Masayoshi Son: how to build a billion dollars company from a big dream

Masayoshi Son is the founder of Softbank and the richest man in Japan. He’s known to the world as:

  1. Lost 99% net worth ($70 billion) overnight in the dotcom crash.
  2. Invested $20 million into Alibaba which is now worth $140 billion
  3. Bought Vodafone Japan for $15.1 billion
  4. Bought 70% Sprint for $20.1 billion

When asked what he would want people to remember about him after he leaves the earth: “A crazy guy who bets on the future.”

The following is the except from Son’s interview with HBR in 1992 when Softbank was 10 year old. This is how Masayoshi Son started Softbank:

For a year and a half, I did research and made business plans. While I prepared, I had no income. I spent money, I had a new baby. My wife was worried. All my friends, my father, my mother, everybody was worried. They asked me, what are you going to do? You spent years studying in the United States, and now you aren’t doing anything. I spent all my time just thinking and thinking, studying what to do. I went to the library and bookstores. I bought books, I read all kinds of materials to prepare for what I would do for the next 50 years.

I came up with 40 new business ideas—everything from creating software to setting up hospital chains, since my wife’s father is a doctor and has a hospital. Then I had about 25 success measures that I used to decide which idea to pursue. One success measure was that I should fall in love with a particular business for the next 50 years at least. Very often, people get excited for the first few years, and then, after they see the reality, they get tired of the business. I wanted to choose one that I would feel more and more excited about as the years passed.

Another factor was that the business should be unique. That was very important to me. I didn’t want anyone else doing exactly the same thing. A third was that within 10 years I wanted to be number one in that particular business, at least in Japan. And I wanted to pick a business where the business category itself would be growing for the next 30 to 50 years. I didn’t want to choose a sinking ship.

I had all those measurements, about 25 in all, and 40 new ideas. I took a big sheet of paper, and I drew a matrix and put down scores and comments for each. Then I picked the best one, which turned out to be the personal computer software business. That was the start of Softbank.

…….

I thought about making software myself and starting a software business, like I had done while I was at Berkeley. But, I thought, if I make good software, who would sell it? Making software and selling software are entirely different businesses. Even if I make good software, if there’s no one to sell it, I’d have to close the business.

I looked around for someone who was selling software, and I couldn’t find anyone. So, I thought, if no one is going to do it, I should do it. I made a list of the software producers and went to see them to find out what kind of software was available.

………

I had a very long-term vision. I didn’t have any evidence, but I believed in myself. I believed that someday I would have a very big company, a global business, and a very successful company.

While in college, Masayoshi Son wanted to become financially independent as soon as possible. He started looking for jobs that only required 5 minutes working and would pay $10,000 a month. His friends thought he was crazy. There were illegal jobs such as selling drugs but Masayoshi Son did not want to do anything illegal.

Masayoshi Son learned from Konusoke Matsushita, the god of management, that inventions can generate money. He set out to do inventions. His goal was to have a new idea for inventions every day. He would set his clock to go off in 5 minutes and in these 5 minutes he would come up with one invention. He wrote all those ideas in a notebook. This notebook has 250 ideas logged.

Through this process, Masayoshi Son chose one idea and created a patent which later sold to Sharp for $1 million. This was when he was still at University of California Berkeley and 21 years old. When also in college, Masayoshi Son create video games and later sold for $2 million when he returned to Japan.

Reference: https://hbr.org/1992/01/japanese-style-entrepreneurship-an-interview-with-softbanks-ceo-masayoshi-son

Quotes from Masayoshi Son:

“Life is short. I will regret if I don’t act boldly when I am young.”

“Because time is limited. We must live life to the fullest.”

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you would like to have a conversation, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

 

15 must-have skills to land a job

Be aware of the skills most employers are looking for regardless of the position you are seeking.
Those include:
  1. Being punctual. Arrive on-time, preferably early, and stay till the quitting time, better live late.
  2. Being dependable.
  3. Having a good attitude.
  4. Having drive, energy, and enthusiasm.
  5. Wanting more than a paycheck.
  6. Being self-disciplined, well-organized, highly motivated, and good at managing time.
  7. Handling people well.
  8. Using language efficiently.
  9. Being committed to teamwork.
  10. Being trainable and loving to learn.
  11. Being project-oriented and result-oriented.
  12. Being good at problem-solving.
  13. Having integrity.
  14. Being loyal to the organization.
  15. Being able to identify market trends and opportunities.

