• Magical Mindshifts

    Discovery your inner power, build a business and life you love. More

  • Sheer Determination

    Kay's NEW book chronicles her 40+ years building a socially responsible business. More

  • Keiko's Journey

    Kay's Memoir about growing up between two worlds and uncovering family secrets. More

  • Yumi's Life Lessons

    Newly revised and updated, Kay's first book of inspiration. More

Are You a Winner or a Survivor?

I believe that a powerful energy emerges when we learn to translate everyday words to pictures and new meanings. This is a skill that we need to learn to survive through our journey whether we are building a business or life that you love. Please view my video below.

The story I shared in my video came from my book, “Sheer Determination, Swimming Upstream in a Downstream World” Chapter 29: ONE STEP AT A TIME, WITH A STOMACH MADE OF IRON. Here it is for your reading.

One year, I attended a conference sponsored by the Small Business Administration. I sat in a room with 40 local business owners and listened to presentations on topics such as human resources, marketing, and finance. The shock for me came at the end of the presentation on finances. The instructor pointed to the four corners of the room and said, “Now, I want to see how many years each of you has been in business. Please go to your area as I call out the years.”

I wondered what he was trying to prove. I didn’t like being singled out and felt very nervous.

“Everyone, please listen carefully. Everyone who has been in business for three years or less, please move to this corner of the room,” he said.

Around 70% of the people moved to the corner of the room he pointed to.

He continued, “How many of you have been in business for three-to-seven years?” A hand-full of participants moved to their designated corner.

“All of the people who have been in business for seven-to-twelve years, go to that corner,” the instructor instructed. Only two people went to that corner. By this time, I was the only one not standing in a corner.

“The last corner is for people who have been in business for 18 years or longer. I see that only one person is left,” he said as he looked at me, “So how many years have you been in business?”

I was a bit self-conscious, but said, “I’ve been in business for 28 years.”

“Wow, that is a record-breaker!” the instructor exclaimed.

“Everyone, please give this woman a big round of applause. She is a survivor!”

I must have looked stunned, as the whole room clapped. People came up to me wanting to know my secrets for longevity in the business world. 

That moment was when I realized that there are no winners in small businesses; there are only survivors. Many of the trendy, small business owners whom I had envied in the past, had gone by the wayside. And yet, here I was, still standing. 

Now, when people tell me I’m successful, I always reply with, “I don’t know if I consider myself successful, but I know for sure that I AM A SURVIVOR.” 

SURVIVOR: There are no winners in business or life, only survivors.

YOUR TASK: Define the meaning of success. Be willing to climb to the top of the mountain to achieve your personal goals.

YOUR AHA! MOMENT: When you reach the top, you realize how much you learned from your struggles and how much you wished you were climbing again!

Please send me your thoughts and ideas on the word, Survivor. Do you think you are a Survivor? I know you are.

The Wait is Over!

Wow! I’m pinching myself over and over. Has it been year-and-a-half since I began working on this project? It took discipline for me to get up at 6:00 every morning and paint my wooden canvases with artful images. Simultaneously, I journaled meanings and stories to go with each artwork. How did each of the 62 painted drawings match up so perfectly with the words I chose for the card deck? Well, it’s still somewhat of a puzzle to me but it all worked out and I’m jumping for joy!

Tried and True… I took these cards on a trial run. I sat in a quiet place and chose one card, infusing the Magical Mindshifts deck with my positive energy. Lo and behold, each time I went through this ritual and drew a card from the deck, I received thoughts, feelings, and visions that opened creative pathways in my brain, leading me towards a new direction!

I felt like a whole new world opened up right in front my eyes! Can you see what I mean by looking at this poster I made? I swear this is so-o-o GOOD!

These treasured cards are “hot off the press” waiting to be delivered to your home. I always appreciate your feedbacks so please keep them coming.

Many thanks to my Editor Randy and Graphic Designer Tanya for the hours of hard work you invested into this project. Most of all, I want to express my gratitude to all of you. Your support and encouragement gave me the energy and determination to keep going during those moments when I felt like giving up. I hope you will find this card deck to be an important tool to help you achieve happiness and success in life and business. www.artfulgivingshop.com

Mother’s Love

On this Mother’s Day, My heart is filled with memories of my be-loved Mother, Mary Fujiye. She protected me during the chaotic years of World War II and the years after Japan was defeated. She fed my Grandfather and me so that our bodies were kept nourished while she deprived her own body of the nutrition she needed. As a result of her selfless act, her body was eventually attacked by the dreaded disease, Tuberculosis.

She courageously endured the abusive treatment she received from her husband and the people of Japan as they accused her of being an enemy of their country. It is because of her unconditional love and commitment she made to keep me safe that I’m able to enjoy my life in this great country, the United States of America. To learn more about this incredible woman and her journey, read my book, “Keiko’s Journey”.

P.S. – I would be honored if you can share with me a childhood memory of you and your mother. How did she show her unconditional love and devotion to you?

You can purchase this book by clicking the SHOP tab at the top.

Your Golden Goose

I had an interesting mentoring session last week with an owner of a small business. I listened to him intently as he shared about his business and when he stopped sharing, I asked him, “So how can I help you today?” He looked at me with an intense expression on his face and said, “Here’s my P&L. I need you to tell me why I’m always fighting with having enough cash in my business”.

After studying his P&L, I was surprised at the number of trip expenses that stood out on his financials in the last year. When I questioned him if all these trips were necessary, he replied “Well, I work hard for myself and I deserve to go on vacations. After all, this business is ME and I have to reward myself for my hard work”. Judging his defensive demeaner, I knew I would not get anywhere with him during this session.

At the end of the day, I thought hard on how I was going to get through to him. Suddenly, I rememberd the story from Aesop’s Fable – The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg. I decided to use this metaphor to help him to visualize how he was robbing from his Goose. The Goose is his business!

Here is the story from Aesop’s Fabel:
A man and his wife owned a very special goose. Every day the goose would lay a golden egg, which made the couple very rich. “Just think,” said the man’s wife, “If we could have all the golden eggs that are inside the goose, we could be richer much faster.”
“You’re right,” said her husband, “We wouldn’t have to wait for the goose to lay her egg every day.”
So, the couple killed the goose and cut her open, only to find that she was just like every other goose. She had no golden eggs inside of her at all, and they had no more golden eggs.

I painted this beautiful and joyous Goose so I can show it to my client at our next meeting. I was happy to see that the Goose came out exact the way I wanted. I love how the Goose looks … so innocent and gentle. I will definitely look at this painting often to remind myself that my business is this Goose and I will protect and care for her to make sure that she will continue to bless me by laying her beautiful golden eggs.

Can you think of a precious Goose you have in your life? How are you protecting your Goose so she will continue to lay her golden eggs at your feet? I’d love to hear your Goose stories.

PS – This original painting is available for sale here.