100 Next-Era CEOs in Asia 2014 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

ASK Academy Japan

CEO Yuichi Matsuda

Message to young people
Life is not for entertainment. You will not succeed if you focus on only superficial intelligence. You should grasp the essence of reality and make sincerity and honesty your motto. Just be yourself and don’t act or pretend. That is why your character is most important. Also, you should improve yourself every day. It is crucial to clarify the purpose of your life and the value to live. Then you should clarify what you want to achieve and manage yourself to prioritize what is necessary to achieve it. You cannot manage yourself without will.

I was born in Tokyo and grew up as a pure Edokko (Tokyo kid). My family was well off and I was strictly disciplined. Maybe as a result of that, I was a mischievous child and it wasn’t unusual for my mother to go to our neighbors’ houses or the school to apologize on my behalf. I remember the sight of my parents crying tears of joy when seeing me play the lead in my junior high school graduation play. It taught me the joy of making a contribution.

My only memories of high school are my part-time jobs. My first part-time job was selling nameplates. I focused on selling in residential areas and was able to make a considerable amount of money, even more than regular employees. When my classmates heard of my job, many of them tried it too, but quickly quit because they couldn’t sell. Apart from that, I also had a part-time job at a restaurant near Harajuku Station. I was a hard worker and the owner let me work in the kitchen. It was at this time that I discovered the joy of working. At night, I would often go out to Harajuku, Aoyama or Roppongi with colleagues. However, I gradually began to think seriously about my future, and from my second year of high school on I studied hard for college. I then entered the university I wanted to go to and only attended the classes I absolutely had to and spent most of my time playing mahjong, drinking with my friends and working part-time jobs. Still, I managed to graduate from the master’s program with a decent GPA.

While job hunting, I received offers from a variety of companies, but I chose to work for an automotive sales company because I loved cars and I had a friend from university already in the company. The company made all the new hires do sales, which I reluctantly did. For the first two or three months I had no results, but because of my determination and desire to outdo my friend, I visited more than 100 potential customers a day, and in two and a half months gave out more than 4,000 business cards. My colleagues sold two or three cars to their relatives and friends a month, but my manager taught me the importance of selling to new customers. He never taught me any shortcuts in sales and, looking back, I’m thankful as it made me what I am today.

After several months, my efforts finally began to bear fruit and my sales suddenly increased. In summer, my colleagues’ sales began going down but my sales began going up. From then on, my sales were great and the highest of all the people who entered the company the same year I did. I climbed the corporate ladder for the next few years and constantly increased my sales and was invited to deliver a speech as the top salesman. Eventually, I changed my job to be a lecturer at a seminar-organizing company.

My theory on educational seminars is that a lecturer should be “living proof of the seminar’s contents.” I insist on this and believe lecturers should “live the life they teach.” They should practice what they teach and prove the results of what they teach. Unfortunately, the seminar-organizing companies I belonged to had many trainers who excel only in delivering seminar programs, but are completely different when they are not teaching. I believe there shouldn’t be double standards in this job, so I thought the best way to achieve my goals was to found my own company to take the lead in the work philosophy. I also thought that is how I could make the most contribution to society.

So, I quit my job, and was going to take some time to make a business plan, but to my surprise, some clients asked to me establish my company as soon as possible and organize seminars for them.

My company provides creative and original seminars and skill-development training in all kinds of areas continuously to help companies and individuals reach realistic achievements. My seminars have concrete effects by enhancing teamwork, earning clients’ trust and becoming the No. 1 company in whatever industry they are in.

As a seminar-organizing company representing Japan, we will train excellent lecturers representing Japan, develop seminar programs representing Japan, keep our promises and contribute to the prosperity of society.

Company Profile

ASK Academy Japan