The Competitive Spirit

The Power of the New York Brand

What’s so special about New York City?

Anywhere you go in the world, what is the one city that people think of when they hear the word “city”? New York City. What is the one city that intimidates most people simply upon being mentioned? New York City. What is the one city that non-Americans universally think of when they think of coming to America to start a new life? New York City.

I’m not going to sit here and write that New York City is the greatest city in the world. That is definitely up for debate. It’s a matter of opinion. But there’s no denying that the “City that Never Sleeps” is the most universally respected. It is an entirely different beast. If you can make it in New York… you can make it anywhere.

The purpose of this article is to explain the power of the New York brand and why you might want to get some experience in The Big Apple.

You do not have to be from New York. ANYBODY can use their New York experience to drop in conversation to become more interesting and attractive to me in general. Anything associated with New York inevitably leads to “tell me more.”

1) New York City is the most universally intimidating city in the world.

It is the most populated city in the United States, the most powerful country in the world. The masses, the loud taxi cabs, the subway system, the skyscrapers, organized crime…. It can scare the shit out of anyone if they have never experienced anything like it before.

I know because I have had the opportunity to bring country folk into the city for the first time. The look on their faces was priceless when they looked up at tall buildings for the first time. New York can definitely make you feel small.

There are all sorts of stereotypes and myths about New York and the people that occupy its city. These images (some real some fake) instill an implicit wariness of The City That Never Sleeps. New York City is also the location of many movies and television shows. They have their own little depiction of New York that influences non-New Yorkers’ understanding of the city.

Intimidation is a powerful concept. It’s the easiest way to get universal respect. It’s how you get respect from men. It’s how you get respect (and sexual interest) from women.

Sonny Arvado from Vermont… doesn’t have the same ring to it as Sonny Arvado from New York.

Everyone always assumes I am a “tough guy” just based off of how I look… being from New York just enhances that image even more.

2) New York City is a city of universal interest.

It’s this largest city (population wise) in the United States. There’s so much to do and so much going on. There’s something for everyone there (and anytime too).

Anything associated with New York… people’s eyes light up. They start to pay attention (no matter where they are from). Anybody from New York who goes somewhere else will agree with me. As soon as you drop that you are a New Yorker, it bridges the gap. You immediately have their interest because they either want you to tell them more or they want to talk about their experiences in NYC.

Whenever I am talking with a stranger and drop that I am from New York, that simple fact takes care of a good chunk of conversation (especially with chicks).

Anytime I meet a new chick, they always ask where I am from. Once I say New York, that’s half the battle right there. I already got some level of interest. It’s pretty much them asking me questions about New York and talking about their experiences or how much they are dying to go.

Again, there’s a reason why I have purposely spent a lot of time in the south since 2008. All I have to do is drop the New York line and it’s pretty much like fishing with dynamite.

It also helps in making normal friends and easily becoming a part of a social circle. Everyone has an interest in New York City. You bring something to the table by being the “new guy from New York.” That’s what I experienced when I first came to Austin… everyone wanted to be friends with the “new guy from New York” or the “big guy from New York.” I wore that halo proudly.

3) Success in New York carries a lot more weight than any other city.

The bar is set a lot higher in New York City. If you make $100 K in Charlotte, you are living the high life. If you make $100 K in New York City, you’re doing okay. The competition is fierce in New York. If you can rise above the masses, you truly deserve your success and all the perks that come along with it.

A perfect example of winning in New York is Derek Jeter. He has been the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees since 1996. During this time, he has won five World Series rings. Anybody who knows anything about sports knows that winning in New York is the toughest thing to do.

What solidified Jeter's legendary status?... The Pinstripes.

What solidified Jeter’s legendary status?… The Pinstripes.

The New York media is brutal. The fans are unforgiving. The nightlife can consume you. The city itself is stressful. If you are able to thrive in that environment and win on the biggest stage… that is the quickest path to becoming a sports icon.

If Jeter won five rings playing for Houston Astros, it wouldn’t have meant as much and he wouldn’t be the sports icon he is today.

*** If Lebron James really wants a shot a surpassing Jordan, he should come to the Knicks and bring a championship to New York (I say this as a New Yorker who has hated the Knicks since the 90’s).

The King's legend would truly rival Jordan's if he brought a title to the Big Apple.

The King’s legend would truly rival Jordan’s if he brought a title to the Big Apple.

No matter what your craft is in life… having the ability to block out the everyday stress from the Big Apple and winning (making it) goes on long way.

4) If you are young, single and WANT IT ALL… New York City is the answer.

There are a lot of great cities in the United States to choose from. In my opinion, none of them compare to the overall package that New York has to offer.

If you are a young professional who wants an established career, my top two suggestions would be either New York City or Washington DC. Those are the two cities that look best on a resume. Again, simply mentioning New York City is reason for additional questions about life in the city.

