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Rich Dad Poor Dad Chapter 8 – Overcoming Obstacles

Rich Dad Poor Dad is a book written by American businessman, author and investor Robert Kiyosaki in 2000. It advocates financial independence and building wealth through value investing, real estate investing, starting and owning businesses, as well as increasing one’s financial intelligence to improve one’s business and financial aptitude. Read the first chapter here

Once people have studied and become financially literate, they may still face roadblocks to becoming financially independent. There are five main reasons why financially literate people may still not develop abundant asset columns. Asset columns that could produce large sums of cash flow. Asset columns that could free them to live the life they dream of, instead of working full time just to pay bills. The five reasons are:

1. Fear.
2. Cynicism.
3. Laziness.
4. Bad habits.
5. Arrogance.

Reason No. 1. Overcoming the fear of losing money. I have never met anyone who really likes losing money. And in all my years, I have never met a rich person who has never lost money. But I have met a lot of poor people who have never lost a dime…investing, that is..The fear of losing money is real. Everyone has it. Even the rich. But it’s not fear that is the problem. It’s how you handle fear. It’s how you handle losing. It’s how you handle failure that makes the difference in one’s life. That goes for anything in life, not just money. The primary difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they handle that fear.

It’s OK to be fearful. It’s OK to be a coward when it comes to money. You can still be rich. We’re all heroes at something and cowards at something else. My friend’s wife is an emergency room nurse. When ; she sees blood, she flies into action. When I mention investing, she runs away. When I see blood, I don’t run. I pass out. My rich dad understood phobias about money. “Some people are terrified of snakes. Some people are terrified about losing money. Both are phobias,” he would say. So his solution to the phobia of losing money was this little rhyme: “If you hate risk and worry. . .start early.”

That’s why banks recommend savings as a habit when you’re young. If you start young, it’s easy to be rich. I won’t go into it here, but there is a large difference between a person who starts saving at age 20 versus age 30. A staggering difference.

It is said that one of the wonders of the world is the power of compound interest. The purchase of Manhattan Island is said to be one of the greatest bargains of all time. New York was purchased for $24 in trinkets and beads. Yet, if that $24 had been invested, at 8 percent annually, that $24 would have been worth more than $28 trillion by 1995, Manhattan could be repurchased with money left over to buy much of L.A., especially at 1995’s real estate prices.

My neighbor works for a major computer company. He has been there 25 years. In five more years he will leave the company with $4 million in his 401k retirement plan. It is invested mostly in high-growth mutual funds, which he will convert to bonds and government securities. He’ll only be 55 when he gets out, and he will have -a passive cash flow of over $300,000 a year, more than he makes from his salary. So it can be done, even if you hate losing or hate risk. But you must start early and definitely set up a retirement plan, and you should hire a financial planner you trust to guide you before investing in anything.
But what if you don’t have much time left or would like to retire early? How do you handle the fear of losing money?

My poor dad did nothing. He simply avoided the issue, refusing to discuss the subject.

My rich dad, on the other hand, recommended that I think like a Texan. “I like Texas and Texans,” he used to say. “In Texas, everything is bigger. When Texans win, they win big. And when they lose, it’s spectacular.”

“They like losing?” I asked.

“That’s not what I’m saying. Nobody likes losing. Show me a happy loser, and I’ll show you a loser,” said rich dad. “It’s a Texan’s attitude toward risk, reward and failure I’m talking about. It’s how they handle life. They live it big. Not like most of the people around here, living like roaches when it comes to money. Roaches terrified that someone will shine a light on them. Whimpering when the grocery clerk short changes them a quarter.”

Rich dad went on to explain.

“What I like best is the Texas attitude. They’re proud when they win, and they brag when they lose. Texans have a saying, “If you’re going to go broke, go big. You don’t want to admit you went broke over a duplex. Most people around here are so afraid of losing, they don’t have a duplex to go broke with.”

