A Tale of Persistence

In the very next room to the one I am sat in, my wife is at work. She teaches flower arrangement using preserved and artificial plants. It is just another regular day and a normal lesson. Well..it would be except for the fact that the students are two beautiful well-known Japanese models, and the proceedings are being captured by a TV crew!

Wow, a TV crew, in my house!

A week ago my wife got a telephone call from the producer of the show who had come across her website in a google search, for which, after a lot of trial and error, she has managed to stake a pretty permanent place in the top two pages of search result for flower schools in Tokyo. They want to make a short TV show highlighting free-time activities for women in the Tokyo area.

Not one to give up on free advertising, Ayako jumped at the opportunity and so here we are!

It has been a long road in building her business, and there were many times when she felt like quitting. But, this is her passion and mission in life. So rather than quit, she has been at it constantly: fine tuning her web site, testing out different layouts, fonts and color schemes, posting on her blog everyday (often twice daily), setting up a facebook page, and a lot of brainstorming for lesson plans and bouquets.

Three years after starting out on this venture, and one year after going full-time, after demonstrating much tenacity and persistence, she is getting regular student enquiries, floral bouquet requests and, perhaps more importantly, she finally feels that things are starting to go her way.

I don’t know about you, but I think this is a great lesson for all aspiring entrepreneurs.

Moral of the story:
Never give up! Develop a bias for action and be persistent, for you ever know who might just take notice!

What’s New?

Wow! It has been a longtime since I last updated this blog. Apologies for my absence, but I wouldlike to assure you that I have not been resting on my laurels. Quite opposite, in fact; I have been very busy with a new venture that you may or may not know about.

I have recently teamed up with three friends to form a company and to promote financial education and awareness. We have called ourselves Masters of True Wealth. Our mission is this: Building, educating and supporting a community of Global Wealth Masters committed to alleviating poverty around the world, one cause at a time.

We want to empower other people to take control of their lives so that they do not have to rely on bankrupt governments or corporations. In this day of financial turmoil education is vital; people need to know that there are other options out there open to them that will enable them to achieve what ever goals or dreams that they have.

It is our belief that everyone should be imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit. This will insure agaist tough times and increase the possibilities of prosperity. With the right mindset and outlook on the world, any thing is possible.

In an effort to prove that I have not been lazy, please indulge me and check out my recent activity below:

Hubpages
http://hubpages.com/hub/Entrepreneurship-No-longer-a-choice
http://hubpages.com/hub/you-are-the-words-you-speak

New Web Page:
http://mastersoftruewealth.com/

Updated homepage:
http://www.createyourdreamfuture.moonfruit.com/

Until the next time, and I will try not to wait three months this time!!

Best wishes

Happy Christmas Everyone!

MASTERS OF TRUE WEALTH

Homeless In Tokyo

Homeless

One of my friends here in Tokyo is going back to the UK next week to spend Christmas with his family, in Liverpool. As is often the case, before one of us goes away for the Christmas holidays, we had a “catch up” over a few drinks, and a round or two on Nintendo Wii (great fun by the way!).

After a great evening of reminiscing, joking around and just beating hell out of Taiko Drums (much more fun than I can describe here!), it was time to head back home. I was happy – looking forward to Christmas and the New Year, and planning what I was going to buy for my wife and family. That is until I arrived at Ueno station, a major hub in Tokyo.

Outside the station, huddling together under the sparse shelter, and trying to keep out of the chilly wind that was picking up, was an unfortunately large number of homeless people who were hunkering down for the night.

They were carefully fixing their cardboard boxes together, ensuring maximum stability by tying or taping edges to fixed poles, walls or anything at hand. They were lining the floor of their boxes with tarpaulin, old blankets or newspapers, and laying out all of the essentials: book, glasses, gloves, scarves, clocks, cigarettes, and water bottles; everything they would need for the night. And just as is custom when you enter a house in this part of the world, they even took their shoes off when they stepped inside their cardboard home for the night….

