Guess What? Hard Working People Are Lazy
Rich dad often said, “It’s easy to work hard and go nowhere. It’s easy to stick to a job and blame your boss for not giving you a bigger raise. It’s easy to say ‘I can’t afford it.’ It’s easy to say ‘I can’t do that.’ It’s easy to blame your husband, your wife, or your children for your financial problems.” He also said, “There are many lazy people who work hard. They continue to work hard because it is easier to keep working hard than to change.”
When it came to investing, rich dad said, “Many people just turn their money over to total strangers and wonder why they get such poor returns. Or many people seem to think that it should be easy to find a great investment. They seem to think that great investments grow on trees or should be handed to them.
The fact is, it’s easy to find bad investments. The world is filled with people offering you bad investments to invest in. If you want your money to work hard for you, you cannot afford to be lazy. Lazy people invest in the investments that ambitious people reject.”
Saying that hardworking people are lazy is not done to be cruel.
I make that statement to pass on one of the most important lessons rich dad ever taught me—his lesson on the power found in the word can’t. He said, “The word can’t make strong people weak. It blinds people who can see, saddens happy people, turns brave people into cowards, robs a genius of their brilliance, causes rich people to think poorly, and limits the achievements of that great person living inside each one of us.”
Millionaire Going Broke
I read an article about a woman who was struggling financially. The headline of the article read “Millionaire Going Broke.”
The woman was 70 years old, a graduate of an Ivy League law school, and a successful attorney. After she retired, she sold all her stocks and mutual funds and took a cash position.
She states in the book “After the market crash, I felt so smart because I did not lose money in the market as many of my friends did.”
“Instead, I had over $1 million in certificates of deposit, earning almost 5 percent interest. That meant I had nearly $50,000 a year to live on, plus $22,000 from Social Security. I thought I was set. Eight years after retiring, those certificates of deposit are paying less than 1 percent interest, which means my $50,000 in interest has dropped to less than $10,000 in interest income. I’m having a tough time making ends meet right now, even though I’m technically a millionaire. If interest rates don’t go up soon, I’ll have to start drawing on my principal. That means I could go broke if I am lucky enough to live a long life.”
As expected, the reply from the financial expert was, “You’ve done the right thing, but now is the time to get back into the market. If you invest wisely with the proper allocation into a well-diversified portfolio, you should earn on average 5 percent per year.”
While this might be good advice for a person with her level of financial education, 5 percent per year from your investment is hardly a good return. With a little financial education and experience, she could easily be receiving a 15 percent return or even more. So why doesn’t she receive these higher returns?
The answer is because it’s a matter of education and who the teacher is. In other words, many people are bumblebees who are being taught how not to fly by people who also think they cannot fly.
I was driving through the streets of Cape Town, South Africa, one of the most spectacular cities in the world. I was there to deliver a talk to one of the largest banks in Africa. Driving along the harbor front, my host, who was riding in the back seat with me, said, “Your books are good. I like the idea of investing in property and having passive income come in. It’s a great idea for your country, but you can’t do that here. Our interest rates are too high so you can’t make any money the way you say to make money. Positive cash flow from passive income is impossible here.”
The car was now winding around some of the most brilliantly designed mass-scale real estate projects I had ever seen. The commercial projects and residential projects were world-class in design, innovation, and land usage. Pausing for a moment to gather my thoughts, I took a deep breath and replied as politely as I could to my host, “You might not be able to make money in real estate here in Cape Town, but rest assured, someone is.”
One of the reasons the bumblebee can fly is because it does not know it cannot fly. One of the reasons so many investors cannot find great investments that make them a lot of money is that they often say,
“You can’t do that here,” or “I can’t afford it,” or “Prices are too high,” or whatever people say to justify their inability to do what others are doing.
As my Cape Town host was speaking, telling me why it was hard to make money investing in real estate there, my mind drifted back to rich dad saying to me, “Poor people and lazy people use the word can’t more often than successful people. They use the word can’t because it’s easier than saying can. If you say you can’t do something, you don’t have to do it, even if you can.”
Glancing back at my host who was gazing out the car window as he talked, I realized that he was missing out on becoming rich, but not because he was stupid or incompetent. He was missing out on becoming rich because he was lazy. It was much easier for him to say, “You can’t do that here,” even though it was obvious that people were doing it right in front of his own eyes.
As I drove through the streets of Cape Town, my host continued on with his ideas about why my ideas would not work there. “Oh, the price of real estate has risen so much in the last three years. How can anyone afford to own a home, much less invest in rental property? That is why I say your ideas on investing will not work in this town.”
Letting him drone on, I gazed out the car window and could see that Cape Town was a world-class city and that there was a lot of money being made there. Sure, Cape Town and South Africa had their problems that were keeping many timid investors away, yet it was obvious to me that investor dollars were pouring into this city. Many people were becoming very rich. My host, on the other hand, had let his poor attitude and limited reality defeat him. We were together for about five hours that day. During that period of time, I heard him use the word “can’t” many times—far too many times.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily