Design Thinking and Ikigai with Brittany Arthur

When Covid hit, Brittany found herself locked out of Japan, her usual country of residence, where her home and her business are located. 18 months later, she is still waiting to be allowed to enter Japan again but this has not stopped her from keeping her business moving forward even if it means waking up at 2 am to lead a workshop for clients in Japan. I hope Brittany’s story will inspire you to take another look at your own situation and use Brittany’s design thinking insights to redesign your Ikigai.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What happened when Japan closed its borders to foreign residents and how Brittany overcame this challenge
  • How the pandemic has given Brittany a chance to define what it is she loves about her work
  • Brittany’s top tips for using design thinking to help you identify your Ikigai 
  • Why it’s important to give more time to defining the problem before you look at solutions
  • How we can make a prototype of our Ikigai and why it’s important to go through iterations that have a set time frame

To watch on YouTube

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About Brittany

Brittany is the co-founder of Design Thinking Japan and the host of the Business Karaoke Podcast and Business Karaoke MeetUp. She is passionate about curating a community of global leaders who exchange stories to modernize the dialogue around business in and with Japan. She also specializes in facilitating Human Centered Design workshops for the Japanese market. These workshops support organizations and individuals to ignite innovation and creativity to achieve business impact in our ever-changing world.

Connect with Brittany

Website: https://www.designthinkingjapan.com/ 

IG: https://www.instagram.com/_brittanyarthur/  ​​

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brittanyart/ 

Connect with Jennifer

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

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

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/ 

Improving lives and Ikigai with Henry Seals

We all want to instinctively move away from pain, it’s in our DNA. My guest today is Henry Seals, a man who spends his time helping people to do this and to live better lives. Henry gives us an open and honest account of how he navigated divorce in Japan to achieve the best outcome for everyone – a philosophy that can apply in all areas of life and work. 

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Henry navigated divorce in Japan and the philosophy that helped him 
  • His mother’s sage advice that helps him to lead his life
  • The question that helped him to decide when it was time to make a change and how letting go of someone helped them to find their own way in life
  • How we can help people with visualisation instead of just venting
  • Henry’s final advice for us when it comes to how we deal with our own problems

Prefer to Listen?

Please check out the other episodes, like and subscribe!

Find Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai on your favourite podcast player.

About Henry

The author of Making It in Japan, Henry has spent over 25 years in Japan helping companies and individuals find success, overcome obstacles, and make a difference in society. 

Born in West Virginia USA, Henry attended Harvard University where he majored in East Asian Studies.  After studying at Kyoto University during this time, Henry Graduated and began his career as an IT consultant in Japan.

Supporting numerous Silicon Valley companies as the IT lead and CIO for Asia, Henry also provided his services to Dale Carnegie, where he became a Trainer and Coach.  

In 2009 he focused talents on helping address the impact of the financial crisis on companies and their staff by providing his insight to transform Human Resource approaches in such global companies as NN and AIG.  

He has held executive positions in several cutting edge technology start-ups with a focus on infusing engagement as a tool for building high performance and dynamic work environments.  

In his spare time Henry continues to provide coaching and training through his Seals Improvement Seminars, as well as volunteering to provide outreach to the disabled in Japan and together with his wife, continues to publish books and articles on how to achieve financial, spiritual, and professional success in Asia, while chairing and participating in NPO activities to raise the profile of the disabled and other minorities in Japan.

A naturalized Japanese citizen, in 2020 he was appointed as the first naturalized Japan Human Rights Commissioner.

A father of 5 daughters, in his free time Henry enjoys spending time with his children, gaming, investing, and volunteering.

Connect with Henry

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/henry.seals/ 

YouTube (Seals Improvement Services): https://youtube.com/channel/UC5KlzKIfeHpHxih0iue5mHg

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

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/henry-seals-b27267/ 

Connect with Jennifer

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

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

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/

Let’s Escape! 5th Anniversary Celebration

On July 16th, a group of intergalactic explorers joined me for a virtual escape room in space. Hosted by The Super Fantastic Company (great name!), we had an intense and fun 60 minute experience with code cracking, quizzes and laughter. “Who is the scribe?” “What is going on?!” Sometimes I felt a bit lost but I just surrendered and enjoyed seeing everyone getting competitive and laughing out loud after so long!

