Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Week 7 and 8 Optimizers Update

Week 7 and 8; November 3 – November 15
Optimizers Program; The program is simple in nature, yet difficult to explain. I have devised a way to 1) think, 2) plan and 3) execute my intentions in order to pursue my dreams. It is simply a way to measure my own key performance numbers and follow my progress. This blog is also a way to show how my progress is moving along and to describe the unique lifestyle that is for a foreigner living in Japan. I wish to share these experiences and my progress with you.

Maximum Points Available:
Overall 74% 384.6/520 Points

2 Week Pt Totals 2 Week Goals %Goal Reached
88 110 80% Economic
78 85 92% Exercise
84 85 99% Nutrition
57 55 104% Cleaning
87.6 110 80% Temple
47 100 47% Mind
89 120 74% Spirit
110 100 110% Connect
37 20 185% Dropping the Ball

384.6 520 74% Total

Economic 80% 88/110 Points
Stabilizing: Quite a good couple weeks as I practiced bringing only 500 yen per day to spend, I prepared my own lunches and food to eat as well as bottles of water. A few days of overspending, this was a great reminder that I have to continue to be disciplined and follow the approach.

Moving Ahead: The main focus here was the exporting business and some god discussions on English training. The next two weeks will be critical as far as the next six months go. I have thinking of plans, the next focus for weeks 9 and 10 shall be utilizing time in the evening to prepare and plan for the week and the next day. This is so critical and so easy but as well so easily not done. The results you see are completely correlated to how well you plan, and execute your ideas.

Optimizers: Very little was accomplished here as my main business concepts have to take priority. I plan to meet people in the next two weeks to move this program ahead.

Temple: 80% 87.6/110 Points
Not bad, as far as nutrition and exercise goes I still maintained some decent effort. It is now evident that this Optimizers semester has proved to be mainly sustaining effort. I must start to look to the next Optimizers; Winter SOULstice and begin preparing a simplified but more encompassing plan to pursue and track my intentions. There shall be no more smoking from week 9. Nothing more needs to be said on this. With the potential news from my wife this next week I must prepare my body to be as healthy as possible for one more very important reason, the rest being the fact that I want to enjoy the last half of my life without serious health complications due to my treating my body like a punching bag for the last 15 years.

Mind: 47% 47/100 Points
I have been very bad with this. I need to keep pushing myself to learn more about Social Media, Japanese and my author ambitions. The main key here is to write down the plans for the next day and follow them. On the bright side I have found a new application which should make it much easier to study on the fly! http://www.Smart.fm No more excuses. Now is the time to improve my knowledge.

Connect: 110% 110/100 Points
This has always been my strongest foundation and still is. I need to start writing to reconnect to all of my contacts. I just need to again write one or more friends and family every day. Fantastic event was held by our TJCS (Tokai Japan Canada Society) business committee which was blogged previously.

Spirit: 74% 89/120 Points
While not perfect, I have found that most days I can sit calmly and reach deep meditative levels without too much focus. This level of calmness is great for inspiration and helps me find some peace in difficult times. Of note, when I do this effectively it can often bring those days of stress into focus and I often get right back to work shortly after meditation.

GDI Exports: GDI Colin
Japanese Car Quality Reason #1: Monozukuri

Ever wonder why Japanese quality has come to the forefront with so many industries in the last few decades? So did I, this is one reason why I have decided to join James Hedden in our quest to export high quality Japanese built cars and high quality foreign vehicles and machinery which were used here in Japan. The first factor of this success was actually highlighted (an previously posted through the GDI Colin blog) with our latest installment of the Tokai Japan Canada Society Canada Means Business events. Our team successfully pulled off another event with Ron Haigh from Toyota giving an extremely valuable presentation about how Toyota has become a global leader in one of the worlds largest industries. Toyota continues to move ahead on a global scale simply by taking a scientific approach to business management and manufacturing. Japanese quality comes from many different techniques but two that stand out are ‘monozukuri’ and ‘kaizen’. Monozukuri is the concept of building products which actually benefit society which is of course primarily the customer, the second one ‘kaizen’, being the obsessive passion for improving the processes that go into any product. In our case with GDI Exports we are slowly moving towards a consistent inward look at how we can offer high quality cars, trucks, heavy machinery and equipment with an efficient and optimized customer service experience. Our website should see significant changes soon as we aim to narrow our focus on high quality vehicles and equipment. Have any questions? Send me an email or have a look at our website for more information.

