新年挨拶

Happy New Year

新年あけましておめでとうございます。

2020年はコロナが主役の年でした。

その影響はまだ潜在しているものも多いように思いますが、とにかく前に進まなければなにも始まりません。

stakは2020年もいろいろと動いた結果、様々なところでの取り組みが拡がっています。

そんな様子をきちんと伝えていこうという決意表明です。

 

2021年のTopixです。

  • stak2.0のリリース
  • Newデバイス「stak switch」のリリース
  • 管理システムのリリース
  • Newアプリのリリース
  • 台湾進出

このあたりが大きな動きになるところだと思います。

それに向けて日々動いていますが、見えないところも多々あると思いますので、CEOとしてできる限りの共有をみなさんとできたらと思っております。

忌憚ないご意見をいただければ嬉しい限りです。

 

それでは、みなさま、2021年を過去最高の年にすべく動きまくりましょう!

 

【Twitterのfollowお願いします】

植田 振一郎 Twitter

4. Remote Work, What You Can’t Do 遠隔でできない仕事

12月30日から毎日1本、ichizokuVlogは

こちらへ Click Here

For daily ichizoku Vlogs and more, starting December 30th.



A New Year



今年で最後のブログと気がついた。

本当に、良いお年を過ごせますように。

今年は、お疲れ様でした。

と心から伝えたい。

広島の倉橋島、海の近くのどこかで撮った夕焼け。

Here’s a sunset from somewhere by the sea near Kurahashi, Hiroshima.

I just realized this will be the last post of the year.

I truly hope you have a wonderful next year,

and as they say in Japan, Otsukare (honorable tiredness)!

for getting through this year.



A New Project



とりあえず、これからやることを軽く伝えさせたいと思う。

ブログとインスタの続き、会社の依頼(翻訳など)はもちろん、今まで通りで行く感じ。

だが、

始まるのにワクワクしてきたのが、ichizokuというプロジェクト。

要は、stak社が広島空港を中心としてレノベーションと町おこしを関わり始める。

右手が今までやったIoTデバイス、家での生活の革命としたら、左手がichizokuになる。

外から見ると、家も、町も、そして都会にも田舎にも、stakがより良い生活、より余裕の有れる生き方をみんなに与えるように勤める。

stakの天才、上本さん。先日にふと撮った写真

Photo I randomly shot the other day of our very own genius, Uemoto.

So before we get on with things, I want to announce the new project I’ll be working on.

Of course, I’ll be continuing to do what I’ve been doing with instagram, blogging, and all the internal affairs like translation.

However,

The thing I’m really excited about is a project we call ichizoku.

Basically, stak is going to focus on the area around Hiroshima airport and dive into renovation and local development.

If our right hand is what we’ve been doing – tech and smart home devices – our left hand will be ichizoku.

From an outside perspective, in modern homes as well as rural towns, in the city and in the countryside, stak will be working to manifest a better lifestyle, a way of living with more space and time.



そして

マイケルがこれからやること!

12月30日から、個人のyoutubeチャンネルに毎日動画1本を載せて行く。

今まで、日本の地方をほとんど全部渡ってきた僕が、いろんな面白いコミュニティを見つけた。個人的には、これが最も憧れに思うこと。都会と少し離れたところに、伝統と現代の融合した、有意義で余裕のある生活をしている人はたくさんいる。けど、静かに暮らしてる。

それがみんなにとって幸せな生き方だと思わないんだけど、そんな生き方もあるとみんな知っていたら、もっとバランスの図った、柔軟な社会になると信じてる。

だから、stak社のichizokuの研究と、人脈を増やしに、いろんなところを渡る予定。行きながら、毎日のVlogみたいなのを創る同時に、集めた素材を1箇所1本のおしゃれな総集編を創っていく。

これが、6年前から日本でやってきたことの全てが繋がっていて、

今までの時間が有意義だったなと思えるようなやること。

動画で一緒に来ていただけたら、嬉しいです。

So here’s what I’ll be doing from now on.

I’ll be uploading a video every day starting on December 30th to my channel.

Over the years I’ve spent traveling across practically all of Japan, I’ve found a lot of really fascinating communities. For me, this has been the thing that totally captured my interest in this country. Not even so far away from the city, there are so many communities of people living in some perfect harmony of modern and traditional, happily doing what they really want to do in the way they want to do it. However, I’ve found they’re all doing so really quietly.

Of course, it’s not the case that this is how everyone should live and that this is happiness for everyone. However, I do believe that if everyone knew they could live this way, Japan’s society would find a greater balance and flexibility overall.

So, for our ichizoku Project, I’m going to go around to make connections, and essentially do research. As I go, I’ll make a sort of daily Vlog, along with turning all that footage into one stylish edit to capture the feeling of each place I visit.

It really feels like I’m tying all the experiences of the last 6 years together in a really meaningful way.

So I would be so happy if you follow along with me.

Onwards! 進もう!



Remote Work • 遠隔の仕事



[時間] と [タスク]

この二つが不可欠に思ってきた。上手く定めないとどうなるか、経験でわかるから思う。

してはいけないと信じてることが以下に書く:

•「自分から仕事見つけろ」ということ。

もちろん、これがすごく大切な思いとやり方ではある。逆に、自分から仕事を考えて、動く人が会社にいないと、会社としては上手く行かなさそうだと思う。

といっても、会社からしてほしいタスクと、自分から会社のためにどんなものを作るとの2件がはっきりと分り合いがない限り、時間が使われず、無駄に消えてゆくだけ。

具体的にいうと、私たちの場合では、どのことをするか決めずに、どんなことだけで遠隔を始めた。

これで、マイケルが仕事をすると覚悟して、パソコンの前に座っても、それで何をしたらいいと迷った日ばっかりだった。そうすると、何をするか考える時間がほぼだったりした挙句、何かをする時間が減った。

Time and Tasks

These are the two things that I believe now are essential,

having learned from experience of the consequences of not managing these well.

What I believe you cannot do is this:

• Tell your employee to find work to do.

Of course, this is a really important notion and way of work. Really, if there’s no one in the company who can take the initiative to create work for themselves to do, and do it, the company probably won’t do too well.

That being said, the employee and the company have to maintain a clear understanding of what specific tasks the company wants done, and what tasks the employee can do of their own accord. Without doing this, time will just disappear without really being spent productively.