 

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Other popular articles:

  1. 20 minutes that can change your life
  2. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?
  3. How to guard yourself against negative influences
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  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires
  7. Leaders are readers
  8. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  9. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you are curious about the above method and how you can apply it to your life successfully, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

Going against the odds

I met an engineer at Symantec in 2011. She was an older woman. After talking to her, she shared that she was working on her third Phd. Not her first, but her third…. I was impressed but secretly in my mind I had two thoughts: it was possible and it was impossible. The thought was that it was impossible to study for a doctorate degree while working full-time and raising a family.

I decided a long time ago that I would not get a doctorate degree. I was successful without one. No one in my family had ever had a doctorate. Besides, I set out to become a businessman, not a teacher. I held a strong belief back then that only people who wanted to work in academia would get a Phd.

I talked to many people. They all told me that it’s impossible to get a Phd while working. They told me that it’s just too difficult and too time-consuming. They saw their relatives and friends who were working on Phd. Even though they were just working on their degree, it was tough. They gave me many reasons that it’s impossible to study while working full-time and raising a family.

However, the idea of getting a doctorate was planted in my mind from the moment I talked to the engineer. Somehow she proved to me that it’s possible.

The seed grew stronger and stronger. What if I could get a doctorate degree? What if I could be the first in the family to get a doctorate? What if I could get one for my family? What if I could do so for them before going all out for myself? What if I could get one to tell my children that nothing is impossible? What if I could be an example for other full-time employees that it’s possible to get higher education while working? What if I could be an example that it’s possible to commit to something big and realize it regardless of circumstances?

In 2014, I seriously looked into schools that offer doctorate degrees. I found one school that offers online learning with flexible schedule. After talking to my wife, the decision was made. Without any second thought, I signed up and paid the fee.

I found out that what people told me was true. My weekend and nights were filled with study and writing. Luckily, my wife and kids supported me. They sacrificed to let me study. We went out less and cut shorter all gatherings.

Studying was rather easy for me. However, writing was not. I never liked writing in school and avoided it at all cost. Yet, writing was the main activity with studying online. Every week, I was required to turn in a paper with a minimum of five pages.

At first it took me forever to produce a five-pages paper. I was determined to not let writing become an obstacle. I practiced and practiced writing till I no longer had any difficulty with it. Interestingly, after a few months, I loved writing and it became my favorite way for me to communicate.

Another challenge with writing had to do with thinking. If you ever do any kind of writing, you know that thinking often makes writing harder. The more you think, the less you write. Initially I thought a lot of what to write and how to write. Sometimes I sat at the desk for hours to just think without putting any word in. That was unproductive. Once I learned from some books I read, I just made an outline and typed without thinking too much and it worked. I was able to write the paper in much shorter time and spend more time making corrections. Setting a goal, dividing the writing task into smaller trunks, and putting a deadline also worked like wonder.

I did not think much at the time. However, I did take on the fourth activity besides working full-time, studying for my doctorate degree, and raising my family. I studied coaching and leadership. It started with John Maxwell Team in 2015. In 2016, I enrolled into Steve Chandler’s advanced coaching school. From late 2016, I participated in Landmark Worldwide courses.

I was like a machine. I did my job at Symantec, spent time with my family, did coaching, studied for my doctorate degree. Not at once I let one activity be impacted by the other. Most people at work and whom I coached did not know that I studied for doctorate. It seemed natural for me to complete everything I took on.

Until the last part of the doctorate study…. For my dissertation, I had to conduct my own researches, write the paper without any official deadline which proved to be a real challenge. Talking to a coach when she was coaching me, she asked about my priority. It was clear that I couldn’t continue doing all the four things and do all well. It was clear that my job at Symantec can not be impacted. I couldn’t ask my family to sacrifice any more than they had already been doing. I had to finish the dissertation. Reducing my involvement with coaching was the choice I had to make. I stopped offering group coaching/mastermind courses. I stopped offering one-on-one coaching. For most of my 2017, it was work, family, and the dissertation.

The moment I completed the final chapter and turned the paper in, I felt relieved. It was such a great feeling that I completed something big for people I love and got back to my family, my job, and coaching.

The school held a graduation ceremony on August 25th at the Nixon library. I met many graduates and instructors who were on the same journey. Most of us shared the same: working full-time, studying for doctorate at nights and weekend, and more importantly raising a family.

Since people found out that I did my MBA and doctorate while working full-time, many asked for tips and tricks. I must say I have none rather than just do it. Nothing is impossible. Make a decision and go with it all the way.

