Everyone that has ever visited or lived in both New York City and Los Angeles will tell you that there is a huge difference between the two.
New York and L.A. serve as the ultimate destinations for those with dreams of being wealthy, powerful and, in some cases, famous. Which city is better for business? Well that depends on what kind of person you are and what kind of career and life you desire.
Having lived and worked in both cities I can say without bias that in a perfect world I would live in Los Angeles and work in New York City. This of course is a logistical nightmare unless I don't mind a $20,000 a day private jet bill.
What I have found to be the major difference between the two cities is that L.A. is very laid back. The beaches, beautiful people, Hollywood, perfect weather and all of the medicinal marijuana that a pothead can dream of creates an environment that breeds a lackadaisical approach to life and business.
Deals take longer to get done here, people aren't as transparent and honest about their abilities or lack thereof to be of assistance to you and especially in Hollywood, the road to success is an obstacle of roadblocks that often times are less about business and more about personal egos and feelings.
New York City. The capital of the world. In contrast to Los Angeles, New York City is a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, subway trains, cramped and constant pedestrian movement, cold weather, Wall Street and families who influence the rotation of the world. If Los Angeles is the slacker son, New York is his Harvard Business School big brother.
New York is unforgiving, where Los Angeles is embracing. Only the Elite work in NYC where survival of the fittest is the game and the tools of the trade are brainpower, elite bloodlines, the chase for the almighty dollar and world domination.
New York is a city of continuous movement. If you meet someone in a bar and mutually decide that you should do business together, the next question is not "Are you free next week?" it's "What are you doing right now?"
New Yorkers have a reputation for being rude and unkind, but that's only because they tend to be brutally honest and lack the time for small talk. Not to mention, for the cost per square foot you will pay in rent, time is ALWAYS money.
It is no accident that Hollywood and Wall Street are located where they are. The geography fuels the mentality of those that call these places home. Whether you see this topic as a conversation of Bankers vs. Entertainers, Old Money vs. New Money, the Met Gala Ball vs. the Vanity Fair Oscar Party or Venice Beach Hippies vs. Upper East Side Blue Bloods, we can all conclude that New York is the more professional and serious of the two cities and that is okay.
Los Angeles is a beautiful city, full of opportunity and beaming with the sites, sounds and promise of a culturally rich and affluent lifestyle. The difference is Los Angeles tells people to "Come to L.A. and you can live your dream life." New York on the other hand tells people to "Come to the Big Apple, but sharpen your teeth because the sharks are out and blood is in the water."
To make it in either place is a great testament to your talent and level of perseverance, but to make your life easier ask yourself this: “What means more to me, happiness or wealth?” If you choose happiness, a Malibu mansion may be awaiting you. If you choose wealth, a Park Avenue co-op may be more your style.
Los Angeles is the Beautiful Lie and New York is the Ugly Truth.
Choose the city that fits your personality and you can prosper. If not, there's always Iowa!
Damani Barham | Elite.