The interface is fun and there are some cute voting segments (I won “has definitely been abducted by aliens! So proud) and there are chances for space themed selfies. Makes a great break from Zoom or Teams that is for sure.

As a facilitator, I always want a debrief so we added an extra 30 minutes to discuss and a chance for me to say thanks for all the support as I head into year 6.

It was a fun evening and my special guest was none other than my Mum! It really meant a lot to have her in the room.

Mention “Jennifer Shinkai” to Tommy and Gabriel at The Super Fantastic Company for a 5% discount (and a referral fee for me too!). They also run quizzes and other themed events that you can customise for your business. Japanese/ English bilingual content is also available.

Debrief time! We won!!!
What a surprise!

Life and Ikigai when you have cancer with Matthew Dons

How would you react if the doctor told you your test results were bad, so bad that you only have months left to live. This is what happened to my guest Matthew Dons, five years ago. Since then he has been on a quest to find information and treatments that would save his life. Along the way, he has used his experiences to help others to do what he has done. Matthew has some fascinating insights on life that we can all learn about Ikigai and put into practice now. 

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. 

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • His early interest in computers and introduction to the “other internet”
  • How not following the rules led him to establish a successful “unconference” that launched a tech community in Tokyo 
  • The actions that Matthew took when he was told he had less than a year to live
  • The importance of having things to look forward and things to reminisce from the past
  • Why a self confessed cynic would take up marketing 
  • How you can support Matthew and his family through his gofundme page

To watch on YouTube

Prefer to Listen?

Please check out the other episodes, like and subscribe!

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About Matthew Dons

Matthew Dons is a marketing consultant based in Tokyo. He specialises in Direct Response Marketing, the only form of marketing that can be measured, tested and tracked. He takes clients by referral only but can be contacted here: http://www.makemarketingpay.com/

Connect with Matthew

https://www.matthewdons.org

https://www.youtube.com/c/KaraMoon/videos

Connect with Jennifer

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

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

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/ 

Using Ikigai for inclusivity and love with Steven Haynes

Be prepared to laugh and maybe even have a bit of a teary moment too and look out for the fabulous shoes! My guest in this episode is none other than Steven Haynes, a most beautiful soul, who is a prolific creator and bringer of joy and love to this world. I hope this episode will be a chance for you to get to know a little more about how he both deliberately and then also spontaneously weaves his ikigai into his many projects and how his biggest wish is to for us all to be happy, to be who we want to be and move forward together.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. 

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How Steven starts his day and how he manages it and finds inspiration
  • The opportunity that Steven took to create a documentary that ultimately reunited a trans woman with her parents
  • Stevens concerns about the terrible suicide rate in Japan and what he personally does to support the people around him
  • Why Steven decided to create a beauty pageant for plus size women and how it’s going – spoiler alert- it’s going great!
  • Why your advancing age is your permission slip to do and give more

To watch on YouTube

Prefer to Listen?

Please check out the other episodes, like and subscribe!

Find Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai on your favourite podcast player.

About Steven

Born in San Francisco, USA, Steven Haynes has worked with Japanese and International legends like Diana Ross, Hikaru Utada, Ken Hirai, DCT

Steven is a multi-talented entertainer active in TV, movies, commercials, magazines, events, etc.

In August 2020, he was the Executive Producer for “You Decide (息子のままで女の子になる” which won the Japanese film documentary award at the Los Angeles Diversity Film Festival.

As a beauty pageant producer, he has supported four Japanese winners (Miss International Ikumi Yoshimatsu, Miss International Queen Ai Haruna, former Miss Universe Performing Partner) 

Currently, he is the owner and national director of Miss Supra National Japan, one of the top 5 beauty pageants in Japan, and in 2021 launched “Today’s Woman” a plus sized beauty pageant encouraging body positivity in Japan.

