GAME CHANGER: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Have you ever read Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad

If you have then chances are that it changed your life.  In fact, out of every book I’ve ever read and all life experience combined, Rich Dad, Poor Dad has had the biggest impact on my career.

When I was growing up my parents always pushed the notion that conventional education was everything.  It went something like this: ” ‘you have to get a college degree to get a good job…’, ‘education is the key to success’, ‘if you want to have a good life then you have to go to a good college.’ ”  Like most of my friends, I bought into this nonsense.  That is of course until I met James Smith.  (In my parents defense, the path to formal education was all they knew.  Work hard in school, get into a good college, then go work for another man.)

It was the summer of 1998 and I was pumping iron at Gold’s Gym (at that time it was more like pumping lead as I was a pretty skinny dude).  The guy on the bench next to me was taking a bar with 225lbs. and throwing it in the air and catching it on the way down.  I couldn’t believe my eyes. 

Fascinated by this dude’s strength, I asked him for some pointers on working out.  I suppose that he was sympathetic to my rail thin size  because he ended up going all out by creating a diet, supplement, and work out plan for me.  After following the plan for 8 weeks I gained 12 lbs. and increased my bench press manifold.

One day James asked me if I wanted to come hang out at his club.  “Club?” I asked.   “Do you work there?”  “No” James replied.  “I own it.”  Mind you that James was only 29 at the time.  Additionally he was very humble.   That day I watched James walk out of the gym and get into a beat up green van.  The first thing I thought to myself was that this guy was going to kill me if I “met him out” at his “club.”

I walked up the the front desk and asked the receptionist what the deal was with “James.”  She told me that he was a big time business/club/bar owner in the area.  Say What!  “Then why does he drive a beat up green van around town?” I asked her.  She said she didn’t know.  (Years later I would find out that James drove around a beat up van because vehicles depreciate in value.  His mindset was that his daily vehicle took tons of miles on it so why invest in a nice car!)

After finding out that James was legit I hauled a bunch of my boys up to his club.  At the time we were 16 so I was the man because I got us in a college bar.  Moreover I had an “inside connection” with the owner.  Hahaha Awesome!!!!!!!!!

That night I asked James what college he graduated from.  I was expecting him to say something like “Harvard” or “Yale.”  Instead he said that the only time he ever went to college was to crash parties.  Then how was it that James was able to achieve levels of success that even the most educated in this country have never seen?

The answer lies in  Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a book that James highly recommended I read.  Rich Dad, Poor Dad is written in parables and is ostensibly a story of Robert Kiyosaki’s early life.  Robert’s biological father, known as the “Poor Dad,” was a highly educated man that lived paycheck to paycheck.   When he sought a raise, he would go back to school to achieve new degrees.  After each new degree Poor Dad’s raises were nominal at best.

Robert’s best friend’s father was a high school dropout.  You know what else he was…a multi-millionaire, aka Rich Dad

One summer Robert scored a job at Rich Dad’s grocery store.  There he began to learn a basic principle that changed his life, and when I read it my life changed too.  Here it is:

Don’t Work For Money, Let Your Money Work For You.

Rich Dad surrounded himself with people that were much smarter than he was.  He also knew how to put his money to work.  By hiring cashiers, bag boys, accountants, lawyers, and smart marketers, Rich Dad’s money worked for him while he worked on growing his business.

The same priciple applies to direct response marketing.  The best campaigns require little to no work on the part of the campaign owner.  Traffic, call centers, marketing, forecasters, processing, fulfillment, returns, legal, accounting,  upsells, and advertising are all handled by others.  The campaign owner’s money works for him.

It’s all fine and dandy so long as the Rich Dad puts his money to good use.  One pitfall I’ve witnessed is careless spending once the money starts working for you.  When you start pulling in loads of cash you should pay even closer attention as to where your money is going.

James once noted that it was the little expenses that you have to keep track of.  The reasoning is that little expenses aggregate to become big expenses.  Big expenses such as purchases of commercial properties or new equipment are trackable.  Little expenses are like cigarettes.  Over a short period of time you’d hardly notice their effect.  Then one day you wake up with cancer and you’re dead.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad tought many of us that it doesn’t take a college education to make it big in this world.   Think about it, when was the last time someone cared where a successful direct response marketer went to college?  It’s irrelevant.  What is relevant is what you’re doing today to make a difference.

So ask yourself this question: Are you working for money or is your money working for you?