Marie Kondo, tidying guru, author, and centerpiece of the Netflix hit Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, is also executive of her own lifestyle brand and consultancy, KonMari. Inc. asked several entrepreneurial luminaries to share a piece of career (or life) advice that changed everything. For Kondo, the advice came from close to home, after she found success and celebrity after the publication of her first book. --As told to Christine Lagorio-Chafkin
Back in 2015, when I was named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People, Japanese TV was producing a big feature on my career and background; when they interviewed my father, they asked what he thought about his daughter's being selected for Time's list.
My father said, "When you receive recognition from others for what you've accomplished, it is a reflection not only of your own efforts, but also those of the people who have supported you along the way."
At that time, I had established a thriving business in tidying, had written a best-selling book, and was working internationally. I felt I had done it all by myself--that I was capable on my own. But by focusing so much on work, I had slowly begun to treat those around me with less care and attention. I wasn't quick to respond to texts or emails from my family, and sometimes I forgot to send thank-you messages after receiving a gift or when someone did something thoughtful for me. So my father's words really stopped me in my tracks. I had built a career around expressing gratitude for the items that supported me--but had overlooked some of the people.
I think it was powerful advice, and it was especially meaningful coming from my father--someone I'd always respected.
His words are extremely relevant right now because my new show, Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, has reached such a large audience through Netflix. In this moment of my life, I am taking extra time to pay my respects by visiting the graves of my ancestors, a Japanese custom, and connecting with my loved ones.