Empower and Revitalize Japan for Next Generation

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Importance of Goal-Setting & Progress Reviewing for Any Startup from the 1st Year

Today I’m going to write about the importance of goal setting and quartely reviewing for any startup from the 1st year(one of the most important key success factor, I believe), as I strongly felt it during my company’s 1st year.

At age of 28—the very first year in my career, as my next big life goals,
i) to start my own business for spreading Japan’s appeals on the globe by age of 35;
ii) to establish a business or science school to create the world-top-notch business persons and scientists in my second life(in my 60s),
these goals were set.

At that time, my actual thought process was like this.
1st Thought Step: “Through my 7 year-long life in the U.S., I realized that being Japanese as a part of my identity was not something I could take for granted. ”
Many people treated me with respect just because I am Japanese thanks to my ancestors who made great international reputation such as dilligence, integrity, smartness, innovativeness. In my life, it was the first time to appreciate my ancestors for what they had built over decades.

2nd Thought Step: “By using my strengths, I should do something for the next generation of Japanese people so that they will be able to experience what I experienced abroad!”

3rd Thought Step: “My strengths lie in the mathematical background(with some math-teaching experience), relatively long living experience in the states, crazy passion, and absolute spirit of trying something new or different. What would happen if I combined these strengths with the infinite possibilities of the internet business?”
Additionally, I considered the experience of building such business will serve very well as great business lessons for our next generation.

Since I started my own business, I know that it was really critical to go through a similar thought process, create a growth strategy for short/mid/long terms, review the outcomes, and add some fixes to the short/mid-term plans and actions. With a long-term plan, a startup’s CEO would not waste time wrapping his head around on big business decisions and be able to go in the wrong directions. Besides that, the short/mid-term plans can help him identify what the issues and causes are against those plans, and create effective counter-measures.

I can do this without feeling any difficulty, as I used to exercise the whole process again and again as Head of New Business Development and Department Manager at my previous workplace. As CEO, my next challenge is to tell my employees about the importance of goal-setting/reviewing so that they can 100% understand it and make their time more meaningful at SOPHOLA!

Masaki “Mark” Iino
Founder & CEO

P.S. Ramen on the pic looks so yummy? It’s served in “Mokkos”, a ramen-restaurant in Hyogo Prefecture. I really thank my brother-in-law for taking us to such a wonderful ramen place the other day! lol