Work in Japan Advice Board
A recent edition of a popular weekly Japanese magazine featured an article with a title that roughly translates, “20,000 bankruptcies expected in October as Japan faces a Big Crash.” The article leads with an example of what is to come. In June, a major Japanese automotive parts supplier, with a 50-year history and annual revenues of 1 trillion yen went belly up. Three consecutive years of a high yen had swiftly undermined its 50-year old foundation. Shortly before the company went bankrupt the 65-year old president withdrew about 50 million yen from the company bank account and for a while disappeared. His second house was already under construction, and not one of his neighbor suspected that the company was in trouble.
The article cautions that this is not an unusual case, and such collapses are expected to increase in October, when mega banks, themselves gasping for air, tighten their belts and refuse to lend to fragile small and medium sized companies the lifeline which they need to keep their doors open. The problem is global, and the coming crisis is predicted to be far worse than the so-called Lehman Shock, when Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008.
Banks are being encouraged only to support those companies which can reasonably stand on their own, and to let the others fall. In view of the highest postwar valuation of the yen, many Japanese manufacturers are shifting yet more of their production overseas. Anticipating value of the yen against the dollar to rise as high as 70, Toshiba is shifting its thin screen television production overseas in order to be able to reimport to Japan at a competitive price. And so the hollowing out of one of the country’s core strengths continues to spread, as journalists and economists spread the cry that the sky is falling. While the situation is certainly serious, the question to ask is, who's sky is falling? And how are you going to respond?
Go back and read the Story of Chicken Little at http://eleaston.com/chicken.html. Do you remember how it ends? Chicken Little became frightened when an acorn fell on her head. She sets about warning all of her friends that the sky is falling! “I saw it with my own eyes, and heard it with my own ears, and part of it fell on my head!” In panic, she gathers and warns her friends in turn, Ducky Lucky, Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey, and together they run off to warn the King that the sky is falling! Then they meet Foxy Loxy, who offers to lead them to the King. They follow Foxy Loxy into his den, and he eats them, every one.
Why such a story should come to mind at such a time? The news is undeniably bad, and no doubt big changes are ahead. The key lesson is to be careful not to follow the doomsayers, and not to let panic lead you into a fox’s den.
The challenge is what happens to the dream? What happens to your dream? An economic crisis can certainly shatter a dream. An awakening is not necessarily bad, if it leads to a positive adjustment in a new direction. You may need to make major changes in your career or business, and think more deeply about the value you have to offer. You will need to develop new skills and relationships to leverage your strengths.
The essential thing is not to lose courage, lest you risk the fate of Chicken Little! To have courage is to have a dream, to have spirit, to have heart, as in the original meaning of the word. There is one small thing that you can do which can make a big difference. When you walk, raise your sight just slightly above the horizon. If you observe closely, you will see that most people look well below the horizon, a subconscious sign of discouragement. Raising your sights too high can also set you up for a fall, when the gap between reality and your ideal is just too great. However, if mentally and physically you keep your eyes just above the skyline, you will feel better, notice more, and become stronger. Most importantly, you will not succumb to panic like the birds that followed Chicken Little.
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William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.