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For Founder Joy Osaka-Lu, One Ripple Can Change Everything in Business and in Life.

Meet Joy Osaka-Lu, the Founder of One Ripple®. Through her work, Joy is empowering entrepreneurs to effectively align with their corporate clients in order to reduce various limiting biases and beliefs and build self-esteem. 

In 2016, amid a decades-long successful corporate career, Joy listened to an inner voice telling her to teach others what she had learned throughout her journey in consulting and project management. This decision led her to start bridging the worlds between corporate America, consciousness, and entrepreneurship. As a Japanese-American woman working predominantly in white, male-dominated industries, Joy chose to forge a path defined by merit, integrity, and a vibrant, unconventional spirit. Her mantra, “One ripple can change everything®,” perfectly captures the impact of her work as she leverages her self-proclaimed weirdness and unfiltered joy to revolutionize conventional business practices. 

We asked Joy about the problem One Ripple solves and how she would describe the journey she’s been on thus far.

Tell us the story behind your company’s founding. How and why did you start working on One Ripple?

In 2016, during the peak of my more-than-30-year career in corporate America, I heard a voice: teach what I had learned. I never previously considered any other way to make a living. However, I listened, even though it was vague, because it never had steered me wrong before. It was my secret sauce to changing fundamental corporate paradigms in unconventional but effective ways without a team or budget.

In 2018, I jumped into the entrepreneurial world. I felt I was meant to bridge the business spectrum between corporate on one end, consciousness in the middle, and small business on the other. I fell into a deep ocean and built my boat while I sailed it by assisting spiritual entrepreneurs with marketing, money mindset stories, and back-end operational fluency. Simultaneously, I wrote a book to explain how energy and business create better results. It wasn’t until years later, after working with business owners in different industries around the world at different stages of the business' maturity lifecycle, that I realized I added value by teaching others how to effectively work with corporate America without compromising their integrity or soul.

What problem does One Ripple solve? 

Now, I align entrepreneurs with their corporate clients to right historical wrongs that create everyday business problems due to the biases in people’s mindsets. Despite corporate taking an interest in my clients’ success, my clients struggle with, “I don’t know what I don’t know,” in navigating corporate’s complex layers, working way too hard only to check the boxes, experiencing a blow to their confidence because of that frustration, and being isolated as a leader who finally has a seat at the table.

For these brave fractional executives and consultants, the only path they see is the one behind them. So we create a new one using strategic consciousness to address siloed business capabilities, relate to team subcultures, and adopt mindsets that create behaviors, processes, systems, and resistance to change while effectively solving real business issues.

The issue starts with my clients’ mindsets and how their beliefs and experiences influence how they perceive themselves. With one degree shifts in their strategy that integrate trust in their higher consciousness, better business outcomes are realized ranging from profit flow, sustainability of human energy, right fit clients, and a sense of safety and security. 

With data visualization of the “inside” stuff, I help my clients see beyond the limitations of possibility of the “outside” stuff through a strategic and tactical roadmap that incorporates acumen and experience, balance in dynamic situations, and ways to combine communication tone and resonance with relationship building for highly adaptive creative and critical thinking. The practical application of this work brings together multiple elements to make project ideation, design, implementation, and triage ethical and effective. We address unmet human needs, different perspectives for easy buy-in, and solutions at the root cause of the problem to create better leadership ripples.

In what ways has your upbringing or past experiences contributed to how you operate as an entrepreneur?

As a Japanese-American woman who chose to work in mature industries dominated by white men, I had to step into my own truth to excel. A life cornerstone came from my mom when I was a teenager: “Never use your ethnicity, age, or gender for your advantage. Everything you achieve will be based on your merit.” She knew, as a West Coast Californian who was interned in camps during WWII, that race can be as much of an oppressor as it is a differentiator. She encouraged me to figure out what that meant for me. This simple act of self-definition outside of social programming and constructs allowed me to stand strong in a way that prevents anyone or anything to have dominion over me.

My work revolves around redefining business and life by our individual measures to make all life's layers cohesive and congruent, and my success depends on me being true to that.

Without the normal identifiers or metrics, I had to rely on my own weirdness of being wild, loud, and fun-loving as much as I cultivated my acumen to solve sticky business problems. The trick was to balance my gifts and not give from a sense of obligation, but instead, master the art of receiving in the same essence that I generously share.

Small, but deep, shifts brought me closer to my truth that became the tagline for my business: One ripple can change everything®. This tagline creates big, perpetual benefits that sustain my energy as a frontrunner in doing things differently.

