Lessons from Cross-Cultural Marriage: Entrepreneurial Spirit

A friend once said to me that all marriages are cross-cultural.  And there is certainly some truth to that statement.  The journey of marriages raises all kinds of questions like, “What do you mean you’re unfamiliar with a family songbook?”

Recently, I have been giving some thought to lessons I have learned specifically because I married a Latino immigrant.  I have written in the past about greeting others and kissing them on the cheek, but I decided to consider other ideas and begin a short series over the next few Thursdays. 

I will note that it’s certainly possible that a person could learn these lessons outside of a cross-cultural marriage, but my experience frames these traits within that context.
Lesson 1: An Entrepreneurial Spirit.

I am a relatively practical person and like to thoroughly think things through.  I’m not necessarily a risk-taker like one of those people who drives without headlights at dusk…  

However, in the four years of my marriage, Billy and I have made multiple attempts to start businesses or launch projects.  At this point, most all of them would not be what the average person might consider “successful,” but don’t worry… we have many more ideas in the works!

The city of Dayton, Ohio recently documented that immigrants are twice as likely as others to start new businesses in communities.  It’s one of the reasons this city is reaching out to immigrants with hopes of spurring their local economy. 

Putting my personal experience in the context of a larger picture, I easily recognize that Billy has carried an entrepreneurial spirit into our life together.  Before we met, he had owned and operated a taco cart, started a business creating personalized merchandise for other businesses, and organized a touring hardcore Spanish Christian rock band (narrow genre = faithful following). 

In fact, something I heard at the recent G92 Immigration Conference asserted that people who migrate are self-selecting.  In other words, it takes a certain kind of risk-taker and challenge-embracer to actually take the step to relocate to another country.  It very well may be one of the reasons why these same individuals are so likely to start businesses.

I deeply appreciate the city of Dayton’s creative and innovative approach around the issues of immigration.  In a time when many states are choosing to criminalize immigrants, it makes a lot of sense to me that others might ask, “How can we engage the strengths of those traveling here to improve our society for all?”

In our family, it means you can be on the lookout for the next new business plan over breakfast!

For the next post in this series, click on!

1 comment

  1. What a great perspective! I live in a richly immigrant neighborhood that, unfortunately, is run by drugs not creativity. I love your perspective and Dayton's perspective on immigration issues. I think I can look at my neighbors differently knowing how difficult it would be for me to get up and move my whole family.

    Nicely written! Thank you for sharing.


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