not only on immigration. Best regards from Poland 😉

  3. Neil, I really don’t know why you have this picture? What this picture has to say related to topic. When I mouse over the picture it says “indian immigrant”. What is your message coming from this image? Is that indian immigrants are doing well as you mentioned in the post or they are loosers as you have said through the image?

    • You make a good point. I just changed the picture to one of the most successful immigrants. I believe he is still in the Forbes top 10 riches people list.

  4. If you really want to be successful find ONE thing your good at and enjoy doing.

    Speed of implementation is also key. Start/Finish tasks as fast and efficiently as possible.

    Plan/Research/Execute and avoid repeating mistakes.

  5. Id never thought of this before, although I noticed when I was living in UK that immigrants tended to be successful. Since I became one myself 10 years ago (in Spain) I’d agree.

    Part of it is resilience. Because you don’t have the support network of friends and family when you first move to a new country, you tend to be much more cautious about building a financial cushion.

    • A lot of them just seem to carry more drive which at the end of the day gives them more opportunities to succeed.

  6. Very true Neil. Though, I’m not an immigrant but my Grandfather was. He came to America with 50 cents and when reaching Hawaii, he threw it into the ocean and said to himself that this is where his riches will come. He was homeless for a short while but eventually built up a construction business and amassed a pretty respectable real estate portfolio. The land he collected is worth millions today but he passed before he could see it increase in value (due to illness that may have potentially been caused by radiation from the atomic bomb).

    Immigrants of every generation always work harder than those who never had to take a chance and go all in on their lives.

  7. Shardul Doshi :

    Nice Post Neil – I mean every post on your blog is nice, but this one is too good.

    • Exactly, this post is actually putting things very well together. The whole post explains the point of immigrancy at the first place! 🙂

    • Thanks, I’m glad you found it useful

    • This post presents the reality at 100%. Immigrants know what it means to barely survive every day and they know how to save money and they will fight hard in order to make money.

      • They are acustomed to hard work and dedication. When they put their focus in the right direction, good things happen.

  8. Winston Muller :

    Wow, kind of true, and just today I heard two people talking about the difference in work ethic between those people who didnt have much and work hard to those who got it easy and dont have any drive.

    Immigrants usually have it tough, so they “work it out”

    • Yes, it tends to be that way….because of their former life, they’re able to work much harder.

  9. Dwight Zahringer :

    I agree and disagree to an extent. Immigrants do possess a different work ethic than those of born-Americas. Their upbringing, lack of economy, food, shelter, etc (whatever hardship they are raised in that we are privileged to here in the USA) makes them who they are.

    They are exposed (with the birth of the internet even more) to opportunity in the USA and take initiative to achieve more because they came from less.

    America, in general has spoiled us and taught us to take things for granted – immigrants may have not had this privilege.

    I have had immigrants work for me and I can say they do work harder, but not all is equal to make success. Dialogue, English slang and their interpretation of certain business practices do sometimes make up for the differences in benefits their hard work offers.

    • It also depends on how clever they are and what they’re willing to do to make it on top.

    • I quiet agree with this. Immigrants do more work because they have to set all the things up as they have nothing in other country so that they work more. Of course I appreciate their hard work.

      • No they don’t sell all the assets in their home country. Usually opposite they invest back and they leave some apartments or houses or some farmlands where their parents or sisters and brothers with families live. Because it common that people live from generation to generation in the same house and farmland, not to say about US where people move from place to place every five years, so they don’t intend to sell that assets.

  10. Howard Morin :

    This is good Neil. Having workied all over the world, this really hits home. Just look across the lake to Bellevue/Redmond and most people can see this story first hand.


    • Yeah, I would think it hits home for a lot of people. It’s interesting when you really think about it.

  11. “free temporary living” yep!

    When we came here my aunt took in over 19 of us. It was like 5 families in one three bedroom home in Queens. Within 7 years, all those families had their own house. Thank you soooo much for this one Neil.

  12. James O'Connor :


    Great post and thanks for sticking to the reality of the matter at hand. I just graduated from the University of Maryland last year and started my own company. Since starting it, something I have loved from the beginning, I’ve noticed my work ethic completely change. I work another job while everything fits into place so I end up working at least 80hrs per week.

    I see too many people around me who work as a means to an end, but without the drive of immigrants because they focus on all of the non-essentials in life. I’m not saying that having fun and enjoying life is something to scoff at (not at all, in fact), but there’s something to be said for actually creating value for customers day in and day out. I think the current generation has truly lost sight of that for the most part.

    I enjoy nearly ever post you write but this was the first that really hit upon a nerve of mine (in a good way). I wish most of my friends and colleagues could see the value in working hard and creating something beyond a 40hr punch card.


    • The 40hr work week is unfortunately programmed into many of our heads. It take a lot of courage, skill, and motivation to break through and past it.

      • Hilarious,

        Success in life is NOT working more than 40 hrs a week. Success is being happy and if you were as courageous, skilled, and motivated as you think you are you would know that we have to work to live, not live to work. A sad life I imagine you live.

  13. Sounds like you might have misread 4HWW. It’s about working less but making infinitely more while (at the same time) bettering your quality of life. Mo’ money + no life = no good!

    • I read it… I just wanted to plug the book because I thought it was good. I probably should have chosen my words more wisely.

      It’s a great book!

  14. You just bought a new light to immigrants, didn’t think this way before.
    nice one. 🙂

  15. Deyson Ortiz :


    Great article, make me feel as I am the lazy as all heck, compared 🙂

    Time to but some fire under my butt..

    • Well hopefully this lights a fire under your but, or some immigrant is going to come take over your job!

  16. This completely true Neil. Most of the immigrants, migrate some other country just to make a better living. I mean i think that’s the point of migrating unless you’re running away from a war or something.

  17. I believe that immigrants work harder because they appreciate the opportunity.

    Why do immigrants own all the gas stations? because people who were born here don’t know how? No, its because immigrants see the opportunities and take advantage of them. People who were born in American or those not raised with an entrepreneurial mind set don’t take advantage of the opportunities.

  18. Totally disagree. You are talking about indian immigrants who came in 80’s or maybe the one for whom the only opportunity is to work very long hours, either they lack education or something else. The people (immigrants) I know of work a healthy 40hrs or less and make a decent wage, are growing and are successful.

    • The immigrant who is working 80 hours a week migrated 5 years or so ago. He has a bachelor’s degree and came here to provide better education for his kids.

      Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to.

      • Indeed. Most of the time, the well educationed part of the society in some 3rd world countries, are working in very hard conditions and getting paid so much less. They migrate so that they can get paid for what they deserve imho.

        • I think you’re right and a lot of people do it for that reason. Sometimes when you point someone in the right direction, they accelerate.

  19. Hi Neil,

    You said, “Immigrants don’t come to this country to do what they love; they come here to make money. Happiness is the last thing on their mind because all they care about is making money.”

    yes this is true, but do you think this is correct ?

    “Now the big difference between immigrants and you is that in life you were taught to do what you love.”

    don’t you think that doing what you love will make you more happy, and yes there are also rich people, who have become rich, by doing what they loved to do, and i feel thats the best thing.

    i know what you are telling is absolutely correct, for immigrants, they just have to think about money, but sometimes, life seems to become miserable, running behind money.

    i’ll say, if you truly get an opportunity to do what you love, and even get paid for it, then go for it. at first the pay might small, but if you truly love your work, you’ll surely progress financially also. Once people are happy at what their are doing, they, on their own find ways to grow up.

    Thank you

    • At the end of the day… if you have no money, it’s difficult to still be happy here. The more you can make…. the more you can give.

      • yes Neil thats true, but that doesn’t mean you just keep running behind money, and make life miserable, money is really very important thing in life, but you can find people, who are also happy with little money, but again thats not my point, i just wanted to say, do what you love to do, yes as an immigrant at starting stages, you’ll have to arrange for finances to settle up, but once you are settled, try looking for something you would love to do. and that will surely make you happy, and also as for finances, once you are happy in doing what you love, you’ll find your way to grow up in finances and in every thing you want to 🙂

        • Well you can do what you love, but you just may not make the money you’re hoping to make…. Most immigrants are simply interested in making money to support their family.

  20. Web Design LA :

    Neil even I agree with Suhail. Immigrants should not only come to make money but should also love and give that country whatever needs to be. You should be ethical and generous towards your immigrant country.

    • Well whether you think that it’s supposed to be like that or not isn’t the point. It’s the fact that they come here to make a lot of money to take care of their family.

  21. Website Development in Kildare :

    Immigrants do have a sense a of responsibility .. i mean they know that what they are here for.. and they can’t just let it go because xxx people at their home place are dependent on them.

    Great post.

    • Right, and that’s why they’re so motivated to take action.