He constantly told Mike and me that the greatest reason for lack of financial success was because most people played it too safe. “People are so afraid of losing that they lose” were his words.

Fran Tarkenton, a one-time great NFL quarterback, says it still another way: “Winning means being unafraid to lose.”

In my own life, I’ve noticed that winning usually follows losing. Before I finally learned to ride a bike, I first fell down many times. I’ve never met a
golfer who has never lost a golf ball. I’ve never met people who have fallen in love who have never had their heart broken. And I’ve never met someone rich who has never lost money.

So for most people, the reason they don’t win financially is because the pain of losing money is far greater than the joy of being rich. Another saying in Texas is, “Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but no one wants to die.” Most people dream of being rich, but are terrified of losing money. So they never get to Heaven.

Rich dad used to tell Mike and me stories about his trips to Texas. “If you really want to learn the attitude of how to handle risk, losing and failure, go to San Antonio and visit the Alamo. The Alamo is a great story of brave people who chose to fight, knowing there was no hope of success against overwhelming odds. They chose to die instead of surrendering. It’s an inspiring story worthy of study; nonetheless, it’s still a tragic military defeat. They got their butts kicked. A failure if you will. They lost. So how do Texans handle failure? They still shout, ‘Remember the Alamo!'”

Mike and I heard this story a lot. He always told us this story when he was about to go into a big deal and he was nervous. After he had done all his due diligence and now it was put up or shut up, he told us this story. Every time he was afraid of making a mistake, or losing money, he told us this story. It gave him strength, for it reminded him that he could always turn a financial loss into a financial win. Rich dad I knew that failure would only make him stronger and smarter. It’s not that! he wanted to lose; he just knew who he was and how he would take a loss. He would take a loss and make it a win. That’s what made him a winner and others losers. It gave him the courage to cross the line when others backed out. “That’s why I like Texans so much. They took a great failure and turned it into a tourist destination that makes them millions.”

But probably his words that mean the most to me today are these: “Texans don’t bury their failures. They get inspired by them. They take i their failures and turn them into rallying cries. Failure inspires Texans to ‘ become winners. But that formula is not just the formula for Texans. It j is the formula for all winners.”

Just as I also said that falling off my bike was part of learning to ride. I remember falling off only made me more determined to learn to ride. Not less. I also said that I have never met a golfer who has never lost a ball. To be a top professional golfer, losing a ball or a tournament only inspires golfers to
be better, to practice harder, to study more. That’s what makes them better. For winners, losing inspires them. For losers, losing defeats them.
Quoting John D. Rockefeller, “I always tried to turn every disaster ‘ into an opportunity.”

And being Japanese-American, I can say this. Many people say that Pearl Harbor was an American mistake. I say it was a Japanese mistake. From the movie Tora, Tora, Tom, a somber Japanese admiral says to his cheering subordinates, “I am afraid we have awakened a sleeping giant.” “Remember Pearl Harbor” became a rallying cry. It turned one of America’s greatest losses into the reason to win. This great defeat gave America strength, and America soon emerged as a world power.

Failure inspires winners. And failure defeats losers. It is the biggest secret of winners. It’s the secret that losers do not know. The greatest secret of winners is that failure inspires winning; thus, they’re not afraid of losing. Repeating Fran Tarkenton’s quote, “Winning means being unafraid to lose.” People like Fran Tarkenton are not afraid of losing because they know who they are. They hate losing, so they know that losing will only inspire them to become better. There is a big difference between hating losing and being afraid to lose. Most people are so afraid of losing money that they lose. They go broke over a duplex. Financially they play life too safe and too small. They buy big houses and big cars, but not big investments. The main reason that over 90 percent of the American public struggles financially is because they play not to lose. They don’t play to win.