Mentioned in this episode

You Decide Documentary: https://www.youdecide.jp/en 

Today’s Woman Pageant: https://www.todayswoman.com/ 

Connect with Steven

Website: http://steven-smile.com/top.htm 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/steven_a_haynes/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/steven.haynes.543 

Connect with Jennifer

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

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

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/ 

The rest is the work – the art of “Time off” and your Ikigai with Max Frenzel

Max Frenzel makes his own sourdough. What a guy! He obviously makes time to do this. In Episode 11 of Ikigai with Jennifer Shinkai, he talks about the benefits of rest and something he refers to as (Insert American accent here) “Noble leisure”. If you have ever wondered how you can improve your life through choosing your activities more carefully, then this is the episode for you. 

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Come and find Jennifer and Max here on LinkedIn.

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The idea of work ethic vs rest ethic
  • Why Japan is losing 3% of its GDP from overwork
  • A western history of celebrating being busy instead of rest
  • What is “noble leisure” and why we should do more of it
  • Why boundaries are critical for deep rest
  • The importance of sleep for productivity and creativity
  • How to reframe time off to avoid guilt

To watch on YouTube

Prefer to Listen?

Please check out the other episodes, like and subscribe!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

About Max

Max Frenzel is the co-author of the international bestseller Time Off: A Practical Guide to Building Your Rest Ethic and Finding Success Without the Stress. His ideas have been featured in Fast Company, Financial Times, Thrive Global, Entrepreneur Magazine, and other publications. After receiving his PhD in Quantum Information Theory from Imperial College London and working as a postdoctoral research fellow at Tokyo University, Max has been involved in several tech startups, focusing on the intersection of AI research and product design. Most recently he has been interested in the applications of AI and deep learning to creativity, design, and music. Some of the AI-art Max has been involved in was exhibited at places like the Barbican Centre in London, and he is a regular public speaker on topics such as AI and creativity. In his time off, Max enjoys good coffee, tries to perfect his bread baking skills, and produces electronic music and performs around Tokyo. 

Connect with Max

Website: https://maxfrenzel.com

Time Off: https://timeoff.co

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/max-frenzel-60597361/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mffrenzel/

Connect with Jennifer

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

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

Website: https://jennifershinkai.com/ 

Year 5 in Review – Curating the business

Today marks the start of my sixth year as an entrepreneur. With 50% of small businesses failing in the first 5 years, it is a milestone I can give myself a pat on the back for!

I’ve really had a blast this year and am so grateful to my clients for trusting me and inspiring me to keep learning. Thank you so much for believing in me and writing such wonderful testimonials.

In Make March Matter, the online community supporting small businesses impacted by Covid that I founded in 2020 (now with over 300 members which is WILD!), we do a weekly review in our TGIF meeting and answer the same questions each week so I thought it would be a great practice to use this structure from the Productivity Planner for the Year in Review.

What are you wins? Big or Small?

Setting boundaries that feel right – embracing online work has opened me up to international clients and more executive coaching across APAC. I lost a few deals because I don’t want to commit to in person workshops. Feels like I am in a very privileged place to be able to say “no” in this economy and I am very grateful and aware of that

Testing my assumptions – I believed that you had to meet face to face to do business development but 25% of my contracts in the last year come from clients that I have only engaged with online. Time zones are the new geography! I think I can continue to develop this muscle and challenge myself with curiosity.

Hold it lightly – illustrating, writing and self – publishing a children’s book, “Can Giraffes Swim?“, in April 2021 helped me to practice the art of letting things go and having fun. It has been so motivating to see the joy that this little project brought to people and it was so great to get my first royalty check!

Ask for help from experts – I have an amazing team of people helping me. Jayne Nakata supporting my Podcast (Do Subscribe and leave a 5 star review on Spotify and Apple Podcasts) Sam Mack editing the YouTube Videos, Ann Maynard editing my Ikigai book, Sarah Furuya as my coach, the Points of You® Masters’ Group for supervision and learning. Being in a position to focus on what I am good at really makes a difference in how I can feel Ikigai every day and practically more projects forward that would get stuck in the weeds.

