Several years ago, when this site was still in it’s infancy, I wrote an article entitled “Big Fish, Small Pond.” In recent days, I have been thinking over that idea again, and I had a few thoughts about it, which is why I am writing this article.
You may feel a bit put off by the title of this article, but truth is, the title kind of sums up what I am thinking about, although it is really not anything negative.
In the “big world” picture of things, the truth is that most of us, nearly all of us are pretty inconsequential in terms of the world. Now, if you are the CEO of General Electric, or the President of the United States, or somebody on that kind of stage, then yes, you can make a big impact on the world around you. If you are like me, and the vast majority of people… well… the truth is that you really won’t be making a big impact on world happenings.
In my original article on this theme, I talked about a time a few years ago when I was a speaker at the 1st Annual Mindanao Bloggers Summit when it was held here in Davao City. I talked about how, if I were still back in the States, I would not have such an opportunity, because frankly, if I were in the USA, I would be virtually unknown. However, living here in the Philippines, I have managed to build up enough recognition that I can have some impact on my community, and I do get a relatively large amount of recognition. But, this article is not about me, I only use my experience as an example for what I really want to talk about here today.
You see, the thing that is on my mind is mostly business. A lot of you tell me via e-mail, and even in the comments here on LiP that you really, really want to move to the Philippines and live here, but you just don’t have enough money to do so. Well, perhaps you should think that over again. You see, here in the Philippines, the “pond” is much smaller, and as a fish, your size will be increased. What I mean is that there is a lot less competition, depending on what you want to do, and also you have some inherent advantages that you would not have if you are back in your home country.
What kind of advantages? Well, for one, the simple fact that you are a foreigner is an advantage here. It sounds a bit strange, but it is true that many local people in business consider the fact that you are a foreigner to mean that you are “better” in business or whatever endeavor that you are following. I have a friend who is from Europe and has been in business here in the Philippines for well over 20 years now, and he always tells me that his “white skin” is one of his primary assets in business. It sounds racist, and perhaps it is, but it is also a fact here. Many people here feel that if you are from somewhere outside the Philippines, you have more exposure to your area of business, and that your increased exposure means that you are better in some way. When you have such a built in advantage, even though the racial overtones may make you feel a bit uncomfortable, it it an advantage that is there for the taking.
So, if you want to come here and start a business and succeed, you have a number of built in advantages. It makes you start out as “somebody” or “something” even though back home you really were nothing, just the same as everybody else.
So, think it over, and if you really want to live here as badly as many tell me they do, consider that there will be advantages available to you, and decide how you can exploit those advantages and use them to be a success here!
So, going back to the title.. no, I don’t think you are nothing! But, I do think you can be a lot more here than you already are.