I have seen this scene many times in Tokyo, and London, though not the removal of the shoes, and after witnessing something so many times, one would think that the mind hardens to such sights, but I just cannot get used to them.

They are people. They are human beings! I challenge anyone to say that they have never thought of them as anything less…I am guilty…They smell, they are dirty, and they can look pretty disgusting in some cases. We turn our noses up at the sight of them…we see them and walk on…but have you ever wondered how they feel; they have to live like that!

The winter is drawing in, the wind chill is picking up and the air is getting dryer and more frigid with each passing night. It is cold inside, even with a heater on…!

This scenario is repeated in every major city throughout the world, but something really struck me on this particular night. Among all of the decrepit looking boxes, and the grimy filth was one very elegant elderly gentleman, of about 75 or 80 years old.

The sight of him was as stark as seeing a snowman in the dessert. He was wearing neatly pressed slacks, highly polished shoes, and was coated in a rather nice tweed jacket, complete with cravat and peaked hat. He even had a walking cane at his side. He wasn’t someone walking around handing out sandwiches and a hot drink, offering friendly words and support to the needy.

No; he was ONE of them…

As I drew level with him, on my way into the station, he balanced his walking cane against the wall, and was helped by another gentleman into his cardboard box, but not before removing his shoes.

Wow: such dignity.

Here was a gentleman who for the world looked like he was accomplished in whatever field he had chosen, who took pride in his appearance and exuded elegance and grace. He should have been enjoying the fruits of his past labors, surrounded by his family in his warm and comfortable home. Yet here he was, getting ready to crawl into a potential cardboard coffin on the streets of a busy, cold and windy Tokyo city center.

I am not going to cast judgment here, it is too sad for that. But I do encourage personal reflection on this.

Everything we do, and everything we are, is a direct result of our past habits thoughts and actions. I am sure this elderly gentleman has a lot of time to sit and reflect on his past actions that were perhaps unwise, or just didn’t go according to plan. I am sure he would like a chance to start over. If not, perhaps he is just hoping the end will come quick…

Whatever path you are on, take a step back. Ask yourself where am I going? Where will my thoughts take me to? What will be the result of my actions? How are my habits affecting my direction?

It is an absolute travesty, in this day and age, that there are still people making their beds each night on cold city streets around the world, as now, we are experiencing the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of humankind. It is actually easier to build wealth now than in the past. Make sure you utilize the information that is out there to avoid the same fate as the gentleman above.

Whatever you do, I urge you not to turn your nose up at the homeless, no matter how wretched they look. They are people capable of experiencing joy and fear, and they have hopes and dreams.

No matter how bad they smell, YOU don’t have to live with it…that is unless your thoughts, habits and actions are setting you on the wrong path…

The Conspiracy Against Your Money

The Tragedy of Death Bed Regrets

“Live life without regrets.”

That is what I was told. Yet it is difficult, because when we have time to reflect on past actions it is hard not to think how we could have done things differently. Yet, these regrets can sometimes consume us until it is too late, and that is very sad.

I once heard about a lady who works in a hospice. What struck her most in the course of her work was that nearly all of her elderly patients expressed death bed regrets before breathing their last. Rather than looking back on a life lived full, with fond memories and hope for future generations of their families, they would almost all dwell on missed opportunity with regret, and even more sadly, despair…

This is tragic.

One of the most common regrets was not having the courage to pursue their dreams and going for gold, for fear of what others might have thought. It bothers me whenever people let fear, and social pressure (from family and friends, especially) hold them back from pursuing their dreams.

Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are quite the opposite.  We thrive on the challenge thrown up by naysayers. We don’t care what others think; in fact we’re actually more afraid of NOT trying at all than failing. We believe that there is more risk in a “safe and secure job” than there is to building our own businesses, and as a result of this belief, we rely on ourselves rather than the government to bail us out!

Another common regret was “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.”

