In my last post, I touched on the phenomena of how business and entrepreneurial podcasts will all eventually have an episode about the “Best Business Books Ever!” Hosts and guests all seem to have an opinion; however, listening to them, there are three books that keep coming up over and over again. These are The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason, Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, and Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.
Last week we looked at The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason and how its parables serve as a guide to the higher-level principles of financial success. If The Richest Man in Babylon is the 30,000ft view, then Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is a type of owner’s manual, giving an idea of how these principles work in a more modern economy. While its age may mean it misses how the internet and social media have changed the modern business landscape, it still gives practical applications of key principles in a way that is easily adaptable. As long as you understand the principle, it doesn’t matter what the specifics of the example might be.
This is the second time that I have read this book, and I am glad I took the time to re-read it. Moving down this path of self-discovery and financial wellness, I have a different perspective of the work now, than I did a few years ago. Different things stand out. Things that I was inspired to move on last time are now my norm, and Kiyosaki had his next lesson waiting for me on the very same pages. This fact only reaffirms why Rich Dad, Poor Dad belongs on this list, because no matter where you are on your journey, this book has something for you.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is the story of Robert Kiyosaki and his two Dads. One was his father, an academic, a brilliant man, but financially poor due to his mindset and decisions. The second was his best friend’s father, while far less educated, had a knowledge of money that allowed him to build businesses and a financial legacy. While growing up in 1950s Hawaii, both Dads gave him financial advice that he had to either accept or reject based on what he deemed to be their merit. This book touched on what they taught, how they taught, and Kiyosaki’s own experience about how the realities of life shaped his decisions about what advice to take.
Kiyosaki breaks down his experience into six straightforward lessons. These lessons detail how the rich view money differently than the poor, and how someone’s mindset and readiness to learn will determine their level of success. The principles discussed in these lessons have their roots in what we previously read in The Richest Man in Babylon. These two works dovetail into each other amazingly well when read in succession. The ideas of using your money to make more money and paying yourself first tie back to The Richest Man in Babylon directly. However, Kiyosaki is able to take things a step further when talking about being able to identify opportunity by knowing how to look for it. He touches on the fact that working to learn and working for further financial literacy should be our starting point. Then we need to be able to use our mind, to bridge the gap between what we are doing and what opportunities are available to us.
Kiyosaki also redefines a few terms that we all might think we know. Words like asset, liability, and wealth are all turned on their ear as he explains how the money going out, the money coming in, and our dependency on our day job may leave us in a state of servitude weather or not we feel that is the case.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad is a reality check based on key financial lessons from Robert Kiyosaki’s childhood. It is a work that encourages us to use our minds, to increase our financial literacy past the covers of the book. It is also a motivator as it redefines our current situation and asks how long could we survive on the income from our assets alone.