Stop Talking About Moving to Silicon Valley and Just Build a Great Company Where You Are
Founder Institute

Amen Adeo Ressi! The Grass is Not Greener in Silicon Valley!

We who call ourselves entrepreneurs may well be the most vulnerable class to such deficit thinking. Adeo, your wise article puts facts and figures on the old adages of, “Bloom where you are planted,” and “The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.” Similarly, Russell Conwell’s remarkable story of, “Acres of Diamonds,” evokes a message that needs to be learned anew by generation after generation, especially entrepreneurs.

Why does any person think, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence?” Is it ingratitude? Is it seeking advantage? Is it low self-worth, self-pity and lack of confidence? Is it being oblivious? Is it displaced priorities and values? Is it entitlement?

Chances are the answer is a psychological algorithm composed of all those factors and then some. The entrepreneur, however, is blessed with a special “gift” that like nuclear power can be used productively or destructively.

We’re wired to “find a need and fill it.” We look across the societal landscape and see gaps — opportunities longing to be addressed. And we act productively!

We also act destructively because our “gift” far too often extends into our personal life and business leadership. We too easily fall prey to thinking the reflection in the mirror is also in need and must be filled to be complete in order to compete. Professionally, we see the gap between where our business is and where it can be. As you describe, we think we must be in the wrong geography when really we’re in the wrong place emotionally. The effect is swings from bouts of intrinsic motivational fast-paced highs to demotivational lows brought about by fabricated deficiencies– the grass is greener in Silicon Valley. (Only, if you can afford the rent on your apartment!)

Money, like people, needs a job.

Every entrepreneurs plays the game, “If I only had a million dollars.” As an entrepreneur and advisor to many other business leader I’ve learned that an abundance of money in a business tends to stymie creativity, innovation and agility and all but the most fiscally disciplined enterprises. Money, like people, needs a job. Idle money makes for idle leadership, i.e. throwing money and people at problems instead of using ingenuity. Think Rocky III and Eye of the Tiger! Yo Adrian.

Make The Tough Shift

Entrepreneurs who make the decision, the tough shift, to operate 100% complete in person and in business arrive at a healthy place from which to operate and succeed. We become the business equivalent of MacGyver making do with what have at our disposal to advance our situation, regularly and repeatedly. We’re dependent upon no one, but every resource around and available to us is a blessing. Honing this ability invariably creates opportunities and relationships.

When we’re firmly focused on the reality of what we have to work with today, then we’re not devilishly distracted on the fantasy of waiting for what will be when. Yes, make plans. Yes, have aspirations. Yes, yearn for improvement. But act in the here and now.

In short, we mature. (If you don’t want to grow up, then don’t start a business. While we’re at it, also don’t get married and have kids, either. The world has enough problems without more adolescent adults.) We learn that the grass is green where we are. We learn to bloom where we are planted. We resolve to advance one day at a time. And as we do, our pastures grow and our blooms bear fruit. Our lives and work express our inherent meaning and profitable service. We’ve found a gap and filled a need in society, but more importantly in our souls.

Choose a point of view. Adeo confronts you with the facts. And I concur. Choose to see the abundance or the scarcity that surrounds you. Both are present in the market as well as your soul.

Choose well because you will be focused on one or the other! And one day you may be a Chief Leadership Officer!