I am sure we can all relate to this one. Often we are stuck in corporate “servitude” responding to the whims of our employers (however well intentioned), for 60 to 70+ hours per week, and all we do is work, work and more work. We have all done this, and if you were like me, when do, we barely ever get to see our families. Yet, when we do, we are too tired, drained and exhausted to enjoy our valuable time together.

Entrepreneurs however, CHOOSE to work a lot of hours. I do, and so does my wife. We are now BOTH Entrepreneurs, driven by our joint goal of being able to live both in Tokyo and London simultaneously!

And it’s not draining… it’s invigorating!

Frankly, we entrepreneurs are restless unless we ARE working on something (I don’t even really like going to bed anymore); I actually enjoy what I do. It brings value to my life, and I am bringing value to other people as well.

I’d bet few (if any) of the people who regretted working so much were entrepreneurs. Most likely they were working for another employee working his or her way up the corporate ladder, eager to impress the superiors!

Wasting your life like this WILL cause regrets. It’ll steal your time with your family. It will steal time from your interests. It will steal your life! What’s more, it will never pay you what you’re worth.

The good news is that becoming an entrepreneur has NEVER been easier. Sure it is hard at first – anything new is hard. However once you learn your way, understand your market and start to see results, it gets easier, and easier, and easier.

You just have to work through the initial feelings of overwhelm, and when you do, you will be very glad you did!

www.createyourdreamfuture.moonfruit.com

What are the biggest obstacles to success?

In another post I said that feelings of overwhelm precede personal growth.  Today I would like to explore this a little further and hopefully empower you to make a change today, no matter how small it may be.

 

Change is uncomfortable and sometimes down right scary, and it is not always necessary; for as the old saying goes “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!”  But more often than not a little change is a change for the better.

 

Many people try to change, and many people are impatient.  They want results yesterday!  But this attitude leads to them becoming confused, overwhelmed, and even more static than before.  As a result of this, any positive steps forward are quickly lost as they slide back to the initial status quo, or even beyond.

 

The confused mind does nothing.  How can it, it is confused!  It doesn’t know up from down, left from right, good from bad and so it is like standing at a cross roads with multiple choices but no sign posts.  You kind of know where you want to go, but have absolutely no idea of how to get there.

 

So what do you do?

 

Well just as with any journey by car, you need to know your destination.  There are an infinite number of routes to that destination, and each journey starts with a single step, then another, then another and so on, until your goal is reached.  This is obvious!  Yet when it comes to personal development this very idea is lost in the mists of overwhelming panic, fear and confusion.

 

When we are confused and overwhelmed we become disorganized and this is when procrastination sets in, the single biggest obstacle to success; Procrastination feeds on confusion, and disorganization.

 

Procrastination sabotages success!

 

When this happens, it is so important to step back and take an objective look at your situation.  What is the first step you need to make?  Do you need to go right, left, or straight on?  This could be something little as carrying out an internet search for information, calling a friend, going to the library or mapping out your ideas with good old fashion pen and paper.

 

Whenever you feel overwhelmed, remember, this is a natural process that always come before a period of personal growth.  However, in order to not let this feeling discourage you, or hinder you, break it down into small, manageable tasks.

 

Do not procrastinate.  Working to move an extra 1% per day is very manageable and in fact, quite probably, the quickest way forward.

 

And finally, remember this; no one ever tries to eat an entire roast turkey in just one bite, yet no one ever procrastinates with it either!

It’s My Wedding Anniversary!

Two years ago today, my wife and I got married in a bike shed.  Don’t ask, it’s a long story!  But it was the happiest day of my life up until then, and since then it just keeps getting better, and better!

We have started a little anniversary tradition that takes us to Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at he Conrad Hotel here in Tokyo.  If you have not heard of Gordon Ramsey, google him, he is simply great chef, known for his strong and constant use of expletives just as much as his divine food.  It is simply amazing!

The staff make this place really special, so friendly, so helpful, and just really nice; a far cry from the usual pomposity one can find in high end dining establishments.

Check out the pics:

 

We so loved it all, we are going back on Christmas Day for lunch, and we have already booked next year!  I have never booked anything that far in advance!

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