The dream for a better life and more opportunity is universal.
Many of us are driven to become someone greater, or to achieve something better for ourselves or our family. For those of us crazy and determined enough to persist with our vision, we remove and overcome whatever obstacles are in our way, so that the pathway to our success becomes more sure.
Nothing can stop us.
The American Dream exists for people like you. It exists for those of us who feel that they can’t realize their potential nor accomplish their goals where they are.
The United States of America has provided generations of individuals and families the impetus to reach out for something more, the hope and realization that in fact it is possible. It’s undeniable that millions of immigrants settling in the USA over the last 4 centuries have accomplished far more than they ever could have imagined.
Today we honor this dream and tradition of becoming American, and continue our profiles of famous and wealthy immigrants.
Let’s take a look at 3 highly successful immigrant entrepreneurs:
- The co-founder of YouTube: Jawed Karim
- The prolific athlete, actor and politician: Arnold Schwarzenegger
- The Condo King of Florida: Jorge Perez
It’s most likely you watch your news online. And when you need to learn something, your first stop is probably YouTube. Do you remember the first time you used it? Where did it come from?
YouTube is the brainchild of US immigrant programmer Jawed Karim and co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley. After his first major success working for PayPal, Jawed, Steve and Chad created YouTube in 2005. You may recognize Jawed from the original YouTube upload “Me at the Zoo”. Jawed was the tech programmer that ensured the platform worked smoothly. The buyout in 2006 by Google for ensured financial freedom and has allowed Jared to pursue his dream of finishing his studies in computer science.
Jawed, a first round AirBnB investor in 2009, is also a shareholder in Yventures, Reddit, Eventbrite and Palantir.
Read on to learn more about the tech wizard Jawed.
Jawed’s Story of Tech Genius
Born in East Germany in 1979 to Bangladeshi and German descended parents, Jawed was exposed to tech from an early age. His father Naimul was a researcher and his mother Christine, a biochemistry professor.
The family moved to West Germany in 1980, then to Minnesota USA in 1992. Part of the reason for that cross ocean transplant was due to the xenophobia they encountered in Germany, the other reason was to get more access to a wider range of opportunities in their professional careers.
As his mom Christine Karim said in this New York Times article from Oct 2006:
“To develop new things and be aware of new things, this is our life,” Ms. Karim said, explaining her son’s interest in technology and learning.
Mr Karim attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, partly because it was attended by the co-founder of Netscape, Marc Andreessen. He dropped out in 2000 to join PayPal in its formative years. 2 years later, when PP was purchased by eBay, he made his first millions, while also making the choice to finish his schooling. During this time, he pitched the video sharing idea to his former co-workers from Paypal, Steve and Chad. With their help, YouTube was born with the famous first upload “Me at the Zoo”.
Because of his desire to continue his schooling, he retained an advisor only position at the new firm to allow more time to focus on his studies. A year later, in 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion where this time he made a cool $64 million.
From Multi-Millionaire Back to School
Jawed now spends his time investing and advising various start up tech firms. Throughout his career he has chosen to stay out of the limelight, but that does not take away from his success.
From his parents sacrifice and vision to move to another country to make a better life, Jawed seized life by its horns, made significant contributions in our modern world and in doing so became a tech legend.
His choice to continue his schooling even after reaching the height of riches, reflects his family values and traditions.
From The New York Times:
David L. Dill, a professor of computer science at Stanford, said Mr. Karim’s choice [ in returning to school ] was unusual.
“I’m impressed that given his success in business he decided to do the master’s program here,” Mr. Dill said. “The tradition here has been in the other direction,” he said, pointing to the founders of Google and Yahoo, who left Stanford for the business world.
GOVERNOR, ATHLETE and ACTOR
When you think of someone unstoppable and almighty, you may well imagine Arnold.
His famous Terminator quote “I’ll be Back” is an accurate reflection of his super successful life across many fields:
- Champion Body Builder
- Box office breaking Movie Star
- California Governor
- and Cultural and Political Bridge Builder.
How does he do it? Where does his strength come from? Read on to find out how Mr. Universe was born…
Arnold’s One-of-a-Kind Story
Born in 1947 in war torn Austria to a Nazi father, Arnold’s first years were not pleasant. His parents were strict and his father abusive. Arnold didn’t fit into his father’s expectations and he dreamed of leaving and becoming someone, of becoming rich.
