After arriving in the US, fresh-faced and excited to live my dreams, it was really easy to get overwhelmed and caught up in the fast life. And sometimes that did happen to me in small ways here and there. But it never completely consumed me because of my commitment to focus on two things – the reason I came here in the first place, and staying true to my identity.
When I decide I’m going to do something, I do it no matter what. I do not allow limits to hold me back. That is precisely how I felt about coming to the US to be an entrepreneur. In France, there are limits. Limits in capacity to excel, limits in mentality regarding what is possible, limits in everything you can imagine. I wanted to be the best and being the best requires having the best chance at success. For me, living in the US meant I could make things happen and take them to the next level.
Any immigrant can attest to the temptation that often comes with being a newcomer – the risk to lose your self and give up everything on the way to becoming somebody that matters in a sea of strangers. Having grown up among a family of immigrants, I was prepared for this phenomenon and my parents were a perfect example of how to stay true to yourself and where you come from, even in a new place.
Being conscious of the existence of this risk to lose my identity is what truly saved me from succumbing to it. Living with respect for my family, pride in myself, and where I came from was always more important than any fleeting success I might have been offered. The people closest to me – those that really knew me – always kept me in line too. People like my mom, brothers and close friends from home really knew me and could tell if I was changing for all the wrong reasons. They were not shy about telling me and I really relied on them for feedback.
Even though I’ve been here for years now with a family of my own and roots in this country, I am still guided by these principles. Every day I still focus on why I came here – to give myself the best chance to be the best without limits, as well as keeping myself in check to make sure I am maintaining my true identity in all I do. These principles never get old.