If you want to experience a crazy nightlife, the top cities to look into are New York City, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami.

If you want a city with a lot of cultural diversity, nothing beats New York City.

If you want a city that gives you the best chance at becoming a man of many friends from many different backgrounds, New York City is probably your best bet.

Bottom Line: If you want the best odds of making it big, whatever your craft may be, New York City puts the odds most in your favor. It is the most populous city in the United States. It presents the most opportunities for networking. It’s where all the money is. It recently overtook London as the financial capital of the world.

In closing, I am not suggesting that you pick up your life and move to the Big Apple on a whim. I am suggesting that it’s probably in your best interest to get some experience living and hustling your ass off in New York City, preferably while you are still young.

YOU DO NOT need to be from New York to utilize the New York brand to your advantage. All you really need is a couple months experience where you can carry on a decent conversation about the city. Little shit like that can go a long way and open doors for you when you least expect it.

New York City represents all that is good about the United States. It’s a city of diversity. It’s a city of opportunity. Having experience in that environment gives you a little bit of both and gives you an edge when interacting with others.



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  1. CAm..
    July 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm — Reply

    So it all said and done.. Lebron is going back home!

    I’m not too sure if the the best move but it’s def gonna be hard to replace/keep the brand that he established along with Dwade and Cbosh. I’m actually surprised because when he left Cleveland he pretty much said “f**k you” to his home team and now that he’s got some rings he’s flipping us off. Oh well..

    I’ve also got this feeling that Dwade might want to go back home to Chicago too. Hopefully he doesn’t. At least not yet..

    Anyway, you def 100% right about the image that Newyork carries. I remember back I winter of 2012, I visited Houston Tx to visit my cuzins.. We got picked up at the airport and I was rocking this fresh ass hoodie I copd in NY fall of 2009 as a souvenir. I’m from the dmv but they immediately asked where I got that from. I said NEWYORK. They then started talking about how bad they wanna go there..e.t.c. Couldn’t believe how such a small hoodie could make a big impression just because I got in in Newyork..

    • July 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm — Reply

      Yea it’s good for Cleveland. In reality, this will help his brand tremendously. The past 11 days proved once and for all how much power he really has… he pretty much brought the entire sports world to its knees waiting for a decision. And he changed the landscape once again.
      Business wise… he’s definitely going to get more endorsements. Imagine those Samsung commercials now.

      Yea man… once people hear New York that pay a little bit more attention. It could help in many areas of guys lives… dating, friends, job (resume). If you have New York as a job location on a resume. That stands out.

  2. XAvi
    July 12, 2014 at 12:16 pm — Reply

    Sonny what things do you need to do to fuel your competetive spirit next to affirmations?

    • July 12, 2014 at 8:45 pm — Reply

      Listen to inspiring masculine music, lift weights, eat manly food, keep in mind that your biggest competition is your past…. those are the main ones that come to mind now.

      • milun
        July 13, 2014 at 6:01 am — Reply

        Hopping in on the convo here – what do you mean by “your biggest competition is your past”?

        • July 14, 2014 at 12:47 am — Reply

          the guy you were a year ago, a week ago, yesterday… that’s who should be fueling you. You should always be striving to be better than you were yesterday.

  3. assman
    July 13, 2014 at 11:20 pm — Reply

    If NY was so great why’d you leave bro?

    • July 14, 2014 at 12:46 am — Reply

      I want experience living in different places.

  4. Tommy
    July 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm — Reply

    Hey man, got a question. I live in a shithole town in the south for work, with about 75000 people, so basically everyone knows everyone else, or their friends or cousins. On top of it, my work basically involves sitting in a room by myself all day, so I only ever see the same 8 or so coworkers (all older, married types) day after day. When I moved down here I was a shy introvert and weighed like 300lbs. I’ve dropped a ton of weight (now around 16% bf, working out daily etc.) I want to get good with people, and of course good with women. I know the ultimate answer is to get the hell outta dodge and move someplace better, like NYC, but finances won’t really allow for another 8 months or so. Any suggestions for what I can do in the interim?

    • July 14, 2014 at 10:40 pm — Reply

      Yes. Stack your paper and prep for your move. As far as your dating life, don’t strive to be a player. Date one chick so that you focus on your main priority (getting out of there). Trying to live the player lifestyle in your situation will only distract you.

      Personally, I do not believe you need to bang a lot of chicks to “get good with women”. You need to first become good with people. And the women part largely takes care of itself. I stress actual relationship experience though because you need actual experience having a chick emotional connected to you/genuinely caring about you for who you are. You don’t get that doing the go out to bars and pick up chicks thing.

      Also become a regular at a bar/restaurant where there’s a chill vibe and you can talk to people. you can def snag some chicks doing this at a hooters or twin peaks.