In more practical terms, like with us, we started my remote work period having only decided what kinds of things I could do, instead of deciding what I would do. 

This left me nearly every day sitting down to do work in front of my computer, and then spending a disproportionate amount of time considering what thing I could do, instead of doing a thing.


それから、もちろん、遠隔だと完全にできないけど大切なことはいくつかある。

外食、飲み会。じゃない。けど、直接に会って、ミーティング、話し合い。これがすごく重要。

簡単に、写真を撮りたいと思っても、当然にできない。ものを郵送しないと、ものを手に入れられない。色々な難関がある。

結局、恋愛関係と同じようなことだと思う。関係性が良ければ、上手く行ける。けど、遠距離になると難しくなったりする。漠然な難しいと言う意味がないから、実際何が難しい?普通に一緒にいる関係にしても、難しいところが常に出てきてる。良さも、悪さも。けど、言葉じゃなくて、顔を見ること、振る舞いとかで潜在意識で解決していくものがタクサンあるのだ。離れると、それが自然に解決できなくなるから、それを心がけて、特別に普通より話し合う、わかりあう時間を作っておかないと、きつさが重なってくる。

これは、遠隔の仕事と全く同じ物だと思う。

There are also of course a lot of things you simply cannot do when you’re working remotely which are very important.

Not drinking or parties with your coworkers, but simply meeting with them. Talking with them and understanding each other. This is extremely important.

More simply, if you want to take a picture, you cannot. If you don’t send something like a device, you have no way of getting your hands on it. There are lots of obstacles.

In the end, I really think work is the same as romantic relationships. If the connection at its core is good, then it will work out. But long distance does make all things harder. Just saying it’s harder doesn’t really mean anything, so what’s actually hard about it? I think it’s that, when you’re actually together, there are always, constantly, little pleasantries and difficulties that naturally arise, and are naturally resolved through unspoken interactions, like one’s eyes, and the way one moves. All of this happens in the subconscious. So then when suddenly you’re separated, you have to really make a conscious effort to carve out time to take care of all these little difficulties that arise, or else they’ll build up and before you know it have led to distance in the relationship.

It’s really the same in working remotely.


簡潔にいうと、遠隔の仕事が上手く行くのに、

一人一人の具体的なやることが決まっている必要がある。

誰かがみんなにタスクを配らない限り、

時間が色々無駄に使われて行くしかない。

自分が離れてても会社に与えれることが何かわかりあって、

定期的な進捗についての話も作って行くといい。

上手くすると、時間を効率に使い、一人一人の好きな働き方、働く環境で、より早い進捗が可能。

けど、事前に遠隔の難しさをキチンと理解し合わなければならない。

So if I put it simply, to make remote work go well,

each person’s job needs to be very clearly defined.

There ought to be someone that gives out tasks for the workers to do according to their abilities,

or else there will be a lot of time wasted that goes out the window.

Both the worker and company have to know what exactly they can do for the company, even while working remotely.

Then schedule consistent meetings to stay in touch with each other and make sure mutual understanding is maintained.

If you do it right, remote work can be fantastic with efficient time usage and allowing employees their preferred workstyle and work environment.

But understanding the difficulties of remote work before beginning it is essential.

3. Remote Work, What You Can Do • 遠隔で出来る仕事

ブログの先に、

今週、アメリカを出る前の2日間で作ってみたCMをアップしたので、見てみてください!

こういうのをいっぱい作って行きたいと思います。

First off:
Released a small sample commercial for stak recently, check it out below!

More of these to come:



それから、ビザの申請をした時からの書類を何枚か見つけたので、

興味があれば、先週の投稿の下に編集して入れておきまーす。

In other news, I found some old documents from the VISA Application process that might be appealing to anyone interested. I’ll edit last week’s post and put them at the bottom so check it out!

さて、今週のブログ。With that, let’s begin.



遠隔でできる仕事

Remote Work, What You Can Do



先に簡潔に言っておく:

頼まれることはできる。

依頼なくても自分から動く仕事が難しい。

Here it is, concisely:

You can do work you are asked to do.

But it’s very hard to do work of your own accord.

もちろん、会社による、人にもよる、というのはあると思う。けど、自分自身はほぼ1年間にかけて、大変な状況の中でこれを経験した上で、だいたいのルールとしてはあっていると感じる。

While everything depends on the person and the company, I believe having dealt with this for the better part of a year in a really difficult situation, that as a general rule what I said holds true.



 なんの仕事にしても、始めから最後までずっと100%で仕事してる!!!って感じな人は1人もいない。

とくに日本だがそれに限らず、ほとんどの仕事してる時間が無駄なだけ。

一般的な事務の1日の仕事を考えてみたら、本当に、本当に意味あることが多くても1割。より効率にできるのに、事務のやりかたなどがあって、時間を無駄にするしかないことばっかり。

営業が回るというより、社会が回ることが大切だけど、社会が進むというのは?

stakの根本的な哲学では、時間を何よりも大切にすることが第一。

Across any line of work, there is no one in our world who spends their entire work shift working at full capacity.

Especially but not limited to Japan, most work in our modern societies is just wasting people’s time.

Just take a boring old office. Any one will do. Really, truly, meaningful things have got to make up like 10% of the workflow. There’s all these things that we could really do much faster, and much more efficiently, but because of x rule and y reason, we have to do it the same as always.

The Japanese phrase Business has to Revolve (circulate, go around) makes sense then. Society has to give everyone stuff to do every day. But what about moving society forward?

Our most core philosophy here at stak is to make sure that we value time more than anything else.



The 80-20 Rule



これは簡単な原則で、知っといた方がいいと思う。自分でググったら出てくる。もしくは、英語の挑戦をしたいと思う方々、以下の英語のところにつけたインタビューを聴いてみて!

xの2割から、yの8割がくる、ということである。

1日を見たら、その日に感じた幸せの8割が1日の2割の時間にあった。

もし10時間勤務していたら、生産性の8割が2時間でできた。

それから、いろいろ考えてみれる。

敢えて正直に言ったら、マイケルのブログの書き方もそう。確実にそう。実際に書いてる時間が2時間としたら、その3〜4倍ぐらいは考えてる、怠けてるだけ。

これもなかなか面白い。

This is a simple enough rule and it’s good to know. You can google it yourself to learn more about the interesting Richard Branson who came up with it, or check out Tim Ferris’s interview with him.

It says that 80% of x comes from 20%.

80% of our happiness comes from 20% of our day.

