My father is an entrepreneur. He’s started more businesses than anyone I know. We had a travel agency, restaurant, bakery, construction company, shave ice shop, he sold insurance, encyclopedias and Amway, created sauces, did yard maintenance, was going to be a sales rep for a surf company, and wanted to solve the clean water crisis by taking waste water and making it potable by designing his own wastewater tank. He’s done all different types of things with his life.
Although you could say I’m an entrepreneur because of him, I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned from him was the never ending belief that he could do something great. It wasn't in the words he said (we are a Japanese family who doesn't say those things LOL) it was more in his never ending tenacity to never give up.
It’s what I’ve always focused on and what I try to emulate in my own life: never give up. There have been times of great abundance in my childhood and I know there have probably been more times of financial strains. But he never gave up (even when my mom went and got a “real job”) - he still allowed himself to dream his dream. Some may call him crazy, but he didn't allow other people’s opinions to deter him from his path.
I think the sad part of this story is that my father never found his passion; he just knew he wanted to own a business. Maybe that’s the evolution from generation to generation that had to happen. I was raised by a dreamer (with a creative realist as a mom) and out came a one-part dreamer, one-part creative and one-part realist. Through having both of them as parents I was able to find my passion - fashion design - and sprinkle in all of my wildest dreams and balance it with the realism from my mom.
Watching them live their dreams, fail, and get back up allowed me to carry the torch, but in my own different, unique way. They never forced their opinion on me, gave me any handouts, or told me to give up. They allowed me to make my own path and to own all of my own failures, so that I could own all of my successes.