  5. XAvi
    July 14, 2014 at 7:09 pm — Reply

    Yo Sonny could you give a legit example of thimgs to say when greasing the wheels. Like an actual conversation out written. Thnx a lot keep making dem articles. Already got my little brothers going to the gym and improving their looks and social savviness by showing dem your site.

    • July 14, 2014 at 10:42 pm — Reply

      Thanks dude. Yea I am interested in returning to the social stuff because there’s a lot to cover and no one else touches that topic.

      What kind of conversations would you like to see?… I mean the possibilities are endless.

  6. Ash
    August 3, 2014 at 2:24 am — Reply

    i’m an aussie and i actually just came back from travelling in the USA for vacation, i visited LA, SF, New York, Dallas and Miami
    I’m considering moving to the US once my career is set up(i’m still 19) and I loved america
    just wondering if you agree with my observations.
    New york and Miami were probably the coolest cities i saw in my opinion. I loved new york for everything you mentioned in your post
    Miami, i really liked the latino vibe plus the chicks there were MINT

    I didn’t like dallas that much, there didn’t look like there was much to do.
    San Francisco was a really nice city but i got the vibe that the people there don’t really have too much fun, its more the professional capital
    LA was awesome too, but i feel that it all deppends on where you live. If you live somewhere like Westwood, Santa Monica, Venice, or WeHO it would be awesome but the other neighbourhoods were a bit meh

    I had to choose a place to move to in America right now it would be NYC or Miami hands down. Although if I do decide to move it probably won’t be for a bunch of years since i still have college and stuff to complete here. What’s your opinion?

    and just another thing about talking points.. i’ve noticed that people are interested when places seem cool or exotic. When I was in the US i could easily chat up girls by saying I’m from Australia and they were pretty thrilled or they were like “Where’s your accent from” and like automatically interested in me just from that which helps i think. Maybe it’s also the fact that America’s so huge and the fact that in texas many people haven’t been to NYC that adds to the wow factor when you mention it?

    btw love the new layout of your site bro,
    safe journeys

    • August 3, 2014 at 2:44 am — Reply

      Thanks for your comment. You can’t go wrong with either New York or Miami. Miami def has hotter girls (greater concentration of) but then again, New York is so big you’ll never not have hot girls around.

      New York has a better job market and higher salaries.

      Absolutely. If you have an accent, it helps a lot. Chicks love accents. In college, those Carolina girls loved it.
      To be honest it’s like that everywhere I’ve been in the US… my accent helps a lot even in Vegas.

      thanks again for stopping by…


  7. […] few months back, I wrote a fun little piece on “The Power of the New York Brand.” One of the readers posted this […]

  8. March 23, 2015 at 6:53 pm — Reply

    […] I’m from New York. (IMPORTANT INFORMATION: I just dropped the New York brand here. This makes me more interesting. Not many customers come in to this restaurant from New […]

  9. August 19, 2015 at 2:53 am — Reply

    […] 3. Derek Jeter– was the face of baseball up until last year; the personification of class; positive image; a lifetime Yankee who won 5 World Series rings (nothing beats winning in New York) […]

  10. Ryan
    February 22, 2016 at 1:56 am — Reply

    Around here ppl think sf when you say ‘the city’ – and I definitely keep seeing the bridge pop up in movies these days.
    I agree nyc is kind of the final frontier of the us, but recently, I’ve been thinking otherwise, and I’ve been contemplating moving from the country all together.
    Ryan Holliday on why he left nyc and discourages ppl from moving there – saying basically it’s overcrowded, overpriced and overhyped.
    Recently I’ve been reading about the expat communities in southeast asia. The place as a lot more advanced than you’d think, at a fraction of the price.
    Gary Vaynerchuk, with offices in sf, la, nyc and london recently opened an office in ‘chatanuggaa’ Tennessee, he said he did this because he believed in the city. There is a lot more going on outside of the bubble of the top cities

    Gary is an investor, with a 25mm vc fund winding down and a 150mm fund about to open – and you recently had an article on investing. Investors look for undervalued assets and essentially get in at a discount. Anyone looking to start an empire shouldn’t be looking into any of these overvalued cities tbh. There’s more opportunity elsewhere and just as much going on
    (btw, as I’m sure you’ve heard the d&p podcast, mike and jay have nothing but positive to say about vegas in regards to value vs price point)

    • February 22, 2016 at 4:00 am — Reply

      I live in Vegas now 🙂

  11. Karthik Srinivas
    November 26, 2016 at 6:28 am — Reply

    I moved to New york city when I am in early 20’s and wanted to get the experience in Entertainment and IT field and lived for three years. The competition is exceedingly competitive. But the experiences, success with girls, making good friends, my work, people and the success I had in New york will always be cherished and increased my confidence. Very nice write up. But not to forget it was all good when I was earning good money but when I lost my job it was one hell of a ride which was very stressful. I had both long highs and short term big lows in New york. Its not for everyone though.

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