Aim to Be Second-Rate!

by Kenta Nagakura

ISBN978-4-7631-3486-8 C0030

253 pages / September 2015 / 1,400 yen (w/o tax)

The harshest rules of success for the world’s 99%


Kenta Nagakura has helped many people become best-selling authors, selling over 10 million books within 10 years as an editor. He also currently produces content for various publications, e-books, and owned media while acting as a consultant for individuals and businesses. Through this lifestyle, Nagakura grew to understand that “99% of the world’s people are average.” This book explains how ordinary people can succeed without trying to imitate the “elite”. This book was written for those who wish to live life freely and by their own will.



“Life is actually easy if you think about it more simply. That is what I intend to get across in this book. I really believe it’s best to think about things in a simpler fashion. All you need to do is have a firm understanding of your unique qualities and the environment you’ve been placed in, and to formulate a solid strategy. By doing so, you can easily get closer to achieving your goals using a personalized success strategy that doesn’t follow the path of others”. (From the Prologue)


“When it comes to the elite, we can’t help feeling a desire to be like them while at the same time feeling hopeless. That said, I may have pointed out a lot of harsh realities in this book, but I believe I am emphasizing a way of thinking that’s necessary for living a positive life in modern times. I have no doubt some people will feel that the content of this book contradicts a lot of what I’ve worked on as an editor. However, this book is an honest representation of my current beliefs. I tried my best in this book to summarize all that I learned in the three years since I stopped working for a publishing house.” (From the Afterword)   

From the table of contents

Prologue       Welcome to Aim to Be Second-Rate!

Chapter 1 — Walk on the wild side

The hard fact that you cannot become one of the elite

Chapter 2 — Sympathy for the devil

The darkness of an anxious information-based society

Chapter 3 — Raw power

How to form a worldview for taking control of your life

Chapter 4 — Degenerated

Fall down to “zero”!

Chapter 5 — Where is my mind?

Gain control of “words” and “money”

Chapter 6 — Vanishing point 

Accept death as a part of life

The world of books that influenced me (20 books)

Afterword     Would you like to join the “second-rate league”?

From the editor

Kenta Nagakura became a household name after he began working as an editor in the publishing industry. He grew increasingly busy upon becoming self-employed, building relationships and starting a publishing company while holding various seminars and events. Then, in the autumn of 2014, we asked him to write a book, then he agreed with  our proposal. Objectively, it seemed the perfect time for Nagakura to move on to the next phase in his career. After speaking with him, it turns out that he was actually in the process of self-reassessment. Having supported numerous people as an editor and producer over the years, he has come to understand the true nature of people and what constitutes success. His solid debut book is the result of thorough research and diligent note taking. 


Kenta Nagakura

Kenta Nagakura is a producer and content marketer born in Tokyo in 1973.

After graduating from Gakushuin University, he began working in Kabukicho,  an entertainment district in Tokyo, before deciding to go to the U.S. to gamble. After returning to Japan he remained unemployed until the age of 28, when a publishing company picked him up. He soon became the editor of numerous bestsellers. In a ten-year period, the books he’s worked on have sold over 10,000,000 copies. Kenta Nagakura currently produces content for various publications, e-books, and owned media while acting as a consultant for individuals and businesses.


During the recession, “when even selling 30,000 copies was considered a best-seller,” Nagakura managed to sell 50,000+ copies of more than half of his publications. He also has a reputation among the individuals and businesses that have used his content for branding. He has great respect for music producer Rick Rubin. He loves music and listens to punk, rock, jazz, and hip-hop — anything but classical. He believes distributing e-books can be a freedom of speech, so, he is independently publishing e-books on a monthly basis. His hobby is work. He is married with one daughter.