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Edition 44- The Kyoto Protocol

As I write this week’s newsletter, I’m sitting in Kansai International Airport in Osaka, Japan. I’ve travelled here to meet with my Growth Cycle – my International Mentoring Group – in the beautiful city of Kyoto.

Three times per year, this group meets, swap notes about business, challenge each other to reach higher, faster, and provide an amazing support network to each other. Four of us are Australians, two are from California and one is an American, who has Australian citizenship and now lives in Japan. Alan Weiss, who is known globally as the Million Dollar Consultant, is our facilitator and confidante.

Here are some of my learnings from our time together, and some of my observations about Japan:

  1. Risk

    Prudent risk is the only way you are truly going to grow your business. If you’re not taking risks, you will quickly slip backwards.

  2. Immersion

    In a different culture, even for four days, opens your mind up tremendously to the world and what opportunities exist in business.

  3. Fear

    Eating turtle, jellyfish, sea urchin and abalone was quite easy to do when you decided that part of the experience of being in Japan was experiencing how and what they eat.

  4. Obsession

    Business should not become your hobby. If you are so obsessive about your business that you’re rarely taking time away from it, you’re not giving your brain the chance to re-charge, consider other things in life and add richness to it.

  5. Enthusiasm and Energy

    We should all be consistently enthused and energetic about our businesses. If we’re not, find another one to be involved with.

  6. Guilt

    The work we put into our business and our lives out of guilt is not our most productive work.

  7. Health

    The biggest component to your success in life is your health – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

  8. Respect

    Service everywhere in Japan is simply superb. From the housekeeping staff in the hotel, to the waiters in restaurants and shop assistants everywhere, it was their privilege to serve you, and they let you know it. Are you as respectful of your clients or customers and the business they provide to you?

  9. Evolution

    Are you discarding business that no longer serves you best in business? If not, why are you retaining it and what value is it adding to your business?

  10. Contemplation

    In a city of more than 1000 temples and shrines, the chance to stop, be silent and clear your mind was a great means of reflection.

There were many standouts of my short time in Kyoto, but I’ve chosen to leave you with two:

  1. Last Friday, I took a walk in the brisk, autumn morning. As I made my way up a lane, what looked like a small temple appeared ahead of me. I stopped to enjoy the view, to be rewarded with the tone of the Shinto Shrine’s bell ringing once, followed by the soft chants of some Japanese monks.
  2. On Saturday afternoon, we visited Kinkaku-ji – The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. The history of the site dates back to 1397. It was one of the most spectacular sights I have ever experienced. A temple embossed in more than 200 000 gold leaves, glistened in the late afternoon sunlight and as it was reflected in the lake that surrounded it.

This Week’s Tip

Travel enriches your outlook on so many aspects of life. It is the most enjoyable and the quickest form of learning available to each and every one of us. Your perspective on life changes when you travel.