# The Amazing Entrepreneurship Lessons I Learned in Southern Italy
![Italians have a Unique View of Entrepreneurship](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/italians-have-a-unique-view-of-entrepreneurship.png?id=32118838&width=1200&height=800&coordinates=0%2C21%2C0%2C21)
As entrepreneurs, we often seek inspiration and ideas from the business world. However, it’s essential to realize that inspiration can come from unexpected places. Having recently relocated to the beautiful southern region of Italy, Calabria, I have discovered invaluable lessons that have transformed the way I approach business. These lessons can undoubtedly benefit you as well. Let’s dive in:
## 1. Connecting People is Good Karma
We’ve all heard the age-old adage: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” In Italy, this phrase holds significant meaning. Italians naturally and selflessly connect people, fostering a close-knit community. If I mention to a friend that I need a service, whether it’s a dry cleaner, an apartment, or a driving school, that friend always knows someone who can help. It’s not about personal gain; it’s an intrinsic part of their culture.
Contrastingly, I once attended a networking event where a woman indiscriminately handed out her business card to everyone in the room. Needless to say, this tactic didn’t yield much business for her. The key here is to connect people thoughtfully, just like the Italians do. By genuinely helping others, you build trust and establish strong relationships, increasing the likelihood of receiving referrals in return.
## 2. You Can’t Rush Things
In Italy, they have a saying: “piano, piano,” which translates to “slowly, slowly.” While it can be frustrating at times, especially when setting up wifi takes weeks instead of hours, there is beauty in allowing things to unfold naturally. I recently encountered a potential client interested in my writing services, but instead of rushing to schedule a meeting, I refrained. I acknowledged that the process might take longer than anticipated, planting the seed for a future collaboration.
Instead, I focused on building a genuine relationship with this business owner on a personal level. Sometimes, patience and taking the time to nurture connections can lead to more rewarding outcomes.
## 3. There’s Always a Way
“It’s impossible,” Italians often say. Yet, somehow, they always find a way to make it happen. As entrepreneurs, we often encounter seemingly insurmountable problems. Instead of feeling defeated, take a step back, and approach the issue from a different angle. Changing your perspective can uncover innovative solutions to overcome obstacles. Additionally, engaging in discussions with trusted friends or peers can provide fresh insights and assist in breaking through the barriers.
## 4. All Work and No Play…
![Entrepreneur working and traveling in Italy](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/entrepreneur-working-and-traveling-in-italy.jpg?id=33603787&width=1200&height=600&coordinates=0%2C49%2C0%2C943)
In Italy, there exists a concept called “la dolce far niente” – the sweetness of doing nothing. Contrary to the American hustle mentality, Italians prioritize their personal lives. Observing this cultural difference, I’ve noticed that many Americans work themselves to exhaustion. They skip lunch breaks, eat at their desks, and remain available to clients around the clock.
Italians, on the other hand, place a higher value on life itself. Shops often have signs that read “back soon,” and customers understand and respect these breaks. Midday, everything shuts down in smaller towns as business owners savor leisurely lunches with their families and take naps. By prioritizing personal time, Italians avoid burnout and remain less stressed than their American counterparts.
## 5. Your Story Matters
Italians take immense pride in their culture and heritage. Similarly, in your business, your unique story and personal journey play a crucial role in connecting with clients. Sharing your experiences, motivations, and passions builds a bond and enhances your credibility. As a spiritual coach, my clients are genuinely interested in how I embarked on my journey to living authentically, which involved moving to Italy. Your story can inspire and encourage people to choose you as their trusted partner.
## 6. You Don’t Need to Operate in a Bubble
Living in southern Italy, I am constantly reminded of its rich history influenced by various civilizations. From ancient Greek and Roman ruins to traces of Byzantine culture, it’s a vibrant melting pot of language, culture, and cuisine. Initially, I was hesitant to seek outside influences for my business, believing I could figure it all out independently. However, allowing a little light from the outside world can enrich your entrepreneurial journey.
Read business books, attend conferences, and engage with other entrepreneurs. Learn from different industries and gather bits of wisdom to create your unique imprint in your business. Just like Italy has shaped my business and life, embracing diverse perspectives and approaches can lead to tremendous growth and success.
In conclusion, the unique entrepreneurial lessons I’ve learned in southern Italy have transformed the way I conduct business and live my life. These invaluable insights highlight the significance of genuine connections, patience, resourcefulness, work-life balance, storytelling, and the power of collective wisdom. Incorporating these lessons into your entrepreneurial journey will undoubtedly lead to a more fulfilling and prosperous path. Don’t be afraid to embrace the unconventional and discover your own unique approach to success.
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