    • I could not help but agree bro. No matter what happens,, immigrants do what he needs to do to succeed. Everbody back in his country including his neighbors is depending on him. 🙂 Immigrants usually envisioned themselves going home to their own country like a conquering emperor. I myself an immigrant. A Physical Therapist by profession in NY. Came here to america with just my fake jansport backpack and now owns a condo in NJ and run a rehab facility making more than $120/ hour. Reality- Fact

  22. Signs Tulsa :

    I agree with the reasons that immigrants are successful in the US.
    Another reason, at least for those that start businesses, is the low level of government interference compared to other countries.

  23. Hey guys – while you’re going through some money-saving and money-making tips & tricks, check out Urban Spoils at http://www.urbanspoils.com for some exciting everyday deals to strech your dollar. Just like an immigrant!

  24. Another great post Neil. As you know i’m not an immigrant but as a marginalized black man I am often treated less than American. The great thing is that I was raised and live with similar behaviors with a mix of Tim Ferris’ style. Marginalization can be one hell of a motivator.Good seeing you in the OC. Next time lunch is on me.

  25. This is why I’m gonna Immigrate soon. 🙂

  26. Yogesh Sarkar :

    Nice post Neil, I guess immigrants work harder, because they have so much more to lose. Not sure if US provides immigrants with social security, but I have a feeling, it doesn’t. So for an immigrant living in US, loss of earning represent not only a possible loss of food and shelter, they might as well be shipped back to the country they came from, where they had probably paid a lot of money (either on education or for getting abroad) to get to the point they are at and let’s face it, no one likes to end up at square one.

    In any case, people here (in India) already work so much (even government working hours are a minimum 40 per week) already, that working almost same if not more for a hell lot more money, just seems justifiable.

    Which kind of reminds me of the time I used to work in a technical support call center here in India (Compuserve) and used to get paid US$ 200 a month for 42.5 hours of work each week and for measly sum of Rs. 100 an hour (US$ 2.5) for unlimited overtime (to make up for the shortfall in call volume), I ended up doing 121 hours of extra work in the span of 3 weeks!

    While that practically ruined my social and family life (used to take around 3-4 hours to go to office and come back, after all that work and had no off days), I did managed to get more than double my salary as overtime and that was a big thing for a 20 year old like me.

    Of course now I run my own business and concentrate on finer things in life than simply slugging it out, however my past experience has taught me how to work hard and I can still slug it out for 2-3 days without sleep, if the situation demands.

    • I very well agree with you Niel. Even today the same work overload is the same in fact even increased. Employees are overworked for peanuts.

    • Good for you that’s a lot of stuff to go through. I don’t think its’ wise to go with out sleep though. At the end of the day, it’ll do you more harm.

  27. Really Nice Post Neil. But somehow you are implying that life in Home country is not good. That’s not true. Slugging it for H1B or other temporary visas isn’t worth it. Instead I think new trend is to focus on business : do one thing, but do it the BEST. I am seeing a new trend in INDIA specially in Higher Middle Class where they are really hesitant to migrate and instead focus more on doing in their home country.

    I may be an eternal optimist, I think few smart ones who stay in INDIA and going to yield big rewards. Next gen of Riches will rise from countries like INDIA and China.

    • I’m not saying that home country is not good, I’m referring to the people that have migrated over to the states.

  28. Great post!
    I’ve seen a lot of hard working and successful immigrants from China, Vietnam etc. in Finland. And yes, they do work much harder and longer days than Finnish!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Email Marketing City.com :

      I can second that – Canada being so diverse, it amazes me how many immigrants are working the hours that they do.

    • Yes that’s great and always interesting to come across. It should shed some light on you on how much harder you should be working.

  29. Asela de Saram :

    So true Neil… but there is another aspect of this subject which I would like to shed some light on, that is Dignity of Labour (http://www.crystalaxis.com/blog/dignity-of-labour). Most immigrants happily work 40-80 hours a week, because there is no one to judge them while this would not be true if they were in their own countries.

    One of the many inspirations in my life were books ‘Abel & Kane’ and ‘Prodigal Daughter’ by Jeffrey Archer.

    • hmmm, that’s a very interesting point to bring up. They don’t care about what others have to say as much.

  30. Brian Kevin Johnston :

    Very nice piece… As a Recruiter who has placed many immigrants, I agree with you….

    “Immigrants are successful because of their beliefs and the way they were brought up.”

    I personally can’t do anything I don’t LOVE (including mowing the yard/outsource that!), BUT the difference is I am willing to work HARD/LONG Hours to achieve my goals…

    Our culture will entice you to believe you are “entitled”, so the powerful politicians, brands can get you in debt, and “own you” for life…

    Best, Brian-

    • Very true… you can locked up into debt pretty easily. It takes a strong minded and focused person to avoid that riff.

  31. latest gadgets :

    Immigration recently has been a major reason for population growth in countries such as America and Australia…Nice write-up!

  32. Janine Libbey :

    I’d like to add “gratitude” to your list. My grandparents were immigrants and they were extremely thankful for the opportunities they found in the U.S. This sense of gratitude and awe was transmitted to their children who continue to feel it today. Being grateful for and taking advantage of opportunity is something that those of us who are native born often overlook.

    • Being grateful for what you have rather than what you want is entirely a different yet positive mindset. One anyone and everybody should adapt.

  33. I do agree with your opinions Neil. Maybe not the entire wording, but none the less I see where your coming from.

    I’m very happy to say that a fellow immigrant friend of mine, 10 years into this country has amassed himself a good portfolio which includes owning 3 dealerships, Mercedes, Ford, Toyota. Coming to this country with no money and dream, I’m proud of the example he sets in the African community.

    I think too many people are still hang up on this magical phrase, “love” what you do, and will guard it with their lives. For some, it may be their barrier to wealth. Let’s face it, that’s what most people want. When I took in $40k monthly paychecks, I was not concerned whether I loved what I did, I found something that paid well and today, it’s given me the option to do what I love.

    We don’t know always know what we love to do. That’s fine, it’s okay to pick something totally new, put your head down, focus, knowing later it’ll give you the option to do everything you love. But give me a break with the do what you love and the money will follow only mantra. It just doesn’t work for everyone guys.

    To Neil, thank you for a great post.

  34. Andrew @ Blogging Guide :

    All the things you’ve said here are true. It’s not their fault that they’re really working hard, it is what life taught them.

  35. Email Marketing City.com :

    I’ve also read in a book called, “Outliers” that immigrants are much more disciplined by their parents, making them go that extra mile in their education. As you outlined above, education is a key role in what a person will make in their lifetime (more or less, there are some exceptions).

    • hmmm, that’s very interesting. I agree that them being raised differently (generally speaking) they’re able to push themselves further.

  36. You just bought a new light to immigrants, didn’t think this way before.
    Really nice one.

  37. Now we just need more H-1B visas

  38. Great article.

    “Love what you do” and “having passion” always seemed kinda grandiose to me. I figured out what I’m good at, interested in and has profit potential and became an expert at it to make money. I enjoy my business successes and I believe that the products and services I create do improve my industry but it doesn’t make the operational grind effortless or enjoyable. It’s a lot of hard work that requires “immigrant” discipline not so much passion.

    Didn’t realize that I thought this way b/c I’m an immigrant. Makes sense. Thanks!

    • Lol, it obviously have to deal with something entirely different but yes it can be one of the reason you’re a stickler to what you do.

  39. viral marketing :

    This is pretty interesting. I also noticed some immigrants here in UK who don’t speak a word of English but still manage to provide for their families, whereas homeless people with perfect knowledge of the language and sometimes better education can’t get a job. Or maybe they just don’t want to.

    • It’s an interesting world we live in isn’t it? Language can be something that can take your far and beyond and then if not used properly it can lead you to no-where.

    • I too saw people who did not speak English, worked as many hours a week they can get. Worked as janitors or whatever they could get hired to do, then bought SEVERAL houses in Southern California with the help of their family such as a sister or brother. Some worked in construction while also working in a factory. They learned the masonry or carpentry or roofing trade, all while still working their main job. Some started their own businesses. Some businesses failed but they just tried again. One from Vietnam, joined with another immigrant from a different country (India) started their own business. They eventually became successful. I have seen Americans born here, be to proud to work as a janitor but not too proud to take free money as in welfare or food stamps. We have to look at what our children are doing and find out what they think to correct this cycle. “There is a book called The Principle of the Path,” by Andy Stanley. It points out that no matter what your hopes and dreams are or how much you pray for something, your actual path will take you where that path leads such as (in my own opinion): being unprepared for college or even high school or getting pregnant before marriage or getting a prison term for stupid crime or crimes. (I did not read the book, I listened to him on Youtube.) We must make our children study with the TV OFF! ( I personally would rather not even have a TV when children live in the home. We must somehow instill a great work ethic in our children. Many just do not want to work for some reason. Who dropped the ball? I see a great number of Medical Doctors from India, Pakistan, and Africa, in the USA. I see success in elderly people born in the USA who were living during The Great Depression of 1929. My own Dad was in that, never learned to read but he started his own business more than once. He left a great legacy that inspires me and other family members. We can not be too busy to see what our children are doing and thinking. I met an Hispanic immigrant who had a teen son that did not have the work ethic as his Dad. The teen son was a criminal. …….I hope I did not get off the subject. I just have been noticing the high number of medical doctors from India and wondered why many of our own American born people are clueless and lazy.