80% of our productivity while working comes from 20% of our entire time working.

Keep going.

And if I’m honest, that’s how I am with writing blogs. I mean, if it ends up taking me 2 hours to actually write the darn thing, chances are I spent like 6-8 hours before that thinking about it and lazing around and essentially idling.



What I Did



まずわかった方がいい(マイケルも最初にわかるべきだった)のが、

「色々やる」というのが具体的なことじゃない。

言語、画像、小企業、という知識があっても、働けと言われたら何をする?僕は、こうした。

The first thing to understand (and what I needed to understand at first) is that,

I’ll help out where I can is cripplingly vague. Unworkably so.

Even if you’re good with, say languages, visual media, and small businesses, if someone came up to you and said “Ok, work!” would you be able to work? I did the following.


既にできることが役に立つ仕事にする。

言語のところで、スタフの英会話講師になった。

翻訳の依頼があったら、すぐに翻訳した。

既にあった、投稿、大事な話や書類などの英語バージョンを自分から作ってみた。

画像は、デバイスを2個アメリカまで送ってもらって、使いこなせるカメラをそれまでと違うような写真など、たくさん撮ってみた。インスタの担当になってみた。

小企業に関しては、海外戦略ということに集中して、インターネットで世界中をみて、stakの仲間に慣れそうな会社を探り出した。それから、色んな話と通訳。

I tried to turn the things I could do into concrete (and consistent) projects.

With languages I became the staff’s english teacher.

Whenever there was a request for it, I translated anything requested.

I also asked for anything already out there, be it website, documents, or important conversations that might be useful, and translated those into English.

For visual media I had them send me 2 stak’s over to my home in the US, and I dove into for me a new brand of photography with advertising and product shoots. I also took over their instagram.

As for small businesses, I took a long and hard look at the world through the internet, and combed it for companies that seemed like they could potentially work with us in some capacity. Then I contacted them and became the interpreter for any advancements.


できるかわからないけどやってみる挑戦

それから、大事だけど大変難しいのは、自分でもできないこと。

営業作戦など、営業のやりかたを知らず自分から、色々意見や提案を共有するようにした。

社長の上田さんが何よりもうまくやってるのが、本質ってこと。それを知るのと、それを人から引き出すこと。やってることの本質、物の本質、人の本質。いつも言ってくれてるのが、意見を本気で聞きたいし、考え方だからstakファミリーに入ってほしかったよって。それをちゃんと信じて、色々挑戦してみてきた。

それに、HPとプログラミング。元から意見を出す人だけど、それをこの会社の一人としてやるようにできた結果は、サイトを改善すべきってところに至った。それを刺激と捉えてくれて、「じゃあサイトのリニューアルの担当にして。任せる!」と言われた。時間がかかりすぎたが、結局新しいサイトができた。

他にもちろん、山ほどある。ブログのことは、今までブログを書いたことはなかった。書くこと事態が大好きだけど、いつも詩とか、旅の思いでなどを日記に書くことに限った。

Things you’re not sure about. Try!

This is the most important, but the most difficult. Those things that you don’t think you can do.

With International Business, me, who knows nothing… well I tried to put out all my thoughts and opinions.

One thing Bossman Ueda does extremely well is the essence. Knowing it, and coaxing it out of people. The essence of things, the essence of ideas, the essence of what you’re doing. He’ll always say he really seriously wants to hear your thoughts on x or y, and the reason he wanted you in stak in the first place is because of the way you think. So I had to really trust that, and try a bunch of new things.

From that, I got into programming and web design. I’ve always been one with strong opinions and who is comfortable voicing them, but starting to feel comfortable doing that with the company brought me to the point of bringing up a website redesign. I guess he thought that was a good impetus to do so, and promptly gave me the reins on the project. It did end up taking a while, but hey, we got it done.

Of course there are so, so many other things I tried. The blog is one thing I had never done before. While I love writing, I’ve always been a very private writer taking to travel writing and poetry in one of countless journals.



Simple Advice



後でより今がいい。

やってることの具体的な結果がなければ、手放す。

週間と制度、やり方から、生産性が生じられる。

遠隔ということで、柔軟さがもう十分にある。

できることと挑戦してみたいこと、そのバランスを測る。

仕事ができる空間が大切。

It’s better to do it earlier than later.

If what you’re doing is producing nothing, give it up.

Habits and systems leads to production. 

Working remotely is already enough flexibility.

Keep a balance of things you can do, and things you want to try.

You need a place (and possible time) that you do your work.

2. Visas and Australia ビザとオーストラリア

今回のブログでは、二つの話題まで達せたらと思う。

それが、日本に住もうと思ったら、どういう手続きがあるのかと、どういうハードルがあるのか。

それから、オーストラリアにいることになった経緯の話をしようと思います。

こらがstak familyは、みんなに共有したら誰かのためになる情報に思ってる。日本だけではなくて、どんな国からだとしても、海外に住もう、外国人を雇おう、と考える人がこれからの世界では増えていくばっかりだと思われる。

For the 2nd entry in this series, there are two main things I’m going to talk about.

The first will be what exactly it takes to live in Japan, should you think to do so.

The other will be about how I ended up in Australia in the first place.

All of us at stak, after having gone through this process over such a long period with such challenging circumstances, thought this info would be not just interesting, but also probably helpful for a lot of people out there. Really it’s not about Japan, but related to anyone who might want to work abroad, or hire someone from abroad. And in the world we live in today, the number of those people seems like it will do nothing but continue to skyrocket.


観光と旅 • Sightseeing and Traveling


僕みたいに頭が変な人だったら、

海外で迷子になることは人生には、

何度かあるかもしれない。

ただの観光ではなく、本当に旅すること。出身を手放して、新しい環境からの新たな自分になる。それができたら、色々変わってくる。必要ではなかったものが自然と消えてゆく、そしてそれまだなかったことが成り立つ。残るはずがなかった、前より順調に思えることが残り、他のものは安定にそのまま。

僕にとってどれだけ大切な経験だったか伝えきれないかも。しかし、旅ということをすべきと思わない。自分がやるべきというなんとなくの気持ちに耳を澄ますべきと思う。

If you’re someone crazy like me you might try to get lost abroad a few times in your life.

I don’t just mean sightseeing, but really traveling. Letting go of your ‘home’ and becoming yourself in a new environment. When you manage that, things change. Unnecessary things fall away, and new things come together. Unexpected things remain, feeling more precious than before, and certain things stay constant.

