Keep Your Day Job and Still Become Rich
Once I decided to build a business, I realized I had several obstacles to overcome before I could do it.
First, I did not know how to build a business.
Second, I had no money to build a business with.
And third, I had no money to live on.
Feeling weak in the stomach and lacking confidence in myself, I called rich dad and asked him what I should do.
He immediately said, “Go get a job.”
His reply shocked me, “I thought you were telling me to start my own business.”
“Yes, I did. But you still have to eat and put a roof over your head,” he said.
I have shared with countless people what he said to me next.
“Rule number one in becoming an entrepreneur is to never take a job for money. Take a job only for the long-term skills you will learn.”
The first and only job I got after the Marine Corps was with the Xerox Corporation. I chose it because it had the best sales-training program. Rich dad knew I was very shy and terrified of rejection. He recommended I learn to sell, not for the money, but to learn to overcome my personal fears. Each day, I had to go from office building to office building knocking on doors trying to sell people a Xerox machine. It was a very painful learning process, yet this process has made me millions of dollars over the years.
Rich dad would say, “If you cannot sell, you cannot be an entrepreneur.” For two years, I was the worst salesperson in the Honolulu branch. I took extra classes on selling, bought tapes and listened to them. Finally, after nearly being fired several times, I began to make sales. Although I was still painfully shy, the sales training helped me to develop the skills I needed to acquire wealth.
The problem was that no matter how hard I worked and how many machines I sold; I was always short of cash. I had no money with which to invest or to start a business. One day I told rich dad that I planned to take a part-time job to supplement my income so I could invest. That was the moment he had been waiting for.
Rich dad said, “The biggest mistake people make is that they work too hard for their money.” He went on, saying, “Most people do not get ahead financially because when they need more money, they take a part-time job. If they really want to get ahead, they need to keep their day job and start a part-time business.”
Rich dad drew this diagram for me once he knew I was learning valuable skills and was serious about becoming a business owner and investor.
“It is time for you to start your business—part-time,” he said.
“Don’t waste your time with a part-time job. A part-time job keeps you in the E quadrant, but a part-time business moves you towards the B quadrant. Most big companies are started as part-time businesses.”
The Beginning of My Business Empire
In 1977, I started my nylon-and-Velcro wallet business part-time. Many of you are familiar with that product line today. From 1977 to 1978, I worked very hard at Xerox, eventually becoming one of the top sales representatives in the branch. In my spare time, I was also building a business that would soon become a worldwide, multimillion-dollar business.
When people ask me if I loved my product line—a line that consisted of colorful nylon wallets, nylon watch bands, and nylon shoe pockets that attached to the laces of a running shoe and held a key, money, and ID card—I answer, “No. I was not in love with the product line. But I did enjoy the challenge of building the business.”
I mention this point specifically because so many people tell me things such as:
“I have a great idea for a new product.”
“You have to feel passionate about your product.”
“I’m looking for the right product before I begin my business.”
To these people, I generally say, “The world is filled with great ideas for new products. The world is also filled with great products. But the world is short of great business people. The primary reason to start a business part-time is not so much to make a great product. The real reason for starting a part-time business is to make yourself a great businessperson. Great products are a dime a dozen. But great businesspeople are rare and rich.”
To build a successful business, you need more than an idea. You need to give shape to that idea through systems, processes, and a great team.
The B-I Triangle is a powerful force to accomplish this. As rich dad said, “It gives shape to your ideas. It is the knowledge of the B-I Triangle that allows a person to create an asset that buys other assets.”
Rich dad taught me that once you become good at taking an idea and building a B-I Triangle business around it, people will flock to you to invest in your idea. He said, “Then, it will be true for you that it doesn’t take money to make money. Instead of spending your life working for money, you will get better at creating assets that make more and more money—your money will work for you.”
If you look at Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, he didn’t invent his software product. He bought it from a group of computer programmers and then went on to build one of the most powerful and influential companies in world history. Gates did not build a great product, but he did build a great business that helped him become the richest man in the world. Do not bother trying to make a great product. Focus more on starting a business so you can learn to become a great business owner.
Michael Dell of Dell Computers started his part-time business in his dormitory at the University of Texas. He had to quit school because his part-time business was making him far richer than any job he was studying for.
Jeff Bezos started Amazon.com in a garage on a part-time basis. That young man is a billionaire today.
Follow The Way Of The Rich
When I look at the 10 percent of Americans who control most of the country’s wealth and big businesses, I understand exactly how they got their wealth. They found their spirit and their mission, built a business, and allowed others to share in their dreams, the risks, and the rewards. This list includes people like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Rupert Murdoch, Anita Roddick, Richard Branson, and others.
You can do the same thing, if you want. Just follow the same diagram rich dad guided me with—the B-I Triangle.
As Helen Keller said, “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily