Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

27Dec/140

Be a Hero. Be a Dad.

Ken 048-sWhen it comes near the end of the year, we tend to think of the highlights of what we did. Our minds go to our experiences throughout the year. What we DID with the 365 days until now. The highs and the lows, the good and the bad.

This year my highlight was a distinction, an Aha! moment.

Roll back a few years and I remember overhearing one of my young kids arguing:

My dad’s stronger than your dad.

No, my dad is stronger than your dad!

Well my dad is smarter than your dad.

Not true!

Yes, true!

… until I cut in and gently changed the subject.

But somewhere inside I wanted to egg my son on. He wanted to prove something to his friend. I wanted to be all of the things that he was saying.

He wanted me to be all of those things too, because it gave him self-worth, credibility, and pride.

On the outside I brushed it off as something that all kids must just say, but on the inside another conversation was going on.

I asked myself WHY I was downplaying everything that he was saying. WHY was I embarrassed to hear these things?

Then a crazy thought came to mind.

Back when I was studying NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) I learned something called the New Orleans Flexibility Drill. Google it if you’re interested. The exercise is very simple.

You envision a person, real or fictional, alive or dead, standing in front of you. This is a person who’s characteristics you desire to emulate. You make it as real as you can, how they breathe, the posture they hold, jutting your chin just right, shoulders squared, thinking what they might be thinking, focusing on what they would focus on.

And when you make it so real that you can practically feel the heat from their body and the hairs in the back of your neck are standing on end, take a step forward and “into” their body, thus inheriting their traits.

YOU BECOME THEM!

This may sound corny, no it DOES sound corny! But when do you this it can give you the confidence boost you need, the insight you are looking for, or the right frame of mind to make an important decision.

I had to adapt this for me. Something I can do for myself, for my children, for my wife, for my business, for the world!

I had to become the superhero they needed me to be.

I wrote down the characteristics of the superheroes that I liked and distilled it down to these top five:

1. Strength (think: Hulk, Superman)

2. Intelligence (Ironman, Batman)

3. Vast Wealth (Batman, Xavier)

4. Strong Moral Code (Spider-man, Superman)

5. Romantic (Zorro, Spider-man)

Now I don’t expect to reach the level of strength of the Hulk or Superman within my lifetime, but these five seemed like a good place to start.

So how do I use this in my everyday life?

1. Strength, or health and fitness.

This is where I make daily decisions about what I eat, how much I exercise, and everything else that has to do with my body.

2. Intelligence, or continuous learning and experience.

Read books, try new experiences, test myself mentally and keep pushing the boundaries. I’m happy to say that I love learning and it is always a pleasure.

3. Vast Wealth, or total financial freedom.

Robert Kiyosaki explained it very simply: When your monthly passive income is greater than your monthly expenses, then you are financially free. Every day of my life I am looking for more ways to add more income streams to my self and my family. I want to rocket past financial freedom to TOTAL FINANCIAL VITALITY.

4. Strong Moral Code, or having a basis on which to make the tough decisions in life. My morals are based on my Christian background, and I go back to the standards that my parents taught me over the dinner table as I grew up. I do the same for my own children.

5. Romantic, or just being really in love with the one person in your life who matters the most to you and showing them how you feel. Daily. In front of the kids.

Show your kids how much you love your wife. They need to know that no matter how much you love them, their mommy comes first to you.

Too many parents neglect each other for their children. They forget that they will grow up and move on and after that, all you have left is each other. When that day comes if you haven’t been focusing on your partner, you will be in for a rough experience.

That’s my philosophy in a nutshell.

I’ve heard many people’s philosophies that sounded great, but when I tried them on like a shoe, I realized that none of them were made just for me. They were made by someone else for what THEY needed.

I think each person needs to develop their own philosophy. It doesn’t have to be elegant or even make sense to anyone else. It could be a Franken-Philosophy, a mashup of all your favorite bits of other people’s thoughts on life. Do what works for you.

But having my own philosophy has helped me in a huge way.

Hundreds of times throughout the week I ask myself: “What would a hero do in this situation?”

When these words form, the answer is always simple.

Choose the healthy food

Take the bike to work.

Choose the difficult but more rewarding path for my business

Have that tough conversation with my teenage son

Re-invest instead of spending that hard-earned cash

This is what parenting is about. It’s about being a hero.

Be a hero. Be a dad.

Unless you are a mom. Then be a mom.

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!

18Aug/102

Making Money Online

I know that I told you all before that I quit affiliate marketing because I did not like it one bit. At the time that was true, as I really had no desire to continue on doing something that I wasn't enjoying, or seeing enough success in.

