Once upon a time on the small island of Kikajima in Japan, there lived a little boy called Toyo.

When Toyo was 6 years old, the family fell apart when his mother died. His father started drinking heavily and getting violent. He hit Toyo every day. Soon there was no money for school lunch and Toyo had to scrounge for weeds to make stir fries. He ate to survive. Life was tough.

By the age of 15 though, Toyo had a dream; a dream to open up an izakaya (street food shop), to have a house, to get married and to have children.

So, he left his island home and headed to the big city of Osaka. People said it was a scary place. Toyo said it was a place where dreams came true.

Needing 11,000,000 yen to start his venture, he worked very hard over the next 10 years until he had saved the exact amount.

But suddenly, his father died. The cost of his funeral and grave came to 7,000,000 yen, which Toyo dutifully paid.

Toyo’s dream was crushed. Was Toyo crushed?

No. He knew that he couldn’t expect good results in life if he gave up on his dream.

With only himself to rely on and 4,000,000 in his pocket, on 20th November 1992, he set a stainless-steel table on a truck bed and opened up his ‘shop’.

People looked down on him as he had no running water, no real cooking facilities. But wanting to be a chicken’s head instead of a bull’s tail, he worked hard, did ‘magic’ with food and with his customers and today, whilst many street food stalls have fallen by the wayside, Izakaya Toyo is flourishing.

To this day there are still times when it’s tough and it’s at these very times that he wishes the devil would come down from heaven and take him. But he changes these tough times into joy. He’s saved by his customers’ smiles.

A man who cooks with his heart, praying that his food may always be delicious, Toyo, a self-dubbed con artist, is a comedian.

People have an experience when they step into his ‘shop’. It’s all about great food, love and laughter.

Toyo has a belief that in this short life, making people happy is more important than making money.

So, the message for this month…as you head towards the vision you’ve created for 2020, know that there will be tough times. In Toyo’s words “When you create your own current, life can be unpredictable.”

Keep going, smile and the world will smile back. And if you happen to be in Osaka, Japan, look him up.

The ‘head of the chicken’ has left a legendary and inspirational trail worldwide.

Here’s to creating your own current!


PS –  Whenever you’re ready, work with me directly to see how you, and/or your team can stay AIRBORNE.

Just send me an email with “yes, more information please”.

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