Community and Consistency – Make March Matter has helped me feel connected and brought a rhythm to working from home. Having the accountability and the companionship has been really inspiring. Weekly Art Classes with Kiro Tan are a mid week treat and thanks to David Sweet’s Shakespeare on Saturdays I’m now half way through reading the complete works.

What did you NOT do that you want to recommit to?

I didn’t make that many goals or commitments – Totally languishing in some regards but just wanting to show up and keep putting one foot in front of the other is a commitment in many ways.

I didn’t publish my book on Ikigai – BUT based on an agent’s feedback I started to interview people to get a better diversity of experiences. As I need to record the interviews for the transcripts, I figured why not launch a podcast…and a youtube channel. I hired an editor and that has really helped to get things into shape. Watch this space…

I didn’t get an opportunity to complete my Points of You® Master Journey yet. I’m offering English language Academy programmes online. I hope that in the next 12 months I can get to attend my second L3 and being the support roles to be a facilitator on the amazing 5 day programme

What have you learned?

Some of this is in the wins and about recommitting but really as a small business owner you need a great team around you.

And trust the process. Everything is OK… even when it does not feel like it. Take a breath, move your body and start again when you are ready

Next Year – What actions will you take to make the year productive?

Well, scandalous as it may seem, productivity is not my goal. I am looking for quality of experience – the clients I work with, my presence as a facilitator, coach, friend or family member. My word of the the year for 2021 is “Curate” so I want to continue carefully chosing what I do and looking at the motivation behind that.

As the world opens up again, it might be easy for me to get into comparison and FOMO so constant vigilance and an eye to what I want to curate into the permanent exhibition of my life, what needs to go into the archives and what might be worth featuring as a special, limited time, tickets only show!?

With that in mind, inspired by Sarah Furuya, I’m embarking on the ORSC Intermediate Training Course as something to inspire me and develop me as a coach and facilitator. I’m working slowly on an illustration project.

I’m going to keep thinking about my intention behind the projects that I take on. Can I be useful here? What will I learn?

How about you? As it is the end of H1 of 2021, why not try the 4 question review process?

Finding your Ikigai in your community with Nina Cataldo

When Nina Cataldo moved back to Japan after finishing college she was surprised to find that even though she considered it her “motherland”, having grown up in Tokyo, she was seen as an outsider.  This set her on the path to creating a community for women who identify as Hafu (mixed-race Japanese person) called “Hafu Women”. A proud Hafu herself,  Nina advocates and educates for recognition and the fair treatment of marginalized communities in Japan. Nina is someone making waves and following her passions, so I just knew I had to interview her to find out more about her ikigai.

If you enjoyed this episode and it inspired you in some way, we’d love to hear about it and know your biggest takeaway. Come and find Jennifer and Nina on LinkedIn.

Show Notes

In this episode you’ll hear:
  • How Nina’s experience of being shy at a young age has helped her in her life and career as an adult
  • What Nina did when she noticed a lack of support for Hafu Women like herself
  • Nina shares her Brave and Bold Mastermind for Asian Women and how it helps entrepreneurs to accelerate their businesses
  • The importance of Asian women being even more visible in spite of racial tension and discrimination
  • Nina’s challenges with her own energy when her work is also her passion

To watch on YouTube

Prefer to Listen?

Please check out the other episodes, like and subscribe!

Listen on Apple Podcasts

About Nina

Nina Cataldo is a DEI Facilitator and Multicultural Communications Specialist based in Tokyo, Japan. Originally from Tokyo, Nina grew up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States before returning to Japan at the age of 23. She is the founder of Hafu Ladies and co-founder of the Brave & Bold Mastermind program for Asian women entrepreneurs. 

In 2019, Nina quit her full-time job in order to sail around the world on Peace Boat for 4 months as an English-Japanese interpreter. Upon returning to Tokyo, she began her career in the fields she’s most passionate about: communication and fostering human connections through the DEI lense.  