I cannot recommend enough how important this was for me. But I wouldn’t recommend travel in particular, just recommend following your gut for what you should do.


ビザというモノ • The Thing Called a Visa


海外にいるのに、ビザが必須条件である。

観光ビザは当たり前に出してくれる国もあって、あらかじめ申し込めないと入国できない。

日本の場合は、3ヶ月間の期限として観光ビザを出している(滞在だけで、仕事が禁止)。1年に2回もらえる制限があるのだが、個人的には入国の時に聞かれたことがない。

日本で働くのであれば、ビザを手に入れないとならない。

ワーキングホリデー:ワーホリプログラムに参加してる国の国籍を持っていたら、それを申し込んで日本で1年間自由に滞在することが可能。最高の機会だと僕は思って、大体30歳までしかできないから、是非。

ビザを手に入れるのに、スポンサーが必要。(普通は会社)

現実的にいうと、日本に行く道が三つに限られてる。学生になる、英語の先生になる、IT会社に勤める。なぜなら、英語、英語、言語が無関係な業界だから。

To be abroad you need a VISA. Permission to be there.

There are lots of countries out there where tourist visas are not automatic things, and you need to apply beforehand.

Japan gives 3 month tourist visas (you may stay but may not work), and you can use two 3-month periods in a year (though I have never been asked by immigration about this, those are the rules).

To work in Japan you need a working Visa.

Working Holiday: If you’re from a country that participates in the working holiday agreement (not USA), you can do a working holiday in Japan which is a fantastic opportunity. This is what I did last year to try my hand at freelance videography and coffee barista work.

To get a Visa, you need a sponsor. (Usually a company)

Realistically, your paths to getting to Japan are limited to being a student there, teaching English, or if you’re good in your field it’s possible to get hired for an IT company. (If you’re not a student, you’ll likely need a college degree).

The reasons are respectively, English, English, and a linguistically unrestricted field.

If you are the other kind of people who are looking for work in Japan, who speak Japanese, but aren’t doing IT work, you’ll have to deal with what Stak and I did.


日本で外国人を雇う • Hiring a Foreigner in Japan


もちろん、他にブログなど説明が既にたくさんあるので、公式的な情報を求めているなら、普通にGoogleで検索したら色々出てくる。それと、外務省のサイトが、僕にとって割とちゃんとしてると思う。

お金の余裕があったら、ビザの先生という仕事をしてる人もいる。その仕事が、外国人を日本で雇う流れが上手く通るように仲介になってくれる。

Of course, if you’re after specific, official information, you can just google to find it. I’ve also found the ministry of foreign affairs website to be relatively good, if a little confusing to navigate.

There are also Visa Sensei’s, whose job it is to orchestrate this circus act of bringing a foreign worker to work in Japan. 

厚生労働省•Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare

外務省•Ministry of Foreign Affairs

だが、情報だけでどうすればいい、どんな流れになるのをわかるのが、全然違うこと。

However, understanding what you’ll actually have to do with all those applications and information, in normal thinking terms – we can help you there.


アドバイス:

  1. お金と時間を柔軟に使えることが必要。ビザ申請が最初から降りるまで、3〜6ヶ月間ぐらいかかる。私たちの場合では、4ヶ月半だった。状況によるけど、それが働けない時期になるかもしれない。
  2. 整理する必要がある。大切な書類をまとめて、キチンとオーガナイズをすること。何がどこにあるかわかって、全てをスキャンとコピーをする。ただ一つの例えだが、大学卒業証書の原本が必要、必要であれば再発行するのと、送るのも時間がかかる。早めに動くのが重要。
  3. 会社がどれだけ信頼してくれてるかわかる。なぜ日本に行く、いつまでいたいと思ってる、どうしてこの会社で働きたいという理由を全部、自分の中ではっきりと理解すべき。
  4. 会社側では、雇う外国人がどれだけ信頼してくれてるというのも尊重すべき。社長だけではなくて、スタフ全員が納得しないと大変なことになるかもしれない。海外に引っ越すのは簡単にやることでは全くないし、日本で働くことが楽勝に思う人が一人もいない。

Advice:

  1. You need to be able to be flexible. With time, with money, and with relocating. The Visa process can take 3-6 months. It took us about 4.5. Depending on your situation, you might not be able to work during this time.
  2. You need to be organized (not a bad thing to become). Have all your travel/essential documents together, copied, scanned, and clear in your mind. This means everything. This might include mailing your actual college diploma across the world.
  3. You need to respect the commitment the company is making. Know why you’re going to Japan, know how long you want to be there, know you really want to work for the company. It’s not an easy process to get you there.
  4. The company needs to respect you as well. They, all of their employees, need to try to understand the commitment you are making. It is not an easy task to move abroad, nor is it easy to work in Japan.

まずは、6ヶ月間ぐらいがかかると思っておいた方がいい。書類の全部を先にまとめておいた方が賢明。

書類と共に申請書を政府に送る。それに、なぜこの人を雇う必要がある、なぜこの会社に勤めたいと思ってくれているというのも、文章に書いて送る。そしたら、待つ。返ってきたら、直すところを直して、繰り返す。

僕の場合では、2015年に英語の先生の仕事ですることがあんまりなかった。実は、他の英会話やALT会社と同じく、観光ビザで入国させられて、就労ビザを待っている間で働き始めた。今回は、全て自分でやることになったので、色々書く必要があった。履歴書、雇用も学歴も。20科目の質問も文章で答えた。日本への思いを伝える長文を書いた。大学卒業証明書の原本を送った。パスポートなどそのような書類のコピーも全部送る必要があった。

最終的な目的としては、在留資格認定証明書(CoE) がある。要は、外国にある日本大使館に「この人にビザ出していいよ」って許可を与えるもの。政府との申請がいよいよ通れたら、会社に郵送される。そして、自分がいるところに送る必要があって、大使館に持って行くのが次。場所によるけど、1〜2週間を待ったら、ビザがパスポートに貼ってくれて、それを持って日本に入国できるようになる。入国の際に、ビザがあり次第、空港で在留カードが発行される。

これは、本当に人によって変わる過程だから、だれでも政府でもちゃんと手続きの流れを明らかにできず。

だけど、読んでくれてるなら是非コメントして頂けたら、できるだけ手伝います!

First of all, it will take up to 6 months. You have to have your company documents together, and your employee-to-be’s documents together.

You’ll submit their documents with an application form, written explanations as to why you need the employee, and why the employee wants to come to Japan. You’ll wait. You’ll get stuff back that likely need adjustments. Repeat.

When I came in 2015 to be an English teacher, I didn’t have to really think about it. Like a lot of ALTs and Eikaiwas, they actually had me enter on a tourist visa and start working while we waited on the official paperwork to go through and my working visa to come. Yeah… In our case with Stak, I had to submit a resume (according to their format) complete with educational and employment history. This was checked. I also had to submit a short essay about my thoughts on Japan (“I love Japan”). I had to send in my original diploma, as well as multiple copies of all my documents. I had to answer lots of different questions about my past and my time in Japan (reasonable considering the amount

The overall goal is the get the Certificate of Eligibility COE. This is essentially the green light to the embassy where you live that they can give you a Visa. It will be mailed to the company when the government finally produces it, and then they’ll have to mail it to you. You’ll bring it to the embassy, and wait another period for them to produce your actual VISA. With this, you can go to Japan and receive a residence card upon arrival at the airport during immigration.

Every person’s situation is different which is why this is so difficult for anyone, even government bodies, to explain properly. So, please feel free to comment and ask me -anything- and I will try to help.



マイケル、なぜオーストラリアにいたの? • Why Was I in Australia?



単にいうと、日本にいるのをもう諦めたところだった。

stak社がなかったら、僕は今日本にいることは絶対にならなかった。

2018年ん前半はアメリカにいて貯金してた。そして、後半にかけて全日本に生きながら、いろんなプロジェクトをやることにした。していたら、何かのきっかけが現れてくるのではないかと思った。が、結果はなにもなかった。雇って、ビザを出してくれるという会社が最後にあったのだが、ビザ申請ということも知らず、最後に「やっぱやめよう」ということになった。幸いに、自分で既にワーホリの申請を始めていたので、2019年はそれで滞在して、フリーランスを一生懸命やった。それでもビザにならなかったら、日本にいるべきじゃないかもと思った。その時期の終わりぐらいに、stak社を見つけた。というか、stak社に見つけられた。そして1年ちょっと後に、いよいよ一緒に働くために日本に戻れた。

To put it simply, I’d already given up on Japan.

If not for Stak, I wouldn’t be here now.

I spent 2018 saving up money in the USA, then spending 6 months traveling doing different projects in Japan hoping to find something. There were lots of promising things, but nothing worked out. One company I thought was going to hire me turned out to have 0 idea of the Visa process and bailed on me last minute. Luckily, I’d started the working holiday visa process, and spent 2019 in Japan doing that and diving into freelance. I figured if that didn’t work, it just wasn’t meant to be. Nearly at the end of my time in Japan, I found stak.. or rather, stak found me. And now more than a year later, I’m finally back in Japan, here to work for them.

1. The Road Back 帰り道

「申し訳ないですが、飛行機はもう、飛ばないのですよ。

しばらくは、オーストラリアに残れるような準備をしておいた方がいいと思います」

と、空港の列で立ち止まった僕が言われる。

“We’re really sorry, but all flights are cancelled at this moment. I think it would be best if you make arrangements to stay here in Australia for the foreseeable future.”

I stood there, stock still, in the line at Melbourne Airport.

本を読んでいるように不現実的なその瞬間に、横10メートルぐらいのところから、パソコンがタイル床に落とされた音が耳に入ってきた。目がついてきたら、パソコンではなくて、意識が亡くなった人だったとわかった。床にゆっくりと広がっている赤い液体もあった。

混乱そのものだった。

僕ともう一人が空港の病院かのようなところへ走り出して、助けて!とゆったが、反応は遅すぎて耐えられなかった。が、外国なので、みんな一人一人は助け出すことに救われた。数分っが経ったら、倒れた男の人が少し立ち上がって座って、冗談を言ってみんな安心で軽く笑った。

It was like something out of a book. Because right at that moment, about 30 feet to my side, there came a resounding crack as if someone dropped a laptop down on the hard tile floor. When I looked over however, I could see with disbelief it was not a computer, but a person who had lost consciousness. There was even some blood slowly expanding on the floor from his head.

It was the feeling of chaos.

Me and one other guy went running over to a little medical care center thinking they could help, and were sorely disappointed. However, everyone around there moved around trying to do their part to help, and eventually the guy even sat up and made a joke and everyone laughed in relief.

3月26日だった。

その1週間の間に、そのビザがやっと発行された1週間の間に、世界の国々がドミノのように、一つ一つ国境を封鎖していた。

その背景で、もう日本に行くのがギリギリ間に合えなかったと思った。が、日本はまだ入国禁止の発表をしていなかったので、もしすぐ行けたら入る可能性があると思った。

This was March 26th.

During that week, that one fateful week where my Visa finally came out, countries around the world were closing their borders like dominos.

Following that, I figured my chances were pretty much spent and by some unfortunate twists of fate I wouldn’t be making it back to Japan. However, they still hadn’t closed their borders yet, so maybe if I could find one of the last flights out of Australia, I could make it back to my life that waited for me over there.

飛行機をたくさん調べた結果は、4月7日より早い便だと80万円がかかって、死にたかった。死ぬほど高くない7日の飛行機にする決めた。入国禁止にならないように祈りを始めたら奇跡で3日に無料変更ができた。シドニーまで行く必要だったので、それまで泊まらせてくれたairbnbと離れるしかなかった。飛行機がまた乗れなかったら、さらに困難な状況に入るところだった。

結局、4月2日に、メルボルンからの電車に乗って、距離の半分の5時間ぐらいが経ったら、携帯でこのニュースを見つけた:

本日から、コロナの影響で、

日本国籍をお持ちでない方は入国禁止となります。

My search yielded me flights of about $8000 for any day sooner than April 7th. After choosing that day, and then beginning to pray I’d make it, some miracle occurred and on a whim I decided to check the site again. I could change my flight from the 7th to the 3rd for no additional charge. This also meant full commitment as I’d have to take the 10 hour trip to Sydney and leave my airbnb behind. If I couldn’t take this plane, I’d be in a truly scary situation.

About halfway along the 10 hour train ride, during some blip where I found phone service, I read this announcement online:

Commencing immediately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic,

Japan is closing its borders to all but those who possess Japanese citizenship.