They go to their financial planners or accountants or stockbrokers and buy a balanced portfolio. Most have lots of cash in CDs, low-yield bonds, mutual funds that can be traded within a mutual-fund family, and a few individual stocks. It is a safe and sensible portfolio. But it is not a winning portfolio. It is a portfolio of someone playing not to lose.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s probably a better portfolio than more than 70 percent of the population, and that’s frightening. Because a safe portfolio is a lot better than no portfolio. It’s a great portfolio for someone who loves safely. But playing it safe and going “balanced” on your investment portfolio is not the way successful investors play the game. If you have little money and you want to be rich, you must first be “focused,” not “balanced.” If you look at anyone successful, at the start they were not balanced. Balanced people go nowhere. They stay in one spot. To make progress, you must first go unbalanced. Just look at how you make progress walking.

Thomas Edison was not balanced. He was focused. Bill Gates was not balanced. He was focused. Donald Trump is focused. George Soros is focused. George Patton did not take his tanks wide. He focused them and blew through the weak spots in the German line. The French went wide with the Maginot Line, and you know what happened to them.

If you have any desire of being rich, you must focus. Put a lot of your eggs in a few baskets. Do not do what poor and middle class people do: put their few eggs in many baskets.

If you hate losing, play it safe. If losing makes you weak, play it safe. Go with balanced investments. If you’re over 25 years old and are terrified of taking risks, don’t change. Play it safe, but start early. Start accumulating your nest egg early because it will take time.

But if you have dreams of freedom-of getting out of the rat race- the first question to ask yourself is, “How do I respond to failure?” If failure inspires you to win, maybe you should go for it-but only maybe. If failure makes you weak or causes you to throw temper tantrums-like spoiled brats who call an attorney to file a lawsuit every time something does not go their way-then play it safe. Keep your daytime job. Or buy bonds or mutual funds. But remember, there is risk in those financial instruments also, even though they are safer.

I say all this, mentioning Texas and Fran Tarkenton, because stacking the asset column is easy. It’s really a low-aptitude game. It doesn’t take much education. Fifth-grade math will do. But staking the asset column ‘J is a high-attitude game. It takes guts, patience and a great attitude toward failure. Losers avoid failing. And failure turns losers into winners.” Just remember the Alamo.

Reason No. 2. Overcoming cynicism. “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” Most of us know the story of “Chicken Little,” who ran around warning the barnyard of impending doom. We all know people who are that way. But we all have a “Chicken Little” inside each of us.

And as I stated earlier, the cynic is really a little chicken. We all get a little chicken when fear and doubt cloud our thoughts.

All of us have doubts. “I’m not smart.” “I’m not good enough.” “So ‘$ and so is better than me.” Or our doubts often paralyze us. We play the “What if?” game. “What if the economy crashes right after I invest?” Or “What if I lose control and I can’t pay the money back?” “What if things don’t go as I planned?” Or we have friends or loved ones who will remind us of our shortcomings regardless of whether we ask. They often say, “What makes you think you can do that?” Or “If it’s such a good idea, how come someone else hasn’t done it?” Or “That will never work. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” These words of doubt often get so loud that we fail to act. A horrible feeling builds in our stomach. Sometimes we can’t sleep. We fail to move forward. So we stay with what is safe and opportunities pass us by. We watch life passing by as we sit immobilized with a cold knot in our body. We have all felt this at one time in our lives, some more than others.

Peter Lynch of Fidelity Magellan mutual fund fame refers to warnings about the sky falling as “noise,” and we all hear it.

“Noise” is either created inside our heads or comes from outside. Often from friends, family, co-workers and the media. Lynch recalls the time during the 1950s when the threat of nuclear war was so prevalent in the news that people began building fallout shelters and storing food and water. If they had invested that money wisely in the market, instead of building a fallout shelter, they’d probably be financially independent today.

When the riots broke out in Los Angeles a few years ago, gun sales went up all over the country. A person dies from rare hamburger meat in Washington State and the Arizona Health Department orders restaurants to have all beef cooked well-done. A drug company runs a national TV commercial showing people catching the flu. The ad runs in February. Colds go up as well as sales of their cold medicine.