  40. Thank you! What you wrote here is so true. Immigrants are successful not only because we work really really hard, we also bring fresh perspective to this country. We generate new ideas, bring diversity and help spread cultural understanding. We stick together in time of hardship and bring the human touch that sometimes is lost here because people are so isolated from each other. I think we can all agree that people are much more willing to work together when they are in the same situation.

    I feel sad that too many people here don’t understand that. All they see is that we are stealing their jobs that they don’t even want to do.

    • People see and believe what they want to see and believe. More often than not it’s just people being people. Either way ignore what they say and do what you need to do.

  41. Sorry for the second comment, but I forgot to mention one thing. There is nothing stopping us from doing what we love and still make good living out of it. The main difference here is that we are willing to do things that we don’t like now, so that one day we can do what we love.

    • For some I think it’s a powerful statement that definitely applies. It just comes down to what you want and what you’re willing to do to get it.

  42. sell textbooks :

    I have also heard that when you are an immigrant you can set up a business and and not be taxed for five years. It helps them get a leg up. On the down side, they tend to not have to pay taxes because they can turn it over to a family member and get the same help for five more years. I wonder if this is still true? There are so many different grants and funds out there to help immigrants the trick is finding them.

    • I would consult with a professional first but there are many different tax advantages and loopholes people can take advantage of.

  43. Ryder Kenerson :

    In agreement. I recently read “The Millionaire Next Door” and in it the authors describe immigrants the way this article has. They go further by supporting their claims with data. Immigrants have fundamentally different philosophies on what it is to work and be successful and are driven in ways other than to acquire material possessions.

  44. I suppose the people who agree with you are either lazy Americans (if you are only referring to immigration in America), or immigrants in America who believe they work harder than Americans.

    First, Americans are immigrants. Our families migrated from all over the world with nothing but lint in their pockets. They worked hard for meager wages just like any other immigrant so future immigrants could have a decent way of life. They were/are wise + frugal so I do not know of whom you refer.

    Second, you are not even defining “more successful”. That makes this entire passage a shot in the dark. From a guy who promotes data analysis, where is the data?

    Lastly, the goal should be to work smarter, not harder, and America is a bastion for intellectual development and discussion. Hence why so many immigrants come here for school.

    I chalk this under the needed something to write so tried for inspiration but in my opinion, it did not quite work out.

    • You make some great points. Next time I’ll have to use more data when writing blog posts… I have a tendency to not include data within posts which is a really bad habit on my end.

      Thanks for the feedback… it will definitely help me write better content.

      • sell textbooks :

        More Data would be nice, but I think he missed the point. I find immigrants an impressive group of people, while i wish there were more legal than illegal, they work really hard and for less than it is worth. We as a whole are quite lazy and expect the best with out having to really work for it. Immigrants on average, are not wasteful, work hard, and don’t have much to show for it because they are under paid, overworked, and send money to members of their family.

        • They have a tough life and they do whatever it takes to give their family options they themselves weren’t able to experience.

  45. I believe that immigrants work harder because they appreciate the opportunity.

    Why do immigrants own all the gas stations? because people who were born here don’t know how?

    • Email Marketing City.com :

      I don’t really think its not knowing “how” to run a gas station that stop people from starting a gas station, I think its more of a career choice – they don’t want their university degree to go to waste so they choose to work 9-5 for someone.

      • Running a gas station is a lot harder than it sounds… I think people are just not interested in working.

    • They don’t have opportunities nearly as gigantic as what they can do here.

  46. This is completely true Neil. Most of the immigrants, migrate some other country just to make a better living. I mean i think that’s the point of migrating unless you’re running away from a war or something.

    • And sometimes that is the case…. and more often than not, it was that deciding factor which leads them to the opportunities they weren’t even expecting.

  47. Well, I would like to refer to Spencer’s phrase with regard to Darwin’s theory of evolution, “Survival of the fittest”, best suits for the immigrants. I feel that the immigrant is under tremendous pressure to adapt to the new environment, new people, culture, weather and many other challenges, and they know that they got to be fit/best to become successful. This attitude gives way to many sacrifices, and they start counting each day of their arrival and push themselves.

    In fact all human beings whether natives or immigrants do have the natural instinct of survival strategies, however the natives take things for granted such as the support from relatives (parents), friends and government. This support rarely exist for immigrants and that is what they are intend to build in the future.

    Another thing i feel is the dignity of labor, which has lot of influence on locals than immigrants. Immigrants hardly hesitate to take up any job, that can make them earn few extra $$, the same job which locals show their back. Immigrants take every opportunity that would help them to achieve their goals.

    It is not just survival challenges for the immigrants, but also to achieve something including the recognition in the new country. They are willing to take up any job under law and eventually build their own businesses.

    I would also like to highlight here that, only the first generation of immigrants are hardworking and the same level of commitment lacks in the following generations. Because, the following generations are again at the luxury of support of their friends and family, in other words they are no more immigrants, and are locals enjoying the privileges of social benefits.

    Good reflection Neil.

    • Very good point…. the first generations were raised entirely different that everyone else so there work ethic wasn’t really a choice. With all the options that are now available, people are confused with what to do, how to survive, etc.

  48. Excellent article.

    Working long hrs (70+) at a given job is common even with any white collared salaried person – US born or immigrant so that alone is not the criteria.

    The frugality, willingness to do any work, learning new things, keeping eyes and ears open for new opportunity and willing to take risk can make anyone a millionaire as pointed out in “The Millionaire Next Door.”

    Immigrants have to survive w/o safety net so they had to focus on these traits. USA is possibly the only country that is so open to anyone who is willing to work hard and smart w/o need for connections to begin with – which is not so easy in other countries – particularly in developing countries. This is the beauty of USA – the land of opportunity – http://samaw.com/high-school-drop-out-indian-millionaire-in-the-us/745.

    Indian immigration happened around end of the 18th century with farm labor – mainly from Punjab and many Napa Valley farms are owned by those who came then. But then the anti Indian sentiment grew much in 20s that legal USA citizenship gained by them was taken away.

    The next wave came with LBJ’s Immigration policy. Indian immigrants, over other Asian immigrants or South American immigrants, had a slight advantage of knowing English (even with accent) and those who came (like I did) in 60s to 80s also had higher education and came for still higher education which made a difference.

    Today out of ~2 million Indian American there are about 11% millionaire vs. 4.46% of the entire 330 million of USA population.

    I think, though students in USA from India is still the largest, many are no longer eager to remain in USA . India opportunities have opened up. USA has the highest number of Billionaires, but the rate of new Billionaires is higher in India and China.

    Possibly half of USA Nobel Laureates are immigrants.
    Students going back is a loss to USA’s intellectual capital and entrepreneurial growth.

    One trait in this 1st generation that you missed is the sense of gratitude for USA to get the opportunity. A negative trait in 1st generation is lack of community giving and involvement in general – that giving is more to the home country. Second generation is different.

    The key is that the USA is the land of opportunity and the lack of safety net made the 1st generation immigrants prosper.

    Jay Shah

    • Thanks for the insight Jay, I know what you mean. I agree that there are a lot of Indian millionaires and a lot of it has to do with the tremendous amount of opportunities that are now available that weren’t available before.

  49. oh, please, if my life was anything like you described I would have never emigrated 🙂

    • I wasn’t saying it’s every immigrant, but a lot of them. It all depends on how much time, effort, and energy you put into it.

  50. Software Testing :

    Very nice piece of article As a Recruiter who has placed many immigrants, I fully agree with you!!

    “Immigrants are successful because of their beliefs and the way they were brought up.”


  51. What a Gujju way of looking life!!!!!
    Not everyone leaves their country just to make money, and also the fact that you balantly made a statement, that the rest of the world is taught to do what they love and not immigrants.. what a pathetic way of understanding.
    If that is the case, when people do what they love, they achieve a lot, rather than those whose sole purpose is to make money.
    I would also like to make it clear to you Mr Patel, that there are millions of people out there, who immigrate, to learn and work for what they love..
    Having said that, I have seen scores of Gujarati’s here in London, whose main aim was to make money, like you said.
    But I do not agree that they are all successful. To top it all, having millions in your bank account doesnot make you successfull.

