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Tattoos, Noodles, & Kaizen: What You Need to Know

This past year, I was introduced to the phrase, kaizen. 

So what does it mean? 

Kaizen is a Japanese term meaning change for the better or continuous improvement.

As someone who firmly believes in the importance of lifelong learning and always working to better one’s self, this was very profound to me. 

Definitely one to add to my collection of personal mantras.

I was actually introduced to this term by someone younger and…well, wiser. At least, from a business standpoint. This person even found the phrase so meaningful that he got a tattoo!

Coincidentally around the same time, I also discovered Kaizen Noodle Company via random Instagram story. And honestly, it felt like fate. 

So here I am, writing a blog post about tattoos and noodles. 

Ok, now for the real value: How can you incorporate kaizen into your life and/or business?

With these 5 main principles, of course!

  1. Truly understand yourself and those you serve. Understanding your own needs and those of your customers will put you in the best position to provide value. 

  2. Let it flow. Always be working towards maximizing your efficiency and productivity, while minimizing waste (wasted time, wasted money, wasted materials, etc.)

  3. Understand what is happening at every level of your organization. This helps to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary changes as quickly as possible. 

  4. Empower people. Always support your team with systems, and tools, and set realistic, achievable goals. 

  5. Be transparent. Track data and metrics with your team and share the results so that there is a clear understanding of how to improve. 

Wherever you’re at in life, there is always room for kaizen. Not to belittle the amazing work you do, but there is always room for improvement. 

Take writing copy, for instance. 

You might think you’ve nailed it. Couldn’t possibly have said it any better.

But then…

You paste your copy over in Grammerly or Hemingway or another editing tool, and it’s got A LOT to say about your work.

 All those red lines…

All those suggested changes…

And yes, oftentimes you ignore the suggestions because you know editing software is supposed to be over-critical. And you know it’s great copy. 

But also, oftentimes…

The work could be better.

You could rephrase a few things to speak to your audience’s pain points better. 

You could write at a lower reading level to increase readability for a good chunk of your readers.

The point is: don’t stop with great. Strive for better. 

Every. Single. Time. 

Because what’s the alternative?

To stay the same. To stagnate. To never improve. 

They say a body in motion stays in motion, and I think the same can be applied to your mindset. Constantly shifting and engaging in a way that challenges and pushes you to reach your next potential will keep you moving forward in a positive direction. 

Keep this up, and you will become a master of kaizen.  

Keep growing, friend. 


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