Most people are poor because when it comes to investing, the world is filled with Chicken Littles running around yelling, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” And Chicken Littles are effective because everyone of us is a little chicken. It often takes great courage to not let rumors and talk of doom and gloom affect your doubts and fears.

In 1992, a friend named Richard came from Boston to visit my wife and me in Phoenix. He was impressed with what we had done through stocks and real estate. The prices of real estate in Phoenix were depressed. We spent two days with him showing him what we thought were excellent opportunities for cash flow and capital appreciation.

My wife and I are not real estate agents. We are strictly investors. After identifying a unit in a resort community, we called an agent who sold it to him that afternoon. The price was a mere $42,000 for a two-bedroom townhome. Similar units were going for $65,000. He had found a bargain. Excited, he bought it and returned to Boston.

Two weeks later, the agent called to say that our friend had backed out. I called immediately to find out why. All he said was that he talked to his neighbor, and his neighbor told him it was a bad deal. He was paying too much.

I asked Richard if his neighbor was an investor. Richard said “no.” When I asked why he listened to him, Richard got defensive and simply said he wanted to keep looking.

The real estate market in Phoenix turned, and by 1994, that little unit was renting for $1,000 a month-$2,500 in the peak winter months. The unit was worth $95,000 in 1995. All Richard had to put down was $5,000 and he would have had a start at getting out of the rat race. Today, he still has done nothing. And the bargains in Phoenix are still here; you just have to look a lot harder.

Richard’s backing out did not surprise me. It’s called “buyer’s remorse,” and it affects all of us. It’s those doubts that get us. The little 1 chicken won, and a chance at freedom was lost.

In another example, I hold a small portion of my assets in tax lien certificates instead of CDs. I earn 16 percent per year on my money, which certainly beats the 5 percent the bank offers. The certificates are secured by real estate and enforced by state law, which is also better than most banks. The formula they’re bought on makes them safe. They just lack liquidity. So I look at them as 2 to 7-year CDs. Almost every time I tell someone, especially if they have money in CDs, that I hold my money this way, they will tell me it’s risky. They tell me why I should not do it. When I ask them where they get their information, they say from a friend or an investment magazine. They’ve never done it, and they’re telling someone who’s doing it why they shouldn’t. The lowest I yield I look for is 16 percent, but people who are filled with doubt are willing to accept 5 percent. Doubt is expensive.

My point is that it’s those doubts and cynicism that keep most people? poor and playing it safe. The real world is simply waiting for you to get rich. Only a person’s doubts keep them poor. As I said, getting out of the rat race is technically easy. It doesn’t take much education, but those doubts are cripplers for most people.

“Cynics never win,” said rich dad. “Unchecked doubt and fear creates a cynic. Cynics criticize, and winners analyze” was another of his favorite sayings. Rich dad explained that criticism blinded while analysis opened eyes. Analysis allowed winners to see that critics were blind, and to see opportunities that everyone else missed. And finding what people miss is key to any success.

Real estate is a powerful investment tool for anyone seeking financial independence or freedom. It is a unique investment tool. Yet, every time I mention real estate as a vehicle, I often hear, “I don’t want to fix toilets.”

That’s what Peter Lynch calls “noise.” That’s what my rich dad would say is the cynic talking. Someone who criticizes and does not analyze. Someone who lets their doubts and fears close their mind instead of open their eyes.”

So when someone says, “I don’t want to fix toilets,” I want to fire back, “What makes you think I want to?” They’re saying a toilet is more important than what they want. I talk about freedom from the rat race, and they focus on toilets. That is the thought pattern that keeps most people poor. They criticize instead of analyze.

‘I don’t wants’ hold the key to your success,” rich dad would say.

Because I, too, do not want to fix toilets, I shop hard for a property manager who does fix toilets. And by finding a great property manager who runs houses or apartments, well, my cash flow goes up. But more importantly a great property manager allows me to buy a lot more real estate since I don’t have to fix toilets. A great property manager is key to success in real estate. Finding a good manager is more important to me than the real estate. A great property manager often hears of great deals before real estate agents do, which makes them even more valuable.