  52. But as he said “Neil Patel July 1, 2010 at 5:32 PM
    It also depends on how clever they are and what they’re willing to do to make it on top.”
    Bottom line, Immigrants leave their homes for opportunities that are not available to them. As a first born I’d like to think I can appreciate what my parents did coming over here. Working at pizza hut to pay for diapers. Today my parents are successful scientists. As a first born, I wish I had the capability to continue their drive.

    • Wow, what a great little story…. it’s interesting to see what can happen over the course of several years.

  53. Nice post!.
    One more reason to think of,
    Although fellow immigrants help the new ones, there are also a tendency to look down new ones in terms of their look and other stuffs. It makes the new ones to feel, that the only way to proof themselves worthy is to be financially successful.

    • I think that’s the case sometimes, but I believe that most are very helpful. It’s really hard to generalize that.

  54. Great post Neil.
    I’ve seen a lot of hard working and successful immigrants from China, Vietnam etc. in Finland. And yes, they do work much harder and longer days than Finnish!
    Thanks for sharing!


    • It has a lot to do with the life they’ve been accustomed to, which is usually much more difficult.

  55. mydivabydesign :

    This is such a great article. I think that the attitude here is that “I just got out of school, where is my job?” and when they don’t get one immediately they are shocked. No one is guaranteed a job. Parents and schools don’t teach this. I remember in school they just assumed everyone would have one. They said things like, “When you work at a job, then…………” I even heard a college student on the radio one day say that we are supposed to rely on the government to provide everything for us. Really? I don’t want most of what the gov’t ‘gives’ out! I closed a business because I was sick of working for the gov’t. In my own business! My husband and I are teaching our children to rely on themselves and that if they want something they have to earn it. It is so much more satisfying that way!:)

    • Wow, that’ amazing. It’s very great of you to do something that most people won’t do and that’ teaching children actual skills they can use to strive in this world.

  56. Nice. I think some immigrants have a better work ethic than other Americans that have be in the country for generations. But it varies from culture to culture with some cultures have better work ethics than others.

  57. Wow, kind of true, and just today I heard two people talking about the difference in work ethic between those people who didnt have much and work hard to those who got it easy and dont have any drive.

    Immigrants usually have it tough, so they “work it out”

    • They are use to a different work ethic which is why they have the potential to strive.

    • Immigrants work because they want to make money while people from well developed countries that don’t know what it means to be poor don’t have to care about what they will eat the next day…

      • It’s not that they don’t have the desire to become successful, it’s just immigrants weren’t exposed to a lot of things which gets them excited.

        • They do want to become successful, but their main concerc is the wealth of their family. They don’t know what it means to go on vacations, to buy a new car if you want to, to buy a bigger house and this is why they work harder in order to achieve all this.

          • It’s definitely a new feeling to them as they’ve hardly ever been exposed to it…. it’s one of those things which only occur in “the movies”…

            • For them it is like a dream come true. For their benefit it would be better if dream would last forever 😀

              • It would lol, but nothing lasts forever. That’s why it’s critical to keep that hard work ethic moving.

  58. plumber sydney :

    It’s a global thing to see immigrants that work harder than the locals. I’ve had this conversation several times with me mates. You’ve covered some pretty good points in the post which actually back up some that I’ve made. Can;t wait to forward to my friends. Thanks.

  59. Neil, I enjoy reading your articles and this one is no exception. However, I think you missed the boat on this one. I do not believe that being an immigrant and sucess in the new country are correlated. What I believe makes a person successful is the person themself, which is directly based on their upbringing, education and a multitude of other factors. There are just as many successful Indians living in India as there are successful Indians living in the States (replace Indians with any other country). The mindset required to work hold and hold a good moral and ethical outlook on life has nothing to do with where you are living. That all being said, there are some countries which definately more conducive to success.

    • They aren’t the only ones who’ll become successful, they just have an entirely different work ethic that would do really well here in America.

  60. Houston Web Designer :

    I absolutely agree with what you have said here.

    I know many people closely who are immigrants in the United States and are very very successful

    When they come here they work so hard that they put everything together to work for 12-13 hours a day. I have seen many people like that. Once they work like this for 2-4 hours they save a lot of money and then start investing in a business.

    Once the business gets going, they go on getting another one and this way the chain continues.

    They are real hard working people as they have seen back in their own countries the difficulties they have gone through and don’t want there future generations to face this.

    So Hats off to hard working immigrants !

    • Web Design LA :

      I really agree with this. People immigrating to US works for more than 15-16hours and earns a lot from their. They forget everything their life and all. Just earn and make money and after few years they start doing business their.

    • Indeed, they are interested in putting in the hard work and energy to make it happen.

    • They are doing this because they know there is no other way for them. Living in a poor country doesn’t offer you to many options. They want a better life for them and for their family.

      • Having the options is what it’s all about. Now the internet has definitely given a lot of immigrants options they didn’t have before too.

  61. Software Testing :

    Ya..Immigrants do have a sense a of responsibility … I mean they know that what they are here for.. and they can’t just let it go because so many people in their home place are dependent on them..


    • There whole family looks at them for success. The have a lot on the line, including their reputation.

  62. I love this post. I am first generation American. You are right on every single one of your points. My parents live in the 1,000 square foot house for the past 31 years. I remember my African American friends would joke about Jamaicans having two or three jobs, like it was a BAD thing. Jamaicans help each other out, stick together and owns the most homes than any other ethnic group (remember reading that somewhere).

    • Software Testing :

      I agree with GI jane..Even I am an American but I never seen any american cracking jokes on other folks.. Probably you might have faced this only.. Also I fully agree that jamaicans help each other a lot.

    • Well that’s great to know that the look after one another.

  63. David Tavárez :

    For inmigrants it’s all about money. If you are an inmigrant you love the money because in ours countries money means power and influence.

    Have money means that you can buy the toys that your parents could never buy, the places that your could never know and the life that you always dream.

    And inmigrants love to work.

  64. “With that money they can provide a better future for the family and most importantly provide their kids with the things that they never had.”

    Ehy… isn’t that love? 🙂

  65. Nice post!.
    It makes the new ones to feel, that the only way to proof themselves worthy is to be financially successful.

  66. I know that there are a lot of successful immigrants out here but I would also like to point out that tere are also a lot of unsuccessfull one. A lot of them are also hardworking and frugal and industrious but they seem not able to uplift they life. I wonder why. I have talked to some of them and they told me that breaks are so hard to them because of some things i.e. racism, opportunities, understanding and a lot more. They also believe that destiny and a little bit of luck might play a little bit in those departement. 😉

    • I think that luck has a lot to do with it… the more you do and the more you’re out there, the more luck you’ll have.

  67. Seems to me that Neil Patel is referring to his parents, relatives and other immigrants from state of Gujarat. It may be true that most of them came to US to make money and better materialistic life. Most of them don’t have qualified education hence in order to make more money they do take-up 2-3 jobs and work for 80+ hrs. Don’t take me wrong, many of them have achieved commendable successful – running their own gas stations and motels.
    This pattern does not apply to majority of immigrants from southern India. Most of them have professional degrees and happily employed with high paying jobs. They came here either to pursue their higher (masters or doctorates) education or directly got employed by US firms because of their skills. They tend to be smart at managing their work hours, generally less than 40 hrs and they don’t need a 2nd job. Most successful entrepreneurs in technology industry belong to this category.

  68. Try swapping rolls to look at it from the immigrants eyes.

    Imagine you want to move to another country, for what ever reason.

    How motivated are you going to be to make it work, you don’t want to go home and face your family and look like you failed. You would have sold everything and burnt the boats, so to speak, so there is no going back.

    Then there is the challenge of being excepted to move and obtaining your immigration visa.

    They have placed everything on the line, of course they are going to make it work, wouldn’t you?

    • It’s not easy thing to do, but because of the potential and opportunity, people are willing to do it.

  69. I was thinking about this a bit, one of the reasons is that they have no family or friends in their new country. They don’t care about what other people say, because they don’t know anybody.

    • That helps a lot … that’s why a lot of people decide to pick up everything they have and move…even if it’s from one state to another.

    • Do you think it’s easy to leave your home for a place in which you don’t know anybody and no one will help when you need it? You are right saying that they don’t care what others say but you have to see the hole picture to understand how hard is for an imigrant.

      • It’s not easy at all, in fact it’s super difficult. That’s exactly why they are able to push themselves so hard to make something of themselves.

  70. I would like to add an element to your list, the worst case scenario mindset… Almost every immigrant has a plan B based on worst case scenario… And we all know that the plans that actually work are mostly the plan Bs 🙂

    • For immigrants there is always a worse case scenario and that is to return to their country as they left. I am sure they don’t want that so they will work hard in order to prevent that.