 これからの10週間を渡って、これまでの道を英語と日本語でブログに記載する予定。「これ」というのが、いよいよ、stak社の支持のおかげで、出してくれた就労ビザで日本に入国できた。

長い話かもしれない。けど、面白い話題はいっぱいあるのと、大切な情報が山ほどあるから、それが誰かのためになる可能性があると思う。これが終わっても、次の予定もいっぱいあるから、楽しみにしよう!

やっと終わった。と同時に、やっと始まる。

とにかく。よろしく!

For the next 10 weeks, I’m going to do be doing a series in English and Japanese on the journey that got me here. And by here, I mean at last, at -last-, entering Japan on a work Visa, all thanks to the support of stak family.

It’s gonna be a bit long, but I think there’s countless interesting subjects to cover along with a lot of important information on Visas and such that might come in handy to someone. And I’ve got plenty of stuff planned for after this.

At any rate. This is the end, and for the blog, the start.

See you next week.

1. イントロ • Introduction ← 今週 This week

2. オーストラリア、ビザ、情報 • Australia, Visas, Info.

3. 遠隔でできる仕事 • Work You Can Do Remotely

4. アメリカ • America

5. 日本 • Japan

6. 遠隔でできない仕事 • Work You Can’t Do Remotely

7. 仲間 • 娯楽 • Friendship and Fun

8. 遠距離 • 心の距離 • Long Distance, Emotional Distance

9. 感謝の日 • 家族 • Thanksgiving and Family

10. 再新規入国 • Re-re-entry

言った混乱の最中に、地面にこのチラシを見かけたら、爆笑しました。

苦しみは、結末がある?

どう思いますか?

•そうです•そうではないです•多分

Saw this flyer on the ground when all that was happening and just burst out laughing.

stakサイトリニューアルのお知らせ

stak編集部でございます。

stak公式サイトがリニューアルいたしましたので、ご報告させていただきます。

 

サイトリニューアル

2020年12月1日(火)より、stakサイトがリニューアルしました。

今まで日本語対応のみでしたが、2020年4月よりstakの仲間となった

海外戦略、映像・撮影担当の”Michael”が加わったことにより英語対応のホームページも追加いたしました。

 

右上のタブから言語を選択することが可能です。

 

最後に

stakの機能についても、stakを便利に感じていただくため、アップデートを行っております。

アップデート情報については、こちらのブログでご報告致します。

ニュースレタ登録をしていただくと、登録のアドレスに情報が届きますので、是非ご登録ください

ニュースレター登録
https://stak.tech/letters

それでは、引き続きstakをご愛顧ください。

 

 

【こちらからフォローお願いします】

stak(公式) Twitterアカウント
https://twitter.com/stak_official

【チャンネル登録とグットボタンをよろしくお願いします】

YouTube stakチャンネル
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaw1ot0i0WgW7EQ96SoTu6g

しんちゃんとあやなチャンネル
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCibpt1UlLgFHYS-Tg6FVeOQ

The Smartest Person In The Room

Is the person who can tap into the knowledge of everyone in the room.

All parts rely on others to make a whole.

All wholes are the sums of their parts.

If you can see the parts, and you can do addition, you can create wholes.

 



Update:

I’m going back to Japan tomorrow after 8 months stuck back stateside.

For now, that’s all I’ll say on that, because for the next few weeks I’ll be talking about all aspects of the pandemic, visa, lockout, and return situation.

 



 

Having worked 8 months at Stak, I’d say that is very much our philosophy.

Not to do things the way they ‘ought’ to be done,

Not to do things because we feel we have to,

But do what we want to do. Challenge what we can do.

 



 

For whatever reason, I kind of want to keep today’s Blog short.

Corona put everyone’s life on hold.
The world maybe.

Mine was sent into a complete standstill.

It’s actually too much to put into words but I’ll do that bit by bit from here on.

 



New Macbook

I’d been meaning to upgrade to a new laptop for a mobile workstation for a while, and just in time, they came out with their new macbook with the Mac M1 chip.

I went in.

I cannot stand a lot of what Apple does.

Regardless of money and ethics, purely as a company who makes things:

Overall, inflexibility, a condescending attitude to their customers, and being out of touch.

Perhaps this is true for a lot of big businesses actually.

I can summarize all of this through one example. I downloaded an app from the internet, a small text-based game. When I tried to open it, apple told me I could not open it as they could not verify who produced it. This is annoying already, but then when you think you’d then be prompted with a choice like “Open Anyways” and “Cancel” it gives you two options: “Move To Trash” and “Cancel.”

So you can “Cancel” or “Cancel.”

Great.

Thank you so much Apple.

Not only am I forced to deal with their heavy handed attempt at controlling these things (probably in their mind to protect the customer from downloading dangerous files), I am unable to elect to take care of things on my own. I am not even given the option. AHHH.

They treat their customers as if they are incapable.

They take the bottom segment of their customer base, those who have the most issues and file the most complaints, and cater their entire design to them.

This is a common mindset businesses fall into that I think leads to unhappiness.

Anyways there is so much to like about Apple. Aesthetics, streamlined products, cleanliness, efficiency, reliability, Airdrop by itself, final cut.

The laptop’s great by the way.

 



First Commercial

Anyways, so I’ve been working on our first video.

As I may have mentioned in not so explicit language, ‘ll be making one a month for Stak.

I’ve been reflecting on my process of making videos until now, and considering my weak points and strong points.

I could sum it up by saying I would benefit from planning and structure. For the videos from now on I want to experiment with creating a defined story board, and trying to shoot the shots I lay out for myself ahead of time, to tell the story I’d already decided on, rather than trying to mix shots into a story. I’ve done the latter well, but success comes from pursuit of challenge.

Investing is something I’ve talked about. Investing in anything. In yourself. It seems to be the key to everything – success, love, happiness, growth. (Investing being movements today that create a better tomorrow, not sacrifice the present for the sake of an imagined future).

Perhaps the first thing that taught me about this was camera work. In photography and videography too, I cannot escape the simply feeling that “I suck” when I’m doing the act.

But when I look at the finished product… I just smile.

So I know every time I go out to shoot, I may feel bad or doubtful or unsure in the moment, but the product will be good.

Back to that first note on connecting parts together to make a whole..

I felt like just putting down resources off the top of my head that come to my aid.

