How I Gained Something From Nothing

The Infinite Returns You Get From Just Doing

Kaki Okumura


“You know, it’d be a pretty cool idea to write to Simon Sinek.”

I had just finished reading his book, “Start With Why” and was feeling very inspired by his philosophy and outlook on life. I’d watched his TED Talk as well, and understood that he was not only a sophisticated writer, but also an excellent speaker who understood his audience deeply. Their emotions, wants, needs — he’s able to carefully craft his words to inspire those who needed to hear a different message surrounding how we see work.

As I thought about how cool it would be to reach out to him, another voice in my head said: “Why not just do it?”

It was the wisdom of other successful individuals, ranging from business empire moguls to social impact change-makers. Everyone who’s anyone today knows this bit of advice: that to get what you want, you can’t wait to find out if you can, but you need to just go after it.

“But I’m not them”, I replied to my own thoughts. I was so convinced of my normalness, that I was stopping myself from even trying. It was out of character for me to do something as outlandish as hope that I could get a response from one of the most well-known public speakers in the world. I couldn’t even get my college professor to reply to my emails, how could I ever get Simon Sinek to pay attention to me?

Please reply to my email professor…

I don’t know what made me do it. Maybe it was some weird switch in my brain, maybe it was the residue inspiration I was still feeling from finishing Mr. Sinek’s book. Maybe it was the fact that I realized I seriously had nothing to lose from trying. Doesn’t matter — I decided that I was going to write to Simon Sinek.

Please Read My Carefully Crafted, Artisanal Mail

I knew that Mr. Sinek was a very busy man. He’s also a popular public figure, with many fans around the world. If my message was going to catch his attention, it had to stand out. It had to be artisanal.

This observation quickly crossed emailing off the list. He wouldn’t open an email from a random stranger, but maybe he would open a carefully crafted, beautiful piece of handwritten mail? I looked up his office on…



Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: 🌱