He started working out seriously at age 14 and began competing shortly thereafter. He won Mr Europe Jr. In 1965, and 2nd in the 1966 Mr. Universe Competition. In 1968, after winning his first of 3 Mr Universe titles in 67, he moved to the US at age 21, to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
The next decade saw Arnold become the world’s most famous bodybuilder. He won the Mr Olympia title 7 times in 10 years. He wrote books, contributed regularly to magazines and became a celebrity.
By the end of the 70’s he started his film career with the films Pumping Iron (1977) and Conan the Barbarian (1982). This followed with the immensely popular Terminator (I’ll be Back), its sequels as well as Commando, Predator, The Running Man and Total Recall all in the 80’s. Having now become a box office superstar, Arnold continued in the industry in the 90’s before entering politics in the early 2000’s.
In 2003 Mr. Schwarzenegger became Governor of California until 2011. A Republican billed as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, Arnold was popular throughout his terms.
On top of his successful political career, he has also been successful as an entrepreneur:
- Bricklayer boss
- Real estate investor
- Restaurant owner.
If you really want to know how he does it all, check out the amazing video below…
“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”
Giving Back, Arnold Style
After a wildly successful career as athlete, actor and politician, Arnold has spent more time giving back to others. Some of his causes and philanthropic projects are:
- Ambassador at the Special Olympics
- Advocate in the fight against Climate Change
- Chairman of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy
“I’d like to personally welcome you to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute website where our mission is advancing policy not politics as we seek real world solutions to the challenges facing society.”
CONDO KING OF FLORIDA
When you look across the Miami skyline, you can thank Real Estate Mogul Jorge Perez for what you see.
Jorge has single-handedly helped shape the Florida urban landscape through his affordable housing developments as well as his many condos that dot the cities. His contributions in the real estate and cultural sectors have led to an incredibly friendly investment profile in Florida. And, his extensive philanthropic work in the cultural and art world is well received by the residents of the Sunshine State.
His accomplishments in Florida real estate go back more than 40 years. Read on to discover more about where Jorge came from.
Jorge’s Amazing Story
Born in Argentina in 1949 to Cuban parents, Jorge moved to the Miami Florida in 1968. He completed his Bachelors in Economics before finishing with a Master’s in Urban Planning at the University of Michigan. In the 1970’s he worked as an economic development director in Miami before entering the real estate world and becoming a developer.
His first projects as founder of Related Group in 1979 were as builder and operator of low income housing in Miami. From there, he began focusing on rental apartments, before his current emphasis on high end condominiums in South Florida, Las Vegas and Fort Myers. Steadily building his empire through lucrative business deals, he now has a net worth of $1.9 billion, and is accurately known as the Condo King of Florida.
We have mentioned before that Florida is a hot spot for property investment.
Here’s what Mr. Perez has to say about it.
“When you look around the world and you consider the factors of the environment, climate, amenities, risk and appreciation, Miami ranks way high up there.”
Giving Back to the Arts
Standing at 316 on the Forbes 400 List, with a net worth of 1.9 billion, Mr. Perez has been a long time art collector and philanthropist. As he mentions in the video above, he now spends half his time with philanthropy and the other half on his enterprises.
His many cultural contributions in Florida include support to the Miami Arts Museum, the Miami International Film Festival, the National YoungArts Foundation, the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University and the University of Miami.
In 2012 Jorge signed the “Giving Pledge”. This is an international effort whereby the world’s wealthiest individuals commit more than half of their wealth to charitable causes, either in their will or during their lifetime.
The real beauty of achieving personal goals is that often times, you end up with the luxury of trading in your personal perspective to focus it on the well being of others. Having experienced great success, men like Arnold and Jorge now dedicate themselves to helping others. But let’s not put the chicken before the egg -it’s because of their unrelenting personal ambition that they achieved greatness, and are now able to be so giving. And it was America who provided this environment.
This inspiring group of entrepreneurs prove that skill, ambition and hard work can be amply rewarded with opportunity, success and wealth. On top of that, as visionaries, leaders and philanthropists, they motivate us to become better versions of ourselves.
The real takeaway is that the uber accomplished individuals profiled here today are just three of the millions who have immigrated to the US and made a better life for themselves and their family.
As you sit and read this, you can see your dream, your vision and your goals in front of you.
It’s up to you to decide what you are going to do about it.
If you want to know more about your US immigration options including the EB5 Green Card Visa, feel free to book a meeting with an immigration expert at BAI Capital today.