Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

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!

30Jan/102

E-Myth

I've been listening to an audio-book the past few days by Michael E. Gerber. It's called E-Myth and covers a lot of good information on entrepreneurship, namely the pitfalls which cause most small businesses to fail within the first five years.

He said something that really stuck with me: we all have three people in us. The entrepreneur (forward thinking, disorganized, inspirational, and visionary), the manager (organized, efficient, dislikes anything new that will mess things up), and the technician (skilled at doing technical work ie: cooking, graphics, mechanics, computer, video, etc. Dislikes being managed, works very hard).

The majority of those who have what he calls an "entrepreneurial seizure" and one day decide that they want their own business are technicians in one way or another. At the time of their "entrepreneurial seizure", they are being controlled by the technician in them, and think that because they know a skill very well they can run a business with their skills.

I used to think that too. I thought, until just a few days ago, that if I'm good enough at a certain skill then I should be successful at running a business out of it.

What I've learned from him is that your most important asset when going into any new business is your business savvy. The ability to have long term plans and stick to them. The ability to abandon what you love for something else that can and will become your main business. When you love something too much then it will cloud you. You will not see clearly when it's time to stop certain things, start chopping some limbs, and focus on what aspects of your business really do work.

From now on I want to make an effort to not be a professional ... whatever! Whether it be a cameraman, editor, effects guy, web designer, or layout guy. I realize that there are so many like me who could do better than I can, and for leas then I'm willing to do it for. Just look at China and India! No, I refuse to compete on those terms!
I can, however, see a future instead in using their skills instead of competing with their skills and at their rates. Coming up with a turnkey solution, a business plan that will capitalize on this trend instead of fighting it.

I wish no longer to be a technician but a true entrepreneur who can have a hundred technicians like myself, doing what I am doing right now, contributing happily to the hopefully successful plan that I will have laid I place.

23Jan/100

Stuff I’ve read lately

One direction that I've taken a stab lately is in furthering my education - and by that I don't mean going back to school, although I wouldn't rule that out for the future. I've mostly been reading lots of books that I feel will help to propel me in the right direction for me to become more financially literate.
I started with a famous one: 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' by Robert Kiyosaki, but since I ordered it from the States to try and get a discounted price, I had to pay in terms of time, 2 weeks to be exact.
So what did I do while I waited? I ordered another book from the same author: 'Increase Your Financial IQ'. Seemed like a good idea to me. It was informative, and gave good advice on various topics, but since the author is involved directly in the real-estate business, much of the material in this book is quite focused on that. Also, he keeps referring to his past, being a helicoptor pilot in the Vietnam war, starting a very successful company in his 20's, etc., which sometime instead of encouraging you that "You can too!", it leaves you wondering if you even qualify to become as successful as he has.
In hindsight it was a good, informative, educational book, but not a good one to get started on if you're on the same journey as I am.

Enough for today.