Can You Even Answer This Question?
It’s what I call you “old rules” of money.
My poor dad, who was my natural father, advised that I go to school, get a good job, buy a house, and invest in a diversified portfolio of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
Thankfully, I also had my rich dad, my best friend’s dad. He thought differently about money. He believed in “minding your own business,” by which he meant starting your own business and making money work for you.
Because of my rich dad, I learned how to think about money in terms of business and investing. This made me different from other kids in the neighborhood. I started my first business when I was nine, renting out throw-away comic books with my rich dad’s son.
At the heart of the difference between my rich dad and my poor dad was the different views they had on education. My poor dad believed in academic and professional education. My rich dad believed in financial education.
While I loved and respected my poor dad, who was very well-educated academically and professionally, I knew in my soul I did not want to follow in his footsteps. As a kid and then into my teen years, I studied under my rich dad, who taught me many lessons about money.
Today we’ll talk about the first truth he taught me about becoming rich…
The First Step to Attain a Rich Person Mindset
If you want to be rich, you have to have a reason. My rich dad taught me that comes before everything else.
I knew in my soul I wanted to be wealthy. I knew I wanted a rich lifestyle, not the middle-class existence of my parents. I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to go about becoming rich, but I just knew in my soul I wanted to get there.
Spiritually, I did not want to worship or be a slave to money. That point was crystal clear because my parents had had friends who saved, saved, and saved. They had tons of money, yet they lived frugally, below their means, claiming that money was the root of all evil. To me, this attitude was making money the god they worshiped—or feared.
I simply wanted to be rich, which meant being rich mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Observing my poor dad later in his life gave me a vision of the future. There he was, a highly educated, hard-working, socially responsible man, struggling in his final years working at odd jobs with very little in savings or investments to his name. He was completely dependent upon the government for financial and medical support.
Sadly, in him, I saw the future for my entire generation—the baby-boom generation.
Little did I know that observing my dad’s struggle would one day be the catalyst for my life’s work. My dad’s struggle led me closer to my life’s purpose.
It was the reason for writing Rich Dad Poor Dad, for creating the CASHFLOW® board game and for my efforts to provide financial education throughout the world. Could my vision of the future lead me to my future mission?
What’s Your Reason?
If you ask most people if they want to be rich, they say “yes.” But then reality sets in. They realize it’s a lot of work to become rich. Facing these obstacles, they throw in the towel and take the easy route—getting a job and handing investments over to a broker.
Yet, there are those in life who don’t take the easy route. And there are those who are wildly successful where others aren’t. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful?
The answer is found in a reason.
I found out, as my rich dad did, that I cannot tell anyone how to get rich. I now first ask people why they want to become rich. is a way.” For me, finding my will made finding my way possible. Without the will, the way woWithout a strong enough reason, even the easiest “how to get rich” approach will be too hard. There are many, many ways to get rich, but there are only a few personal reasons why you want to get rich. Find your why, and then you will find your how. As the old saying goes, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” For me, finding my will made finding my way possible. Without the will, the way would have been way too hard.
Studying with R. Buckminster Fuller, he talked about each of us having a purpose to be here on earth—a job to do. He talked about how each of us has a God-given gift and that it was our job to develop our gifts and give our gifts to the world. He was adamant that we weren’t here just to make money. He was certain humans were here on earth to create a world that worked for everyone, not just the rich or those born in Western countries.
Until I met Dr. Fuller, my life seemed meaningless, out of sync with the rest of the world. I was marching to the beat of a different drum. I had always been interested in money, ever since I was a little boy. But in my family, throughout school and into military service, to be interested in the subject of money was a sin, a taboo. It was a very dirty subject.
So for most of my life—except for the times I was with my rich dad—I rarely mentioned money as a subject I was interested in studying.
While I did want to be rich, I was just curious about this subject of money. I truly wanted to know why some people were rich and so many were poor.
I wanted to know why people like my dad claimed not to be interested in money, yet spent his life working for it and complaining that he never had enough of it.
I wanted to know why churches spoke out against the love of money and then pleaded with their congregations to put more money in the offering plate.
Define Your Wants and Don’t Wants
A reason is simply a combination of “wants” and “don’t wants.” My reason for getting rich began with my “don’t wants,” which defined my “wants.”
I don’t want to work all my life. I don’t want what my parents aspired for… job security and a house in the suburbs.
I don’t want to be an employee. I don’t want to be emotionally absent from my family and friends because I’m always working to make ends meet.
Out of these “don’t wants,” I developed my “wants.”
I want to be free to travel the world and to live the lifestyle I love. I want to be young when I do this. I want to be free financially. I want control over my time and my life. I want money to work for me.
Knowing Why Is Only Half the Work
If your reason isn’t strong enough, then the reality of the hard road ahead may be greater than your emotional reasons for getting rich.
I’ve faced many setbacks in my road to riches. I’ve lost a lot of money and seen many deals fall through. I wanted to be financially free by age 40, but it took me until I was 47, with many learning experiences along the way. But through it all, my reasons pulled me through.
Today is the day to determine your reason for getting rich. Make a list of your “don’t wants” and your “wants.” Make sure that your reason is strong and determined. If you find the right reason, I promise that you can find a way to get rich. But it all starts with you.
But that is only half the battle. You have to show up every day, even when you have setbacks. You have to put in the work. If you have a solid reason why you want to be rich and you’re willing to put in the work, you can attain your dreams.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily