Coming toe to toe with your deepest fears and overcoming them are quite the kind of stories and motivation that a lot of us appreciate but try to avoid; sink perhaps, when faced with these fears. This wasn’t the case with Tetsuji Okumura, who with all the battles of life, stood firm and challenged his fears on his own terms. Not only that, he came out the victor of these battles.
His major story started from when he was diagnosed with stage three cancer, an illness that was confirmed could eliminate him. At that point, he hadn’t really built much, if anything at all. It fell on him that he needed to make the most of his life, for the little time that was afforded him. In his exact words, Tetsuji said— “After suffering from cancer, I had given up on having children. I had a strong desire to leave something to the world, but I could not decide what to leave behind. My parents have always worried about my health, and I have not been able to give them much. I decided to leave a book and present them with a book about my life in a respectable way and so as to the world”.
He began to push himself, throw more expectations on the things he could do, and believe more in himself to do these things. Suddenly, the excitement from the expectations and goals he put in front of himself started to give him courage, drive, and conviction in his own abilities.
Today, Okumura is worth well over a million USD and is the founder of Laughtey Cooperation. He’s using his story and company to support and encourage a better life for everyone around him and beyond.
In his quest to make the world a better place, Okumura dived into designing and manufacturing a different kind of surfing board, a transparent and more environmentally friendly board. It took him a long time to develop the prototype and make it what it is today. That also came with a lot of challenges, from having to quit his job for a company he was convinced he could do without to set up himself to gain independent clients that her could offer his service as a freelancer— growing and stabilizing his finances over time, none of it was easy.
Today, with his environmentally friendly surfing board being a success, he wants to share his huge story with others as a source of encouragement that you can achieve whatever you set out in life to achieve and you can do that by pushing yourself. “Saying it out loud” is an effective method to gaining the momentum you need to make that crucial jump.
A lot of people don’t get to live the life that they want because they spend too much time not knowing what they want or how to pursue it. The world would be a far better place if each and every one of us was curated in the best possible ways. He shared a bit of what should be expected of his initiative in the future by saying— “I believe that the transparent surfboard initiative will improve ecological literacy in the world and create new jobs. In developing countries, I believe that just by implementing eco-friendly mechanization initiatives, jobs can be created. I believe that preserving a clean planet can also help tourism to flourish. I believe that this is the mindset that if we imagine the earth as beautiful as you imagine it to be, it will become that way”.
All of this was possible because Tetsuji thought and believed what many would conclude was impossible. From beating cancer, quitting his day job, starting freelance to building his company. He now supports other entrepreneurs and contributes to the world vastly through his environmental initiatives and people empowerment.