How to get started and become an entrepreneur in Japan

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For the past few years, I’ve witnessed tremendous changes in the local startup ecosystem. More incubators, more funds, more coworking spaces, more startup-related events and definitely more start-ups. Although we are still far from other markets like London or the Silicon Valley, all indicators are on the rise and it is worth to point out a positive fact when there’s one.

In order to encourage this trend, I also wanted to bring my own contribution and so in December 2014, I launched a podcast on entrepreneurship and the startup scene in Japan called the Japan Venture Show. After 1 year, I’ve been interviewing over forty entrepreneurs and could grow an audience of several thousand listeners.

As part of running this podcast, I regularly attend startup-related events around town, searching for my next guest to interview. At the same time, I’m also deeply interested to hear about projects people are working on. The vast majority of people attending these events aren’t actually entrepreneurs but simply people who aspire to become one, one day.

But the sad truth is that this day never comes. When I meet the same people at some other events a few month later and ask them how far they’ve been, they usually haven’t done any progress and come up with the same very good excuses: “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not ready enough”, or “now is not the right time.”

This made me think… Japan’s main challenge at the moment is not to have more successful startups, but to simply have more people starting-up. The only way to build a culture is to reach a critical mass and I don’t believe we’ve got there yet.

The truth is that starting up is tough and we haven’t been told how to begin the entrepreneurial journey. Making the first jump into entrepreneurship is probably the hardest part. So I figured that this is what had to be solved.

This led me to write a short essay on “Getting Started.” Instead of writing yet another business book on the magic recipes of success, I felt that I should rather focus on the very first step. With this book, I wanted to help these people to unlock their potential and overcome their fear of getting started.

In Chapter One, I address the most important part of any business which is about having ideas. All businesses start the same way. They were all just an idea at first. In this chapter, I give practical advice on how to be creative and become a powerhouse at generating ideas constantly. That is the most important skills for long time success.

In Chapter Two, I’m addressing the question of Idea Selection. It is not uncommon to find people having too many ideas and getting lost in the flow of just choosing one thing to do. Worse, there are also many people choosing the “wrong idea” for them to implement. In this chapter, I review the key criteria when it comes to choosing the One business idea that minimize the chances of failure.

Finally, Chapter Three is about implementation. I go over the main blockages of “getting started,” which is the goal of this book. Since any idea is worthless unless implemented, I give tools and frameworks that any first-time entrepreneurs can apply right away.

If you are interested to become an entrepreneur but haven’t found the time or courage the get started, I highly recommend you check out my ebook and let me know what you think.

On entrepreneurship and startups in Japan

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