Wednesday 11 September 2013

New ventures

I'm all about stability. Security. Safe. Constant.

Which is why I fit in so well in Japan (despite totally sticking out). I don't necessarily like the old 'nail that sticks out' philosophy, but honestly, I'm comfortable enough with it. Which kind of negates my foreignness here to be honest, I'm not meant to agree with the whole lemming ideology, I'm foreign! I'm meant to be loud and obnoxious and disagree! And on some things I do, but on most things, I'm quite contented to keep my big mouth firmly shut and keep going.

So why the hell did I marry Ryota who is the total opposite?!?! Oh that's right, I was preggers... Oops.

But then maybe I got to thinking that it wasn't just because I got pregnant, maybe it was because if I married someone totally similar to me, I'd get bored, or get stuck in a rut and go slightly mental...? Nah, it probably was just because I got pregnant, but it's nice to romanticise the whole thing sometimes...

So Ryota has never been a 'same company for life' guy, he's not a salary man, which is the first step I guess. Once Ash was born he started working for the city, which was his way of trying to settle down, but he's just not cut out for the Japanese way of licking your boss' arsehole for 40 years until you get your pension. I'm not all that bothered about the arsehole licking, if I liked my job, it paid reasonable well and I was generally happy I think I could be a salary man type. Which is weird considering now Ryota has the stable arse licking job and I have my own business prone to risk and sudden changes.

I like owning my own school though, I wouldn't change it for anything, which is where we have a slight hiccup. Maybe not even a hiccup, but a hiccup of sorts for a person like me who is prone to worry about change. At the moment, I earn more than Ryota, but my income isn't stable, it can fall and rise from month to month. It never varies that much, but it very well could and I'm aware of this. Where as Ryota's salary is constant, we can always depend on it, bar him falling out of a tree while cutting it or something like that. And the hiccup comes when Ryota wants to quit his job AKA my security blanket, and go out on his own.

And the thing that is making it so hard, is that I'm sure he'll be successful, maybe more successful than me, but any business is a risk. My business was/is a risk, but we always had Ryota's salary to fall back on if anything happened. If Ryota starts his own business in all likelihood we'll have two successful businesses and more money that we do now, but there will also be factors like his starting up period when the pressure is on me, the fact that winter will be an off season for him, and just the general stress of being a two business household.

So it freaks me out a little! Although there is BIG money in his type of work, just recently he did a one and a half day job for ¥60,000, and that is the cheap end!
I want to support him, and relaying my fears of the risks come across as negativity, so I'm reluctant, especially when he's always supported my efforts with the school. Maybe blogging those fears will make it a bit easier.

I've become more and more safe as I get older, no more tattoos, roller coasters have started to scare me a bit, I worry about sleeping with my shoulders bare, but maybe I just have to say, "fuck it" and not worry about the risks, there is part of me that realises his and/or my failures would lead to a new adventure anyway.


  1. I say go for it! You have one income at least and with his previous experience he can probably fall back on it if it doesn't work out and at least he tried even if he failed (otherwise he'd just wonder "what if...").

    Also, if you guys are ever thinking of going to Australia at some point it might be a more marketable profession to have some experience in? Why not decide on a time to start before the season starts (spring?), give you guys some time to promote it and then give it a shot.

    1. That's true, I'll probably wonder "what if" too if he doesn't go for it!

      I think Spring is the best time to start, but he's thinking of quitting in December, doing all the promotion and stuff while he can get unemployment benefit (and his December bonus) for a Spring busy season start.

  2. Can I ask what kind of business does he want to start? 60,000 Yen for a short job is terrific!

    1. Sorry, forgot vital info... :D
      Landscaping! But for Japanese old people there's a whole art to cutting branches right so that's why it's so expensive??

  3. Of course it is scary!! Going form a stable guaranteed income to an uncertain one is terrifying & you have every right to be worried.

    Start now by cutting back on as many expenses as you can, also work out what expenses will disappear once Ryota starts his own business. Until he is up & running and his income increases & is regular, keep spending to a minimum.

    Be thankful that you have a husband who has some get up & go and wants to make his own way.

    Support him but talk to him about your fears, point out that you are not being negative but you are just worried.

    Good Luck.

    1. Thank you!

      Great advice, I should try and live off my salary so if he fails we won't be totally in the shit.

      I am very thankful for a goer, I also know if he does fail he'll just get a shit kicking job if he has to, he's good that way.

