Most of us live our lives in the dark, among the masses, choosing safety over adventure, choosing to be entertained because it’s easy. It’s easier to surf the Internet than to study a concept. It’s easier to rent a movie than it is to read a book. It’s easier to meet a buddy in an online video game than it is to meet up with group of business professionals.
Every now and then, the light goes on, and it changes everything. Every now and then, it seems like everything makes sense. Today was one of those days for me.
After spending a few chaotic weeks on the road various activities (i.e. work, completing my first half-marathon, etc.), all the while trying to spend some quality time with my wife & kids, as well as keep up with the yard work and other responsibilities, I decided to take a few hours on my flight today and invest in myself. Rather than spend the day mindlessly watching football, Duck Dynasty or HGTV documentaries, I chose to listen to Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki on Audible.com. Although this wasn’t the first time I’d heard his thoughts on money & success, for some reason it meant more today.
For the past four years, I’ve been going through a transformation of my own in the way I think about life, particularly in regards to my work and how I provide for my family. I went from being a public school teacher to a sales professional, which is a dramatic shift in thinking. I went from a salaried position to earning commissions. I went from no risk, in terms of my paycheck, to all risk. I went from comfort, in terms of my daily activities belief in my abilities, to slappin’ scared out of my wits. If you’re familiar with Kiyosaki’s text, I started the transition from the “Poor Dad” to the “Rich Dad”.
To be clear, my transformation has been a mental one, an emotional one thus far, and it’s slowly becoming a financial one. Not many people would look at my bank statement and consider me rich, but as Kiyosaki points out, being “rich” is a state of mind more than a number. It’s a way of viewing and approaching the world in order to win in the marketplace.
I used to think of myself as being stuck in life, as someone who was more of a victim than an achiever. Sure I had an advanced degree and was smart compared to my peers. However, as a school teacher, I was making a small salary and seemingly unable to do anything about it. My professional life was being laid out before me, dictating the limits of my family’s life, and I didn’t exactly like what I was seeing. But what was I to do about it? I couldn’t work overtime to make more money. I couldn’t take on any extra responsibilities that would make a significant impact on my income. I was out of choices and I didn’t know what to do. To make matters worse, I was freaked out at the thought of losing my job, coming to the conclusion that teaching was the only thing I could do.
Then I got into sales, and I realized that I was in complete control of my income, which was a scary notion. Yes, I could make a lot more than I could as a teacher, but I also could make a lot less if I didn’t perform. The scale of volatility, which was non-exist as a teacher, suddenly became incredibly visible.
Most importantly, I started to realize that some people live life differently than I had been shown by my mother and I had experienced as a teacher. That notion was cemented today listening to Kiyosaki’s encouragement to get out of the rat race most people find themselves. Professionally speaking, life does not have to be about getting and keeping a good, steady job. It can be about learning how money works and making it work for you. It can be about overcoming your emotions in order to win in the marketplace. It can about managing risks and truly making money my best business partner, my most power employee.
If you haven’t read Kiyosaki, I highly recommend it. Three hours spent in Rich Dad Poor Dad just might change your life forever. It just depends on if you want to stay in the rat race for the next 30 years or if you want to find a way out.