Monday, March 15, 2010

Inspiring Stories ...

One of the inspiring true stories that remind me not to give in hard time. Keep pursuit your dream and never let anything stop you from moving forward. (credit to

At the age of 26, Kanemoto-san (who is now naturalized to being Japanese) got married and was earning 280,000 yen per month as an industrial designer. Apart from his main job, he was doing some sort of volunteer work which he had been doing since his days at university. Most of his salary ended up being poured into his volunteer activities and before he knew it he had a few million yen worth of debt and his wife wanted a divorce. Kanemoto-san told his wife that he decided to go to Tokyo and make it big. He managed to leave Nagoya for Tokyo without going through the divorce.

In 1997, with his laptop computer and a few thousand yen in pocket, Kanemoto-san arrived at Tokyo bus station and soon after headed to see his friend in Akihabara who had always said to him "why don't you come to Tokyo and work for me?" But after meeting up, his friend said to him "I didn't think you would actually come..."

Without a job, Kanemoto-san went around to friends places in Tokyo and managed to live under a roof for 20 days - he was then homeless after that. His first homeless place was Tokyo station where there was a load of construction going on. He sheltered himself in the nooks n crannies of construction sites. He kept warm by buying a 300 yen small bottle of warm Japanese rice wine which he would then wrap in newspaper to keep himself warm. Kanemoto-san would get on the Yamanote line train (which goes in a circle around Tokyo) to keep warm. There was a park in Omotesando where he based himself and was fortunate to meet a shop assistant who would pass him some sell-by-date food.

Despite being homeless, Kanemoto-san had always been focused on his dream of making it big in Tokyo. Even though he only had water at times to fill his stomach, he never let go of his laptop computer. He visited a client that he had previously worked with and asked for work. "I'll design business cards - whatever. I need work." Slowly but surely, requests for computer design work came his way. He even managed to find somebody who would lend him their fax and telephone (Japan is still a fax society - even in 2009!). But Kanemoto-san was still homeless. While he could wash down in the park, he couldn't have a bath/shower meaning that he smelt. The companies that he was doing design work for was unaware that he was homeless. Some of his clients thought that maybe it was because he was so busy that he didn't have time to bathe (-_-!!).

Kanemoto-san being homeless had all the time in the world that he used to come up with design work which he used to approach companies. As his clientele grew, he started to earn 10,000 yen (100 USD) per month which grew to 300,000 yen (3000 USD) per month. He kept 10,000 yen and sent the rest to his wife. Kanemoto-san managed to build websites and do design on his laptop computer while being homeless for a few years and during this time gained inspiration for setting up a company through the work that he done.

In 1999, Kanemoto-sans wife gave the money back to him that she saved up together with some allowance that she got from her parents. He used this money to set up an IT company called OK Wave which went public after receiving funding from IT giants Cyber Agent and Rakuten. OKWave currently has 962,521,500 yen of capital with 87 employees. Their clients include NTT, KDDI and Microsoft.

Apart from running his company, he has also published many books about his experiences.
New post usually will be much more nicer with some photo in it so here we go :P

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