One step ahead of the rest.
“Merchants must stay a step ahead of the rest, but just one step. If they stay too many steps ahead they will be seen as prophets, too far removed from reality. Merchants should not be prophets.” “I started purchasing goods from foreign trading companies while others were still doing business with their peers; I was importing goods directly while others were only starting their transactions with foreign companies; I was already producing goods on my own when others were starting to import directly; and I was searching for something new when others were starting to produce.”
Don't hurry, don't stop.
Kintaro touted “Don’t hurry, don’t stop” as his life lesson.
“You should aspire without limits and move forward step by step, neither stopping nor hurrying.”
“It is better to do something continuously, perpetually and untiringly than to hustle and fail.”
“If you hurry, you must rest. If you want to keep going without resting, then you mustn’t hurry.”
Customers always favor a quality product (a superior product is the basis of prosperity)
Kintaro was strongly determined to “make a Seiko (= precise) timepiece” from the very beginning. His bold plan was expressed in the name of his production company, the Seikosha Factory. He was convinced that only a quality product could earn the trust of customers and form the foundations for a business.
He knew that the “manufacture of precise products of the highest quality” was the surest way to achieve his high aim of establishing a timepiece industry in Japan and passing it down to future generations.
Keep any promise (whatever difficulties I suffer).
“Foreign trading companies were very helpful to me in my small shop. They trusted me and came to me first when they had something rare or unconventional to sell. This enabled me to offer an extensive lineup of clocks and watches, replete with rarities seen nowhere else, which attracted a number of customers… (snip)… Why did foreign companies come to my small shop first? Because I never fell behind in my bills.”
Common sense is a key to opening the door to profits
“Don’t get bogged down by discount pricing. Set your price a little higher and make profits from a quality product.”
(from “My experiment: How I discovered that honesty brings opportunities for development,” an article contributed by Kintaro in the magazine 'Jitsugyo no Nihon')