Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

11Apr/111

Tribes

This post is a first and I'll tell you why.

So far I've written the blog posts myself, mostly my thinking on the progress in my life and the direction I'm headed.

Reading books is now a regular habit from which I draw much of my inspiration.

Every now and then I read something that just jumps right out at me. It stirs me up inside and makes it impossible to do nothing about it. The author grips me by the throat and forces me to act. Maybe it only works on certain people who are at in the right state of mind at the time, or are in certain circumstances that harmonize with the author.

I'm now reading a great book, called Tribes, by Seth Godin.

This book is Gold!

I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fresh perspective on being a leader. Even if you don't feel you need a change or inspiration or whatever, GET THIS BOOK! It's been added to my all time favorites list, and although this introduction is longer than I expected, I will now insert an excerpt and hand you over to Seth Godin:

Crowbars

With a long enough crowbar, you can rip nails out of a board.

With a long enough teeter-totter, you can lift a sumo wrestler off the ground.

With enough leverage, you can change your company, your industry, and the world.

The levers just got longer (for everyone). the Web and word of mouth and viruses and outsourcing and the long tail and the other factors involved in social media mean that everyone (every person, all six billion of us) has far more power than ever before. The king and the status quo are in big trouble.

Wait. You might have glossed over that last paragraph--perhaps because it's so short but especially because it's so challenging.

What I'm saying is that one person can make a video that reaches fifty million viewers.

What I'm saying is that one person can invent a pricing model that turns an industry upside down.

What I'm saying is that one person--okay, what I really mean is you--has everything. Everything you need to build something far bigger than yourself. That people around you realize this, and they are ready to follow if you're ready to lead.

Seriously, READ THIS BOOK! If you do read it, and it doesn't do it for you, give it to someone else and tell them the same thing I just told you. It will eventually find the right person.

PS. If you order using the link provided here, I will get a tiny little kickback from Amazon, which I do appreciate. Thanks.

18Nov/101

Whiners are Losers!

What separates the winners from the losers in life? The list can be pretty long, but if you've ever read the book "Think and Grow Rich", which by the way is not only about making money, you'll understand that one of the most basic, yet most important things to remember if you want to be a winner in life is to keep a positive outlook.

This is not to say that you should go into a state of denial and tell yourself that you live in a wonderful place when your house really actually looks like a dump! See things as they are, but give them alternate, empowering meanings which will be beneficial to your personal growth.

In the book the author talks about his son who was born without ears, but he refused to treat him any differently than other children who had normal hearing. He explained to him about the advantages he had over others with things like getting special treatment from his teacher because of his lack of hearing and being able to sell more newspapers than others because people pity him, etc. Because his son was able to see every situation as an advantage instead of a handicap, he overcame his handicap and became an overachiever and a very successful salesman and businessman.

The people I encounter who are not making progress in their lives have three main things they whine about:

1. I don't have enough education

2. I don't have enough money

3. I don't have enough time

Education. If history ever repeats itself, which I believe it does--a lack of education never stopped the likes of Edison, Ford, and even Steve Jobs. Don't get me wrong here--I'm not knocking education, just don't let the lack of it become an excuse! If you feel you need it, GET IT!

Money, or capital may have been a necessity 30 years ago to start your own business, but today there are countless successful companies which were born of the internet revolution which required little or no initial capital investment. If you want a good example explained, buy the book: "You Call the Shots"

Time. We all have the same amount of time and you may have heard this before, but it's so true! The things in your life that take your time (youtube, gaming, cleaning the house?) now are the things that you feel are most important to you whether or not you admit it to yourself. Why not do yourself a favor and put personal-development at the top of your list? My wife is a very busy person and has 7 kids to take care of--myself included--and she said she really did not have time to fit in a daily exercise routine (and I'll admit I was almost convinced). I had to coach her and help her put it above all else, recognizing that if her health failed, then all else in her life that depended on her health, which is just about everything, would also fail. The result? She's already started each day with her exercise routine, prioritizing it above the rest of her duties, and she's on a roll!

What's on the top of your list?

17Sep/100

Customer is King — NOT!

Anybody who's ever had a job has probably heard the saying "Customer is King", and the sad thing is that many bosses act like it. Many business owners will do anything to make that one sale, focusing solely on the customer at the cost of what's really his most valuable asset: his workers.

I've just returned from a business seminar in Austin, Texas hosted by Keith Cunningham. He taught and mentored Robert Kiyosaki and created most of the original content in the best-seller book Rich Dad, Poor Dad.

The four-day seminar had about 80 attendees, most of whom were business owners earning in the 7-figure range, so I figured that if they came to learn from from Keith, then he must have something worth learning. Keith's background is: entrepreneur, multi-billionaire, business mentor and educator.

We learned about accrual accounting, measuring the health of a company, finding trends, demystifying financial statements, and a host of other subjects pertaining to good business practice, not from a textbook standpoint, but from the voice of experience.

The grande finale however was not some magic formula or silver bullet secret to ultimate success theory, but a lesson focused on building the culture of your company. He cited Jim Collins book From Good to Great, and stressed repeatedly the importance of building and maintaining culture within the workplace, ensuring that your workers feel a sense of responsibility, respect, honor, and dignity both from you and from each other.

This culture will filter down to your customers, which will in turn result in better business results for your company.

Again, Customer is King -- NOT!

22Jul/101

4 Hour Work Week

Do you want to be a millionaire? Billionaire?
This is not a trick question, but if you answered yes, then I'd like to ask you another question:
What is it that you'd like to do once you've earned a million dollars? Unless you're seriously obsessed with pictures of dead US presidents, then you're probably like the rest of us, who just want what the money can do for us.
Tim Ferriss, author of the bestseller 4 Hour Work Week talks in detail about how you can get the things you want in life, the things most people think only millionaires can afford, at a pretty normal price!
Shortcuts to achieve what the millionaires have, without the millions. He teaches how we can become the NR, or New Rich, by copying what they are doing and reaching success the way they do.
A large part of the book is dedicated to his D-E-A-L system, standing for Definition, Elimination, Automation, and Liberation. Defining what it is you need and want in your life, Eliminating all else, Automating and remote tasking as much as possible, and finally, achieve Liberation.
He uses his own life as an example, citing his personal accomplishments such as World Champion in Chinese Kickboxing, Guinness record for Tango dancing, and much more.
The part that appealed to me was his idea of mini-retirements. Why wait until your peak physical years are over before retiring? Retire now, for a short period of time, and then get back on the saddle and set your goal for your next mini-retirement.

19Jul/101

Drip drip drip

Some people seem to be able to save up large amounts of money while others are always flat broke. Sometimes these people are receiving the exact same salary, so what gives?
First of all, understanding the intrinsic difference between an asset and a liability is a must. If you haven't read it yet, pick up a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Put simply, an asset is something that puts money IN your pocket while a liability is something that COSTS money to keep. For example if you own your own house and are living in it, it's a liability. If you own the car you are driving, it's a liability. If you own a house and are renting it out, it's an asset. If you own stocks, it's an asset. If you have capital, it's an asset as long as you are investing it.

My dad told me something the other day that I thought was very interesting:

Suppose your only source of water is a dripping tap, and you have a glass to drink out of. Most people will hold their glass under the tap and let it fill until about half, just enough so that they can enjoy a drink of water, and then hold it there again until it fills enough to be satisfying.

A wise investor however, will hold his glass under the tap until it fills completely, and then let it overflow and drink only what drips down from the full glass.

Wise investors NEVER spend their capital, only invest it. Spending your capital is like a farmer eating his seed corn, or drinking the water needed to prime the pump. Just don't do it! Find worthy investments that will bring you income while at the same time increasing your capital so that you can invest in bigger things in the future.