Connect with Nina

Website – www.ninamcataldo.com

Brave & Bold Mastermind – https://kristymariko.wixsite.com/bravebold2021 

Hafu Ladies – www.facebook.com/hafuladies 

Connect with Jennifer

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifershinkai/ 

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

How your Ikigai evolves from the core

Loved talking to the passionate and professional Sarah Liu of The Dream Collective about finding the core of your ikigai and evolving how it shows up in the world. 

She also talks about how borderline burnout was the impetus of her side hustle becoming her priority and the importance of saying yes and experimenting.

Let me know your takeaways in the comments and how listening to this podcast has influenced you!

About Sarah

Sarah Liu, Founder and Managing Director of The Dream Collective, is an international thought leader, speaker, trainer and facilitator on next-generation leadership, diversity and inclusion and the future of work.

Having represented Australia in the G20 YEA since 2017, Sarah also served as an APAC advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister’s Cabinet and sits on the judging panel for Forbes Awards. Sarah is invited to train leaders around the world across private and public sectors on leadership transformation and is an appointed regional partner for Google, lead trainer for National Women in Construction, Engineering, Media and Technology across AUNZ. She is also a member of the UTS Industry Advisory Board.

Whilst she manages a diverse portfolio of career and businesses, there is only one common thread across them all and that is to see more women in leadership and to transform the way we work.

Website: http://www.thedreamcollective.com.au

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Show Notes

1:44 The ability to Influence as Sarah’s Ikigai 2:50 Leaving a mark and having an impact on others 4:10 How Sarah discovered her focus of influence – women’s leadership 5:18 How wanting to solve a problem for herself became a way to solve a problem for more people and The Dream Collective was born as a side hustle 7:20 Combining passion and profit by bringing value both in the content and commercial sense 8:31 I’ll give it a year – committing to the side hustle 8:56 “Borderline burnout” – inability to do onese best 9:55 Chūtohanpana 中途半端  the issue of doing many things incompletely 11:08 How finding your Ikigai is like losing your car keys 11:57 Bringing seasonality and life stages into your ikigai 14:04 Evolution of Sarah’s ikigai in terms of how it manifests itself and shows up in the world 15:53 Differentiate between a core belief and the method 18:50 She Pivots – one of the ways that the ikigai core stays the same but the delivery method changes 20:09 Outsider advantage in She Pivots 20:59 Keeping your ikigai relevant to the reality of the world 22:52 What happens when your ikigai is too focused in a single role or aspect of your life 25:07 Ikigai is not a singular destination 25:55 Ikigai in Marriage 28:15 Starting small with integrating ikigai before you are “ready” 28:46 Bringing Ikigai into team goal setting 31:04 Balance and priorities 31:41 What do you care about the most? And do you spend most of your time doing what you care about? 32:25 How to keep your motivation when things are not progressing externally 33:12 Passion and Professionalism 33:59 Professionalism is waking up, not wanting to do it, but do it anyway 37:47 Show me your wallet and your calendar and I’ll tell you what your priorities are! 39:46 What will you need to deprioritize to follow your ikigai 42:00 Say yes to thinks as a way to find your ikigai

Just keep hitting “live”- “Can Giraffes Swim?” Prize Draw

Hold it lightly and just get it done!

This is my takeaway from trying to get clever with a scheduled facebook live giveaway for my children’s book, “Can Giraffes Swim?”

First I share the story of how the book came about…

How “Can Giraffes Swim?” was born

Then I try to share my screen with a Wheel of Names but no! It isn’t possible once you are live!

Great way to bring in a little bit of suspense!

So I start again and run the draw… only to be foiled again as I did not now that you also can’t stop the screen share once you are live! (or at least I could not find that button!)

The draw itself!

Then I try to go live again but do it on my private instead of business page – a real comedy but I hope I failed gracefully! By this point I am feeling like Georgie the giraffe of the story as they flounder in the water (#spoileralert)

Final Thanks and a call to action!

So hold it lightly, put your work out there and reflect on the learnings.

My learning: Zoom meeting live streamed to facebook for next time!

If you would like to get your own copy of Can Giraffes Swim? head over to Amazon today