People say ‘do what you’re best at.’ But what do you do when ‘what you’re best at’ is… doing nothing?
Shoji Morimoto was always the laid-back kind of lad, disinterested kind of guy his family, friends, and co-workers called a ‘do-nothing.’
After doing a series of jobs post-college, Shoji, 38, decided to follow his passion in 2018.
He started a Twitter account under the name ‘Nothing Rent-a-Man’ and offered his companionship to anyone who might be interested.
Shoji didn’t offer ‘help’ with things, at least in the typical sense. No. Shoji just put himself forward to be there for anyone who needed him (for a fee, of course).
“I lend myself out to do nothing, which means I don’t make any special effort. I don’t initiate conversation. I reply to chitchat, but that’s it,” he said.
Shoji has completed over 3,000 assignments in his career as a Nothing Rent-a-Man, with up to three appointments per day.
Some misunderstanding customers have asked him to clean their houses or wash their clothes. One even asked Shoji to ‘be a friend.’
But Shoji is a Nothing Rent-a-Man. And Nothing Rent-a-Men do nothing, so he refused all those requests as they pushed the boundaries of his expertise.
“People use me in different ways. Some people are lonesome,” he said. “Some feel it’s a shame to go somewhere (interesting) alone — they want someone to share their impressions with.”
He reiterated the scope of his projects to Japan’s Mainichi Shimbun.
“I’m not a friend or an acquaintance. I’m free of the bothersome things that accompany relationships-but can ease people’s sense of loneliness, ” he said.
He’s stood in the cold to support a struggling busker.
He’s accompanied people out to restaurants when they’re afraid of looking friendless.
He once shared a birthday cake with a lonesome individual on their birthday.
Shoji has written four books based on his experiences joining clients for a few hours at a café, on an outing, or providing emotional support when a client filed for a divorce.