My first encounter with Japan was through my grandparents who were both born in Japan and immigrated to the U.S. as children. Many of my cousins and relatives are also second- and third-generation Japanese in the U.S.
There are two mottos I take to heart and believe everyone should follow to be a true individual. The first is “be the first mover.” The second is “take responsibility.” If you take responsibility for whatever happens to you, you have control over your life. If something is another person’s fault, you lose control over your life and you give up the driver’s seat to that person.
My language school chain One Coin English has grown from myself and two other people renting classroom space from a friend to a team of over 170 people and 11 locations in less than six years. Our success was due to hard work, talent and luck. I am proud of what we achieved, but also acknowledge that our timing was impeccable and that helped a lot!
My goal is to become a more macro-level thinker and avoid making instant judgments as much as possible. The complexity I am dealing with on a weekly basis is much more than I could have imagined and these decisions I make impact hundreds to thousands of people. Jumping to conclusions or not gathering more information before making an important decision does impact others.
My recommendation to others is to be humble. No matter what you achieve, there is always someone who knows more or has achieved more than you. Letting your ego take over you will block you from a good chance to learn from that person and I see many people fail both career-wise and in communicating with others because of this.
I also recommend understanding how you use time and understanding what your goals are. Economically successful businesspeople are either lucky, make repeatedly good decisions or have very clear goals and avoid actions that do not support those goals as much as possible. Also, have goals that are focused on helping other people.
Lastly, always save your work to the cloud. I thought this would be common sense now, but I still see it happening to someone every month!