Leaving your baggage behind you

Dan Sullivan, creator of the Entrepreneurial Time Management System, recently made a claim in one of his seminars that immigrants do better economically, and entrepreneurially, than their native counterparts. Having lived in multicultural societies my entire life, and being a migrant entrepreneur myself, this idea conformed with my assumptions.

It turns out that in the UK at least, statistics back this claim:

  • The average earnings of many immigrants from outside Europe have overtaken those of people born in Britain. A British-born person in the UK living in a house with two or more adults but no children can expect a median disposable income of 25,647 ppp, while someone born abroad in a country outside the EU living in a similar home could expect to earn 26,267 ppp.
  • Immigrants, on average, are less likely to be in social housing than people born in the UK, even when the immigrant is from a developing country. Only immigrants who became UK citizens are neither more nor less likely to be in social housing than UK-born people.
  • While just 10.4 per cent of people born in the UK start a business here, 17.2 per cent of migrants in Britain have started their own company.They are also younger, with migrant entrepreneurs 44.3 years-old on average compared to 52.1 for those born in the UK.

Sullivan then provided a reason: Immigrants do better than their native counterparts because they (metaphorically and physically) leave their baggage behind.

This sounded interesting to me, but I haven’t yet found any research to suggest this is true. It does make for a good analogy though.

You can consider the concept of “leaving one’s baggage behind”  metaphorically, to mean leaving the past behind, to make room for the future. Sullivan claims that people do better when they open themselves up to new challenges, whether out of necessity or choice.

Anecdotally, I can confirm that people with less experience in their roles tend to be more open to new ideas than those with more experience. I’ve attributed this to the idea that it’s easier to learn something new than it is to unlearn something old. Those who have the experience, need to not only learn the new thing, they also need to unlearn what they know, before they can learn what they do not. It’s as if they have to throw out the trash first, to make room for the new stuff.

Just imagine that: leaving everything behind and starting anew with only what you can feasibly carry or ship. It requires a significant amount of courage to do that, and perhaps that’s correlated with the courage required to take on new challenges of any kind?

Leaving, or throwing out, your stuff behind can be an anxious experience. For many of us, our stuff defines the parts of who we are. Our stuff reminds us of the memories of our former selves, which we might not yet be ready to let go of. My weakness is books. I can be a book hoarder, and I’m loathe to get rid of them. The very prospect of removing them gives me a vague sense of also removing the knowledge I’ve gleaned from them.

95% of the books I keep, however, have very little relevance to what I am seeking today. I don’t refer to them. I don’t learn anything new from them. These books simply take up space; space I could use for more books, ornament, or nothing at all, but space.

I’m lucky, however, that I don’t have the same attachment to ideas, or ways of doing things, techniques, or assumptions, that I might have with my books. If I did, I’d have shelves and shelves of old ideas blocking the new ones, and I’d not have been able to do even a small percentage of what I have, if that was the case.

Get your Practice Marketing Score

Take our FREE “Practice Marketing” quiz. Get your score and benchmark yourself to practices around the world.

Find articles on:

What our clients say…

“In a matter of weeks, we already saw results with LiveseySolar. Far before we were even finished with our project.”

Erik Chotiner, MD, FACS, Ophthalmologist

“The whole group has been very, very professional. We’re quite early in the stages, but we can see the benefits.”

Dr Nick Mantell , MBChB FRANZCO

“They’re very professional. They know what they’re doing, but they also put us at ease. This helped us to cut through what’s needed to get what we want.”

Mr Praveen Patel, MA (Cantab), MB BChir (Cantab), FRCOphth, MD (Res)

“It’s wonderful to work with an agency that engages on our level and understands our market.”

Dr Anton Van Heerden, MBChB; FRANZCO, Ophthalmologist

Get your Practice Marketing Score

Take our FREE “Practice Marketing” quiz. Get your score and benchmark yourself to practices around the world.

Meet our Founders

We’re passionate about helping leaders of high-quality, growth-minded practice owners double their practice revenue

Rod Solar

Founder & Scalable Business Advisor

Rod co-founded LiveseySolar and acts as a Fractional CMO and Scalable Business Advisor for our customers. He’s on a mission to help transform the lives of 10,000 people with vision correction surgery by 2024. To achieve that, he inspires his customers to make confident decisions that will help 50,000 people take the first step towards vision correction.

Read more

LiveseySolar completely transformed the way we were approaching this… We’ve gone from having just the dream of having a practice to having a practice up and running with people making inquiries and booking for procedures… It’s extremely pleasing. We feel lucky we connected with LiveseySolar.

— Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO, specialist ophthalmic surgeon and founder of VSON and OKKO

Laura Livesey

Founder & CEO

Laura Livesey is the co-founder & CEO of LiveseySolar. She has developed powerful refractive surgery marketing systems that increase patient volumes and profits for doctors, clinics, and hospitals, since 1997.

Read more

Rod and Laura know as much about marketing surgery to patients as I know about performing it. They are an expert in the field of laser eye surgery marketing. They know this industry inside out. I believe that they could help many companies in a variety of areas including marketing materials, sales training and marketing support for doctors.

— Prof. Dan Reinstein, MD MA FRSC DABO, founder of the London Vision Clinic, UK