I recently spoke at the Japanese Cultural Center’s Tomodachi Luncheon in Seattle. Tomodachi means friend in Japanese, and in that spirit, this annual luncheon brings together new and existing members of the community to help support and secure the existence of the Cultural Center and its programs.
In my speech, I shared my feelings about the importance of sharing your story, especially in this day and age of “Fake News” and other opressive policies.
As the owner of a small business, Kay Hirai has dedicated her life to running an ethical business that helps her employees, customers, and the community. In her third book, “Sheer Determination,” she details her 40-year journey of self-discovery and perseverance to create a salon that is widely admired for its cutting-edge business philosophies. Recently, Kay took some time from her always busy schedule to discuss the book with staff of the North American Post.
North American Post (NAP): You have written two other books, Keiko’s Journey and Yumi’s Life Lessons. What motivated you to write Sheer Determination?
Keiko Kay Hirai (KKH): I had been thinking about writing a book about my business for a long time. My memoir, Keiko’s Journey, was written first because I felt that writing about my childhood would provide a strong foundation for Sheer Determination.Yumi’s Life Lessons was something I wrote on the spur of the moment after my beloved Jack Russell Terrier, Yumi passed on at the young age of four. I didn’t want to forget her sweetness and how she pushed me to live a happier life.
In Sheer Determination, I wanted to document my experiences because I knew that it would help me to feel more secure and complete as a person. I didn’t want to forget the ups and downs of going through the lifelong journey of building my business and the lessons I learned along the way. Additionally, I wanted the “real” news about small businesses to be heard. Most people believe in the “fake” news, i.e., starting one’s own entrepreneurial enterprise instantly leads to enormous wealth. Instead of focusing on “get rich” schemes, I want to help women and men who aspire to be in business, who are already operating their own businesses, or who are looking for a sense of purpose in their lives. I want to help them uncover the core values that lay deep within each one of us, waiting to be stirred and awakened. The bottom line is Read more
Technology is amazing, isn’t it? Alright, I’ll admit that sometimes it makes my head spin but mostly I’m just blown away by the number of ways we can communicate and share information these days.
Have you heard of QR Codes? The QR stands for Quick Response and it’s a small square barcode that you scan with your phone and it will immediately link you to content that I’ve created to go with specific sections of my book.
You’ll need an app on your smart phone in order for this to work. I recommend the QR Code Reader from Kaywa because it’s free of advertisements. Download it from the App Store so you’re ready to use it with my book…. it’s coming soon!
I just sent off the final manuscript of my new book, Sheer Determination, Swimming Upstream in a Downstream World, to Tamara Monosoff, Book Coach.
My Editors Randy Tada and his sister Wendy have been working feverishly to polish up every sentence in the manuscript to its highest level of quality. They did a teriffic job and I can’t thank them enough.
After taking a deep breath of relief, thinking I can relax a bit, I thought of you, my loyal supporters. I want you to be the first ones to receive this good news and the first ones to see my Introductory Video of Sheer Determination.
Watch My Video: Introduction below
The “official” launch date for Sheer Determination is set for MAY 11, 2017.
If you are like me, you’ve probably spent some time reflecting on the past year. I’m sure that among the good and the disappointments you’ve experienced there are some events that you remember fondly with a smile. I encourage you to reflect on your past year and focus on the most uplifting events. Today I want to share a video of an event that always brings tears of joy and a smile to my face. Read more
Those of you who know me are already aware of my deep commitment to helping animals in need. One of the ways that I do this is by holding an annual gift raffle and hosting a holiday fundraiser where we sell handmade items and all the proceeds go to small local animal-focused nonprofits. Read more
For this week’s post, I want to share a selectionfrom my upcoming book, Sheer Determination.
As I am finishing the last few chapters of this book, I look back and am amazed at some of the intolerant experiences I went through as a minority woman entrepreneur. I was committed to training and helping immigrant workers succeed at their chosen career, yet I encountered subtle and sometimes overt discrimination as I went about trying to establish my business. I want to share this excerpt with you at this post election time where everyone is feeling scared and uncertain. I want us to stand firm and commit that “WE WILL NOT GO BACK…WE WILL KEEP MOVING FORWARD.”
Here is the selection from my new book:
I hired Lan after she graduated from the cosmetology program at a local community college. She was a young, immigrant woman from Vietnam. On her first day of work, Lan came into the salon an hour before her scheduled time to learn English in the back room of the salon.