While new Irish immigrants may not arrive in the US as down-on-their-luck as the generations that came before us, the American Dream and the hint of a life where anything can be achieved is no less alive than it was before
Real-estate multi-millionaire Seán Conlon, in fact, is a prime example of the lengths an Irish immigrant will still go to in order to reach success, basing their efforts on the idea that America is a place where you can dream anything you desire into reality, as long as you’re willing to graft.
Speaking to entrepreneur.com, Co Kildare native Conlon explained his own story of immigration and how Irish history, he believes, led to his interest in real estate.
Conlon’s American Dream started off as so many others do, working a job he wasn’t interested in and using his spare time to focus on his goals for bettering his life and achieving success. Working as a night janitor, he would cold call people trying to make house sales, spending a full six months at the endeavor without a single sale until the day finally came when he struck gold.
Although this first house sale was only for $20,000, it gave the Irish immigrant the confidence and encouragement to keep going. Conlon’s real-estate empire grew and grew and by the end of the 90s, he was selling $200 million worth of real estate annually.
“I kept telling myself that this would be the day,” he explains of those heartbreaking six months where he was failing to make a sale, admitting that there were times when he wanted to give up.
Conlon was raised on the American Dream, however, and the idea that he would be rewarded for the hours of failures by eventual success.
“America is great, it doesn’t need to be made great again. Of course, it has all of its problems but there’s nowhere in the world that has a more level playing field still,” he states in the interview.
“Growing up in Ireland, we were raised on America. I wanted to be John Wayne, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood.
“America in your mind was that promised land and you could be anything.
“Anything big or amazing was America.”
Have your own rags to riches Irish immigrant success story? Let us know about it in the comments section.
This July IrishCentral pays tribute to the International Irish who are breaking the mold, smashing glass ceilings, and emerging as the next generation of global thinkers and leaders. You can follow IrishCentral’s International Irish throughout by using the hashtag #InternationalIrish or by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
* Originally published in Aug 2017.