Ken Okazaki Blogging is serious business

19Apr/104

Constructing My Plans

Everything in life is a learning experience.

I've experienced this first hand this past week working on something that I've never done before--remodeling a Tokyo office floor into a seminar hall.
Through this experience the thing that stood out to me the most was the power of networking. If I had been offered this opportunity a year back, I would probably have said that I didn't have the skill, experience, or time to do the job.

But at the time that this opportunity presented itself, it was not in the form of an offer.

I've been working on tuning my senses to look for and recognize the hidden opportunities that are already all around us, just waiting to be found. Opportunities that will add value to someone else, and will in turn bring you the financial benefits you need.

So when I visited my dad's office where he conducts seminars, something clicked, and I saw an opportunity to add value to his business by upping the standard of his "seminar hall", which actually looked like an office which badly needed renovation. I pitched it to him on the spot, and he agreed to the idea but first asked me if I knew how to do this kind of work. I answered that I'll get the job done, while in the back of my mind I was scrambling trying to figure out how I was going to accomplish this.

I immediately called my friends who had some experience in this field, and following a few leads and recommendations, I was able to put together a team who was capable of the job. I was the contractor/architect, and I hired a foreman and two workers, with the use of their tools and vehicle for transportation.

It would take me more than a blog post to list all of the setbacks and subsequent wins throughout this project, but in the end we were able to meet our deadline and create the level of quality that we had originally planned, without any compromises.

So here's what I learned from this experience in point form:
1. Never underestimate the power of networking. You never know when you will need the skill or expertise of someone you meet.
2. Setbacks are just that. Learn from them and just keep moving forward.
3. Realize that opportunity to add value to others is all around you. Act on it now!
4. Trust and rely on other's strong points above your own. Working as a team means that each team member has his or her strengths. Let them lead where they are stronger than you.
5. Admit your weak areas to your team, and they will respect you for it, try faking it, and you will lose respect quickly.
6. Whether or not you feel it, act confident. Adjusting your physiology to the state you would be in if you were confident will affect your mental state to become the same.
7. Plan, plan, and plan some more. Preparation is where the bulk of the work is done. If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.