Starting a New Business: A Guide for the Youthful Challenger
"Advice for Entrepreneurs"

(Delivered at Happy Science’s Headquarters in Gotanda, Tokyo)

Master Ryuho Okawa offered this lecture primarily for students and young adults who aspire to start their own business. As founder of the Happy Science Group, Master Okawa drew on his own experiences to give a talk filled with practical insights.


The Mindset and Efforts Required to Start a Business

To start a business, deciding what area of interest to pursue becomes the first important step. Master Okawa stated that it is desirable to pursue a business area that’s interesting for the founder, and is in high demand. It is not easy to do business in an area where demands are scarce, or if it is uninteresting for the founder.

Master Okawa, however, reflected on his own experience of establishing Happy Science when demands for religion were few. He encouraged his audience to be determined enough to create entirely new markets and demands if they’re really in possession of a passionate desire to do so.

After finding a business area to pursue, what is most difficult is to build up the new enterprise from scratch. Here, Master Okawa spoke of the importance of capital for young people just starting out; namely, “money, wisdom and experience”. He advised them to accumulate experience as part-time workers, to learn how to use other people, how money works, and how to serve customers.

In starting a new business, there are also alternative methods such as working in larger companies, and then setting out independently. Master Okawa noted that in such cases, it’s important to go slowly and steadily, acquiring the support of people that have different abilities than you.


Progress by Perpetuating the Spirit of Innovation

After the new business is in motion, the next difficulty lies in expanding the business into a large corporation. This is because it is not easy to perpetuate the spirit of innovation alone. Master Okawa explained two key factors necessary to sustain progress; the ‘textbook approach’ and the training of capable people.

What is the ‘textbook approach’? Once a new venture becomes stable, employees should compile the successful methods that contributed to the growth of the organization into a textbook in order to share the information amongst fellow workers. This method allows for greater possibilities to entrust work to others, thus effectively preparing people to become capable workers and expanding the business.

For capable workers that especially want to become your ‘alter-ego’, it is essential to communicate your company’s principles repeatedly in order to solidify them within your people.

In this lecture, Master Okawa also discussed other ideas that students and young people who aspire to start their own businesses should want to learn at all costs: how to overcome sectionalism, the difficulties of personnel management, and the skills they ought to learn as students.

Of course, it would also be great for people who are already working as proprietors and managerial employees to hear this speech if they’re seeking to improve their performances as well.

On a final note, Master Okawa said that true business management is one that ploughs straight forward, regardless of which way the wind blows.

Starting a New Business: A Guide for the Youthful Challenger
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