- SCT Inc.
Date of birth: Dec. 17, 1949
Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 42 (as of November 2018)
My first encounter with Japan, albeit a tenuous one, was in the late ’60s when I practiced karate in London under the tutelage of Hirokazu Kanazawa and Keinosuke Enoeda. I came to Japan in 1976 for just a two-month holiday, not knowing much about the country or people. Those two months have now stretched to 42 years and counting.
I have a few, but one is, “You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.” This is something I truly believe. It need only be a thought or too modest a goal. Another is, “Have no regrets.” Choices you make are yours and yours alone. Have confidence and be positive.
Pride has two meanings and it is a word I would prefer not using when it comes to my accomplishments. My company is now in its 30th year, and over that time, we have imported and exported a very wide range of products worldwide, helped trade offices of overseas governments and have had regulations in Japan changed to accommodate certain imports. I am proud of my family, though.
I have often thought that I subconsciously set limits by having the simple goal of being able to take care of my family and spend my twilight years in reasonable comfort. I am happy with that, though. My goals now are to live many more years in good health and happiness, see my children raise their own families, find new business opportunities and mentor those who follow me.
If you can work in an area of choice that you really love, that’s great, but more often than not there is little choice. Look for opportunities and make the most of them. Take pride in what you do. Enjoy challenges and learn something every day. Live within your means and try to stay out of debt. If you are starting a company, whatever the dream, keep your expenses to a minimum. Be honest and trustworthy. In business, you will come across many who are not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be. Always be authentic and the person you say you are.
If you are a non-Japanese, try to learn the language, mix with the locals, share values and most importantly, don't forget to separate the garbage.