Lessons Learned: Following the Right Path

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Who do you respect more: someone like John Rockefeller, who built a money-making empire, or someone like John Harvard, who created a leading educational institution? EO Japan’s Yoshito Hori (pictured) recently faced this dilemma with GLOBIS, one of Japan’s leading venture capital firms.

The Problem: I started GLOBIS in 1992, and within 10 years we achieved a 30- to 50-percent annual growth rate and made more than US$10 million in profit. Though we were successful, we ultimately had to decide what direction we wanted our business to take: go public and capitalize on our success, or convert the business into a not-for-profit? If we chose the former, we knew we would become very rich. If we chose the latter, we could create Asia’s number one business school.

The Solution: We spent a year and a half mulling over the options, trying to reach our conclusion. Personally, I went through a lot of philosophical questioning: What do I want to use my life for? What do I value the most? To find a resolution, I used meditation to remove myself from greed and the desires for money, power and fame. In time, I began to realize who I truly was and what I wanted to achieve in life and business.

The Lessons: In the end, we decided to create a foundation and donate our business and cash. Since our decision, GLOBIS has become the largest business school in Japan, and we’re following the path to become number one in all of Asia. Looking back, I don’t regret my decision. My friends have become billionaires, but I made the right choice. I enjoy teaching, educating leaders and creating new industries. I guess I decided to follow John Harvard’s path.

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