Over $10,000 and one entire year of my life later, I still haven’t bought a single property with “no money down.” By right I should be mad as hell at Robert Allen for selling me (and others) a pipe dream. But ultimately, whose responsibility is it that I didn't become a model success story. So, instead, I put my concentration towards the eerie, hollow sound the wind makes when it blows through my empty wallet. After all, I take responsibility for failing to make Robert’s no money down technique work for me.
For those who don’t know Robert Allen, he's Canadian born but a real estate guru in the states whose claim to fame came from a simple dare: "Send me to any city in the United States. Take away my wallet. Give me $100 for living expenses. And in 72 hours I will buy an excellent piece of real estate using none of my own money."
Robert got media clout when The LA Times took up his bold challenge and sent him to San Francisco, to prove himself with a reporter in tow to document his every deal. 57 hours later Robert had 7 properties in his portfolio worth $772,000. Can you say instant fame, instant publishing deals and a soap box from which to shout at people like me – “you too can do it, pay here, and here, and here!”
The only reason to mention Robert A really is that while attending one of his seminars in 2007, someone dropped the name Robert Kiyosaki on me. Had I been angry or feeling sorry for my situation at the time I wouldn’t have wanted to hear anything about real estate experts and I wouldn't have taken any action to buy another book.
So, still wide-eyed and eager to learn and obviously open to further humiliation, I picked up a copy of Rich Dad Poor Dad for $25 and started reading. Robert’s writing style struck me as exceptionally pedestrian, very atypical of a book on finance and business. Concepts are intertwined with real-life stories that made the message easy to digest and apply to my own experiences, or lack of same. Usually, I like being challenged by an author but not so much when it comes to learning a subject I know little about. In this case simple was better. The poignant messages really hit home in the simple, honest and non insulting storytelling style. I read the entire book with a highlighter in one hand and a notebook and a pen next to me for instantly notes. Those notes came from almost every page as I read.
I was hearing things I had never heard before. They challenged conventions I thought were unshakable and exposed my lack of knowledge or in layman terms, ignorance. This was an alien philosophy but I wasn’t afraid of approaching and learning. I wanted to learn how to reach my own place of personal wealth. Ironic that I picked up nothing about buying real estate - even thought Robert Kiyosaki is himself a guru on the subject. What I got was far more powerful, Robert Kiyosaki didn’t dangle fish in front of me with bravado publicity stunts; instead, he was showing me the art of being the fisherman through simple examples of how he learned to fish. I’ve adopted his philosophy and I keep his words close as reminders and as inspiration. Here are just a few Kiyosaki-isms from Rich Dad Poor Dad.
- Fear and Desire: the Rat Race trap!
- A job is really a short-term solution to a long-term problem
- Broke is temporary, poor is eternal
- Don’t work for money, make money work for you
- Human life is a struggle between ignorance and illumination – once we stop searching for information and knowledge about ourselves, ignorance sets in. The struggle is moment to moment
- Learn to use your emotions to think, not think with your emotions
- Know the difference between an asset and a liability and buy assets
- To become financially secure, a person needs to mind their own business
- In the real world it’s often not the smart that get ahead but the bold
- Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn
- People who avoid failure also avoid success
- You are only one skill away from great wealth
- When it comes to making money the only work skill most people know is hard work
- For winners, losing inspires them. For losers, losing defeats them
- Don’t listen to poor or frightened people
- Be generous with what you have and the powers that be wil be generous to you
- Don’t take yourself so seriously
What I have learned from all of this is that the wind won’t be making that eerie, hollow sound as it blows into my wallet much longer because my wallet will be full of cash. Rich Dad Poor Dad was only an introduction to my education and to what is possible. I continue to learn from Robert Kiyosaki’s writings and from like minded people who play his Cashflow game.