      • I agree with you there… people get comfortable with the life they create or the potential to what they can have.

    • lol, that’s not always the case, but I see what you mean.

  71. This hits home. I am half Korean/half white and I learned a lot of entrepreneurial instincts from my mom (originally from Seoul). And your list hit on a lot of points that match exactly.

  72. Dude, you are really into the $$$ aren’t you? What % of Indians, in your opinion, came here to do what you say, in the last 15 years? It is mostly a phenomenon of the 80s. Maybe the west coast and your own microcosm of the Indian community are slanted in a specific manner, but your generalizations are a little annoying for Indians like me who do not have anything in common with your description.

    Have you considered people who don’t come here with an H1-B or come here so they can “feed their families”? People like me who came to study, stayed here because they liked the lifestyle and the culture. This is in spite of the fact that they are academicians (i.e. not making a ton of money) or following a route (which is “more American”, according to your hypothesis) for their own personal interest, self satisfaction and happiness?

    I would love to see the immigration numbers for the different types of people who come here. Please back up your piece with more statistics.

    No offense meant here Neil, but I think growing up in London and California, do not perhaps give you the full picture; so to make sweeping statements and generalizations is not called for. You can say all the things you said, but qualify it with the information that this isn’t true for all immigrants.

    • I would like to add that the “other” kind of immigrant that I am talking about doesn’t work less hard. They probably use their educations to work standard 40-60 hour weeks and don’t need to hold down 2 jobs.
      Also, I know of Indians who want to be more “successful”, i.e. make loads of money, to be able to show it off. So they can tell people “Oh, my son only drives a Mercedes Benz”. If material things give you happiness, then you are totally buying into the American use-and-throw culture anyways.

      Finally, kudos to all hard-working peoples of the world, immigrants or not. Nothing I say should take away from the fact that I have immense respect for the person you describe here Neil!

    • You are right, I don’t have the full picture. But I know a lot of people who are coming here to study and trying to make a good living. Yes, they aren’t rich right now, but they are on the right path. Nothing happens within the first few months…. it can take years for things to really start going your way.

      As for stats, I couldn’t find any good ones when doing research… I need to do a better job of getting stats.

  73. Hi Neil
    I definitely see what you’re saying in the article – readers need to understand though this is a bigger-picture view and is a direct result of your experience(s). We’re all shaped in part by our direct experience around us so what is true for some won’t be true for others (or not as true).

    Funny thing – on the love-what-you-do issue, your article just before this one, The 15 Signs Your Business Is In Trouble,
    you address not loving what you do as a warning sign:
    # 3 ‘You don’t love what you do’
    If you love your business you are more likely to spend more time on it. And if you spend more time on your business, you are more likely to succeed. If you’re just in business to make money, there is a higher chance that you’ll get burned out and you won’t work as hard.
    Working 40 hours a week just doesn’t cut it when you own a business. On average entrepreneurs spend 61.1 hours working each week.

    I assume people are saying, which one is right? Do I need to love or not love? Answer is: it depends on the person.

    Some people have the drive to work and work and work on what they don’t love because they see money as a means to an end (take care of family, kids education, etc.) Others can’t find the motivation to acheive the top unless they love what they do and can pour all themselves into it.

    I think some readers take your articles as A+B = Success; where really A and B are guideposts written so they can ask how or does it apply to them, but more importantly – what can I learn from this. It doesn’t matter if one agrees or not immigrants work 80 hours per week – it’s useful to know the mindset and work habits if, say, you’re selling a product to this business group.

    Regardless, great articles (guideposts) – keep them coming.

    • You hit the nail right on the head there Carl. Yes, it’s not that I’m contradicting myself, it’s that it varies for different people. You may have not had the same challenges that immigrants have and may have more options available to you. You have the ability and money to do what you love, they more often not don’t.

  74. Chris Chong :

    Thats great but what happens when it is Americans who are the ones immigrating?

  75. Rafael Cantu :

    I am a proud American entrepreneur but I have to say that sometimes I feel we take our opportunities for granted. Thanks for the thoughts.

    Always balancing,


  76. Febap Liew | Making Money Online Today :

    hey neil,
    a ‘light’ read but very very valuable in information.
    we are always so comfortable and blissful within our comfort zone that we seem to restrict our life-span activity to just that. I believe in moving out of that comfort zone. making the first step is critically difficult but i can assure you that it will be easier as it goes.
    next matter is to have the courage to take action. immigrants are courageous to try on new things as long as it heads towards profoundly onto their goal. you can see them working at MCD, the next time, a petrol station, next time, an industrial lot. they are daring to work out within their range.

    i believe a real successor do not find problems within problems. they find solution within problems. real successor are problem solvers, not procrastinators and filled with complaints.
    therefore, surround yourself with thoughts that motivates, stop complaining and start taking real action.
    you will see the change will be worth your while. =)

  77. Yea Neil

    Immigrants work really hard. What kind of business are you talking about?

    Like invest in a franchise like Dunkin Donuts or subway and have them run it and take a portion of the profits? I was thinking about doing something like that but not sure what kind of investing you are talking about?

    • I think most businesses if not any that they actually “run” require a lot of hard work and dedication.

  78. Immigrants work so hard because they often feel like they’re below American born citizens. So they work harder to prove themselves to be worthy of being an American citizen. Also immigrants have nobody else to fall back on so they really have no other choice but to work hard. They’re often relied on to send money back to the homeland and bring the other family members to the US.

    But not all immigrants are as frugal as you describe. At my college all the guys in this Indian fraternity drove BMW’s, Acura’s, and Audi’s. They were far from modest.

    I’m filipino and I know of many Filipinos that just love to show off and try to “keep up with the Joneses.” It’s all about who has the newer nice car or who’s daughter has the bigger birthday party. It seems to be more prevelant in Southern California.

    • It’s definitely not always the case but more often than not, immigrants are frugal because they usually can value money differently.

  79. It is good to have an idol in life but it would be better to try besting him and fighting for your own future.

  80. çizgi film İzle :

    Agree with RSK above. Most of my immigrants friends I know, earn money to show it off their luxury cars and living. Being in top notch s/w myself for last couple of years, now I can certainly say that it’s not about earning the money, it’s about the way you spend it.

    I know people with huge bank balance and still are not willing to spend anything even on their personal care. Whole of our life we keep saving so much money and still don’t know what we actually love which I believe is nothing less than soft killing ourselves.

    After so many years I’ve learned one thing – showoff your talent and not your money. If you really want to, then showoff your money in the charity.

  81. hmm, I think those are very wise words Himanshu that everyone should relate to.

  82. Immigrants work really hard and it is rightly said that their way of living might not be the best way but their aim in life is also completely different. I have seen many citizens of my country who envy immigrants, dont behave with them in a nice way and the reason is that the latter ones have lesser experience in terms of years and earning more but again their definition of happiness comes from their work or even if that is not the case, they pretend it that way.

    • They are accustomed to completely different goals than most people here in the states which is why our perception is completely different.

  83. Well, Its a nice points that Immigrants are taught to Love whatever makes money for them.

    • Software Testing :

      Yes thats right.. I second upon you. Its is definitely right that Immigrants are taught to Love whatever makes money for them.

    • At the end of the day, they just want their families to live a good prosperous life.

      • Yea this is actually the most important point. For them, may be happiness is what happiness is for most of the people. But responsibility of their families is foremost for them, they really want them to live a properous life.

      • They want a better life for them and to have something to offer to their children and this what motivates anyone the most.

  84. zayıflama yöntemleri :

    Nice, that You’ve say that and yes we work very hard even in our country, not only on immigration. 😉

  85. Rockstar Sid :

    Helping each other has always been of greater importance, and least do the people of same class understand that.

    For all I know, immigrants are mastermind 😉

    • Lol, I wouldn’t say all of them are but a good chunk definitely know what to do or at least what needs to get done.

  86. One more thing.. I get a feeling that 40hr week is not required, I can do the same in say 28 – 32 hr week. So when we talk about 80hr week for immigrants, they would definitely go nuts in sometime.

  87. Kerry Fowler :

    I am only talking from experience now but I have found that people who come over to the UK are (generally speaking) far more willing to get ‘stuck in’ and be prepared to work hard. Without wishing to get into semantics, I also feel that certain cultures are more willing to do this than others.

  88. Learn WordPress :

    This post was an eye opener. I can definitely see how there are a few different ways to approach life. However, I feel kind of good knowing that my main objective is to not make money. While I know money is in important, I find that having freedom to do what you love far more rewarding.

