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Required Reading for Entrepreneurs: Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Yeah, that one.
Today I’m going to talk about why you need to read it too.
I’m talking about the #1 personal finance book of all time, Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki.
In this book, Kiyosaki teaches the lessons taught by the two father figures in his life: his well-educated father, who was never able to get a handle on his money throughout his entire life, and his father-figure who barely finished eighth grade, but ultimately ended up becoming one of the richest men in Hawaii.
Kiyosaki’s lessons are simple and easy to understand, as they were taught to him by both his rich dad and his poor dad when he was just a kid trying to figure out how to make money. And I mean that both figuratively AND literally. Read Lesson One, you’ll see what I mean.
And guys, I devoured this book. In my other Required Reading post for Daniel DiPiazza’s Rich 20Something (read it here), I talked about how that book was the first book I’ve read in YEARS that I’ve finished cover to cover in a matter of days. Like that one, I read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, in two days. Less than, since I read a little more than half of the book while flying to California, and I finished it on the way back home.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What It Isn’t
(And What It IS)
Firstly, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is NOT a real estate investment book. As I said at the very beginning of this post, this is a personal finance book. Yes, real estate how Kiyosaki chose to made his money, but he doesn’t spend the entire book touting it. What he DOES tout, and what this book IS all about is simple.
It’s about financial literacy.
So, worry not. If you don’t want to get into real estate, you don’t have to, to make your wealth. It’s just one of many paths you can take to wealth. Remember what Coach Sanja Tomasevic said in that presser I crashed during the week I wrote 5 Things Volleyball Can Teach You About Blogging?
“There are a million ways to score the ball.”
Just like scoring in volleyball, there are a million different ways to make money. And just like having to understand the fundamentals of volleyball, it ALL boils down to understanding the fundamentals of financial literacy.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Financial Fundamentals
I can’t be the only one who was NEVER taught to be financially literate, be it through school or the ultimate failings of my parents. All I knew is that money is a thing you need to live. I did not know until recently, that money isn’t real.
Oh yeah, spoilers: money’s not real.
In Rich Dad, Poor Dad, Kiyosaki explains that money is what you make of it, and that’s true. Money is a tool, not a be-all end all. It’s a resource. The trick is figuring out how to make this resource work for you. It’s about knowing how your money comes into your pocket (and then flows right on out), how it’s taxed, why it’s taxed the way it is, and what the rich do to make money work for them.
Kiyosaki explains it just as simply as his rich dad explained it to him when he was young. Even I, who does not have much of a head for numbers, understood all the concepts he put forth. Some of them are more complicated than others, but the fundamentals of cashflow are incredibly simple to follow.
And yes, there are diagrams.
So, still think finances are complicated? They’re REALLY not.
Since this book is about the lessons Kiyosaki learned from both his rich dad and his poor dad, they’re framed as lessons fit for the ages he learned them. So we’re learning about finances the way ten-year-old Kiyosaki learned them, not like some advanced MBA student.
If I, as someone who did not learn math growing up because of a truly terrible learning concept called Mathland (ugh), can understand this, then so can you.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Don’t Let Anyone Name Your Price For You
One of the most important and empowering stories comes at the beginning of this book. In his quest to make real, legal money, Kiyosaki visits with his friends father, the man who would become his “rich dad”. Kiyosaki agrees to sacrifice three hours of his Saturday, when he could be out playing baseball with his friends, to dust the items in one of Rich Dad’s shops.
When his poor dad finds out how little Kiyosaki is being paid, he is livid. He makes Kiyosaki go to Rich Dad and demand a raise.
Instead, Rich Dad offers to have Kiyosaki go back to his little cleaning job for NO money at all. And when Kiyosaki is ready to up and quit, Rich Dad makes him another offer, for more and more and more and more money. And that’s when Kiyosaki gets it.
He decides that he can’t be bought, and agrees to go back to working for free.
Not only that, but that is when he starts his very first business venture and does actually start making money. It came to an untimely end thanks to some neighborhood bullies, but it was brilliant for both the time and the concept.
I’m not going to spoil the story, you can read it for yourself, but it all boils down to Kiyosaki learning a lesson that most people never do. And it’s a lesson that explains why most people NEVER get a handle of their money. Kiyosaki learns that he can not be bought. Rich Dad made him an offer that most would never refuse, but Kiyosaki refused it because he refused to let money rule his life.
Don’t let money rule yours. If you’re starting a side hustle, then remember that it’s about the value you provide, not the money you make.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Assets vs. What The Middle Class Thinks Are Assets
This is a really important chapter, and really interesting. It’s not something I ever thought of when it comes to asset acquisition.
