Powered by the American Dream
There's just something about Americans that makes you want to spill your guts and tell them your dreams. Maybe it has to do with "manifest destiny." (Vocab point, thank you US History in 11th grade!) It's in their/our blood to cheer you on and say, "Go! Go! You can do it! You can do anything!" If you're reading this and thinking that my description is a bit over the top, then that's because you've never revealed your dreams, plans and goals to a Swiss person.
Bless their soul, Swiss people want you to know all the facts before you embark on your journey. They are realistic, taking it upon themselves to warn you about the difficulties and obstacles you may or may not encounter, and walking you through your decision to follow your dreams.
When SO Many Words was in its early stages, I talked about it with people on both sides of the Atlantic. Americans' responses were positive. They made me feel bullet-proof! But they never asked deeper questions - the why or how weren't interesting. It was all about the what and that the end result was going to be what I wanted: SUCCESS!
When I told people in Switzerland about my business plans - mostly my relatives - they were quick to warn me that it would be hard work, it would take 2-5 years before my business would be successful and I would have to find my own clients. And, my personal favorite, they asked why I would want to leave a job that pays me well. I don't think their intention was to steer me away from my decision, they wanted me to see the whole picture. They were telling me the things they would want to know if the roles were reversed.
Traditionally, Swiss people are a bit on the conservative side. They play it safe - just ask any Swiss how insured they are.
Americans like to know all the doors are open to them. And if a door isn't open, well, they'll sure as hell find a way to knock it down.
Which is better?
Oh, that's not what this is about. I mean, it was tough for me to deal with what I perceived as negative reactions from my family. But it did make me stronger and it taught me to stand up for myself and my business. In the US, I would have enjoyed deeper conversations about my business.
So here is my takeaway: I'll take the best of both worlds, please. I'll straddle the line between gung-ho and cautious, taking from one side when I have too much of the other. I'll be realistic but powered by the American Dream. A vivid dream that includes financial freedom, independence and burgers.
*send in the eagles*
Actually, let's make that fondue.