    • Plumber Sydney :

      Of course it’s important to realise that having money can buy you the freedom you desire – and as much of it as you want…

    • Software Testing :

      Exactly.. The freedom to do what you really want to do is more satisfying. You may earn more money by doing something which you probably dont want to but I feel at the end satisfaction matters

    • It’s what can do for you what really counts.

  89. Nima Heydarian :

    One thing about us the immigrants is that we’ve seen what its like not to have the freedom and opportunities that are available here and therefore value those things much more than native americans do.

    Its hard to appreciate what you have when you’ve always had it

  90. Ali Khaboka :

    So true Nima!
    I had a Russian colleague that used to tell me that kids in England don’t realise how fortunate they are.

  91. Neil,

    My parents are also immigrants from Gujarat. My father in particular is a successful entrepreneur but has always DISCOURAGED me to go that route. He did struggle quite a bit to get where he was and I understand that *most* successful business owners faced quite a bit of hardship before reaching their current level of success.

    However, he has never encouraged me to do what I love and like most Indian parents, has forced me into medical school. He says that my life will go smoothly and that my job will be recession proof. I was thinking of quitting but after reading this post where you mentioned “love is overrated” I’m starting to think that I should just stick it out. What do you think?

    I suppose I do love money because my parents have pretty much brainwashed me into caring about it so much, but I don’t like being miserable either.

    • You should do whatever you feel is best. Sadly, I can’t make big life decisions like that for you or anyone else. If you want to be a doctor than do so. He is right about business in which it is tough, but if things go well you can make a lot more.

      On the other hand a lot of businesses fail. And although the medical field does get hit by the recession, you can get paid really well and have one of the more stable jobs out there.

  92. yes , if someonne wants to make money those are very important ideas.

    im from mexico and the culture of work is very strong(sometimes i dont like it, to be honest)
    i good example is my granma, the first value she mentions in a man of her family is that he is muy trabajador(works a lot) and then after that is that he is a good man or a good husband or father


    • lol, yeah it is and that’s almost always the way it is with immigrants. That’s why so many do so well here in the states.

      • Plumber Sydney :

        It’s not just in the states either. Here in Australia it works very much the same way with immigrants from everywhere around the world.

        • Well I’m not surprised… it’s interesting what an opportunity can do.

        • Too right re: Australia. A lot of the “home grown” Australians whinge and complain because the migrants work harder than they do and get ahead, despite ALL of the barriers that are in their way like “not having family here”, “not having the safety net of mummy and daddy around the corner”.

          A lot of the home-growns are lazy.

  93. My wife is Hispanic and her family is like that too. They stick together and look out for each other. My wifes biggest value is family.

    • That’s great! I think quality is amazing and your lucky to have that.

    • Plumber Sydney :

      Family is a fantastic value to have. I think everyone should focus on family as a top priority.

      • Every should but they don’t because it’s the last thing people try to balance. People learn the importance of it sooner or later.

  94. I think that is awesome the perseverance that your mother had to never give up. In the end, it is hard work that pays off! Your mother had the insight to see that. She offered to work for free because she knew that she would be a harder worker than anybody else that they could get and she was willing to prove it by working for free.

    Great article!

    • It comes down to the will and drive you poses.

    • Plumber Sydney :

      That’s actually a great way to get any job you are after. Offer to work free for a period of time until you can make them realise they need you on board. I’ve done it myself and it works.

      • Yes…. that’s a great way to make it happen. More often than not when you’re starting off, you need to provide your services for free… at least until you’ve had a lot of successes.

    • They were went to vigorous work and labor which is why the work ethic is so easy to accommodate.

  95. “Love is over rated”

    Kind of contradicts #3 of your previous post “15 Warning Signs That Your Business Sucks”.

  96. Marshall Middle :

    A lot of what you say is true. It seems that immigrants are much more hard working than the lazy Americans. Do you really reply to every comment?

    • I do.. I think if you’ve gone through the trouble of spending your time to write a comment, it’s only right for me too ;).

  97. iPhone 4 Case :

    Immigrants mainly come to the Us to work and that is why they are more successful. They focus more on education and running a successful business.

    • They were used to that work ethic, which is why it’s so easy for them to apply it here in the states.

      • iphone 4 case :

        A good book to read is”Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell. In one chapter he talks about the work ethic of the Chinese rice farmer. What they go through on a daily basis in 10 times harder than what most Americans do in their jobs. I would say that being a rice farmer is even tougher than being in construction.

  98. Official Music Video :

    Good points Neil. Actually my sister and her husband are immigrants and they work very hard, but also have money. I agree that immigrants work to make their family happy, but they shouldn’t forget about their happiness because “life is short”.

    • I agree that life is short and that you must enjoy to the fullest. These immigrants work their butt off so their families can enjoy it even more.

  99. It is true, my family left a life of luxury for a better future here. We all work hard because we know what our family have given up to live here.

  100. Best Ski Resorts :

    Ability to adapt to changing circumstances and a foreign environment creates confidence in your abilities and skills. It is a huge advantage when you start a business. Many immigrants have no family or friends in the country they are immigrating to. Thus, self-confidence is crucial. Immigrants face many challenges in the adaptation phase language barriers, culture shock, external conditions, no family ties, possible discrimination, etc.. Ability to adapt to a foreign environment can be easily transferred to industry. All the immigrants Ive met so far is exceptionally hard-working people. They work long hours, and did not mind getting dirty. Is this something they succeed financially.

    • They have it really hard and that’s why the ones that push through become so successful. They have more resistance to pass through and they do it successfully.

      • David Kraljic :

        They succeed because they have to. There is no net to fall back on. Mommy and daddy can’t help. It is the same concept as welfare causing more sever dependencies.

        Heck – many immigrants like my family left their country to escape war or Communism. Americans have no clue what a motivational force that is.

        Maybe that is what colleges should do here – send everyone to a communist country for a semester.

  101. cataract drops :

    immigrants are more successful, there may be lot’s of reasons as you said in this post, they have a good resources and thinking power as well..


  102. Sourish @ Ipod Touch 4G :

    thats a fact not just with immigrants but those who learnt to live with fewer resources …. im glad i was not born in a rich family [though i dreamt about it , when i ws a kid …lol :P] … struggle made me strong

  103. Man, this post hit me hard. In the US we’re taught to do what we love, when really, we need to be taught to love working. Hard work pays off so much more than talent and loving what you do. Obviously there’s a balance, but in the US we need more people to realize that working pays the bills. Having fun is what you do on the weekends.

  104. Immigrants are more successful because they have nothing to loose and everything to gain.

    It all comes down to the hard work, determination and dream to excel.

    Western natives take richness for granted while immigrants have to work hard to achieve it.

    Some one said lazy Americans. Not all are lazy. You can find lazy people in every country not only in America. Trust me there are more lazy Indians than you have in America. So cheer up! Laziness is not very American 😉

    • The one’s who aren’t use to all the luxury have to hit the ground hard before they realize what they must do to rise to the top.

  105. I am with you on this one. I have had the benefit of not only living with an immigrant but to work with several of them, when I bartended at a horse race track. Not only did they work long hard hours they often had a few different jobs around the track. The thing that truly amazed me that more often than not they were were happy and always had jokes. I really enjoyed working there for that and many other reasons.

  106. David Kraljic :


    Case in point – I grew up in queens NY in an immigrant family (croatia). Half of my friend’s families where American born and the other half immigrants. The difference is amazing. Immigrants are hungry to earn. They came from a culture of work, savings and work. Americans seem to have thought they were privledged in some way. I truly believe this is a huge cultural issue for America. And that it will be a large part of the reason other countries eat our lunch.

  107. if they more successful than you, you are the responsibility for that, illegal immigrants however a drain on the economy.

  108. Marine Chandlery :

    I think it ways a lot about the type of person you are, most of the immigrants I know are doers. They don’t wait around for good things to happen, they go out and make them happen.

    • That’s definitely true. I think it has a lot to do with the lower standard of living, along with the hardship endured in their own country.

  109. This might not be too reputable of a source for me to be referring to but this refers to yet another thing I have learned from my beloved comic books: Someone who was once weak will truly appreciate power once they get it, therefore they strive towards achieving it harder than most people would. In the same sense, a person who does not have money or stability would truly appreciate wealth once they get it which is why people leave their lives and professions in their home countries to pursue a better life here. Great article Neil!

  110. Claudio @ Crime in South Africa :

    Its definantly true, immigrants may be brought up with the hard facts of life already. as far as the education goes, you dont need to be as smart as a astronaut to be successful, im pretty sure there are loads of people out there less intelligent but are more successful. Its the drive, the no bs attitude. You want to make money, you have to earn it.