For our future endeavours we will plan on creating a mission statement, followed by a detailed plan on how I will make this mission statement possible. With the mission statement and the detailed plan I will execute the work needed to move ahead and establish key performance indicators (KPI) that show how progress is moving along and allow for improvement to be made to the process. This is where I believe the western business professionals have lost focus. With the emphasis on individuality there is little focus on the overall team and how to improve things continuously, with these improvements come a disciplined approach using effective meetings and action plans. This approach is not as interesting as instinctual management, this may be true to some extent however when you are talking about building business you need to Think, Plan and Act of course, but you also need to rely on data and your KPI to understand your environment and analyze how to best move forward. Intuition is exciting but data and analyzing metrics is the only way to build a successful business. Time will tell if this theory actually will provide the fruit I have been looking for. I am convinced and will be able to tell more within my planned six months timeline which ends in March 2010. Now it is time to really lay the foundations with my friend and co-worker James Hedden to see of we can effectively Think, Plan and Act our way to sustained wealth. Again I am convinced it will come only from plotting our strategic plan, and measuring our progress. Stay tuned for more updates on our quest, and send us an email if you want to learn more about importing used cars or equipment to your locale!


Aurora English Comments:
No action here, he nest two weeks I hope to create the action plans moving forward.

The Optimizers: The program is simple, yet takes time to understand how to implement. I am planning on having the next full program start on December 21: Winter SOULstice 2010. It will be a full team based commitment and will be limited to ten members of which 6 should be in the Nagoya area. Please send me a note if you know you are ready to challenge yourself like never before. 90 days, maximum 50 points a day, minimum points you get per day is up to you!

Email me at positiveattraction@gmail.com

Friday, November 13, 2009



第二回 :ロン・ヘイグ

トヨタ自動車株式会社 : 海外事業部



Nikki Giovanni, 詩人











また、2010年のビジネス委員会に参加される新会員にも期待しております。是非素晴らしい来年のためにもbusiness@tjcs.jp までご連絡を!





- スティーブ・バーソン

H & R Consultants


Contact Steve Here


アリソン ティーズデール


Tokai Japan Canada Society - Canada Means Business

Canada Means Business; Speakers Corner

Volume 2: Ron Haigh

Toyota Motor Corporation; Overseas External Division

Learning from Mistakes and Remembering Why We are Here

“Mistakes are a part of life. It’s your response to error that counts.” - Nikki Giovanni, Poet

We are pleased to announce another successful event, the second volume in Canada Means Business; Speakers Corner series was held this past Thursday November 5th with over 25 attendees from Japan, Canada, USA and Australia. Introduced by our lovely Business Committee member and MC for the night Ms. Rika Tanaka; our guest Mr. Ron Haigh highlighted the history of the automobile, and how Toyota evolved into the international success we all know today. Beginning with company founders Sakichi Toyoda and Kichiro Toyoda we learned how the company adapted from early mistakes to continually improve its operations. One of the key principles to this ongoing improvement explained was Monozukuri, which is a key component of Japanese industry but is also a mainstay of the Tokai business scene, monozukuri (モノズクリ) states that the goal is to add value to society by producing things of exceptional value and to do so under the spirit of kaizen or the ‘spirit to produce excellent products and the ability to constantly improve a production system and process’.

Another key principle introduced by Mr. Haigh is Jidoka, (自働カ ) which is the process of man and machine working in unison to create products in order to benefit society. This was highlighted in the viewing of the Toyota assembly line through a DVD presentation showing how Toyota continually improves it’s processes utilizing it’s employees to add value at all aspects of the production process.

