One of my favorite TV shows is the documentary series on Japanese TV titled The Professionals. Every week they feature professionals from various fields that share their viewpoints of what motivates them day in and day out. This past week was about the tofu craftsman (a.k.a. tofu master), Takeshi Yamashita.
Takeshi Yamashita is the owner of a small tofu shop founded 145 years ago (5th – generation). In addition to cultivating his own soybeans, he utilizes a natural nigari coagulant in his manufacturing process that produces a delicate texture and rich flavor. Thanks to decades of experimentation, Takeshi Yamashita has evolved into a renown Japanese tofu craftsman.
Some of his guiding business principles for success resonated for me as I watched the documentary:
- His father told him to keep the business small and simple (a.k.a. boutique).
- An avid reader of philosophy, he quoted Aristole: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
- At any age, 40, 50, 60, etc., you need to have intellectual curiosity to truly experience the “Joy of Living.”
What are some of the key attributes you think are important in becoming a true professional?