  111. that’s why they should not be allowed over here like that” not all immigrants are here to make money ,You got rapper, molesters” Drug Dealers ‘ that come here jus to do those things” that why only Legal Immigrants” who earned the rt to be here should” it over 4Million if not more that should not be here!!!! that why I’m askin Oboma when he creates these Jobs who will get them? More then likely the Immigrants will !!!! And that’s Sad,for the Real Americans of this Country!!!!

  112. Immigrants come to earn for a living. They know that they can’t enjoy much benefit as compare to other residents. That is the reason why they usually are hardworking, dedicated to prove their worth.

    • That seems like a fair assumption. I know I was hard working because I didn’t have a lot growing up, so it motivated me to get what I wanted for myself.

  113. Jacques van Heerden :

    When you look at a lot of different immigrants in South Africa all of them have jobs and earn decent salaries. The people that actually grew up in SA are the ones without jobs.

    The problem is that immigrants don’t know anything besides work. They work for a living and don’t really spend their hard earned money on simple things that the normal person would.

    People without jobs in South Africa complain a lot and are trying to keep immigrants out of the country due to them “apparently” taking up all the work. However, my reasoning is that the people complaining are usually the slackers and the ones doing nothing.

    If they were actually busy looking for work or creating new opportunities they wouldn’t have time to complain at all.

  114. Immigrants mainly come to the Us to work and that is why they are more successful. They focus more on education and running a successful business.

  115. I couldn’t agree more on these points of view.
    Another example of successful immigrants: a Turk came into my town and opened a business – a Shawarma rotisserie. Of
    course he is successful, because he offers a genuine product, not like other Shawarma rotisseries in town. Yet I would add something, without the intention of offending anyone: sometimes the quality of the work shows shortcomings, because of the huge quantity that needs to be done.

  116. What absolute CRAP

    • I’m sorry you feel that way.

    • Leave Neil to his own devices.

      He’s just another mental midget exploiting people over the internet to make a living.

      Just another mentally ill immigrant with no real passions, emotion, or drive (beyond surviving, just like he mentioned in his story).

      Hopefully one day we can deport his ass back to India. Let him fart around in a high rise above the slums while he finds new ways to exploit the internet while ignoring the community around him.

      • You are absolutely right George.. And also I hope one day you can deport all other shitty Indians too. Most lack conscience and are really corrupt to the core. Many even know corrupt ways which is a good person in the west can ever comprehend.

  117. Mr.Neil u forget about lots of things………just says like indian immi. have lowest ….lowest….living standard compare to others in USA?….am i right?…..heartly…thats why they making money.

  118. I don’t agree with a lot of things said here. It is just looking at one particular group of migrants. and honesly the writer doesn’t have a good definition for SUCCESS!
    I have migrated from one of these third world countries 5 years ago but as a matter of fact, it wasn’t about the money at all and first priority was to find higher standard of life and happiness.
    I was making a lot more money back in my country.
    No wonder we have to work hard here to prove ourselves.
    Imagine being an experienced engineer looking for job and if you are lucky they employ you in the same level as their graduates.
    I suggest leave immigrants alone and don’t judge anyone either immigrant or not!

  119. Shaun Emerson :

    This is a really good article. I myself have often pointed to immigrants when discussing with people on how to become wealthy. It’s the same principle as the rags-to-riches stories you hear.

    You hear more rags-to-riches stories than you do about middle-class people becoming rich. This is usually because they have been at the very bottom, and not wanting to be there is what drives them to push themselves to constantly to better.

    Unfortunately for the middle-class, people tend to be content when they are comfortable, and comfort does not push people to do better. Instead it tells them “You’re doing good, you’re happy here. You are right where you need to be.”

    Another thing about immigrants, that you don’t see in most Americans, is that they tend to think about their lives and their goals, and they think about it in steps (i.e. this is what I have to do now, then after I have accomplished this, my next step is to do that, and then I will be able to do such and such etc. etc.) Whereas most Americans, if you ask them what their plans are, they will give you something like “I dunno.” or “whatever life brings me.”

  120. hey neil,
    here are lots of things to learn, one must follow the techniques written over here. great concepts.


  121. When one truly believes “you must be strong to keep what you have” then the likelihood of becoming injured (especially of making workmans comp claims) goes waaaaaaaaay down. What you say is true for specific demographics. It used to be ten times more likely that an immigrant would become a millionaire as opposed to natural born citizens. Are those odds still the same? Preying upon those not strong enough to keep what they have… getting old or injured is dangerous around these people. This is fact.

  122. Thank you! What you wrote here is so true. Immigrants are successful not only because we work really really hard, we also bring fresh perspective to this country. We generate new ideas, bring diversity and help spread cultural understanding.

  123. my dad and mom were immigrants, i remember the stories they used to tell me when i was a kid. i was always so scared for them, i mean they acted brave but i always wanted to protect them because when i was young i remember two times i was with them that people were really mean to them and i couldn’t do anything about it. it was only two times but ever since then i’ve never stopped thinking about what they may have faced before i came along, or when i’m not around. it really scares me :(. i guess i’m not an immigrant but i still feel like one sometimes i guess, and i don’t like being called anything but Indian, because i’m proud of who i am, and most of all my parents and all they’ve done for me. I really liked your article 🙂 thanks a lot, you seem like a good person. 🙂

  124. Although I learned a lot from this article, I have a couple of thoughts to put in : 1. I wonder if there isn’t something in between only thinking about money vs doing what you love? Do the two things have to be exclusive? 2. Another thing I notice about successful immigrants is the fact that the vast majority of them are the ‘better ‘people among their compatriots. Most of those I have met were refined and intelligent. These are pretty good assets for success. I seldom see immigrants who had criminal records or severe mental or behavioral issues.

  125. I feel that another reason so many immigrants are successful is that they are willing to sacrifice the present for the sake of the future. And many of them also willingly sacrifice their own present AND future so that their children will have better lives.

  126. iyer ashwin :

    36 yrs old postgraduate do you think i too old to immigrate now

  127. Anthony Young :

    My parents are both immigrants. They worked hard to get where they are, I can’t seem to find that same motivation to succeed. I’m 18 and work ~18 hours a week. Where can I find this success and motivation using my time valuably?

    • Anthony, I think you should just work 100% towards what you are passionate about. That will really go leaps and bounds towards making you successful 🙂

  128. I agree with you. I just read a book written by an immigrant, Believe you can by Rauzet Moustache. It’s amazing how she started from scratch and made it big. She did it by doing what she loves to do. A simple but clear technique.

  129. Neil,

    I was always curious on why immigrants seem to thrive whereas most non college educated American born citizens are not as successful. I wondered if there was a US government tax break, or special program too, but thanks to your story it clarifies what I had really thought all along.

    As you had explained, plain and simple is the word “sacrifice.” By sacrificing themselves now, they can reap rewards later. By not buying the 2014 new vehicle, like most people do, (not I, we own a 99 Toyota) immigrants who save may not be perceived as rich, but most likely have the bank accounts to show for it.

    My wife’s niece had a Godfather, who started out selling fruit from a truck, then purchased a small laundromat, then eventually bought a small grocery store, then another, then a bigger one, etc. He now owns a chain of large supermarkets in Chicagoland area.

    Anyway, much success to all those who take advantage of the American dream, that we all have rights to as well, except us lazy and free spending Americans do know the meaning of sacrifice, all we know is how to front and pretend that we are rich, by trying to keep up with the Jones’ by putting ourselves in high interest debt with our fancy gas guzzling vehicles, big screen TV’s, electronics and huge houses that we cannot afford.

    In a nutshell it doesn’t matter what race, or nationality you are, everyone has the opportunity to be successful, whether we choose to or not is another story.

    Best wishes
    Robert Ramos

    • Robert, thanks for sharing this great story and the experiences you have gone through.

      I think strife and hardship can really build a character that will never change. I think frugality is something that keeps people on their toes and never leaves them. If you have ever experienced rough times that will stick with you for a lifetime. It’s all about doing all the right things and remembering where you came from 🙂

  130. Yes Indians who Immigrate are too selfish and chase only money.. and it is because it is in their blood. If they somehow did not get chance to immigrate to developed countries they would have made that money by a lot of illegal and unfair means when in India. And this is the fact… because all they want is only money by hook or by crook. Their so called ‘Hard Work’ etc is also deceptive and they are 100% pretentious. They appear to have been successful but it’s all fake and they are talentless. They go to USA with their fake degrees – there are hardly any universities in India which actually make it to top 500 list. So with their fake degrees they convince American universities that they are actually smartest and most hardworking people out there. But in reality they only know how the system without check works and know very well how to take unfair advantage of such a system (this is because their upbringing in their corrupt homeland). ‘Helping’ other immigrants is also deceptive in a way.. these same people would never have helped one another a single penny if they both were in their own corrupt country.