That is what rich dad meant by ” ‘I don’t wants’ hold the key to your success.” Because I do not want to fix toilets either, I figured out how to buy more real estate and expedite my getting out of the rat race. The people who continue to say “I don’t want to fix toilets” often deny themselves the use of this powerful investment vehicle. Toilets are more important than their freedom.

In the stock market, I often hear people say, “I don’t want to lose money.” Well, what makes them think I or anyone else likes losing money? They don’t make money because they chose to not lose money. Instead of analyzing, they close their minds to another powerful investment vehicle, the stock market.

In December 1996,I was riding with a friend past our neighborhood gas station. He looked up and saw that the price of oil was going up. My friend is a worry wart or a “Chicken Little.” To him, the sky is always going to fall, and it usually does, on him.

When we got home, he showed me all the stats as to why the price of oil was going to go up over the next few years. Statistics I had never seen before, even though I already owned a substantial share block of an existing oil company. With that information, I immediately began looking for and found a new undervalued oil company that was about to find some oil deposits. My broker was excited about this new company, and I bought 15,000 shares for 65 cents per share.

In February 1997, this same friend and I drove by the same gas station, and sure enough, the price per gallon had gone up nearly 15 percent. Again, the “Chicken Little” worried and complained. I smiled because in January 1997, that little oil company hit oil and those 15,000 shares went up to more than $3 per share since he had first given me the tip. And the price of gas will continue to go up if what my friend says is true.

Instead of analyzing, their little chicken closes their mind. If most people understood how a “stop” worked in stock-market investing, there would be more people investing to win instead of investing not to lose. A “stop” is simply a computer command that sells your stock automatically if the price begins to drop, helping to minimize your losses and maximize some gains. It’s a great tool for those who are terrified of losing.

So whenever I hear people focusing on their “I don’t wants,” rather than what they do want, I know the “noise” in their head must be loud. Chicken Little has taken over their brain and is yelling, “The sky is falling and toilets are breaking.” So they avoid their “don’t wants,” but they pay a huge price. They may never get what they want in life.

Rich dad gave me a way of looking at Chicken Little. “Just do what Colonel Sanders did.” At the age of 66, he lost his business and began to live on his Social Security check. It wasn’t enough. He went around, the country selling his recipe for fried chicken. He was turned down 1,009 times before someone said “yes.”

And he went on to become a multimillionaire at an age when most people are quitting. “He was a brave and tenacious man,” rich dad said of Harlan Sanders.
So when you’re in doubt and feeling a little afraid, just do what Col. Sanders did to his little chicken. He fried it.

Reason No. 3. Laziness. Busy people are often the most lazy. We have all heard stories of a businessman who works hard to earn money. He works hard to be a good provider for his wife and children. He spends long hours at the office and brings work home on weekends. One day he comes home to an empty house. His wife has left with the kids. He knew he and his wife had problems, but rather than work to make the relationship strong, he stayed busy at work. Dismayed, his performance at work slips and he loses his job.

Today, I often meet people who are too busy to take care of their wealth. And there are people too busy to take care of their health. The cause is the same. They’re busy, and they stay busy as a way of avoiding something they do not want to face. Nobody has to tell them. Deep down they know. In fact, if you remind them, they often respond with anger or irritation.

If they aren’t busy at work or with the kids, they’re often busy watching TV, fishing, playing golf or shopping. Yet, deep down they know they are avoiding something important. That’s the most common form of laziness. Laziness by staying busy.

So what is the cure for laziness? The answer is a little greed.

For many of us, we were raised thinking of greed or desire as bad. “Greedy people are bad people,” my mom use to say. Yet, we all have inside of us this yearning to have nice things, new things or exciting things. So to keep that emotion of desire under control, often parents found ways of suppressing that desire with guilt.

