Land of the Free by Jim Stoval
I am very proud, pleased, and blessed to be an American. These weekly columns are read by people literally all around the world. I have been contacted by Winners’ Wisdom column readers who live in dozens of different countries. On several occasions, I have been contacted by readers who are citizens of countries that I was not familiar with and was, therefore, compelled to sharpen up my geography knowledge.
Opportunities abound here in America. No matter what you may hear in the media, it is easier and simpler to become wealthy in the United States today than ever before. Tax advantages and investment strategies exist that allow everyone with a little bit of discipline and diligence to become financially independent.
Throughout my travels across the country and around the world over a number of years, I have conducted my own informal research into immigrants’ work ethic and financial success. My curiosity began when I met a Somalian immigrant who was driving me from the airport in San Diego to the resort where I was speaking. He and I struck up a conversation and became friends. Over the past 18 years, I have made more than 40 trips to San Diego for speeches on the same resort island, and my Somalian friend has been my driver on every occasion.
When I first met him, he had just arrived in our country and was working diligently to save enough money to bring his family from Somalia to America. After several years, he reached his goal but continued to pursue his own version of the American dream. Today, I’m pleased to report that my Somalian friend who will shortly become an American citizen owns a fleet of limousines, a gas station, a convenience store, and equity in several other businesses throughout southern California.
When he arrived in the United States, my friend did not know our language, our culture, or our business environment. Today, he speaks fluent, if heavily accented, English; engages in the best of our culture while still having a passion for his African heritage; and has become an astute and shrewd American businessman. If you were to judge my friend’s path to success from the streets of Somalia to the lifestyle he enjoys today, you would realize that any high school graduate in the United States is more than halfway up the mountain my friend has climbed. He spent over a decade just getting to the starting blocks where most of us begin our careers; but nevertheless, he has become the envy of many Americans who are convinced that my friend is lucky or found some secret to success.
His success secret is the same one you and I can utilize. Believe in the American dream, and work hard.
As you go through your day today, remember 95 percent of the people on earth would give everything to be where you are.
Today’s the day!