Videography: Aidin RobbinsParker Walbeck | James Matthews

Jesse Driftwood | Movies With Mikey | Kraig Adams

Language: My friend Yuki | Dogen

Music: Calmed By Nature | alona chemerys | My Analog Journal

Beautiful Videos: In Russia | our deepest fear | Watchtower of Turkey & About

 



 

Anyways.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Eat up. Give Thanks.

Be filled with gratitude, which fills you with joy.

Stay safe and healthy.

Laying Down The Tracks

A few things to talk about this week.

A talk with the Bossman.

A broken drone.

Plans for filming.

Thoughts on value.

 

I imagine it feels like I talk about these philosophical notions on value just about every week.

Buckle up.



So,

Shin and I were talking the other day.

He’d sent me a video made by Toyota that was basically a 1.5 minute CGI sequence of the modern world we see around us transitioning fluidly into a self-sufficient and all-around pleasant future world we could potentially create.

‘Potentially’ meaning, if, you know,

we humans get our shit together.

It was pretty cool, but nothing new. Nor was the CGI. I mean, the whole concept of us creating a better, healthier, happier world through making sustainable decisions and efficient technology.

Who doesn’t love that?

But who’s actually walking the walk…

well that’s a different, and more important question.

So there’s probably a reason you don’t see it asked often.

The ones too busy talking are not walking.

Anyways

He was telling me how he’d really like to create something like this and was asking if I was interested in learning CGI or if I had any experience in it.

Here were my thoughts:

• CGI costs a lot.

It’s a huge investment to learn it, and a huge investment to purchase it.

Why? Because the only CGI that’s worth putting out there is top quality stuff.

If it’s not the best CGI, chances are it looks like garbage. Let’s be honest. This commercial by Toyota, a world class company with world class cash… it looks like a college student’s end of term project to me.

•You don’t need to make the stuff that’s considered the best, you need to make the stuff you have the best you can.

Can’t figure out a more eloquent way to say that. 

However, I think it’s really true. One of the hardest things about trying to create content while on the other side of the world and stuck in a house with no props or materials was feeling like I couldn’t make anything I wanted to. I was limited by my environment.

But during our talk I thought about Geico. They don’t necessarily have the best quality visuals, the best quality actors, the best product. They just had an idea, a framework for their commercials, and ran with it to pump out content.

In the mass of output that would follow, surely there would not only be a few times they struck gold, but they would build loyalty and recognition with their fans.

Shin’s talked a lot about creating a fanbase of sorts for the company and this has always seemed weird to me.

It was hard for me to look at one product and see a bunch of possibilities for advertising and building a customer/fan base around it.

However, lately I’ve been able to take a step back and see things as I like to see them… that is, the ideas behind the product, not the product themselves.

And stak’s ideas are this: technology creating a better world, creating more time for people so we can enjoy more quality in our lives. 

Now we’re talking. 

Worry less about if you’re making the perfect product, and spend more time perfecting what you’ve got. 

Worry less about finding the perfect idea, and instead perfect the ideas right in front of you.



Other Stuff.

My drone’s gimbal is shot. I guess the Mavic Pro seems to have an issue with some cable inside of it that connects to the gimbal.

I was going to use it to get some shots of Great Falls and other areas around here to use in my last video of here, the first video of the next chapter of my involvement with stak.

Ordered the part and I’m going to try fixing it myself tomorrow. We’ll see how that goes.

Good news is that stak is in possession of a Mavic Pro 2, so assuming I get back to Japan with no problems (not like last time) we’ll be gravy from here on. Excited to try it out.

I’ve been taking care of so, so many things to get ready to get back there.

The list is endless. Life goes in waves.

Nothing for a while? Everything comes next.

I’ll update about all of that, but for now, it’s focusing on the video to be made here before I leave.

Back at you next week with that.

Getting on Track

I used to journal.

I used to write every day, usually at night, sometimes for hours, working through all the labyrinths and riddles of my mind.

There was a natural process I’d go through without ever really being clear what that process was, or what exactly it was accomplishing. I’d feel sometimes, at the end of writing, that I’d figured everything out. But if I stopped and thought about what I actually had figured out, there was nothing clear or practical there.

It’s probably a lot like how plants grow, or how insects molt – they’re not really sure of what they’re doing, but they’re doing some process that’s right for them to continue on in life’s natural flow.

 

 

What are some of your processes that you go through that are vital to your life?

What are some processes you used to have that you’ve fallen away from.

Is it good you’ve stopped them?

What processes or habits would benefit you now?

I’ve been rethinking my idea of meditation lately.

I guess I’ll back up a bit.

Back when I was beginning the whole journaling thing back in freshman/sophomore year of college, I was going through a lot of the existential stuff humans experience when they are growing through something. Negative feelings came on, I began to recognize those feelings as anxiety, and I began looking for a way to deal with it.

My trouble with anxiety is that I was proud. I had the idea that I could think through anything, and if I couldn’t figure something out, more thinking would solve it eventually. This works great until you start thinking about scary things which cause scary feelings, and those feelings get worse and worse cause you keep thinking, and then your feelings cause your thoughts to be scarier.

So my way out was in letting myself accept that there were other ways to exist ‘correctly’ besides thinking. So before I really knew meditation was a thing, I’d prescribed myself with the goal of sitting with my thoughts and not losing myself in them. Seeing through the impermanence, the transience of all the things that ‘I’ experience internally. As long as I sat down on this cushion and didn’t move, there was no thought that could truly harm me. And I realized (read: actualized) this through practice.

I did 30 minutes of meditation a day for 4 years straight.

Then when I got to Japan, I decided to break the habit and quit cold turkey.

I was going into the next phase of whatever this journey was.

Where I rejected what seemed to be the one way to find peace and wisdom, and instead look for peace and wisdom everywhere in the world.

 

So now, 5 years since then, I’m really rethinking my idea of what meditation is.

There are so many forms.

And there are so many wise, happy people in the world.

So the real essence of what all these self help techniques, all these enlightenment practices, all these get-in-touch-with-God sermons, are getting at – well it’s got to be the same thing.

And that thing must be of the nature that it cannot be defined – that is, stated in a way that will always convey the meaning accurately.

Any person can define happiness, or peace, or introspection, or what they mean by God – but they’ll only ever be getting at their understanding of it. And even then, just getting at it.

So anyways. I guess I’ve become kind of a universalist.

Strongly against the idea that all things are the same, that all things are relative. I hate this idea.