From a very young age, I remember being told about the typical path people take to adulthood. You know the one. Go to college, get a good, secure job that you’ll work in until you retire, get married, buy a house, start a family. That’s the story Kiyosaki’s poor dad told him too. In fact, not to spoil it too much, but I think you can guess that Poor Dad was not exactly a fan of many of Kiyosaki’s career choices.
And people are told that a house is the greatest asset you will ever own.
But…is it really?
That’s what Kiyosaki says is the greatest difference between the rich, who have figured out how to make their money work for them, and the middle class (and let’s not go into how the wealth gap is widening, that’s a story for a website that isn’t this one). There is a big difference between what the middle class thinks is an asset, and what actually IS an asset. In order to take control of your wealth and make money work for you, you need to learn that lesson, fast.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: The Importance Of Marketing
In this book, Kiyosaki talks about the different jobs he took en route to building his wealth. One, in particular, was a sales job that his Poor Dad absolutely balked at. But Kiyosaki knew that sales job was critical for his success because that sales job would teach him to sell.
Because you can’t make money if you can’t sell.
Kiyosaki didn’t just become a good salesman at this job, he became the BEST salesman, even though he didn’t actually have a marketing background.
If you’re starting a side hustle that you want to make you money, you need to learn how to sell not just your product, but yourself as well. Do you think anyone would buy from Kiyosaki if he didn’t come off as someone trustworthy? As someone worth buying from?
Times may be different, but the principles are the same. Don’t know how to market yourself or your products? Well, it’s never to late to learn.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Take Action (And Be Open-Minded)
Always remember to take action. You can learn about all the fundamentals you want, but if you don’t act on what you learn, then you’re never going to get anywhere. You can learn, learn, learn for years, but if you don’t act, then you’ll never earn.
Take that first step, whatever it is, however small it may be. It doesn’t matter as long as you take a step.
Also, remember that you don’t know everything. You don’t learn from those experts, because they’re not telling their stories and teaching their lessons for the fun of it. They’re doing it because they know more than you. Toward the end of the book, Kiyosaki tells the story of a recent divorcee who came to one of his events, balked at the lessons and her poor attempt to play his Cashflow game, and demanded a refund.
But later, Kiyosaki learned that she took his lessons to heart and discovered that her former spouse hid thousands of dollars from her during her marriage, but she was too blind to see it at the time.
Take a step back, see what they’re trying to say, and take whatever lesson from it, whether you think it applies to you or not. Because, spoiler alert, it’s probably going hit a lot closer to home than you think.
Leave a comment and tell me what steps you need to take to be successful with your side hustle?
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Required Chapters
In this case, I’m going to say that each chapter in this book is a required chapter. And no, it’s not a copout. Each chapter is one lesson that builds upon the last. In the first chapter, Kiyosaki writes about the importance of a strong financial foundation, and how many people try to build a financial profile as big as the Empire State Building on the foundation of a single-family home.
It’s an easy metaphor to understand, and spoiler alert: that is NOT the path to financial success.
I will also recommend picking up the same edition I did (linked here to Amazon). The 2017 edition reflects back on the 20 years of lessons Kiyosaki learned since publishing the first edition in 1997. The framework of the book also features a condensed summary at the end of each chapter. That summary details the important lessons, and also highlights Kiyosaki quotes to think about. As an educational bonus, each summary features questions to help reframe your mindset about money and wealth.
More From The Required Reading Series
Required Reading: F.U. Money by Dan Lok
Required Reading: The Science Of Getting Rich by Wallace D Wattles
Required Reading: Rich 20Something by Daniel DiPiazza
Required Reading: Winning Her Business by Bridget Brennan
Required Reading: The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins
How To Start On Your Path To Wealth
The best way to start on the path to wealth is to have a website of your own. A website gives you credibility, and allows you to a much further reach than any Facebook page or Twitter account will ever be able to afford. A website that you own will take you higher than any other platform that changes its algorithms on a whim.
I write about hosting my websites in 6 Reasons I Host My Side Hustle On Siteground, and I also write about starting your side hustle in Start Your Side Hustle In 5 Easy Steps. You can get started with a WordPress website, hosted through Siteground for as low as $3.95/month. Not only that, but you can be up and running in less than 15 minutes. It’s that easy.
And if you need guidance on how to write the perfect blog post? Well check out my FREE Idea To Awesome Workbook, which will take you from idea to an awesome blog post that everyone will want to devour!