My favorite sport is politics. Whenever House of Cards launches a new season, I binge-watch every episode on Netflix. The past 18 months of the election process have been like watching a sporting match without a referee. Everyone had an opinion on these presidential games, even America's top CEOs.
For most adults, this was possibly the most negative time in our lives with animosity from the campaigns spewing through social media and across countless channels. The past few weeks have been nail-biters, and the commentary was cringe-worthy.
Now thousands of Americans are posting their thoughts about fleeing to another country. It will be interesting to see how many U.S. citizens actually do emigrate to Canada and other countries in response to this election. While there's uncertainty about the future, the "what ifs" of the new regime are not troubling to everyone.
Yes, there are legitimate concerns about what the new administration will mean for businesses based in the U.S. and around the world, but America itself hasn't changed. There are so many thoughts running through my head, but above all, the idea that this election will change everything about America is baffling to me.
If anything, the election results just reinforce the notion that America is the greatest country in the world. I'm not worried, and I'm an immigrant. As an immigrant entrepreneur, I'm going to continue with business as usual.
Immigrant entrepreneurs are the epitome of the American dream. A bit about my American history: I came to the U.S. for the first time in 2002 when I moved from India to get my master's at the University of Alabama. I knew very little English. To learn how to speak the native tongue, I rented television shows from Alabama's library. Everybody Loves Raymond, Friends, and Seinfeld helped educate me on American sayings.
After I earned my degree, I found myself working at Deloitte as part of their Enterprise Risk Services organization. As a consultant, I was traveling the States and learning everything about American culture. I was fascinated by simple things like someone holding the door open for you when walking into a building, even if you're three feet away from the entrance.
Polite gestures like this completely blew me away. People actually stop at a stop sign even if there are no cars! That doesn't happen in India. I was amazed at how people smile at one another all the time, welcoming and embracing them with open arms. This type of behavior just isn't the norm in my home country.
Now that I've been in America for almost 15 years, it's easy to recognize all the great opportunities businesses and entrepreneurs have that aren't available in other nations. I wouldn't trade places today with anyone else.
Having the opportunity to work for companies like Deloitte, working at Pardot when we were acquired by Salesforce, and now launching my own startup with 75 employees and growing, I don't think I could have been this fortunate in any other country.
I want to see Americans rise above the cynicism. Let's not make this election an excuse for not pursuing your dreams and doing what you want to do with your life.
Make a promise to yourself today that you won't use the election results as an excuse! Promise you will continue to follow your dreams, hug your neighbor, hold that door for someone you don't know, and smile because you have every opportunity possible on earth to succeed!