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Money for Lunch: Interview with Ken Honda

By Money for Lunch | Published October 27, 2023

Money and happiness expert Ken Honda is a best-selling self-development author in Japan, with book sales surpassing eight million copies since 2001. His latest book is called “Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money” (June 4, 2019, Simon & Schuster). Ken studied law at Waseda University in Tokyo and entered the Japanese workforce as a business consultant and investor. Ken’s financial expertise comes from owning and managing several businesses, including an accounting company, a management consulting firm, and a venture capital corporation. His writings bridge the topics of finance and self-help, focusing on creating and generating personal wealth and happiness through deeper self-honesty. Ken provides ongoing support through mentoring programs, business seminars, therapeutic workshops, and correspondence courses.

Ken is the first person from Japan to be voted into the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of personal and professional development leaders. He is fluent in Japanese and English; lived in Boston, Massachusetts for two years; and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan. Learn more at

The Title of Your Book

“Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money” (June 4, 2019, Simon & Schuster)

Why did you write the book?

I wanted to inspire people to create a different relationship with money. By changing your attitude toward money, you can experience a completely different life.

What was your biggest surprise or aha moment when writing your book?

I realized that I have learned so much from my mentors, and that I need to remember to appreciate each one of them deeply. I don’t want to take their kindness for granted. Writing was a healing journey for myself through appreciating my past mentors.

Who is your ideal audience for the book?

People who are ready to create a different relationship with money.

Tell us, how do you deal with fear?

Fear and excitement are two sides of the same coin. Whenever I feel fear about something specific in my life, I flip the coin around and focus on the feeling of excitement instead.

Tell us, how do you deal with rejection?

Whenever I experience rejection, I remember that it’s like knocking on a door that won’t open, so I look around for another door which is unlocked and meant for me.

Tell us two concepts or ideas you want the reader to takeaway?

The importance of trusting in the flow of money (and therefore believing in an abundance mindset instead of a scarcity mindset), and the practice of always saying thank you to your money when it comes in and when it goes out.

Name one of the biggest challenges you have faced writing your book and how did you overcome it?

I was always afraid that nobody would be interested in reading my first book in English, but I worked hard to build confidence based on my 20 years as an author in Japanese, and I had a lot of support to communicate my ideas eloquently in my second language.

What’s a personal self-talk, mantra, affirmation, or self-belief that contributes to your success?

I always ask myself, “How can I be of service to more people?”

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