“You only think about yourself. Don’t you know you have brothers and sisters?” was one of my mom’s favorites. Or “You want me to buy you what?” was a favorite of my dad. “Do you think we’re made of money? Do you think money grows on trees? We’re not rich people, you know.”

It wasn’t so much the words but the angry guilt-trip that went with the words that got to me.

Or the reverse guilt-trip was the “I’m sacrificing my life to buy this for you. I’m buying this for you because I never had this advantage when I was a kid.” I have a neighbour who is stone broke, but can’t park his car in his garage. The garage is filled with toys for his kids. Those spoiled brats get everything they ask for. “I don’t want them to know the feeling of want” are his everyday words. He has nothing set aside for their college or his retirement, but his kids have every toy ever made. He recently got a new credit card in the mail and took his kids to visit Las Vegas. “I’m doing it for the kids,” he said with great sacrifice.

Rich dad forbade the words “I can’t afford it.”

In my real home, that’s all I heard. Instead, rich dad required his children to say, “How can I afford it?” His reasoning, the words “I can’t afford it” shut down your brain. It didn’t have to think anymore. “How can I afford it'” opened up the brain. Forced it to think and search for answers.

But most importantly, he felt the words “I can’t afford it” were a lie. And the human spirit knew it. “The human spirit is very, very, powerful,” he would say. “It knows it can do anything.” By having a lazy mind that says, “I can’t afford it,” a war breaks out inside you. Your spirit is angry, and your lazy mind must defend its lie. The spirit is screaming, “Come on. Let’s go to the gym and work out.” And the lazy mind says, “But I’m tired. I worked really hard today.” Or the human spirit says, “I’m sick and tired of being poor. Let’s get out there and get rich.” To which the lazy mind says, “Rich people are greedy. Besides it’s too much bother.

It’s not safe. I might lose money. I’m working hard enough as it is. I’ve got too much to do at work anyway. Look at what I have to do tonight. My boss wants it finished by the morning.”

“I can’t afford it” also brings up sadness. A helplessness that leads to ‘ despondency and often depression. “Apathy” is another word. “How can I afford it?” opens up possibilities, excitement and dreams. So rich dad , was not so concerned about what you wanted to buy, but that “How can ‘f j I afford it?” created a stronger mind and a dynamic spirit.

Thus, he rarely gave Mike or me anything. Instead he would ask, “How can you afford it?” and that included college, which we paid for ourselves. It was not the goal but the process of attaining the goal we desired that he wanted us to learn. The problem I sense today is that there are millions of people who feel guilty about their greed. It’s an old conditioning from their childhood. Their desire to have the finer things that life offers. Most have been conditioned subconsciously to say, “You can’t have that,” or ;

“You’ll never afford that.”

When I decided to exit the rat race, it was simply a question. “How can I afford to never work again?” And my mind began to kick out answers and solutions. The hardest part was fighting my real parents’ dogma of “We can’t afford that.” Or “Stop thinking only about yourself.” Or “Why don’t you think about others?” and other such words designed to instill guilt to suppress my greed.

So how do you beat laziness? The answer is a little greed. It’s that radio station WII-FM, which stands for “What’s In It-For Me?” A person needs to sit down and ask, “What’s in it for me if I’m healthy, sexy and good looking?” Or “What would my life be like if I never had to work again?” Or “What would I do if I had all the money I needed?” Without that little greed, the desire to have something better, progress is not made. Our world progresses because we all desire a better life. New inventions are made because we desire something better. We go to school and study hard because we want something better. So whenever you find yourself avoiding something you know you should be doing, then the only thing to ask yourself is “What’s in it for me?” Be a little greedy. It’s the best cure for laziness.

Too much greed, however, as anything in excess can be, is not good. But just remember what Michael Douglas said in the movie Wall Street. “Greed is good.” Rich dad said it differently: “Guilt is worse than greed.

For guilt robs the body of its soul.” And to me, Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right-for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

Reason No. 4. Habits.
Our lives are a reflection of our habits more than our education. After seeing the movie Conan, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, a friend said, “I’d love to have a body like Schwarzenegger.” Most of the guys nodded in agreement.

