Client Spotlight: Tats Nakagawa

Before coaching, Tats Nakagawa used to grow by attacking his fears, but this was neither sustainable nor enjoyable. Coaching taught him that it’s more productive to grow by exploring.

Tats Nakagawa

Client Spotlight: Tats Nakagawa

Tatsuya “Tats” Nakagawa is the CEO of Castagra, one of the leading roof coating manufacturers. He is also the host of the Specified Growth podcast where he interviews leaders about growing massive organizations and creating meaningful change. He first heard about Frame of Mind Coaching™ when Jim Estill, the CEO of Danby and Tats’s mentor, was a guest on the FOM Coaching™ Podcast. During the interview, Kim coached Jim on the spot, and Tats was intrigued. 

“I’ve been an entrepreneur for 22 years and have experienced all the classic mistakes,” he says. “As my role changes and the company grows, there are new challenges and a new mindset required to be in alignment with those challenges.” Tats had recently lost a lot of weight and had learned many different areas of business, but he felt that his mindset could be improved. 

Tats was matched with FOM Coach Lynn Stevens, who he says was a great fit for him because of her HR background and her vast capacity for understanding. “She knows what it’s like to work for a huge organization and had insight into what to think about when the business scales,” he says. “She asked all the right questions and was non-judgmental.”

As Castagra grows, Tats wanted to learn how to manage people effectively and keep the company aligned with their goals. “As an entrepreneur, there is a high level of uncertainty you have to deal with on a daily basis,” he says. “I wanted to learn to act and function as productively and stress-free as possible. I also wanted to start sleeping properly.”

Before coaching, he would write out his goals and push himself until he achieved them. As he puts it, he’d “grow by attacking my fears.” He would charge head first into his perceived weaknesses, but this was neither sustainable nor enjoyable. “Through coaching, I learned that it’s more productive to grow by exploring,” he says. “Personal development can happen more seamlessly when I just get curious.”

Now he isn’t always looking for the next area to improve, but rather focuses on exposing himself to as many different things as possible. He also no longer labels his unmastered skills as weaknesses. Additionally, he doesn’t draw from his reserve of energy constantly and only pushes himself when needed. “When I allow myself to try out new things, the possibilities are endless,” he says.

Lynn also helped Tats see the difference between delegation and entrusting, meaning to trust someone to take care of something without worrying about it yourself. “I used to think that being concerned about work was proactive,” he says. “I learned that worrying about something actually doesn’t add any productive value because it doesn’t help you or your team, so you have to let go.”

He now lets his team run with things without carrying around a worry, and only checks in if something is wrong. He also looks for evidence that things will go right rather than focusing on all the ways it could go wrong. Since he worries and stresses less, Tats has found that he’s less tired and his quality of sleep is better.

One particular coaching exercise that Tats found to be helpful was asking those closest to him what they felt his greatest strengths are. He was surprised by their responses. “I used to pigeonhole myself and only thought I did certain things well,” he says. “Through this exercise, I realized that I have many more strengths in more areas than I give myself credit for.”

Tats also found the journaling aspect of FOM Coaching™ to be insightful and effective. “Most coaching programs just have weekly coaching calls,” he says. “Journaling with Lynn throughout the week allowed the coaching sessions to be more powerful.”

In Tats’s journals, Lynn would find trends and then uncover them during the coaching calls to find the root issues and address them. “We tend to operate on the surface and not see the big picture,” says Tats. “Journaling allows you to write out your thoughts and dig deeper.”

Tats now considers himself to be much more open minded and knows that he’ll keep growing. “If your situation is in flux, especially if you have a growing company, you need FOM Coaching™,” he says. “It encourages you to grow in order to keep up. As an entrepreneur, examining your mindset is important to get to the next level.”

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