The closing portion was an explanation of how Toyota continued to learn from mistakes with it’s launch of Lexus in North America and how even though the cars were recalled Toyota went far beyond anyone’s expectations and sent technicians to owners and through this and many other measures earned the respect of the North American market with it’s dedication to one thing and one thing only, the customer.

The presentation was concluded with the future of hybrid technology and how Toyota is moving ahead with the Prius model and it’s latest release the hybrid only model which will be on sale in Japan on December 7. With only an hour and ten minutes, Mr. Haigh delivered an entertaining and powerful presentation, which left the audience eager for more.

We hope to have Mr. Haigh back for a follow up event early in the new year to finish his story as there is so much more to know about this extraordinary company.

A special thank you goes out to Mr. Haigh for coming down from Tokyo for giving us a great presentation. As well I would like to thank Ms. Rika Tanaka (MC), James Hedden (V.P. & Co-Chair), and Bruce McCaughn (Communication Committee Chair) for all the help in making the event possible. As well I would like to thank Mr. Allan Edwards from the Consulate here in Nagoya and Mr. Paul Thoppil, Commercial Minister, Trade Commissioner Service (Embassy of Canada in Tokyo) with their continued support we can all look forward to more events in the near future.

We are looking forward to finishing our 2009 Canada Means Business Series with the final installment being the Meet n Greet on December 2nd.

We are also looking for new members who would like to join the committee for 2010, please send an email to business@tjcs.jp and join us for another great year!

Colin Walker

TJCS Business Committee; Co-chair


Comments from our guests:

This bi-monthly business seminar is a great way to learn about business in Japan and interact with many people involved in international business in Nagoya. TJCS invites speakers from a wide range of backgrounds and industries and the networking is amazing! インタナショナルビジネスはここからスタート!私のお勧めです!

- Steve Burson


H & R Consultants

Contact Steve Here

With a company the size of Toyota, I figured that there must be other Canadian employees, but had yet to run into anyone until the Canada Means Business seminar. I started working for Toyota in 2007 after five years working for a tool and die maker in Takahama City, Aichi Prefecture. Through my years in Japan I have learned that "senpai", or superiors, are regarded as a great source of wisdom and advice, so I was eager to meet Ron Haigh and hear about his experience at Toyota over the past 20 years. Ron's speech about how Toyota has learned from its mistakes, yet remained steadfast to its principles, motivated me in my work as well. Many of the concepts were familiar to me and I already apply them everyday on the production floor, but Ron's personal anecdotes added humour to the story and made it very entertaining. Events like these give me a great networking opportunity and I look forward to participating in the future.

- Allison Teasdale,

Toyota Motor Company

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Week 5 and 6, Slowed progress but still moving ahead!

Week 5 and 6; October 19 – November 1
Optimizers Program; The program is simple in nature, yet a little difficult to explain so please keep learning. I have devised a way to 1) think, 2) plan and 3) execute my intentions in order to pursue my dreams. It is simply a way to measure my own key performance numbers and follow my progress. This blog is also a way to show how my progress is moving along and to describe the unique lifestyle that is for a foreigner living in Japan. I wish to share these experiences and my progress with you.

Maximum Points Available:
Overall 80% 401.4/500 Points
101/110 92% Economic
19/85 22% Exercise
86.5 85 102% Nutrition
68 55 124% Cleaning
69.4 110 63% Temple
77 90 86% Mind
115 120 96% Spirit
65 100 65% Connect
401.4 500 80% Total

Economic 92 % 101/110 Points
As far earning income, the long drought is over and the earnings are starting to move ahead. The goal now is to maintain what I have learned about the value of money earned and keep this as a strict motivator to spend less, save more and have safety funds.

Moving Ahead:
As mentioned this is really starting to improve. A good combination of effort, imagination and working towards a goal. I realized there are more than one avenue that will open over the next few months. I must explore all options and continue to push forward with the plan. The goal is to stick to the plan but alter it as experience is learned. Very exciting days indeed, however it is time to start moving ahead with income that is non-linear, i.e. we all need to start thinking about having income that arrives without an hourly work effort or salary. This means that we must think creatively to offer services or information that will enable our customers or clients to access our product or services at any time and pay for it at anytime. The goal with this is to explore Help options and helping people beyond the effort you give at any one time. This means that we must learn of options to increase our value proposition or scale our presence by utilizing new technologies to push our individually crafted messages into cyberspace and have those messages be picked up by the people who would be interested in working with us.

With the program, there is much work to do and fortunately I have more than enough to work on, must finish my video project and the users manual in the next 4 weeks however to have a good run at Winter SOULstice.

Temple: 63% 69.4/110 Points
Wow, what a difference a period of two weeks makes, I have been so busy and so tired fro late nights of computer work that I keep putting of the exercise component. This is a little disappointing yet I have put in some great effort here. I need to find some new work out resources and have to get back at it. Must make the intentions, write them down and heal the body. There has been some issues with the hips becoming sore from all the running.
The next two weeks I will aim for: P90X the ones I enjoy, Mens Health, Power 90, and Billy’s Boot Camp.

Mind: 86% 77/90 Points
Had a pretty good two weeks. This foundation is improving and I hope to start studying with a more formalized time segment soon. I think it may be best to schedule 40 minutes every day to be somewhere where I can read or study without distractions, this may be god to coincide with the meditation.

Connect: 65% 65/100 Points

Exciting news! Unfortunately I can’t share it, suffice to say there is some news that must wait a while to be properly announced as it can be a nervous time and we don’t want to draw attention to him / her. ;)

All good but must work at helping the family to stay positive and to email the friends I need to soon. There are so many people whom I promised would email but there just seems no time. So I will plan on doing this later in week 7.

Spirit: 96% 115/120 Points

I have moved ahead well with this. Must keep meditating as it does bring some peace to the day, one of the best things about spending an hour everyday in ‘thought’ mode is that I have time to calmly think about all the things going on in my life in a slow rational way.

GDI Exports: GDI Colin
Why are Japanese used cars so reasonably priced?
Reason # 1: Shaken (車検) pronounced ‘shah ken’, is the name of the vehicle inspection program in Japan for vehicles over 250cc in engine displacement.
This system is a nationally managed test where all owners of automobiles must have the vehicle tested to ensure roadworthiness. With cars and vehicles over 250 CC which are not company cars and or personal trucks the testing must happen three years after purchase of a new vehicle and every two year there after. These other company cars or personal trucks must have the test every two year from new purchase. The test can run anywhere from $1000 to $1500 USD. These types of diagnostics would normally cost approximately $100 - $500 USD worldwide.

After approximately five years of ownership it becomes evident that paying so much to ensure your five year old car can run on the roads in Japan usually entices many would be buyers to go ahead and purchase a new car. Used cars are often considered valuable if they have ‘shaken’ left on the vehicle, meaning that they can still be driven in Japan until they have to go in for the shaken test. At the point that a pre-owned vehicle has almost finished it’s shaken period it becomes less valuable and is often purchased for re-sale (dealerships manage a much cheaper shaken industry so they can re-sell the vehicle easier) or the cars are ready to be auctioned off and shipped globally.

If you have any other questions or are interested in looking at our inventory please send me an email or check out our website. We are gearing up and will soon be offering more with used cars, trucks machinery and heavy equipment. Onwards and Upwards.

Aurora English Comments:
This also must take a back seat until the next business event is completed. I have a lot of ideas that need to be built into existing intentions and plans being developed. Must clearly define this by week 8.

SMJ Comments: Keep making things happen here, this area of business is so exciting yet needs to be continually learned. It is the age of the customer and the age of true value.

Aurora Import – Export: No real progress here. This will have to be put on hold.

The Optimizers: The program is simple yet takes time to understand how to implement. I am planning on having the next full program start on December 21: Winter SOULstice 2010. It will be a full team based commitment and will be limited to ten members of which 6 should be in the Nagoya area. Please send me a note if you know you are ready to challenge yourself like never before. 90 days, maximum 50 points a day, minimum is up to you!

Email me at positiveattraction@gmail.com