All things have meaning, and that there is never a right answer.

There is only one wrong answer, and that is the thought that you’ve found the answer.

There are kind of two minds you can have when meditating. There are two many practices, in my understanding. Mindfulness and vipassana (concentration). You know, one is broad, open, accepting, all-encompassing, and the other is focused, (not in a negative way) narrow, unified, strong.

In either of these practices, the aim is the same. To see things as they are, to use the technique to bring clarity and compassion to yourself and your world.

You can spend just as much meaningful time on one as the other, and you can spend just as much time appreciating and practicing both, as well as picking one and focusing on it.

This flexibility in the universe is fascinating.

 




 

Anyways.

Back when I did all that journaling, and then meditating stuff,

It was the internal preparation for a lot of external movement that followed the next few years.

I’m kind of getting the feeling that all this journaling and thoughtful stuff I’m doing now, and really,

what I’ve been doing during these 12 months of being unable to progress in life…

It’s all to get ready to move again.

So enough of this philosophy stuff.

Let’s move.

 

Here’s what I’m going to do be doing from now on:

  1. Blogs every week to stay organized, note my plans, and of course talk about anything stak related. Also going to do a 10~ish part series reflecting on my 7 months in quarantine and the process of returning to Japan.
  2. A movie every week. This is going to be my rule. It doesn’t matter what kind of thing, but I have to make one every week.
  3. Build up a youtube page. Channels that follow my interests.
  4. One of these will be a series of videos on learning English for Japanese speakers.
  5. One will be of course, videos I make for stak. I will make one stak commercial every month.
  6. One will probably be a series of music playlists and music videos as I find the time and songs to put them together.
  7. I want to make stuff on games and esports, but I’m not sure what angle to take on this yet.
  8. I want to also make a random series about… thoughts, people? Uncategorized.
  9. It would be cool to one day revisit Sounds of Japan.

I’ll also be you know, moving around again so, back on the photography grind. stak and personal instagrams, let’s go.

 

I’ll be back next week. Thanks for keeping up.

Collaboration in a Quarantined World

A Reminder.

There are times when even that which is most important to us in our lives can feel devoid of meaning.

I know for me, starting, and then continuing a job remotely has been an immense challenge.

So I suppose this is a reminder, if nothing else, to myself:

The amount of effort you put into a task determines the value.

I think in most cases, it’s not even so important what you’re doing, so much as how.

Most people who are successful, whatever you take that to mean, are in my mind successful not because they did the right thing (very few people can ever tell what that is anyways), but because they did what they were doing the right way. Do that long enough, and eventually you’re going to wind up doing the right thing, and doing it in the right way. There’s very little, if any control, over whether what we are doing is the right thing to do. To a degree, we can tell what the wrong things are, and thus choose something that seems pretty close to our interests. However, what makes x more right than y? Wouldn’t z be better?

However, we have full control over how we do whichever x y or z we’ve come to.

That being said – even though I feel like I am well aware of this, I find myself inevitably searching for new and better whats and running from the hows.

The path to happiness lies in the latter though, or at least in letting the hows guide you to new whats.


The Problem With Blogs

The problem with blogs is often that one writes them with the expectation that people will read them.

And even worse, sometimes with the goal of more readership.

This is counter to the notion of journaling – writing for the process of writing itself.

Of course it’s not always so black and white, but there is a lot to be said for what the act of writing and what it brings you in and of itself.

A recent podcast episode (Tim Ferris Show) I was listening to with Richard Koch mentioned this. When asked about what tricks, tips, methods he has to keeping track of how and what he’s doing, he mentioned that while he doesn’t do the usual therapy or ultra health route, he employs two methods. 1. Bike Rides in the morning. 2. Taking a journal and writing reflections at a nearby pond; also journaling when waking up at night.

With both of these, he is pointing out something I’ve always been fascinated with – the natural, organic flow of your mind and heart should they be given the right environment.

To tie things together – it’s not about thinking the right thought and writing the right word – but providing your mind with the right environment for it to naturally work things out for you, in the midst of all its subconscious and unconscious processes.

So for whatever reason, this is what I’ve been reflecting on the last month.

I feel like I’ve lost my self discipline. And I’d been trying to regain it by force, but not through nurturing it, not through trusting my mind to work through things.

But really, perhaps I just stopped doing all of the things that allow the creative, motivational, happiness, whatever other juices, to flow.

Perhaps that’s all you really need to do. Recognize that which gets you in your flow. Puts you in your element.

They’re not the easy things necessarily.

But nothing that’s worth having comes easy.

And conversely, joy is not manifested through force of will.


Collaborate.

So let’s bring it back.

It’s all about how, not what.
The tricky part is in determining the right (subjective) way of doing things.

While the answer to this is obviously dependent on the person, their personality and preferences, the way of building habits around those is often impossible without involving other people in the process.

Surround yourself with people that encourage you to keep the habits that are really good for you, and spend less time with the people that bring out your less healthy or productive tendencies.

One of the best ways to do this is to collaborate.

Over the 6 months I’ve been in unexpected isolation at home in the States, I’ve gone from letting go of just about every hobby, to slowly building them back up again as I see fit.

Every time I’ve met hardship in my life this has been my process, and it always leads to a new chapter of life.

During this time, I’ve started doing weekly talks with my friend about religion and philosophy, which has bolstered not only my feeling of connection and closeness, but my study of those topics which have been so central to my life. We pretty much alternate discussing the western and eastern spheres, my area of expertise being the latter.

Though I’ve been studying programming on my own the last two months, I’m going to dive into freecodecamp with my brother from this week on, and I can’t wait. Discipline and joy lead to the best kind of success.

Something else that has become a core part of my life is running every day, for joy and for challenge. I make sure I do this every day (discipline) but the distance that really feels good so as not to push it, and to make sure I’m running because I enjoy it, not for the numbers.

Areas I’m still struggling with are: sleep schedule, time management with free time and with productive time, balance of current projects and exploring prospects for the future, maintaining a steady flow of video/photo production while stuck in one place.

If there’s something you’re struggling with, identify it. Then create a discussion with someone. Often just this process is enough to get it at the forefront of your subconscious, and the process will carry on naturally from there.

For the trickier (and often productive) areas, maintain that balance of discipline and joy, of structure and freedom. In the isolated world, this is the hardest thing at all.

But in the end, even though we are all on our own right now, we all really are in this together, and are all interconnected and there for each other.