Matsu

I’m reading a biography hat focuses on leadership and entrepreneurial traits.

Born well to do, on a 150 acre plantation with servants and many homes, his father gambled away all the family wealth on futures trading, and the family of 10 ended up moving to a city to live in a 150 sqft apartment when he was 4. He started working at age 7. And had a few years of schooling. He tried going back to school in his late teens but his writing was so poor that he failed to do well, and dropped out. He would work 18 hour days for years on end, living in absolute poverty, in small cramped spaces with his wife and employees and assistants, and penny pinch in order to reduce costs for customers.

He lost half his siblings by the time he was 10. By the time he was 20, everyone in his family had died except for one sister and his father. By the time he was 27 his family was reduced to 1. He was the only survivor.

He built a business that almost died several times. But he hustled like a mother fucker. The amount of money he lived on is astounding. Frugality.

By the time he passed away in the 90’s, he had helped rebuild and restructure the Japanese economy, built a $70 billion dollar global company, founded university graduate programs, and created one of the most innovative companies on earth, amongst many other things. He had no advantage and every disadvantage. No special talent, no financing, no patents, no networks or influential friends, no technological breakthroughs.

He was not particularly good looking, not charismatic, not especially talented, lacked formal education, stood 5’5 and was frail and often sick.

Talk about struggle and suffering and sacrifice. He persisted, never gave up, worked like a mad man. It’s just inspiring as hell.

He treated his workers like gold, like they were family, and it’s a culture they still maintain to this day. He never asked his employees to work harder than him, but he was very stern and had very high standards. Working harder than his was a difficult task. His only special quality was his insatiable work ethic to GROW.

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