The (Quick) Voice of Business Experience in Japan

Photo credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis on flickr

Posted By Nathan Hoernig

How does this affect you?

This article is geared towards anyone with an interest in business and best practices to carry yourself as a professional. I won’t make the leap and say that you should get all your business advice from me, but perhaps someone who’s helped build and develop some-teen businesses since the mid-80s could lend some solid advice.

I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting a businessman based here in Japan named Terrie Lloyd. In the process of talking with him, he offered to answer a few quick questions of mine regarding being open and how it can affect your business.

This article will be short and sweet. No flub answers, just straight to the point. Here’s what he had to say:

Do you consider yourself an open and divulging businessperson?

“Yes. Compared to many of my competitors and colleagues, I disclose far more about my activities publicly than they do. This is evidenced by the number of mentions on Google and elsewhere.”

How has being so open about your work benefitted and/or hampered you?

It has helped me by:

  1. encouraging people needing help in the areas of expertise that I have, to find me. I have answered numerous emails (1-2 a week for over 15 years) on finding a job, visa issues, divorce issues, IT, web marketing, starting a company, raising finance, etc.
  2. increasing word-of-mouth-introductions
  3. creating a community-wide reputation

It has hampered me by:

  1. setting me up for pot shots by anyone with a spare moment and a feeling that they don’t like me.
  2. potentially confusing new clients, since I am involved in a lot of different businesses.


If a person were wanting to start a business in Japan, how would this style of thinking be perceived by the Japanese?

“If you mean being open and how that is different to what Japanese would do, I do know Japanese people who are very open as well. It all depends on the individual’s own style of working and value system.”

In Conclusion

This quick look into Terrie’s mind proves the point even more: transparency and openness can get you ahead. I was particularly interested in hearing some of the negative sides.

Here’s another short read on the subject from a popular freelancing blog:
Freelance Switch: Should Freelancers Share their Knowledge?

Want More?

Get up-to-date on the Japanese market with our monthly newsletter.

Nearly done, one more thing