Then something happened.

I did some research and found the source that many gurus base their affiliate marketing training programs on. It turns out that the creators of the various materials are members of a company called Wealthy Affiliate University.

I checked them out, and found that they were expensive! ($97 a month) I figured that I already wasted enough money on so many other programs, so why not one more? (Pretty intelligent reasoning, no?)

Anyhow, I signed up for one month, just to check it out and was initially overwhelmed by the huge amount of information there, but felt a little bit more stabilized when I found the action plan as a good starting point. I already knew a lot of the information in the beginner parts, but I went through all the lessons anyhow.

Fastforward to present day:

I signed up six weeks ago, and am only only on week 3 of the action plan putting in an average of 2 hours a week, I know, I have a lazy streak. But amazingly enough, I already have a monthly passive income that exceeds my monthly membership fee by more than double. There are people who signed up at the same time as I did who are putting in a full day's work and already making over $200 a day!

I was about to cancel my membership, hoping to save money, but seeing the progress made me start to love it, and to want to put more effort into it, making it work for me even more, though stopping now wouldn't stop my income stream.

The reason I'm bringing out this subject is that I know that as a friend, I would be holding back from you if I were to not share this with you. When going through changes in our lives, securing a stable income can be challenging, but I know that if you put in the effort and have enough persistence (with the right tools), you can and will make money. The importance of skills are far below the importance I would put on faith and persistence.

If I had given up when I felt like it, then I would never have seen the income that I'm getting now, as little is is it, but I have proven that the system works, and now that I know how to do it, I just have to multiply my efforts in order to multiply my income.

4Jul/102

Pareto, anyone?

Ruthlessly evaluating your own work habits is never a fun thing to do, but boy does it feel good to work smarter! With a change in my work schedule, and much more self-managed time on my hands I've sometimes felt a little lost as to what I should be working on next, what comes first, and most importantly, what I shouldn't do at all!

Sorting out my schedule, I turned to something I learned a while ago that just took on a greater meaning: The Pareto Principle. Some Italian guy named Pareto discovered that 20% of the population had 80% of the wealth in his country. Then other experts in their respective fields starting seeing that same pattern all over the place.

20% of the workers produce 80% of the result .
20% of the drivers cause 80% of the accidents.
20% of your clients make 80% of the complaints.
20% of your purchases account for 80% of your spending.

20% of my time at work produces 80% of my productivity.

So the next logical step here was for me to identify the 20% that I want to maximize. For me it was the time I spend at work right after checking mail, reading news, updating my social statuses. So in a seven-hour work day, this would come to about an hour and a half per day. That's when I first start my real work, when I still feel fresh and alert, and my objectives are very clear.

Now knowing that this is my daily 20%, I guard it and nurture it much more than I used to, letting it take priority over all else in my day.

What's your 20%? Finding it may help you to better establish your daily schedule and find your own peak zone-Give it a try!

Ps. 20% of this blog post contains 80% of the content. :-)

15Jun/102

So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore

I recently read the book "So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore" by Jake Coleson, except Jake Coleson does not exist, but is a pseudonym for the combined work of Dave Coleman and Wayne Jacobson.

Although this work of fiction creates a story which most people would agree is the epitome rather than the norm, it does so in order to very clearly illustrate the points the author wants to bring across. As I read the book, it sometimes reminded me of the very simple parables that Jesus used to illustrate his teachings.

In the story, Jake Colsen, a disillusioned pastor of a dysfunctional church meets someone who he believes may be John the Beloved from the New Testament. He repeatedly meets this man throughout the story and discovers new truths and observations comparing what Jesus had taught in the Bible versus the way most churches operate and teach their parishioners to live today.

If you haven't read this book yet you just might want to, because it's helped me to formulate so many of the thoughts that have been floating around in my head lately.

As many of you know and may be experiencing yourselves, I'm facing some pretty big changes in my lifestyle and the future of my personal family. As a Christian I want to be effective in my life and service for the Lord, while at the same time successful as father and financial provider for my wife and children.

This is nothing new for Christians worldwide, and I deeply respect those who have gone on before me and successfully found their balance between the two. I believe that I will find my balance by becoming financially successful with my business endeavors and through this new level of success I will be able to, as a peer, reach those who I would previously not have had access to.

Community, friendship, and support are some methods through which we modern-day Christians can demonstrate our love for our brethren and neighbors and at the same time show our love to Jesus.

"In as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me."