Profession, Right Livelihood
My great grandfather came to the USA as a pioneer in the early 1900's when poverty in Japan was rampant. I have been told my many that our roots go back to Samurai DNA. Perhaps this explains the intense work ethic in our family. With that said, here are some of the pillars of experience that have helped me throughout the years in the area of what is commonly called a 'profession'...
If you start something, you must finish it...
During my childhood, my first job was cleaning the windows of our house...$ 0.10 for the regular windows and $ 0.25 for the old fashion louver type. Needed to use newspaper to clean them...I ended up with more ink on my hands...but the windows became spotless. My second job was picking up bottles along Hoover street in Los Angeles and then cashing them in at the liquor store...very profitable...this was before the Ecology Movement so people were always tossing bottles out their car windows.
I delivered the Gardena Valley news and made $ 0.15 per month per paying customer. Delivering the Los Angeles Times at 5 am, 7 days a week was a big upgrade...but throwing the Sunday edition required help from my dad...good thing he had a station wagon with a tailgate. Saturday was the day of chores. Back in the day...this meant no pay. Picking up after the dogs, raking the leaves, cutting and trimming the grass (no power gadgets), cleaning the bathrooms and anything else that needed to be cleaned or washed.
What does this have to do with the facet of my life...which most people would call a profession? The foundation of how I worked in my youth established how I work today.
I learned from my father...
If you start something...finish it
If you do something...do it right the first time or do not do it at all
Work hard and don't complain
Seek first the Kingdom of God...
Numerous times in my life starting first with my sister who introduced me to Christianity, I have heard the saying "...seek first the Kingdom of God".
Later I have seen examples of this saying in the area of work, which had proven to produce successful results in a business environment. From an old Jewish business partner, then from a mentor...a retired milkman who made a fortune selling life insurance and from a third mentor a Mexican businessman with Chinese descent who owned a chain of shoe stores in Baja California, Mexico... they all taught the same rule..."seek first the Kingdom of God and everything will be given to you".
One of the greatest actions you can do is to help another achieve abundance. Give to others first what they need and you will receive what you want. Money comes to you as a blessing, you cannot 'make' money, take care to appreciate it.
Build brick by brick...
I worked with an Irish-American gentleman setting up and running his garment embroidery division. He was a large distributor of golf apparel and he made his fortune in the 3 G's...Garments, Golf and Gratitude. He told me that his father was a brick layer from New York when the greatest buildings were made entirely of brick. From him I learned patience and the fundamentals to building an organization...
Building an organization is the same as constructing a building, place one brick down at a time, one on top of the other, a solid structure. Do not be afraid to train someone to be better than yourself, hire the person and not the resume.
Focus on serving...
Since the late 70's I have been teaching the martial arts and disciplines in Mexico. Since the mid 90's I started to work in the area of import-export in Mexico. For 21 years (2000- 2021), I was the General Manager of the Mexico branch of a Japanese company (est. 1804), which is part of the Sumitomo Group of companies (est. 17th Century).
The company was involved in manufacturing automotive parts, import - export and Supply Chain Trading. Throughout all these years, I have been fortunate enough to have great friends, reliable resources and valuable experiences, which allowed me to work in a very wide range of settings in Mexico.
Regardless if I was a manager in this multinational group...or a simple newspaper boy and a bottle recycler who washed windows...I have come to ultimately realize that we all serve one another with our professions...and our professions are an extension of our services for the betterment of the world for our children, grand-children and future generations. Thus we build and leave our personal legacy.
Compassion in the corporate world leads to true success...
First take care of your team, then naturally they will take care of the project...
Service is the only True and Real activity in this world
Thank you Madre Mexico for the opportunity to serve. The experience was life changing and truly a blessing.
Thank you to the countless & fantastic people from all walks of life who have help me along this path of service.
It is still a great honor to be able to continue working and teaching in Mexico.