A New Year and a new opportunity

Author: mirai  //  Category: Family and Friends

This year, I spent my new years where I spend my new years every year, at my grandmother’s house.  And as usual there were plenty of people, food, and fun.  There were new addtions: my cousin’s Tsugu’s new wife and a child on its way, my cousin Ryo’s second son, and my cousin Kanan’s new look and her new boyfriend.  There we also some substractions: my cousin Hide, and his girlfriend.  Unfortunaltely, due to family issues, and a business scandle, Hide wasn’t invited to this year’s reunion, and he probably won’t be invited back for a while….but that’s a different story.

Tsugu was the story of the year.  He had been nortorious for having girlfriends at least 10 years or younger than him (he’ll be 34 this year by the way) and they have all been airheads.  When I heard that he had a shotgun wedding last year, I immediately thought that his new wife would be one of those really stupid airheaded girls that he had picked in some club in Shibuya.  But on the contrary, she turned out to be quite nice.  Although I don’t know her exact age, she is probably the same as Tsugu.

The new year rang in on quite a strange note.  My uncle called me, Ryo, and Tsugu to the dining room table with quite a serious look on his face.  Previously, my mom, aunt and uncle had been having a loud conversation about the family business.  I could hear only bits and pieces of the conversation, and my uncle mentioning something about possibly expanding his business to the States by buying some Starbucks frnachises.

My cousin Ryo and I approached the dining table and sat down.  The first words out my uncle’s mouth was, “how would you like to go into business with me?”  Ryo and I had the same exact thought in our heads.  We both were not seasoned business people like my uncle, so we were thinking “what do you want us to do.”

Just to give an idea of what my uncle is about, he is a bit eccentric just like my mother and aunt.  It must have ran in the family.  But as far as business ventures are concerned, he is a complete genious, not to mention very wealthy, and has owned or owns several successful businesses throughout Tokyo and Yokohama.  It has always been my dream to match his success, or just come close.

The idea of going into business with my uncle was was a facinating one.  Its an almost guaranteed success, and a road to wealth.  But just when my dreams of financial freedom was being realized, my uncle throws a huge wrench into the works. “Give me some ideas of what kind of business you’d like to do.  If it sounds feesible, I will fund everything up to a million dollars.” 

For most people, this is a dream come true.  A rich relative willing to slap down a million dollars on an idea or a dream. But my mind as well as Ryo’s mind came to a complete blank.  I could not think of anything I wanted to do.  I didn’t have any ideas for a new business.  Maybe this was partially because of fear of failing or maybe the fear of loosing a million dollars.  But I don’t think my uncle was too particularly concerned over loss; he was more concerned over succeeding and what we need to do to succeed.

Between all of us, we thought of several ideas from buying a Starbucks franchise in Atlanta to starting a sushi restaurant in Manhattan.  None of them flew with my uncle.  He saw them all as potential failures or something that won’t make the kind of money he’s use to. “C’mon is that all you can come up with?  When I was your age I had tons of ideas and no money.  I could only wish for the opportunity I am giving you.”

He was right.  What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t I come up with anything?  Most people could only drean of this; its being handed to me on a silver platter and I don’t know what to do.  

After a lengthy discussion, we realized that we weren’t going to come up with anything that night, so my uncle has given us six months to decide.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to come up with something within that time.