I learned what I just said from coaching. Coaching was very beneficial to my journey. Many times I wanted to quit as I did not need a doctorate to be a businessman. Besides I was not doing it for myself. My coaches helped me realize that I was letting my self-doubt take over me. I made a decision to take on the journey driven by a purpose bigger than myself. And I was capable to complete it. Those extraordinary coaches helped me get back to what I committed to do.

If you ever have a moment of doubt when doing something you commit to do, just remember what I wrote above or reach out to me. Nothing is impossible. Don’t let your self-doubt prove that it’s impossible.

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching. Since June 2018, Hoan left his full-time job at Symantec to commit himself to a new journey. Hoan climbed the doctorate mountain and the Symantec mountain. He’s set to climb a new and bigger mountain. If you would like to have a conversation with Hoan, drop him a line at coach@hoanmdo.com

10 traits of megasuccessful entrepreneurs

I wanted to look for a list of commonalities among CEOs and founders of unicorns, which are startups that surpass billion dollar valuation.

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of BridgeWater which manages $160 billion in 2017, wrote in his best-selling book “The Principle” about his research for commonalities among successful entrepreneurs whose companies and products disrupted the industry. Ray called them shapers. I have heard others called them builders, disruptors, or simply entrepreneurs.

The following is from Ray’s book “The Principle”.

Shaper is someone who comes up with unique and valuable visions and builds them, typically over doubts and opposition of others.
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ray Dalio are shapers.
Ray researched shapers (Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos….) and came up with their commonalities:
    1. They visualize remarkable concept and build organizations to actualize them.
    2. They are independent thinkers who do not let anyone or anything stand in their way of achieving their audacious goals.
    3. They have very strong mental maps of how things should be done, a willingness to test those mental maps, and change the ways they do things to make them work better.
    4. They are extremely resilient because their need to achieve what they envision is stronger than the pain they experience.
    5. They have a wider range of vision than most people.
    6. They are able to see big pictures and granular details and synthesize the perspectives they gain at those different levels.
    7. They are simultaneously creative, systematic, and practical.
    8. They are assertive and open-minded.
    9. They are passionate about what they are doing, intolerant of people who work for them who aren’t excellent at what they do.
    10. They want to have a big, beneficial impact on the world.
Shapers would rate low on the question “Concern for others”. The reason is that when faced with a choice between achieving their goal or pleasing others, they would choose achieving their goals every time.
True shapers consistently move from one success to another and sustain over decades.
Check out Ray’s amazing book at https://www.principles.com

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Other popular articles:

  1. 20 minutes that can change your life
  2. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?
  3. How to guard yourself against negative influences
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  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires
  7. Leaders are readers
  8. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  9. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you are curious about the above method and how you can apply it to your life successfully, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

10 powerful questions to scan someone to uncover their hidden cache of cashable assets.

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If you want to be successful and reach your leadership potential, you need to embrace asking questions as a lifestyle. Make it a habit to ask questions, instead of giving answer. Be the dumbest person in the room, instead of the smartest person in the room.

Asking the right questions of the right person at the right time is a powerful combination.
“The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.” – Thomas J. Watson
Following are 10 powerful questions to ask anyone, especially people you care deeply about.

Uncover from the Mind:

  1. Knowledge: what do you know? (knowledge, schooling)
  2. Skills: what can you do? (skills, know-how, street-smarts)
  3. Confidence: where have you been successful? (money, relationship, organization)
  4. Failures and fears: what have you failed at/feared?
  5. What are your three biggest problems/challenges?

Uncover from the Heart:

  1. Passion: What are your passions? 
  2. Desire: What are your desires?
  3. Talents: What are you good at?
  4. Wisdom: What are your life’s top three lessons?
  5. Connections: Whom do you know?

 

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Other popular articles:

  1. 20 minutes that can change your life
  2. A SPECIAL GIFT FOR YOU – WHY SHOULD I HIRE A COACH?
  3. How to guard yourself against negative influences
  4. Life lessons from a Uber driver who was laid off
  5. How to get your dream job with no experience – Lessons from Bill McDermott
  6. This simple skill is worth millions, helped many become millionaires, billionaires
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  8. Making 6 figures #2? How to avoid being one of 29% of American households with no retirement savings
  9. Making 6 figures? How to avoid being one of 69% of Americans who have less than $1000 in the bank.

About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach. Hoan have led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has been organizing mastermind groups to share with other leaders about transformational leadership and coaching. He has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you are curious about the above method and how you can apply it to your life successfully, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com