Here’s a story about a new friend I made today.
Jay arrived in the United States when he was 28 years old. I learned he was from Pakistan and came here with a hope of a better life as he drove me to O’Hare Airport this morning. After hearing part of his story I instantly respected this new friend.
Now in his forties, Jay owns a limousine company and employs about fifteen drivers and is living ‘a better life.’ He is happily married to a Wisconsin girl named Joyce and is grateful for the opportunity he has in the United States. Jay knows what it’s like to be hungry, scared and now free.
Here are a few things I gleaned in our 45 minute car ride:
- It take massive ‘stones’ to be an immigrant. He knew no English, knew no one and only had $2k in his pocket. Jay was advised by someone to come to Chicago because that’s where the most opportunity was. The most important thing according to one friend was to “give the black men your money or you will die.” Jay made it to Chicago, paid $24.50 for a cab ride to a dump hotel found a job….and hasn’t died in any of his encounters with black men.
- No job is ‘too small’ or beneath me. “I knew it was easy to make money in America,” said Jay as we rode to O’Hare. “I got a job on the South side selling imitation apparel.” He worked hard, saved his money and four years later opened his own jewelry store. He saw a job as an opportunity.
- It’s not the end when things go wrong. Four short months after opening the jewelry store the economy took a dump. To shorten a long story, he shut his doors. After debts were paid he had $6k left to start over so he did what we all would do in that situation…took a vacation.
- You need to get your head right so you can think straight. Taking the vacation and clearing his head gave him the idea to drive a limo just to make some money ($3k left after the vacation). After a few months of driving, he realized he loved driving people…mostly talking to people and eventually leased a car and started his own limousine company. Even though Jay’s jewelry store didn’t work out, he knew he was in America and that there was always opportunity. Jay said that America is like a big lunch buffet. “You get to choose what you want to eat. You can chose a crappy life full of junk or you can choose to live a healthy and vibrant one.” We get to pick what we want to ‘eat.’
- You need to take control of your business & not assume things will work out. This was my first ride (of many more to come) with Jay. Even though he has fifteen drivers, he wanted to pick me up at 5:45am on a Sunday morning. I asked him why when he had others to do it and he said, “You were referred to me by Angela and this is your first ride…it needs to be perfect.” Even though he has built a business that can run without him being involved in everything, he knows enough to stay involved and get face time with his clients. He knows when to take the lead and when to delegate.
Jay is a great example of the MOTOR Mindset. His uncommon attitude and work ethic don’t go unnoticed by his clients!
Finally, I asked Jay what the key to winning in America is…his answer didn’t surprise me.
“Hard work and honesty.”
Today, make a decision to win. Decide to MOTOR against the negativity, obstacles and naysayers. Take your diapers off, pull on your grown up pants and attack your dream!