When the paisans before me came from the old country, with only a couple lire in their pockets, they had the drive and determination to make it any way they could. It was almost impossible to get a job, let alone a decent antipasti, but they worked with sweat and tears to carve out a piece of America. Most of todays youth generation either forgot or don’t bother to know how their ancestors made it up from the bottom. A hint: It wasn’t sleeping until noon and giving 60% in the workplace. The only ones who still understand the mentality of the hustle are the opportunistic people who come to this country with that same American dream and hardworking attitude. Forty hour weeks?Marone, they’ll find a way to fit 40 hours in a day if they have to. Fresh from the shores or from south of the border, immigrants today out-hustle and outperform the young stunads who were born Americano. And it’s only a matter of time before these lazy punks are replaced by the new kids on the block. Some advice for them: Try a little immigrant hustle of your own.
The Underdog Mentality
We all know some stunad who walks around like he has something to prove, but in certain instances, that mentality is what leads to success. Immigrants today are coming in as the Davids in a world filled with Goliaths. They’re the underdogs, and with everything they do, they’re trying to prove they have the traits of a big dog. It’s the right kind of chip to have on your shoulder. Most kids today don’t have that mentality. They’re trying to prove that you can get by in life without putting forth all your efforts. If a guy has the balls to walk into my office with that frame of mind, he’ll be lucky to get a gig switching out the urinal cakes.
Stronger Relationship With Their Families
In my line of work, family is everything. Not only because blood is thicker than water, but because family values extend outside of the close-knit circle of relatives. Kids coming to this country today have the strong familial ideals I talk about, representative of the immigrant hustle. They understand the need to respect their elders and care for the ones who need caring for. They also know the importance of their name. I tell my men: you were born into this thing, strive to make others born under that same name proud. Respect those before you, stay loyal and know your responsibilities — they’re traits lost with the youth.
Willing To Do The Work
You want to work a 9-to-5 job? Get a mop and broom — those are hours for the chumps. Every job worth having requires more than the normal punches on the clock. Immigrants today understand these demands. They have the reputation for working the shifts the primo uomo turn away. It’s not because they’re desperate; they’re just smart enough to realize you have to pay your dues to make the right wages. Nowadays, you ask a kid to pull overtime on a Friday and he calls his union delegate. Marone, they’ll be in their mid-level positions until the day they die. Their bosses will be the kid who punched out at midnight.
A Real Sense Of Community
Whether you’re picking up a box of cannoli on Mulberry Street, or a pint of lo mein in Chinatown, the feeling stays the same — community. Immigrants continue to understand that it’s a game of “I scratch your back, you scratch mine.” It’s the truth in business and in life. You work together , you yield better results. The same immigrant kids who are forming after-school study groups grow up to form successful businesses; they’re always looking to help one another. On the contrary, American kids are stuck in the rut of an individualistic mentality. Me, me, me, me. My crew and I got to where we are today because we worked together. If it was any other way, we’d be in the obituaries instead of making headlines.
Get Your Hustle On
As these hardworking kids come to the shores of America, the lazy cafones who’ve been here since birth will continue to complain. “They’re taking our jobs, they’re taking our money.” Guys go ubatz with every new arrival. But the truth of the matter is, the immigrants are the only ones who remember what the American dream really is. You have to work hard to play hard. It’s about more than just you, and it’s about more than getting by. My advice: Follow the lead of your new neighbors before it leads to them taking over your job.