    Indians have very bad work ethic where honesty, real love for what you do, true genius and ability to think and innovate is not rewarded but often stigmatized it but they successfully fake it when they are in other countries. Everything is pretentious and fueled by their greed to earn more and more money and greed of American entrepreneurs who want to hire immigrant workers for less money (but they seem to have failed at it).

    Indian immigrants have brought their corruption and deceit (although in more sophisticated form) to America.. and if this goes on like this on same massive scale — Days are not too far in future when USA will also become same dirty country like India driven and controlled by bunch of greedy and corrupt and deceptive people.


    • Prasad, I disagree with most everything you wrote.
      However, everyone is entitled to their opinion and that is definitely one way to look at it.
      Thanks for sharing 🙂

  131. (some) immigrants do stick together. Especially Indians in the form of nepotism hiring and promoting other Indians even when they’re less educated, and innovative. I work with Indians and constantly catch them looking at Facebook or the Times of India while at work. Please stop posting this rubbish that immigrants are more educated and don’t slack off too at times …such an absurd lie.

    • Thomas, sorry the article rubbed you the wrong way. I just wanted to highlight that hard work often comes from hard times.

  132. John Prentice :

    Hi Neil, I left England for France with my parents at the age of 8. I think you were right when you said that people who go into a foreign country work very hard – indeed that is what my parents did. They also taught me the importance of money making .. So at the age of 17 I started an ebay account ( getting products from China and selling them in France). Now i’m 18 and have just started a professional ebay account, and have an ebay store. But my question is, how would one increase they’re ebay traffic ? Knowing that ebay already does a lot of seo..

    • Neil Patel :

      You can’t do much other than using popular keywords that people may search for within your ebay titles and descriptions.

  133. I think that what is missing is the fact that American’s like me can’t get a descent job or career because the foreigners take the jobs but also no white American gave me very little chances as well as choices and I am white as well. But more overly I look at my life as being a descent life because my life taught me that you don’t need a lot of money in order to be happy. These foreigners make a lot of money and supposedly get money from the government to start their own business when they come over here. I have a high-school education and did NOT want to go back to school for reasons I will not state here. I live descent without that much money or working 80 hours a week and that’s okay with me. I volunteer at a food pantry and prefer to do volunteer work rather than get a paycheck. When a person collects a paycheck he or she is a slave to the time-clock and a slave to money. I don’t like being a slave to anything especially money. I like volunteer work. Problem is; does a person volunteer to go to a better place in society or prison. In many cases its prison because American’s don’t like people like me with my attitudes. They like the foreigners attitudes, and then state they don’t like them because they take all their jobs a way from white Americans, which is bull-shit because many white Americans get to retire while the foreigners take their jobs and do the work the whites of this country didn’t want to do.

  134. Immigrants do help each. I have always thought this was the reason. Especially new immigrants who transport their way of live into a small enclave within a large city (restaurants etc. which have a built in clientele).

    Most Americans would kill each other to get a penny if someone rolled it down the street (that’s not the way it used to be but it sure is now with the culture of tattling on your co-workers and throwing them under the bus being the norm). I too would like to work 60 hours a week, but nobody wants to hire someone over 50 even if I am smarter.

    However, if I were one of a thousand or so Americans isolated in some city in say, Russia. I am sure we would find a way to work together and create “Little America” over there.

    • And before the pedantic “grammar police” accuse me of not knowing how to spell, yes I meant to say “help each other” (in the first sentence) and “way of life” (not “live”). Oh well. Shouldn’t have to apologize for an unproofread rant on a blog, but I will not let Mr. grammar Troll win.

  135. Andrew Macia :

    I agree Jared, it’s a roller coaster ride. I’m from Colombia, but raised in California, lived there for 30 years. I started my business 10 years ago and now I’m running it remotely from Medellin. I use Magic Jack…It’s hard to think that something could beat their prices I’ll have to check that site out.

  136. Since I was born in Spain and growing up I saw my family going to the streets to fight for their rights. Spain did not have much immigration before the opened door policy that would suppose to bring labourers for the constructions and the job market in general! So that was fine for me, some said, immigrants were taking jobs that Spaniards did not want to apply for… but there was a little sense of “what these business men were taking advantage of was their precarious situation” and nobody cared to much… nor did I! But today I am not that convinced after all I am seeing! and I want you to know that although I am married to an immigrant and I also have friends that are immigrants well I still don´t accept some of the problems that immigration causes to the country! because nothing is for the good only!

    What I see now is a intense demand of employees (both immigrants and spaniards) that have forgot what their rights are. They are able to work for more than 40 hrs a week, to earn less than 500 or 600 a month, some even work for free at the very beginning. They never never complain about because they think they will set up their own business someday or their horrendous job position will pass on soon!

    For me the button line is this! employment, equality, social services, politics and the like are getting so messed up! Democracy is vanishing in Europe and the need for a job is a good that people would do anything to get it! What happens if we add thousands of immigrants taking them for free or for almost nothing? Teaching the rest how things can be done by suffering! where´s the power of the people to say “no, this job vacant is against all moral values?

    There´s a concept that not all people have understood yet! Most of immigrants came from countries where slavery seems to be something normal!

    on the other hand I fully disagree with – You never take “no” for an answer

    A shop owner had recently a job offer “job vacant with no salary for the first two month of trial” These kind of offers are rip offs! they never pay! it actually means that there are people in the country that would hire workers for free! so let´s call them slaves!

    Now, should we let immigrants become slaves too so we will go after them?

    Sorry for english is not my first language!

    • That’s okay I think you made some great points there.

      It looks like you’v been noticing a lot of things going on, what line of work are you in?

  137. Music Teacher :

    Sorry I deeply disagree. This WHOLE Culture of making money, money, money…is just so… crass. I am an immigrant who saw both sides of the fence…lived 30 years in India and then moved to the U.S. I was MORE successful in India, happier and richer in spirit and comfort than I now am in the U.S. I didn’t have to work 80 hours a week too (as I do now to make ends meet) or worry about a gadzillion (unnecessary) business things that never applied to me in India. I am an artist, no academics for me, thank you sir. Sad findings: Art and craft has NO value among Indian immigrants, unless its practically given to them, cheap or free. They much rather their kids focus on their study, study, study, as if everybody is just born to only be a lawyer, IT accountant or doctor! It does not even occur to them that their poor kids are suffocating!!
    Arts – if you even mention this as a living, you are the butt of jokes behind your back. What was even more hogwash I found was dubious artists who should focus on their art offering if they are selling it, also attaching their academic degrees here after their names, in their portfolio. Seriously? Why??? What has your academic degree got to do with your being a classical vocalist singer or teacher ! It showed me that a desi only knew how to respect another desi – a doctor, layer or scientist, who will add to their coffers, but if you had a God gift in music or arts, you were just a useless “white elephant”.
    What a dull life, and monotonous vocation choices Indians propagate when they migrate. I was great at studies too, but could not foresee myself as a doctor or accountant, hence it was my personal choice to pursue arts. I worked hard in India too, was easily successful, because happy to say Indians in India recognize the value of arts disciplines, but the US culture (esp. among Indian Americans) is most disrespectful to arts than any other place I have experienced so far. (and I lived in a few places before taking that last flight out here) To people without money and means, no good. Not only is it tough to be a business owner/artist here, but the hatred, seclusion, resentment and insecurity of those unhappy souls who wish to be something else here but cannot and are forced into other professions by their parents choices, and not free to pursue a career or passion they love, their resentment towards people like us, those who made tough choices, free to pursue their passion, is too much to bear . I have made the tough but correct choice to sacrifice money over personal satisfaction/ happiness any day. I saw too many round me – They long to be happy, be free, but truth is the pressure to earn more money keeps them bound, they are far from enjoying any kind of quality in their lives. Sorry, this chase just after money without inner peace, It has eroded the true sanskriti of India and its tenets. Our ascetic Indian sages lived on very little, true, but it was not aimed as a ‘save up’ for a college education at a fancy private college for their 2nd gen. kid, so he could give them maximum ROI (return on ‘investment’) but instead, to allow a human being to distinguish from their wants and needs. This is the only correct reason for being frugal and less consumerist as written in our scriptures. For the most part, the immigrant culture does not represent India or Indians truly.
    Immigrant beliefs, needs and work culture are way different from Indians in India. The only thing that hit home about this article ( “I will see only what I want to see”) is the fact that Indians only come here to make pots of money… and care about little else.

    • I know what you’re going through. I’ve gone through things like that for myself as well as a bunch of my indian buddies. There is a place for art and commerce to go together, but it takes lots of hard work, patience, persistence etc. etc. It’s not easy being an artists, in fact it’s really fucking hard. However, if you really love what you do and are passionate about it, you’ll be able to figure it out

      The internet is the place to make that dream become a reality. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask

  138. Being an immigrant myself in Canada, this is so true!

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