The Secret to "making" it in New York & any where else in this global economy

On Thanksgiving weekend, I went to New York City for 4 days. It’s a city of contrasts – from the highest paid world-class professionals working in the arts, entertainment, fashion, medicine and business to all those struggling to survive, hawking knock-off Gucci bags, Rolex watches and hotdogs on every corner. There is a saying; “if you can make it there you can make it anywhere!”  I wondered…what is the secret to “making” it in New York?

I think I found the answer at a deli.


Shopsin’s General Store on the lower east side always has a lineup.  In fact, we were the last group that was “invited” to sit down on that particular day. Kenny Shopsin is the ‘classic’ New Yorker. Think Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi, but serving up over 800 different options, including his classic macaroni and cheese pancakes. He is an equal mix of artist, entrepreneur and philosopher with a dash of pure cockiness. I admire Kenny for living his life and doing his work genuinely, meaningfully and authentically. All-in-all, he’s a likable character. There is terrific documentary, “I like Killing Flies” about Kenny Shopsin that I highly recommend. 


What is the answer to making it? Be yourself.


Unless you are totally yourself you will never survive. The competition is incredible! But there is no other YOU out there. What do I admire about Kenny? He has the courage to be totally himself – foibles, fears, talents and all.


Who wins out of this? We all do.


New York has been built by people who have the courage, work ethic, tenacity and attitude to pursue their dream. This city is a microcosm of the global economy. In every city and town, on one corner, you have a true original with a line up out the door and on the opposite corner, there are people hawking copy cat ideas and products, struggling to make a living. You choose.


You are not a resource, talent or commodity – you are unique and important. Be an original, there is only one Kenny and there is only one you


You may be asking, Alan but how does this work practically? I need to support myself and my family. Listen to my podcast with one of our clients, Debbie Trenholm founder of The Savvy Company. She shares her very practical journey from commodity to uniqueness.


Be yourself, find your niche and do it well. The world is waiting.


CareerClass | Webinar – Get the Right Career Right Now ! Invest 1 hour of your time to help manage opportunity in your career. Join me Tuesday Nov 8, 12-1 P.M. ET. This complimentary 1-hour workshop is based on my book, The Canadian Job Search Kit Take control of your career, all from the comfort & convenience of your own desk. Limited to 50 participants. Click to register


Looking for help with your personal brand? Who’s your career coach? Need help with a professional resume, job search, and interview preparation? Invest in yourself – get the edge in this competitive job market. Take a small step and book an initial coaching session with me.


I love New York, along the road with you!




P.S. Ever considered working in the wine business? Debbie, my friend, career coaching client and founder of Savvy Company is hosting an Importing for Pleasure or Profit seminar in Ottawa (Saturday, November 19) Friends of CareerJoy get a $40 discount by clicking here


P.P.S. CareerClass|Live. Want to know how to choose & maximize an MBA? Join me on the MBA Tour. I will be speaking in Montreal Monday Nov 7 3:45 – 4:45. Click for details