Last week I finished reading Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multi-Million Dollar Business by Robert T. Kiyosaki. It is part of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series of books. I actually finished listening to the audiobook Rich Dad, Poor Dad before reading this book.
The point of Rich Dad, Poor Dad is that there is a big difference between being poor and being rich, and it isn’t directly related to money. There is a big difference between being poor and being broke. It’s a mindset. A rich person will ask empowering questions, such as “How can I afford that?”, while a poor person would simply conclude “I can’t afford that.” Being broke is a temporary financial state. You can still be rich when you’re broke. You just have to think they way rich people do. Essentially, think and grow rich, or don’t think and be poor.
Before You Quit Your Job is a great book that talks about what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Somewhere else, I got the idea that being self-employed and being an entrepreneur are separate and distinct. The idea was that even if you are running your own business, if it is something that someone else has already done before, then you have just created yourself a job. An entrepreneur creates something new.
Kiyosaki drilled the idea even further. Basically, you can are an employee, or you are an entrepreneur. Almost everyone is encouraged to go to school, get good grades, and get a good job with benefits. My own mother is still telling me that I need a good job for the benefits. When I was younger, my father would tell me that I needed to go to school to get good grades in order to eventually become the CEO or other high level officer in a company of my own. It sounded great, if vague, and I always had the vague idea that while I could become an employee, I would eventually run my own business.
I learned this past year that my father must not have really put much belief in it himself. A month after I announced that I would be running my own shareware video game business full-time, and therefore would need my family to support me until I was profitable, my sister informed me that he would talk to her about how I needed to “shape up” and “get a job”. Ouch. It’s not something you want to hear that far into it. Since I couldn’t rely on the support I was asking, I decided that full-time employment was the way to go. I’ll support myself, and then I will be the one to decide to support my business.
Anyway, the book is geared towards entrepreneurs looking to make a multi-million dollar business and employ hundreds of people. Entrepreneurs create a business, working on the business before it even exists, and then once their job is done, they get out of the way to let the business run on its own. My own plans for my business didn’t take into account the idea that it didn’t need me. I knew about the importance of setting up good systems; the idea of earning money while I sleep was a nice one to have.
At first I thought I wouldn’t get much value out of the book. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to stay small. While earning millions of dollars is certainly possible, I didn’t think I needed to partner or hire with hundreds of people to get there. My plan wasn’t to create a business for someone else to buy, nor was it for giving other people creative control.
Still, the book helped to clarify what I was thinking. The main focus in the book was in helping people move from being employees (whether self-employed or not) to entrepreneurs; much of the content was useful only to those people. Still, even though I wanted to be self-employed, I found a lot of helpful information that overlapped. Some of the things that rich dad seemed to refer to negatively might actually be positives for someone who isn’t trying to be the kind of entrepreneur he was thinking of. Some of it gave me pause and made me think, “Oh, that’s me he is talking about. I’ll fix that.”
Reading through the 10 lessons and the stories that went with them, I was able to see that I still had some thinking to do. I know that there are some important tasks to handle in order to ensure that my business won’t fail immediately or sink under its own success. There are still some mindset changes to make.