Most people never become as financially successful as they could be and go through life never knowing why. You see it everywhere. People spending their time complaining about how hard they have to work to just get by while the rich seem to have it so easy. They wonder why the government isn't doing enough to help them, or why their income isn’t keeping up with rising costs of living. So it’s no wonder that seminars with renowned motivational speakers fill stadiums with people looking to improve their lives.
One company helping to bring the world’s best speakers to Japan is Wealth Creation KK, established by entrepreneur Ken Okazaki last April. A graduate of Anthony Robbins Mastery University in San Diego, California, Okazaki has carved out a career with skills in business administration, graphic design, video production, project management and public speaking.
Japan Today editor Chris Betros visits Okazaki at the Wealth Creation offices in Meguro to hear more.
What’s your background?
I was born in Nagoya and attended international school. My parents wanted me to learn English and mainly spoke English at home, so even though I’m Japanese by birth, my first language is English. At 17 I did an online college course and then took off to India. I travelled the world for many years. When I moved back to Japan after over 10 years, I started to do graphics for magazines for a couple of years. Then I became involved in the seminar business because my father, who is a motivational speaker, had a company doing seminars where I witnessed people’s lives being transformed very quickly. That got me excited and I had to learn more about it. I went to a seminar in the U.S. – Unleash the Power Within – by Tony Robbins and at that point, I made some commitments which involved some major changes my life and career.
How did you establish Wealth Creation?
I started working for my father for a few years and during that time, I was able to meet top speakers from around the world. Wealth Creation was founded 7 years ago by my father. Originally it was an investment company but last April, I was approached by Success Resources, the largest seminar organizing company in the world. They wanted to work with a Japanese partner to launch international style seminars in Japan, so we turned Wealth Creation into a seminar company.
What does Wealth Creation do?
We are a promotion company and we host medium to large scale seminars for foreign celebrity speakers in Japan. We average about one seminar every two months. Our first was last July. That was followed by one in November, and another last month.
What sort of people attend the seminars?
About half of the audience will be in their 30s, small business owners, people in sales positions. These are people who have to make their own success. They are not paid to sit at a desk and look busy. They get paid for results. If they can get in an environment with people who are going to motivate them and propel their career, they will earn more. The speakers are all financially successful and that’s what draws people in. They want to hear from someone who has been there and done that.
Do the seminars have to be tweaked for cultural differences?
I once asked Tony Robbins if his principles can apply to different cultures. He said there are six things that all humans need regardless of culture, tradition or race, that are met in different ways. The first is the need for uncertainty or variety in your life. No. 2, paradoxically, is for certainty, or stability – money in the bank. No. 3 is connection and love; you have to feel connected to somebody positively. The worst thing in life is to feel completely ignored, as if you didn’t exist. No. 4 is significance; you have to feel that you are important to somebody, that what you are doing counts. No. 5 is contribution; people want to give to something larger than themselves, be it friends, family, community, or even the universe. No. 6 is growth. You have to feel like you are learning and progressing.
Robbins drew over 6,000 people at his event at Makuhari Messe last year, so that to me is proof that people do want to hear his message.
How do you market the seminars?
Word of mouth is very big; that fills up one-third of the seats. We also look for influencers who already have a fan base and seminar businesses in Japan and we cooperate with them to help market the events. Internet marketing is of course a large part of our strategy and we put a lot of emphasis on that too.
What sort of feedback have you received from attendees?
Mainly positive. Many have said they put the strategies they learned into effect and it is already improving their finances and psychological relationship to money and human relationships. People come back because they catch something new every time as they go to another level of learning. They are the ones who bring friends.
What do you think is the most common misconception people have about improving their financial situation?
The honest truth is your financial success has little to do with how much money you earn. The real problem isn’t external, it’s internal. It’s the mental conditioning we all have that keeps us trapped at an unsatisfying level of success. This is what determines if we’ll be struggling our entire life to scrape by or if we attract wealth to ourselves.
Look at lottery winners. A lot of people think they’ve got it made. In most cases, people who win the lottery will be back to the same amount of money in their bank account within five years because they don’t have the capacity to take that money and invest it in a way that will create a stable income for them. Their mentality has been affected by their upbringing, family, friends and peers and, inevitably, most of them go back to the level they have been at.
I remember a story about Donald Trump when he was going through his financial crisis. He recalled walking out of his hotel and he saw a beggar asking for nickels and dimes. He thought to himself that man has no idea he is richer than I am, but he will always stay there. But I have the psychology of a billionaire and I will bring myself back up to the status of a billionaire.
Are the big name speakers interested in coming to Japan?
Yes, very much so. Tony Robbins has been to Japan. Jordan Belfort, whose name you’ll know as the subject of the film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is very interested in doing seminars in Japan. He will be a big drawcard when he comes. Many speakers abroad are very excited about coming to Japan. Our strategic partner, Success Resources, works with many world class speakers such as Robert Kiyosaki, Donald Trump, Richard Branson, and Jay Abraham, just to name a few.
What is the next seminar?
We will be organizing a seminar, titled “Success Without Limits,” May 8-9 at Tokyo Big Sight. The key speaker will be Australian Nick Vujicic, who was born without arms and legs. Nick has traveled around the world, sharing his story with millions, sometimes in stadiums filled to capacity. He is eager to visit Japan and bring his message of hope and of never giving up.
Organizing seminars must involve a lot of work. How many in your team?
We have four full-time in the team and take on about 30-40 part-timers for the seminars. The biggest job is the marketing which starts months before the programs itself. After the seminar is sometimes our busiest time, because at seminars we hand out brochures for the next seminars and people sign up, so we have to process their applications and get them into our database. It’s not down time, as you might think.
How do you like to relax?
I love to play with my six children, watch movies, and I cooking is one of my hobbies.© Japan Today