rich dad poor dad by robert kiyosaki

7 life lessons from Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Rich Dad, Poor Dad offers powerful life lessons that can be useful to anyone looking to broaden their views on earning money.
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If you have googled the “best personal finance books to read” recently, you would have most likely come across the title Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money—That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!. Written by Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter, the book has reportedly sold over 32 million copies in 40 languages across 40 countries since it was published in 1997.

The book talks about the importance of financial independence and emphasises the need to build wealth through mindful spending. It tells the story of Kiyosaki and his two dads, and how growing up with them helped shaped his views on life.

Kiyosaki’s biological father, or the ‘poor dad’, was a highly educated professor, who believed that one should work for money as a single-salaried employee at a stable job and that a person’s wealth largely depends on their family background. On the other hand, Kiyosaki’s ‘rich dad’ is the father of his best friend, a wealthy entrepreneur who owns dozens of businesses. He believed that wealth comes from experience-based learning and multiple income streams.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad offers powerful life lessons that can be useful for anyone looking to broaden their perspective on money. It makes you ask yourself thought-provoking questions such as, “do I want to continue running the rat race?”, “am I afraid to take risks?” or “am I making the right decisions?”

Here are some essential takeaways from the international bestseller.

Conquer your fears

Most of us give in to our fears and allow them to control us without even realising. For instance, you want to quit your accounting job to open a cake shop. However, worries about the lack of stability and benefits hold you from taking that step forward. That is fear and doubt making the decisions for you. Fear holds you back from reaching your dreams, growing personally and professionally, and realising your true potential. This perspective can be costly in the long run. “In the real world, it’s not the smart who gets ahead, but the bold,” says the ‘rich dad.’

Become financially literate

Kiyosaki talks about an important concept in his book—the need to become financially literate, which means understanding the basic structure of how money moves in the world. Being in control of your financial life can be a cumbersome task if you don’t know how things work. An effective practice is to analyse how much you earn and spend every month.  By following this method, you become aware of where your money is coming from, how much is leaving your bank account, and how much you are able to save. According to Kiyosaki, “Money comes and goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin building wealth.”

Think in terms of opportunities

In the book, Kiyosaki’s ‘rich dad’ doesn’t let his son say, “I can’t afford it.” Instead, he tells him to say, “How can I afford it?” While the first phrase restricts your thinking, the second opens up possibilities, challenges, excitement, and dreams, forcing the brain to come up with solutions and answers. The author suggests that the primary reason why the majority of the poor and middle class don’t achieve success in life is because they don’t think in terms of opportunities. So, if you want to be successful in life, you should be open to facing challenges and taking risks.

The more you give, the more you receive

You must have come across people who want more from life but are unwilling to give anything in return. They are like Kiyosaki’s ‘poor dad.’ He belonged to the labour unions and wanted to work less and get paid more. But that’s not how the world works. If you want to get paid more, you need to work for it. You may not get the results immediately, but the efforts you put in will sooner or later give a good return. If not, you need to re-evaluate your strategy and ask yourself whether the project you have invested in is worth your time and money.

Work to learn

Most of the time, people accept whatever job they are offered. In certain instances, they have to, particularly when they are struggling to make ends meet. However, they often don’t pay attention to the fact that they can use the job to learn a skill, and not just to earn a paycheque. Kiyosaki’s ‘rich dad’ urged him to learn a wide variety of life experiences, which included trying out different types of jobs. In his book, he wrote, “Instead of simply working for the money and security, which I admit are important, I suggest they take a second job that will teach them a second skill.”

If you learn valuable skills at work, they might be useful for you in the future. Moreover, you get to earn while learning and practicing your skills. So, the next time you are looking for work, it would be a good idea to figure out which one will be able to teach you important and valuable skills.

You become what you study

If you ask someone if they want to be a millionaire, they are likely to respond, “Yes, of course!” Yet, a vast majority of the people do not invest their time and effort in learning and studying how to become one. Kiyosaki says, “A problem with school is that you often become what you study. So, if you study cooking, you become a chef. If you study the law, you become an attorney, and a study of auto mechanics makes you a mechanic. The mistake in becoming what you study is that too many people forget to mind their own business. They spend their lives minding someone else’s business and making that person rich.” Remember, it takes time and dedication to develop and hone any skill.

Become wealthy, not just rich

Most of us go to work or build a business that generates a regular paycheque. In many cases, those can be pretty big ones. It can make you incredibly rich but not wealthy. That is because there is a difference between being rich and being wealthy. It comes down to how you use your earnings. As per Kiyosaki, if you spend your hard-earned money on luxury items, it might make you look rich, but in reality, you will become poor because you are spending irresponsibly. He writes, “The poor and the middle class often buy luxury items like big houses, diamonds, furs, jewellery, or boats because they want to look rich. They look rich, but in reality, they just get deeper in debt on credit. The old-money people, the long-term rich, build their asset column first. Then the income generated from the asset column buys their luxuries.”

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