  4. Yeah should have cut back on the arse licks... sorry :D

    You're right, he could have kept me barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen but he didn't, I will definitely be giving him a chance to at least try.

  5. Ok I don't know if it's the same as here in the States, but a lot of the landscape/tree trimming people do snow removal and provide wood for sale to people they know use it for home heating if not use it themselves. Now I don 't know how much snow you get in your part of Japan, but if Ryota could get some contacts for providing wood or doing snow removal for people when so many cm. fall. He would have something to do part-time in the off-season. Hell he may even be able to landscape snow in some peoples gardens by shaping the snow.

    Just a thought

  6. I think it would be great if he develops a skill that can be used anyplace--like in Australia if he needs to.

    Thank you for blogging. I always enjoy your stories so much. You are a very talented writer too.

  7. I'm with Ryota. Screw the arse-licking. Not that I've ever gone off at my boss or anything, I just can't fake being nice. It comes across as sarcasm anyway.

    Good luck with the two businesses.

  8. Hi,

    I've been reading your blog for years but I think I've only commented once....I really enjoy reading. I also spent a bunch of time in Japan and am married to a (half) Japanese guy.

    Anyway I think you should go for it but can you ask him to write up a business plan? He might not be a business plan kind of guy, but at least a basic one that shows how much he thinks he can make in the first months, expenses and so forth. His plan of quitting at the end of the year might not be bad since unemployment benefits are super generous there. Isn't it something like six months fully paid even if you choose to quit your own job?

    Definitely the other commenter's suggestion to slash expenses in the coming months is a great one.

    I'm thinking of starting my own business as well and recently read a book called The Profitable Hobby Farm - landscaping is a bit different but perhaps you could read this or a similar book - it tells you what to do when relying only on your own small business income.

    The good thing is you guys have paid for (or pretty much...sorry, don't remember) your own place so you are in a great position to cut expenses.

    Things get scarier as you get older because you think of the possible consequences more. I moved to Japan in my twenties without a second thought. But I'm worried about starting my own business because I might fail. However, I think marriages get better the more you put into them! Supporting the other person in their dreams should pay off big time for you in general! It's much easier to live with a happily fulfilled spouse than a cranky and resentful one. Speaking totally from personal experience here!

  9. I'd like to take up drinking again just to go out with him and say shit like..:

    "That damn woman needs to respect you!!"

    "You ever let her taste the back of your hand?'d be teaching her a lesson"

    "She's mocking you with this whole school thingy...i is this?....get in the damn kitchen woman and learn how to change adult diapers cuz my mom needs a slave and thats why I married you"

    "Walk right in tonight and just backhand her for no reason, throw your clothes all over the place and tell her to have something on the table to eat by the time bath time is finished or she gets a real whoopin"

    "That crap she say's about western men having equal relationships is a scam bro...we beat our women like Taiko drums.....she fooled you good"


  10. Best of luck, but what you are writing here doesn't really make sense, given the earlier ideas of; get a new car, buy a new house, etc. You may fall into a financial trap of trying to do too many things at once. Make a priority list and then do one thing at a time.

    My advice would be to make plans first. Save some money to get through the first year or two of your husband's new business. I would recommend having at least a years' total family expenses saved up. The fact is that most small businesses fail because they don't have the money to get through the first year or two.

    Plus, as you said, living on two unstable incomes is stressful. More than that, it may be disastrous. Throw in two kids, an uneasy relationship with the in-laws.... not good. Something needs to be stable in the above group, IMHO.

  11. Western men have "equal" relationships? Hahahahahaha The only funny part of your post!

  12. For some reason, my image of the Kansai area is one in which all the landscaping bids could be kind of rigged to benefit whoever put their claims on the neighborhood turf. Once the locals figure out who they are dealing with, they'll know that when the blonde lady walks down the street with a shovel in her hands, nobody saw nuthin'.

  13. Gee thanks for that incredibly insightful comment... But let me assure you of a few things...
    A) blogs are made for bitching, if you haven't realised that then you must be a bit slow. The most popular posts are always the bitching and moaning but if it bothers you feel free to err, not read!
    B) your life may be miserable but mine most certainly isn't so don't worry your pretty little head over my life, trust me, I have it very good.

  14. I love reading your blog but I don't think I've ever commented :O,sorry.
    It's only natural to be worried about a risk like that, but if the benefits outweigh the risks then I'd go for it.
    Good luck :D.