Robert Kiyosaki : Rich Dad Poor Dad
“Name 1 self help book that has literally changed your life” my good friend Karen piped during a dinner with another friend. “Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad!” I exclaimed.
The 2 of them looked at each other for 3 seconds and suddenly burst out laughing. “Nobody would rate Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad as a life changing book! I’ve read it, it’s nice but in my opinion, it’s too hyped up.” Karen took a sip from the cup of cappuccino on the table in front of her “And besides, I don’t believe in any book promoting materialism.”
Seriously, it wasn’t the first time that I’d heard nasty comments about Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad Poor Dad. If you do a search for “Robert Kiyosaki” in Google, you’ll probably come across a few sites that condemn this book. In fact, there is this pretty impressive article written by John T. Reed that literally crucify Kiyosaki and seem to imply many parts of his book as a compilation of lies.
Now, if this book is really that bad, why did millions of readers (including myself) who had bought his book, still read it?
Who is Robert Kiyosaki?
The first time I get to see Robert Kiyosaki in person was in 2005 when he came down to Singapore for an Asia world tour. A roly poly man in his late fifties, Kiyosaki first shot to fame in 1997 when he published his famous paperback Rich Dad Poor Dad. Since then, he has written 18 books with a combined sale of over 26 million copies. I must admit I wasn’t too overly impressed with his performance during the world tour seminar. The whole talk seemed more like a sales pitch for his other workshops and books than anything motivational or inspiring, a very different experience from what I’ve gone through reading his books.
Prior to becoming an author and motivational speaker, Robert Kiyosaki served in the Marine Corps as a helicopter gunship pilot during the Vietnam War. In 1974, he left the Marine Corps and landed in a sales position with Xerox Corporation selling copier machines. His first success in the business world came with a company started in 1977, which sells the first Nylon and Velcro “surfer” wallets. Competition was stifle and he was forced to close down the business.
In the early 1980s, however, Robert Kiyosaki had to declare bankruptcy after a failed business venture to sell licensed T-shirts for Heavy Metal rock bands. He became homeless.
Against all odds, he decided to tap into the buoyant business and investment education industry and started his own company in 1985 that educates students all over the world about financial literacy. In 1994, at the age of 47, Robert Kiyosaki sold his business and officially “retired”. Around 1996 or 1997 he formed Cashflow Technologies, Inc. which operates and owns the Rich Dad (and Cashflow) brand.
Coinciding with the books, Robert Kiyosaki also invented a board game for the financially illiterate, Cashflow 101, which is the first of two board games designed to educate people about accounting, investing and finance, with Cashflow for Kids being the second game.
What’s the Rich Dad Poor Dad Story About?
Robert Kiyosaki starts by narrating his childhood story about the 2 Dads that he had: his real Dad, a highly educated academic who followed strict conventions, principles and felt that one should get a good education, a job for a higher earned income and so on; his best friend’s Dad who taught him principles about “making money work for you”, which evidently became the fundamentals in the book.
Personally, I felt one of the reasons why this book is a success is because it puts across financial concepts simple enough for the man on the streets to comprehend. If you choose to digest this story as if it’s a fictional novel, you’ll probably enjoy it as much as I do.
Here’s my 2 cents worth about Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad:
If You Are Expecting A Step by Step Winning Formula To Getting Rich,
cast this book away, because you will likely be disappointed. However, the thought provoking concepts will probably inspire you to think out of the box and search for the “ways” yourself. Well, at least that was what it had done for me. Not only did I finish the book within 2 days, I’ve noticed a paradigm shift in my mindset towards certain values in my life. For example, previously I thought the only way to gainfully succeed was to slog your guts out on a job and endure somewhat unrealistic deadlines or demands that your boss was piling onto you, at the expense of losing sleep or precious time with loved ones. Now, come to think of it. It’s sad. We break our health to earn wealth only to use this wealth to gain back our health when we are old?
Be Prepared for A Reality Check
as you may find yourself much poorer than you think you are. Why? Because Robert Kiyosaki will tell you that your home is a liability instead of an asset and if your expenses are more than your income, you are having a negative cash flow every month that will leave you stranded in the “rat race”.
This Book Is Not Just About Money
It talks about making money work for you through a carefully researched financial education so that you have more time to manage other personal areas of your life. This underlying message is the main reason why I actively promote this book. Life is not just about money, but the value of what money can bring to us, especially time. Time to “be there” for your kids through their growing up years, time to care for your elderly parents, time to spend on weekday escapades with your spouse etc.
At the end of the day, how you infer from Robert T. Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad Poor Dad really depends on how aligned his concepts are with your values. For me, there’s more to life than money, and that is what struck a chord.
Read it and decide for yourself.