Have you ever felt like you’re “different”? If yes, in what ways has this contributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?

My weirdness became the thing that held my power. As a rebel and adventurer from an early age, I found that stepping out of social assumptions left me in a place of in-betweenness, like a ghost stuck between the being seen and invisible, unfamiliar, and never finding a place to land. However, I realized that this gave me the freedom to walk through walls and see things other people couldn’t because of the unfettered perspective and confidence to piece together and convey ideas in unconventional ways.

Embracing my old soul and spiritual nerdiness felt better than being whitewashed, which could have been an easy, albeit unsatisfying path. I found that it made it easy for the corporate world to appreciate my uniqueness because my authenticity was also highly effective in solving historically persistent problems. By doing so, I was able to control and convey my narrative and perspective and find the most direct route to solutions that liberated everyone without wasting time or energy on shame and judgment.

I do business differently. I see humans in an unfiltered, joyful, and loving way that connects the dots of their mindsets, behavior, unexpressed humankindness, spirit, and dreams on multiple layers from the past to the future to get the big things done. 

What’s one thing you wish you had known before starting One Ripple?

I wish I had known that I wasn’t supposed to know it all at the beginning, but rather let my company show me a way to find more happiness as a human. When I trusted my expertise and innate ability to connect consciousness, logistics, and operations together, curiosity led me to find the clients I would love to work with. Until then, I conveyed the value of fringe consciousness applications, which made my marketing conceptual and intangible rather than emphasizing the benefits that my clients received in the real world. This approach ended up taking longer for my business to mature in its own rhythm. Without that knowledge, I experienced the pain of being the only one who believed in myself. I found that this is common for wayfarers who stretch reality beyond its current boundaries.

It wasn’t my effectiveness that needed to be clarified but what made my sense of joy the fullest. So now, I stack my skills to deepen, widen, and heighten what consciousness can do in the real world.

Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?

Throughout my own learning process, I've lost count of how many times I have been questioned about the value of my message. It finally dawned on me that the world needed to be open to different ways of doing business after 2020.

I had to use my habitual hardheadedness to find the light switch to the deeper meaning of how doubt would make me a better human. There’s always something in uncertainty that enriches and dials in a truth for me, so being thoughtful during that sifting process required me to learn to trust myself.

My trust in the physical world only came about after studying ethnobotany. I saw what happens when the land knows you and you know it. It always grows exactly what you need. To nurture trust, I’ve had to embrace imperfection and delays instead of self-punishment.

Has your definition of success evolved throughout your journey as a founder?

My business used to measure its viability by money and measurable impact. Now, quantifying the quality is equally important. Success for what I can control has deepened from what guided me in corporate: be a good human and align my integrity, style, and values.

I can be in an unconditional state without money or status influencing or compromising why I do what I do to enhance my clients' lives long after our engagement ends. Payoffs I never expected—like someone I'm not connected to on LinkedIn messaging me, "Your post saved my life. It helped me overcome a dark place”—mean as much to me as paid clients.

My work revolves around redefining business and life by our individual measures to make all life's layers cohesive and congruent, and my success depends on me being true to that. By eliminating the sociology of uninformed consent in myself, it is much easier to share the simple ways to redefine and expand the elements of business and life for my clients. This is where humanity now stands and where it’s going, too. 

Have you discovered any underappreciated leadership traits or misconceptions around leadership?

Beyond the standard tenets of stewardship, I realized that no one really teaches us how to lead beyond the prescriptions of a job title. As leaders, we influence an entire ecosystem that extends beyond the office and into the experiences people take with them when they clock out.

I’ve had to be aware of my boundaries to ensure I didn’t burn out by over-giving. That meant I’ve had to learn to stay at my energy frequency without lowering it to meet others who are very different from me as their leadership style emerges. To support them in leading impactful efforts in corporate, I’ve learned to support their decisions after being fully transparent about the unintended consequences so they can experience how consciousness plays out in reality. As they look to me for support, I’ve had to learn to seek the same from my ecosystem of peers and kindred spirits. This makes it easy to balance power, because inspiring change on the ground is different than simply believing in it.

How would you describe the journey you’ve had in a few sentences? Would you do it all over again?

I have found no better way to success and happiness than what I’ve learned so far. However, I wish I would have given myself as much grace and kindness as I have given to my clients and craft. I would have let my journey’s rhythm play out as a continuous note without me rushing or molding it to what my logical mind had wanted. Having said that, I don’t know if I would change any part of the journey. In my heart, I own all of it and am a better human because of it. 

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