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Rich Dad Poor Dad
Sales and marketing books
Robert T. Kiyosaki
Sharon L. Lechter
January 4, 2010
Week: Not ranked All time: 147
manuellemos.netThis book is not really about technology or anything related. However, I thought it would be useful to talk about it here because it teaches important lessons about finances and business that can help many us to be more successful in our projects of life, especially if you want to work only on projects that you like, without depending on having to work for others in things that we may not like so much.
- The need for getting early financial literacy
I only read it recently, despite it is not a new book. Nowadays, I only work in the projects that I want, but I wish I have read this book 9 years ago when I decided to try to work only on the PHPClasses site, making a living exclusively from it.
Not having a background in finances and business management, I took a long time to learn several basic lessons that this book teaches. Let me explain why.
- The cycle of life working to make others richer
The lives of many of us follows the same pattern. Usually it occurs in a sequence like this (not necessarily by this order): we born, grow up, go to school, hopefully go to college, get a job, get married, have children, we retire and then we die. Our children tend to follow the same sequence.
Apparently there is nothing wrong with this. After all, that is the pattern of life that most of us follow. But life could be better. Lets see how it could be better.
We get jobs working for others because we need money to pay for our expenses. Once we earn our own money, we are ready to buy more things that we want or need, like houses, cars, etc.. Since usually we cannot pay immediately for all we need, we need to get loans, mortgages and eventually get better jobs to pay for all our debts.
When we get married, we eventually split the expenses with our spouse, but once we have kids our expenses start growing again. So we need to get even better jobs to pay also for the kids' expenses.
The pattern of money spending is evident. Once we get what we want, we need more money to keep our life style.
- We are trapped in a rat race
That cycle of dependence on money is called by the author of the "Rich dad, poor dad" book: the rat race. Imagine a rat in circular maze that keeps running around it. He never exits the maze because he keeps going around, always returning to the same place were he was before.
Once we find ways to make more money working more to pay for our expenses, we find new ways to spend our money, which in turn gets us into more expenses. That is why we never find the exit from the circular maze and will keep running in the rat race.
Most of us got used to it because that is what almost everybody gets from life, but if you think about it for a while, obviously that is not what we want. We want to get out the rat race to be financially independent and have better control of our lives.
- The purpose of the "Rich dad, Poor dad"
The "Rich dad, Poor dad" book teaches us how to get out of this never ending cycle.
The book is supposedly auto-biographic. The author tells about two dads that he had in hist life. The biologic dad was a teacher, worked for others during all his life and died poor. The "business" dad was an entrepreneur that invested his life in learning and building new businesses, and so he became rich.
There are some claims that this story never really happened. The claims state that the author made up the story. Well, invented or not, the value of the book is in the lessons that he teaches, so it is really not relevant if it was a fact or fiction.
Most of those lessons are actually advices that you should reflect upon and choose to follow or not depending on your circumstances of life. So what are those lessons? It is hard to summarize the whole book in a few sentences, but I will try.
- Work for others just to learn
The book is divided by chapters that start by stating that rich people don't work for money. What that author means is that initially you may accept to work for others to gain experience, knowledge and insights about the businesses.
You may even accept to be underpaid for a while, as long as you get the opportunity to learn how successful businesses are run.
- The basics about finances that school did not teach us
Then the book moves on, teaching the basics of business and finance concepts like cash flow, assets, liabilities, income and expenses.
This is the chapter that teaches those very basic but important business concepts that will make a difference in your mind in order to lead you to run your own successful businesses.
If you do not learn these concepts well, you have set yourself to always be an employee of somebody that manages those concepts and takes advantage of that to run a business using the work force of other people.
These are the concepts that you should have learned in school. Unfortunately most of our schools are outdated and only prepare people to work for others until they retire. That is very convenient reality for business owners that want to run their business at the expense of the work of their employees.
The truth is that most people do not take chances and run their own business because they don't know how to do it. If the school did not teach them, they need to learn elsewhere, but most people do not learn anything about businesses. That is why this book is a good start for those need to learn about businesses and set them free.
- Reinvest your earnings wisely in your own business
The next chapter tells people to be wise spending the money they earn. Our society is set to lead people to consumption. Consumption leads people to buy stuff from businesses. The problem is that often people buy stuff that they really do not need.
This chapter advises you to save your money to make better investments in growing your business. For instance, if you just made a good sum of money with a business deal, don't just go out and buy the most expensive car there is.
If you need a car, buy one that works sufficiently well for your needs. If you need an house, maybe hiring the house is wiser then buying one that will suck all your money now and probably for life.
Don't burn all your money. Invest it wisely in expanding your current business or creating new business ventures.
- Creating companies to profit more money
The next chapter talks about the advantages of creating a company, even if you work on a business that you are the only worker. Companies pay much less taxes than individuals have to pay from the same earnings.
Even an individual may save a lot of money in taxes if works as company. The fact is that companies pay taxes after deducting their expenses. Individuals pay taxes over their whole income, and only can spend what remains after they pay their taxes.
- Invent new ways to make money
The next chapter talks about focusing finding new ways to make money using the financial literacy concepts presented earlier in the book.
This chapter talks about a lot of financial tricks you can apply to make more money. These tricks are fine for certain business areas, but obviously you cannot apply them in other areas.
You have to think better about your area to see what tricks could be used, eventually creating new types of businesses that did not exist, instead of just copying other business ideas.
- Final chapters
The next chapter reinforces the idea presented earlier in the book that you just should work for others as a necessary step to learn about businesses in practice.
At the end of the book, there are a few more chapters that focus on how to get started, overcoming certain obstacles, and what you can do to learn more about getting your businesses going.
There is more to be said about the lessons that may be learned from this book. If you are interested to learn more about these ideas, I am sure that reading the original text may be more insightful, as it was for me.
This book teaches very basic, but also very important lessons about financial education that we should have learned in schools. Unfortunately most schools do not have financial literacy as part of every curriculum.
Once you learn these basic lessons you realize how you can get the financial independence that will allow you to have a more satisfying life, working only on the projects you want, instead of just wasting your life working for others in things that are not very fulfilling.