Ikigai and Community: Make March Matter

On February 27th, 2020 Make March Matter (MMM), the best, most supportive online network of people came into being for small business owners struggling to make sense of what was happening as the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Now two years on, that group set up by Jennifer Shinkai just to get through March, has blossomed into a vibrant community that continues to be a source of inspiration, joy and connection for its members. Today we’d like to introduce you to some of them! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The importance of having a network to be part of when tough times hit
  • The benefits of joining a network where people come from a variety of work and life situations
  • Why Jennifer chose not to monetise the group 
  • How light accountability helped to give structure to the week when that had disappeared from suddenly working from home
  • The benefits of the MMM “pause” and other self care skills that are practiced in MMM meetings
  • How to leave with grace, when it’s time to move on to a new “season”
  • Eric’s brilliant question that he asks himself when he’s making a decision
  • What does a sustainable community look like and succession planning

To watch on YouTube

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About Mari

Mari Ono is an Associate Partner at a technology consulting firm. She is an experienced consultant in digital transformation (DX) and sustainability, especially in the manufacturing industry.  She has managed projects in the areas of corporate and manufacturing strategy, risk management, IT system introduction, business process reengineering (BPR), and merger and acquisitions (M&A). Her expertise ranges from the fields of corporate strategy, supply chain management, sales and corporate alliances, and post-merger integration (PMI).

She graduated from the University of Tokyo and holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. She owns two MBAs from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Vienna, Austria) and the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, USA). She specializes in leading global projects with diverse cultures. She has abundant experience in projects in Southeast Asia, Europe, North, and South America, including the United States and Japan, and working and leading virtual teams. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariono/

About Eric

Originally from Ottawa Canada, Eric has lived in Japan for over 25 years and has extensive experience as a teacher, teacher-trainer, and human resource manager for a global leader for business communication training programs. In addition to being a key trainer and advisor for many major multinational companies, Eric also has experience with global marketing of study abroad programs, professional development of teachers, language assessment and curriculum creation. As his job was greatly downsized due to the pandemic, Eric started his own company, Alterra Education, in April 2020.



About Catherine

Catherine O’Connell is Principal & Founder of her award-winning boutique law firm, Catherine O’Connell Law. She is the first foreign female to set up a law practice in Tokyo and winner of the British Chamber British Business Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2020. 

Her business experience includes promoting legal services to SMEs and women entrepreneurs, legal support for launching businesses/services in Japan, legal & compliance risk-opportunity strategic consulting (pre-acquisition) post-acquisition integration of legal systems and legal literacy, bicultural and bilingual commercial transactional support, transcultural management issues, compliance policies and procedures, ethics investigations, in house legal department operations, management and procedures.

Catherine has lived in Japan since 2002 and is host of the award-winning “Lawyer on Air” Podcast sharing inspirational stories about business and life in the law from women working in the law in Japan. She believes that no two lawyers are the same and every lawyer has an inner lawyer extraordinaire whose story is just waiting to be unlocked. 



Connect with Jennifer

Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifershinkai/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennifershinkaicoach 

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/ 

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