There’s a monkey in the house

For 2016 I have pledged to myself – as I am the only one listening – to write a blog post once a week. This is to compliment the videos about business and books I am posting over on my YouTube channel. I’ve decided to do this every Friday. It seemed like a good idea, but then I found out that the First Friday of the year is today, January 1st. So, that wasn’t so great, but, as I promised myself, and I don’t like to break promises to myself, here goes.

This year, 2016, is the year of the monkey. In Japan, where I’m currently spending most of my time, people and businesses ring in the New Year by sending all their customers and friends little cards – called ‘nen ga jo (年賀状)’  to let them know they’re being thought of in the new year. This one is from the little company that services our car.

car service nengajo

There’s several remarkable things about this, and not just the outrageous cuteness of it!

First, there is an incredible business here in the designing and selling of these cards. And customizing. They come pre-printed with postage (say that ten times fast!), so maybe it’s a difficult thing to get into but when you have EVERY person and company sending at least a few of these THAT’S A LOT OF CARDS!

Second, what a great way to keep in touch with your customers and still look respectful. One thing this does – which I am a big believer in – is that not every time you reach out to a customer should you be selling. Actually, I think you should almost never be selling. Get them thinking about you, loving you, etc. THEN go in for the sale. That sounds creepy, but, it’s not. Honestly.

kitty nengajo

This is the one I’m sending out. Kittychan with her monkey slaves basking in the view of Mt Fuji. For some reason this card is seen as slightly childish, whereas the other card is not. I think that the Japanese are always using cartoon characters in inappropriate situations. I once was shown a happy illustration info sheet at a bank that explained why I wasn’t going to be able to open a bank account. Cute!

But I think the point I’m trying to make is always be on the mind of your customers. Wouldn’t it be awesome to send out cards like this everywhere? Not with a coupon (that’s selling), not announcing something about your store or business, but just a ‘Hi, we’re here, we’re thinking of you’!

Now, here’s a couple lists I found on the internet.

The Lucky Things for “Monkeys”

Lucky numbers: 4 and 9
Lucky days: the 14th and 28th of any Chinese lunar calendar month
Lucky colors: white, blue, gold
Lucky flowers: chrysanthemum, crape-myrtle
Lucky directions: north, northwest, west
Lucky months: Chinese lunar months 8 and 12

The Unlucky Things That “Monkeys” Should Avoid

Unlucky colors: red, pink
Unlucky numbers: 2 and 7
Unlucky directions: south, southeast
Unlucky months: Chinese lunar months 7 and 11

Missing from the first list is ‘bananas’ and missing from the second is ‘people’.

Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk – Book Review

I only discovered Gary Vaynerchuk (hereafter called Gary V) earlier this year (2015). He seems to have been around for a LONG time. He created his YouTube channel in October 2007. (I, for what it is worth – which is nothing – created mine in July 2006, so Gary’s claims of being an early adopter are not necessarily true. For the record – he DID something with his channel and I did nothing.)

Gary’s start came as ‘that wine guy’ who had a YouTube channel/show that showed taught you about wine. His personality, on camera at least, is a bit tough, rough and certainly not what you’d think a wine connoisseur would be. But he kept at it and today Gary sits atop a successful media company (VaynerMedia) and his lowly YouTube channel has at this writing over 136,000 subscribers. (I have 513 – at my level every one counts!)

Back in 2009 – long before I was paying attention, though I should have been – Gary V published Crush It. I review it in the video below. The verdict is a strong buy! The book is a how to manual on developing your online brand. And setting yourself free from working for other people.

Check it out. Subscribe for weekly book reviews and more (I publish 2 or 3 videos a week right now!).

[youtube id=qLWss5lmmnc]

Me & Pete: Why I’m doing a YouTube series about Peter Drucker

So, I finished my YouTube series about Tai Lopez’s 67 Steps. I like to do series as it gives me a chance to delve into a topic.

I’ve chosen the teachings of Peter Drucker as my next series. Peter Who? you ask!

Drucker was arguably the founder of -and unquestionably a strong influencer on – modern business management. Drucker took a holistic approach, that an organisation exists within the society it serves. That’s what appealed to me. That, and the fact that his views work – and companies I’ve been involved in that ignored those rules failed.

Below is the playlist. I’m not sure right now how many episodes it will run to (probably a dozen or so) but if you want to learn how to run and manage a business that will stand the test of time I encourage you to subscribe and watch.

It’s free. And it might even also be entertaining.

[youtubelist id=PLiJC12qFqVo2fDezrqPiDo6-W44-_yUSC]

 

The Obstacle is the Way – Book Review

As some of you have been asking what books I’m reading – especially as I said that the thing I liked so much about Tai Lopez is his recommendation to read more – I’ve started to do video book reviews over on my YouTube channel.

Here’s the first one. It’s of Ryan Holiday’s book ‘The Obstacle is the Way’.

I hope you like it. I’m trying to do one a week!

Business & Film Focus

As some of you may know, I have a YouTube channel where I try to talk mostly about my life and business ideas. But, I’m also working on my Masters in Film from Raindance. Right now I don’t really have a resource for that. Soon I’ll put something on here, but, for now to see the documentary I’m working on you can go to this page.

Finally, living in Japan, of course I need to have a YouTube channel under the username of SendaiPhil that addresses this country, in all of it’s beauty and bizarreness.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channels and/or my twitter account to stay up to date

Peter Thiel talk in London on business and politics – Business Insider

Thiel spoke on stage about a wide range of subjects.

Source: Peter Thiel talk in London on business and politics – Business Insider

Peter Thiel is a pretty amazing guy. Co-founder of PayPal, the first outside investor in Facebook… you get the idea.

So, when he speaks you should listen. Thiel talks at length about positioning your company and originality in this piece in the Business Insider.

A must-read

Play pinball like it’s 1978 with the new Kiss game | Ars Technica

Stern Pinball brings back the iconic band for another round with the silver ball.

Source: Play pinball like it’s 1978 with the new Kiss game | Ars Technica

I was never into games, or pinball, when I was a kid, but I was really into Kiss, and on my list of regrets is not buying the original Kiss pinball machine when I saw it in a junk shop in Richmond, VA in the early 90s.

Now new versions are coming out. Priced at a ridiculous level that only Gene Simmons could think of, they will milk the Kiss fans of the 70s who now populate Silicon Valley.

Still…WANT

Bow To Your Billionaire Drone Overlord: Frank Wang’s Quest To Put DJI Robots Into The Sky – Forbes

At 34, Frank Wang has turned his dream of flying robots into the world’s biggest drone company–and an expected $4.5 billion fortune. Now, as the market for his devices explodes, his old colleague is trying to take him down.

Fascinating article about Frank Wang Tao, how he grew DJI into an amazing company, and how he got wrapped up in the concerns over drones.

This is a business article – learn from the best!

Source: Bow To Your Billionaire Drone Overlord: Frank Wang’s Quest To Put DJI Robots Into The Sky – Forbes