Focusing On Your Paycheck Can Hold You Back

Dear Reader,

The fear of losing your paycheck is a distraction and when you stop worrying about the money you can see many more opportunities all around you. A study from Stanford gave students envelopes with $5, and they were told that they had as much time as they wanted to plan, but as soon as they opened that envelope, they had two hours to make as much money as possible.

There were some students who did the obvious things, like started a lemonade stand using the $5 to buy the ingredients, or a car wash, or a bake sale. But some of the students realized that the $5 was actually a distraction, and they had skills that were worth so much more than $5.

Those students set up a bike stand to pump bike tires in the middle of campus, made reservations at different restaurants and then sold them as the time came up, and took photos at one of the school events, selling people beautiful photos of themselves. There were all these things they could do with the resources they already had, but the $5 was a distraction. These teams ended up making hundreds of dollars.

Don’t Become Distracted

We often compare ourselves to others as opposed to looking at the resources that we personally control, that we can leverage. But it’s only when you consider the resources you have, instead of getting distracted by what you don’t have, that start to see the opportunities available to you.

This exercise helped put these students into an entrepreneurial mindset. It taught them that mistakes are how you learn, that problems have solutions, that you have to look for the solutions in the problems, and that there’s not just one right answer.

One of the biggest problems in the education system is that we measure whether people have learned the material by creating exams with multiple-choice questions that only have one right answer. Not only does it teach people that there is only one right answer and that if you don’t the right answer you fail, but it also prevents us from measuring a lot of things that are hard to measure.

Albert Einstein said that, “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.”

How do you measure love?

How do you measure ethics?

How do you measure creativity?

Unfortunately, because it’s difficult to measure these things, we don’t teach them, and that is a huge mistake. We should be looking at how much effort and energy you put into the learning process itself, as opposed to specific outcomes, or your ability to memorize information. In the world of innovation and entrepreneurship there are a lot of false starts and you can’t punish people for trying things if they don’t work the first time. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have any of the innovative technology or companies that dominate the markets today.

One thing that can help with overcoming your fear of failing is a failure resume. Instead of saying failure is good, I look at failure as data. As a scientist, if you do something that doesn’t turn out as you expect, it’s considered interesting data, not the incorrect response to a single response answer. We should be mining our “failures” for data. Failure resumes record your biggest screw-ups or disappointments, professional, academic, social, and emotional. But you don’t just write down the failures; you write down what you’ve learned from the mistake.

This helps to acknowledge the lessons you gained from the mistake. Not only do you learn more by doing this exercise, but you can also let go of those things much more quickly. They don’t end up becoming things that you carry with you because you resolved the lesson that came from them.

When Money Is Your Only Motivation

Being motivated by money alone can be detrimental and can lead to you being stuck in that cubical, wondering how you ended up there. While most people want to provide a better life for their family, it’s important to understand that there are lots of other things are just as, if not more, motivating than money. The fear of not having money is why people stay stuck working for that five bucks. What a horrible place to spend your life being afraid all the time.

Being motivated mostly by money can lead to people being greedy. Those people make all rich people look bad in the eyes of the public, even though there are rich people who are very generous. I remember being taught in Sunday school, give and you shall receive.

I face the same dilemma regularly when I ask very successful businessmen and women to join us at the Rich Dad Company and pass on their knowledge to others. The answer I receive is, “Why should I share my secrets?”

What they fail to realize is the spiritual aspect of sharing their knowledge. The more you give, the more you learn.

Fear Shouldn’t Motivate You

It’s always been our philosophy that information is meant to be shared. When you make your work available to the world, more people learn from it, and the more people you attract. I don’t understand why somebody would say, “Oh, I can’t share my secrets.” It’s a fearful statement, motivated by their fear of someone stealing their knowledge and becoming more successful than them. What they don’t understand is the more you give, the more you receive, and the more successful you become.

My rich dad always said to me that the rich don’t work for money; they want to solve problems first. This is critical to keep in mind. There are people who are wealthy who aren’t solely motivated by money, but by a greater calling or purpose. Those people who are just motivated by money give up long before those people who are really motivated to solve an important problem.

If you look at the world through the lens of possibilities, there are amazing solutions everywhere. Making money is only one type of value. There are numerous ways to measure value compared to money. There’s emotional value, educational value, and humor value, to name a few. If we just look at value in terms of money, there is only one way you can go. Straight to that paycheck in the dead-end job you hate. But there are tons more opportunities to create things of value if you measure by greater standards.

Your Possibilities are Infinite

My first deal was no money. Zero. It wasn’t much of a cash flow return, but $25 on zero is an infinite return. The moment I bought my first property for $0, I knew I was free. Having no money made us get creative. We had to figure it out because we wanted that property. When we built our businesses, we had no money, so we were hungry. Daymond John said, “When you’re hungry you want it bad so you’re going to do whatever it takes.” I think that’s the biggest benefit to starting with nothing. You have infinite possibilities.

Regards,
Robert

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Robert Kiyosaki

Robert Kiyosaki, author of bestseller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as 25 others financial guide books, has spent his career working as a financial educator, entrepreneur, successful investor, real estate mogul, and motivational speaker, all while running the Rich Dad Company.

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