It’s the Lifestyle, stupid!

This is San Diego – where the sun shines, the beach beckons and those of us who live here choose to pay sunshine dollars for the privilege.

As a former (and still proud) New Yorker, I gladly admit to embracing the lifestyle that is uniquely ours. But there is a misnomer about our work ethic that I hear often, particularly from my fellow NYers and Bay area transplants. Some of those industrious folks don’t think we work quite hard enough here. Maybe it’s because we surf for breakfast, cycle for lunch and meet for Happy Hour after 5. Or that the CEO is in khakis instead of a blue suit and the scientist in the next cube is in shorts. All true, I willingly admit. But – when the tide rolls out, most of us are in lock down, hustling for funding, making a deadline, heading off a crisis, creating the next cure for cancer or social media sensation and closing a deal. Just because we do it differently, doesn’t mean we’re not doing it.

In my circle of clients, colleagues and friends, everyone I know is working hard, putting in the effort and hours it takes to make their particular business successful. The difference in San Diego in many cases is we often do it socially; on the golf course, at networking events, over dinner. Our close-knit community is very socially inter active and many private gatherings are comprised of professionals who create opportunity by connecting and introducing like minded individuals. We are often friends not adversaries and our competition is often collaborative rather than cutthroat. On the surface we may seem like we just flit from one party or event to another, but this is very often how business gets done.

San Diego is still very much a start up town, filled with a combination of young and seasoned entrepreneurs – all risk takers. With so few large companies, we make do with limited resources, wear many different hats and rely on ourselves and not red tape. It’s also a ‘who you know town’. Individuals build working relationships over coffee, share contacts, make introductions. To some, it may not seem like work, but for those of us who are ‘on’ 24/7, this is just part of the job. Yes, we’re still doing the necessaries, but often in the car, from our homes or in the air. We’re always attuned to the next opportunity and we’re even, some of us, type A (drive the I5 to meet some of them). But the difference is some of us stop to enjoy the sunset, take the family to the beach or head out at 3 to coach the kid’s game.

Never doubt our minds are far away from work and achieving profitibility.The high cost of living, lower than average wages, competition for talent and taxes alone are enough to keep many execs glued to their computers till all hours.When the sun is down and the kids are asleep, most of us are logged on, punched in and working. Yes, working!

So former New Yorkers and San Franciscans, get a clue! Slow down enough to smell the ocean air and recognize the reason so many transplants have traded in smog, snow, subway tokens and fog for the lifestyle that recharges our batteries and gives us the endurance and staying power to create the new technologies you need and love every day.

It’s San Diego – we just do it differently here.

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