Vol.77 “My Philosophy” Nahoko Ishikawa

Nahoko Ishikawa is a specialist in creating health foods that women need to keep glowing. We had a chance to meet the source of her passion, which is her ageless beauty.


Vol.77 Nahoko Ishikawa

Representative Director, Sixth Sense Labs, Inc.
Born in Fukuoka Prefecture in 1965. After graduating from university, she joined Recruit Co. Ltd. where she received numerous internal awards for her achievements in planning and sales. In 2008, she established Six Sense Lab, Inc. and began developing supplements for women. In 2015, she completed the growth-oriented MBA program at Kyushu University Business School.

Foundation of Living

Although I majored in English literature in university, I spent more time working part-time jobs than studying. I worked in election campaign offices, call centers, and as event staff. I deliberately chose different part-time jobs every season because I wanted a variety of experiences. These experiences certainly have contributed to the wisdom and actions I’ve taken in life. When I was 20, I took a part-time job at a Chinese restaurant to pay for supplementary driving school lessons. There, I had to memorize the names of all 500+ dishes in both Japanese and Chinese. Although I was only there for two months, I was told, “If you can’t do it, quit.” I learned desperately. Later, when I went on a homestay in the U.S. and dined in San Francisco’s Chinatown with friends, I could explain all the menu items written in Kanji. That’s when I realized that “whatever you put your full effort into will definitely come in handy.” Initially, my motto was “work hard on what’s in front of you,” but since then, every time I do something, I think more seriously and give it my all.

DNA of “Create Opportunities for Yourself and Change Yourself Through Opportunities”

I joined Recruit out of curiosity, thinking the information industry seemed interesting. My experiences and ways of thinking at Recruit continue to live on within my DNA. Recruit was a company where even new graduates had the wonderful opportunity to hear directly from the president about his thoughts and vision. However, cold calling was tough. We were told, “Don’t come back until you get 30 business cards in a day.” Once, someone I met said to me, “You’re a cold-calling machine!” So, I crossed out my title “Planning Sales” and started sales rounds with the title “Cold-calling Machine.” Receptionists, who used to reject me, began connecting me to managers. They would do so with a slight smile. I realized that if you have the courage to do something different from others, the situation changes. I started thinking, “wisdom and action are important.” If I was told, “We get so many salespeople that I can’t remember their faces,” I’d attach a photo to my business card and deliver it the next day. I turned challenges into opportunities by constantly innovating based on the other party’s words and situation. Once I had a certain number of clients, I wanted to expand the scope of my work. So, along with some colleagues, we became independent, starting an advertising agency as an exclusive agent for Recruit. I was truly grateful that 100% of my clients from my Recruit days followed me, which boosted my confidence.

What Every Woman Needs to Shine

『シックスセンスラボ』I started “Six Sense Lab” when my second daughter was one year old, and I was 42 – not exactly a young age to start something new (laughs). But I believe age doesn’t matter; you can take on challenges at any age. The trigger for my business choice was the birth of my first daughter. She was born with severe atopic dermatitis, which made me realize how careless I’d been about my health, and I deeply regretted it. When I started researching supplements related to food and health, I noticed that most health food company executives were men. They prioritized packaging and profit over the actual product contents. I was frustrated, feeling they didn’t understand what women truly wanted. My thought was, “I want every woman to live vibrantly, regardless of age. I want women’s lives to shine beautifully as they age.” I wanted to create genuine supplements that cater to what a woman’s body truly needs and that can support the changes that come with aging. I happened to learn about “Euglena” and sent an enthusiastic letter to CEO Izumo who first succeeded in culturing Euglena. Everything went smoothly, and we started developing a Euglena supplement. That became our flagship product, “Life’s Euglena Extreme.” The product, developed with a focus on efficacy with women’s health in mind, received an overwhelmingly positive response. Furthermore, I felt that while health is essential for women, confidence in one’s appearance is equally crucial. I approached a pharmaceutical company known for their commitment to ingredients and proposed the development of a carb-control diet supplement. After researching the mechanism of carbohydrate absorption, we developed a product that prevents carbs from breaking down, being absorbed, and being burned. The carb-control diet supplement, “Mystical Sugar Beauty Cut-Cut,” is well-received by many women seeking a beautiful figure. The key principles are “become healthy, become beautiful, and be safe.” I passionately discuss my vision with manufacturers, but what’s crucial is evidence and whether the product is truly convincing when tried. That’s why, not just the development team but all our staff, including customer service, test our products. There have been many supplements that we’ve rejected, and some took over two years to develop.

Lifestyle That Turns Thoughts into Reality

The proudest moment for me as a business owner was seeing a manager using the words I always emphasize when guiding staff. I ask employees to set individual goals based on the company’s vision three times a year. Managers provide feedback on these, and we review them after four months. The comments from the managers in these reviews were so touching. They were filled with the values and ways of life I always talked about. It made me realize, “Ah, everyone is growing.” My parenting experiences have been invaluable for employee training. For example, do not lend too much help, but let them think and act on their own. However, when they ask for something, clearly state the purpose and give them information. This is due to the fact that since I was a student, I have developed the skill of “giving shape to my thoughts” by “thinking and acting” in order to put my full effort into each and every thing I do. I myself put 120% effort into my work, motherhood, and being a woman in order to make all three shine. “Growing old, living beautifully, a woman’s life is wonderful. I hope to be someone who can send this kind of message even when I become a grandmother.

My first encounter with Mr. Daisuke Sugiyama was when I asked him to produce the exhibition for the “60th Grammy Awards” held in New York. He works incredibly fast and efficiently. He can determine what needs to be done in an instant and acts on it immediately. His judgment and initiative were truly eye-opening. Furthermore, his unyielding character, coupled with a surprisingly humble nature (laughs), must be why he has such a vast network. I’ve always been focused on living for the moment in front of me, so I never had the leisure to look back on the past. However, being interviewed by Mr. Sugiyama made me realize the values and beliefs I’ve held dear in my life. This opportunity has been invaluable in boosting my motivation and considering the future management of my company and the ideal role of a manager. I’m deeply grateful. Naoko Ishikawa, CEO of Sixth Sense Lab Inc.

Nahoko Ishikawa,Representative Director, Sixth Sense Labs, Inc.

In English, “wear many hats” means “to take on various roles”. I’m a son to my parents, a brother to my siblings, a husband and father at home, and a manager in society. What’s crucial is that our roles exist because of others. Ms. Naoko Ishikawa embodies the philosophy I always uphold, “He who chases two rabbits with all his heart catches both”. Her stories of giving her all as a manager, a mother, and an individual woman were truly inspiring. The flagship product of Sixth Sense Lab, “Cut-Cut” which blocks sugar absorption, is a big hit among the women I know. I use it too and realized that not just exercising at the gym but also using supplements can help in losing weight (laughs).

DK Sugiyama, Editor-in-Chief of “My Philosophy”

February 2018 at Sixth Sense Labs, Inc. Photo by Yasutomo Hidaka