The Path To Wealth Starts With Giving
A question I am often asked by journalists is, “Why do you keep working? If you have all this money, why don’t you just go on a permanent vacation?”
In 1974, seeing my poor dad sitting at home watching TV, a broke and broken man, I found my mission. Watching my dad sitting there, I could see the future. Not just for him, but for millions, maybe billions of people worldwide.
It would become more apparent that, throughout the world, there are millions, maybe billions, of people just like my dad. These are smart, educated, hard-working people who will need government support for food, shelter, and medicine. This is a worldwide phenomenon, affecting every country in the world, even the richest of countries such as the United States, England, Japan, Germany, France, and Italy.
I realized the problem was that too many people, like my dad, were depending upon the government for life support. My rich dad had seen the problem growing and that Social Security and Medicare were going to be massive financial problems for the United States and the world. I could see that the richest country in the world could become a country filled with poor people expecting the government to take care of them.
Three Types of Money
While we were in high school, my rich dad taught his son (my best friend) and me that people work for three different types of money. They are:
- Competitive money
- Cooperative money
- Spiritual money
To explain competitive money, he said, “We learn to compete early in life. We compete in school for grades, we compete in sports, and we compete for the person we love. At work, we learn to compete for jobs, for raises, for promotions, for recognition, and for survival. In business, companies compete for customers, market share, contracts, and good employees. Competition is survival of the fittest, ‘dog eat dog.’ Most people work for competitive money.”
To explain cooperative money, he said, “In sports and in business, cooperation is known as teamwork. The richest, most powerful entrepreneurs have built the biggest businesses in the world via cooperation. They become more competitive due to the cooperation of their team. Most entrepreneurs of large businesses are great team leaders.”
Explaining spiritual money was a little bit more difficult. He said, “Spiritual money is created by doing God’s work—work that God wants to be done. It’s work being done in response to a higher calling.”
Not understanding what rich dad meant, I asked him, “You mean like forming a church?”
His reply was, “There are entrepreneurs who do form churches, just as there are entrepreneurs who form charities. Both could be examples of working for spiritual money, but spiritual money is not restricted to simply a church or charity.”
For years, this “Spiritual Money” category puzzled me, and I often had discussions with him on this subject. During one of these discussions he said, “Most people go to work for money—nothing else. They do not care if it is competitive, cooperative, or spiritual. For many people, work and money are just a means to an end. If you paid them twice as much to not work, many would take your offer.”
“You mean they would not work for free?” I asked with a smirk.
“No, definitely not. If you did not pay most people, they would move on looking for another job. They may want to help you and your business, but they have bills to pay and families to feed. They need money, any kind of money. They would choose their job depending upon which one paid the most and had the best benefits.”
“So is spiritual money like loving your work and doing what you love?”
“No,” smiled rich dad. “Doing what you love is not what I mean by spiritual money.”
“So what is spiritual money?” I asked. “Is it working for free?”
“No, that is not it either. It’s not about working for free because spiritual money is not really about money.”
“Spiritual money is not about money? If it is not about money, then what is it about?” I asked.
“It’s about doing a job not because you want to do it, but because it must be done and you know deep down in your soul, you’re the one that is supposed to do it.”
“How do you know you’re supposed to do it?” I asked.
“Because it disturbs you that no one else is doing it. You may say to yourself, ‘Why isn’t someone doing something about this?’”
“Could it anger you?” I asked.
“Oh, yes,” said rich dad softly. “It can also sadden you or even break your heart. It may seem like injustice or a crime to you. It probably disturbs your sense of decency. It seems unfair—an injustice.”
“But they don’t do anything about it,” I added.
Quietly, rich dad said, “In most cases, no. They may talk about it, they may complain about it, but they do little about it. After all, they are too busy at their job, earning enough money to pay the rent and saving enough money to take the kids to Disneyland.”
“What would happen if they did do something about it?” I asked. “What might happen?”
“If they were truly committed to solving the problem, I would say that the invisible forces of this universe, of God, might come to their support. Magic might happen in their lives. This is when spiritual money comes into play. But it is more than money. People you never met before come to join forces with you—not for the money, but for the mission.”
“Why do they join you?” I asked.
“Because they are on the same mission.”
Giving Your Gift
About a year went by and once again I brought up the subject of spiritual money. “If I simply work on a problem I know needs to be worked on, will that bring in the invisible forces, the spiritual money?”
Rich dad laughed and said, “Maybe and maybe not. I’m not the one who makes those decisions. I will say this. One of the keys to attracting the invisible magical forces is to be dedicated to giving your gift.”
“What?” I responded with a jolt. “Giving my gift? What do you mean by a gift?”
“A special God-given talent,” rich dad replied. “Something you are the best at. A talent God gave especially to you.”
“And what would that be?” I asked. “There is nothing I know of that I am the best at.”
“Well, you have to find it.”
“Does everybody have one?”
“I’d like to think so,” smiled rich dad.
“If everyone has a gift, why are so many people below average?” I asked.
Rich dad roared with laughter at that question. Finally composing himself, he said, “Because finding your gift, developing your gift, and giving your gift is very hard work. Most people do not want to work that hard.”
Finding Our Gift
After Kim and I had enough money to survive without working, I knew it was time to give back.
In selling our education business, I took the time to design a business that could teach my rich dad’s lessons to more people at lower prices. That was the conception of The Rich Dad Company.
Our mission had begun to give back what we had been given in the form of financial and business education. Our mission was to serve more people, and once we did that, the money poured in like magic, almost from day one.
I sincerely believe the worldwide success of The Rich Dad Company is not due to Kim and me as individuals, but as people dedicated to our missions in life.
When we founded The Rich Dad Company, we did not need to work.
It was not about needing a job.
It was not about needing money.
It was about answering a higher calling. It was about doing a job that needed to be done. If it had been just about the money, there are easier things Kim and I could have done.
Finding your gift is not only about providing something powerful to your world: It is about finding the joy in what you do, while also doing something valuable. And once you find it, you’ll have all the wealth and fulfillment you’ve ever wanted and more.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily