If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. True? Probably.
But how do you get started?!
Fifteen founders from London were in NYC this past week for a trade mission hosted by Grow London and London & Partners. I was invited to join what turned out to be a very candid session on how to get going in the NYC startup and entrepreneur ecosystem.
Here are 5 of the things I've learned on my journey so far:
⚓️ 1. Active Anchors & Dormant Ties
I moved here with no job, no work permit. Not recommended. But whatever your status, do whatever you can to have a few good humans already anchored here. Also, don’t be scared to tap your dormant ties - they’re those once-close connects that quietened, yet would be delighted to see you back in their inbox. Sketch the map early.
⛹🏾♀️ 2. Your All Star Team? Think Moneyball
They're not the most glamorous, but the most valuable things I did early on were to get a lawyer and accountant. I went with independent, entrepreneurial types for legal and accounting - they understood my path and helped me build out a network. Later, I pulled in a bigger name law firm for more sizable and complex stuff. Laws and taxes are very real.
💬 3. Become Bi-Lingual
Uh? Both cities speak English, right? Kinda. But they’re also two very different languages. Text, body language, pacing, all of it.
Got a pitch deck? Change £ to $. Switch to S to Z.
Get in line, not the queue. Don’t go too dry. Be up not down.
Learn - and respect - the cues. Because all the pieces matter.
🦈 4. Forward Motion (in the Ocean)
NYC is a constantly moving organism like no other. Take ten meetings a day if you’re so inclined. Sometimes you may need to.
Perhaps, you can channel your inner shark (just a very friendly, community-minded one). Sharks get a bad rap, but they always move forward.
Don’t be afraid of going for what you want. Take the direct path. Keep emails crisp. Use fast twitch muscles. Play it tight.
👏🏽 5. Reciprocity Rules
Speaking of reputations… New Yorkers are awfully rude, aren’t they? No, l think not. Just busy. In fact, there’s a real culture of supporting others.
Ask questions. Offer ideas. Think laterally. Be generous. You may be surprised. It all comes around.
🛩️ 6. Bonus tip
Take the 8am option from JFK to London. Red-eye flights suck.
What have I missed...?
Plenty, I know. Please tell.