Today, I would like to talk about how and why I started my own business from NOTHING.
First, let’s start from explaining about my first career. I used to work at a bank in Japan after I graduated from a university in Japan. My monthly salary was approximately 75,000 pesos and it was more than 5 times when I quit the job 8 years later. When I left the company, most of my friends and colleagues told me that they can not understand why I quit it because working at big company means not only very very safe and stable but also good life(high salary). Honestly speaking, I was not satisfied what I could get from the company. Especially, when I was just 25 years old, my salary was only 100,000(Japanese standard) but my performance was much better than last 2 years. Many Japanese companies had and still have hierarchical salary raising systems. I really wanted to prove my ability and challenge to get more. Yes, that was a start of very tough life and an experience of the hell.
At that time, I had no idea how to start business. Therefore, I got a job at IT marketing company although my salary was a bit lower than one at bank. When I went to the office and knew how the company would face the difficulties to make profit. The monthly sales was only 100,000 pesos but my monthly salary was much bigger than the company sales. Moreover, we had 20 co-workers who got almost same salary as mine. You can guess that the company would spend whole cash soon even if it had 5 million USD as a capital. It was too late to realize that I made a very bad choice of company after working for bank.
Nevertheless, I did not give up easily and tried to turn around the company like CEO. I talked and suggested a lot of things to REAL CEO and then I noticed one more big mistake. The company was a small venture and all of future depended on a CEO who has 100% of the responsibility. It is true that he has a good education and working background but he did not have a strong leadership to decide the direction of company. Eventually, I started preparing for my own business. I already got married and had 2 daughters at that time and did not have any money for the initial capital. All money was withdrawn from Loan Card which was made when I worked at bank. After all, the IT company was bankrupt only 4 month after I joined it. It was only my experience that I could not turn around the business. Hopefully will have no experience even in the future.
Finally I became my own boss on November 30 in 2001. No money, no sales and only 4 month experience for IT company. My younger brother joined me and one of my best friends who worked for a big company promised me that he could give a job to my company. Sounds like a very bright future….but the fact is that I really really struggled about making my business stable for the first 2-3 years and I experienced mental problems then.
Two tips from my experience.
I will write about how tough it was next time. Thank you for reading all.
Managing Director Living in Cebu since 2013. Bachelor of Economics from Osaka University(1993) MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business(2015).