“I even heard he was really puny and skinny at one time,” another friend added.

“Yeah, I heard that too,” another one added. “I heard he has a habit of working out almost every day in the gym.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet he has to.”

“Nah,” said the group cynic. “I’ll bet he was born that way. Besides, let’s stop talking about Arnold and get some beers.”

This is an example of habits controlling behavior. I remember asking my rich dad about the habits of the rich. Instead of answering me outright, he wanted me to learn through example, as usual.

“When does your dad pay his bills?” rich dad asked.

“The first of the month,” I said.

“Does he have anything left over?” he asked.

“Very little,” I said.

“That’s the main reason he struggles,” said rich dad. “He has bad habits.”

“Your dad pays everyone else first. He pays himself last, but only if he has anything left over.”

“Which he usually doesn’t,” I said. “But he has to pay his bills, doesn’t he? You’re saying he shouldn’t pay his bills?”

“Of course not,” said rich dad. “I firmly believe in paying my bills on time. I just pay myself first. Before I pay even the government.”

“But what happens if you don’t have enough money?” I asked. “What do you do then?”

“The same,” said rich dad. “I still pay myself first. Even if I’m short of money. My asset column is far more important to me than the government.”

“But,” I said. “Don’t they come after you?”

“Yes, if you don’t pay,” said rich dad. “Look, I did not say not to pay. I just said I pay myself first, even if I’m short of money.”

“But,” I replied. “How do you do that'”

“It’s not how. The question is ‘Why,'” rich dad said.

“OK, why?”

“Motivation,” said rich dad “Who do you think will complain louder if I don’t pay them-me or my creditors?”

“Your creditors will definitely scream louder than you,” I said, responding to the obvious. “You wouldn’t say anything if you didn’t pay yourself.”

“So you see, after paying myself, the pressure to pay my taxes and the other creditors is so great that it forces me to seek other forms of income. The pressure to pay becomes my motivation. I’ve worked extra jobs, started other companies, traded in the stock market, anything just to make sure those guys don’t start yelling at me. That pressure made me work harder, forced me to think, and all in all made me smarter and more active when it comes to money. If I had paid myself last, I would have felt no pressure, but I’d be broke.”

“So it is the fear of the government or other people you owe money I to that motivates you?”

“That’s right,” said rich dad. “You see, government bill collectors are big bullies. So are bill collectors in general. Most people give into these bullies. They pay them and never pay themselves. You know the story of the 96-pound weakling who gets sand kicked in his face?”

I nodded. “I see that ad for weightlifting and bodybuilding lessons in the comic books all the time.”

“Well, most people let the bullies kick sand in their faces. I decided to use the fear of the bully to make me stronger. Others get weaker. Forcing myself to think about how to make extra money is like going to the gym and working out with weights. The more I work my mental money muscles out, the stronger I get. Now, I’m not afraid of those bullies.

I liked what rich dad was saying. “So if I pay myself first, I get financially stronger, mentally and fiscally.”

Rich dad nodded.

“And if I pay myself last, or not at all, I get weaker. So people like bosses, managers, tax collectors, bill collectors and landlords push me around all my life. Just because I don’t have good money habits.”

Rich dad nodded. “Just like the 96-pound weakling.”

Reason No. 5. Arrogance. Arrogance is ego plus ignorance. I “What I know makes me money. What I don’t know loses me money. Every time I have been arrogant, I have lost money. Because when I’m arrogant, I truly believe that what I don’t know is not important,” rich dad would often tell me.

I have found that many people use arrogance to try to hide their own ignorance. It often happens when I am discussing financial statements with accountants or even other investors. They try to bluster their way through the discussion. It is clear to me that they don’t know what they’re talking about. They’re not lying, but they are not telling the truth.

There are many people in the world of money, finances and investments who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about. Most people in the money industry are just spouting off sales pitches like used-car salesmen. When you know you are ignorant in a subject, start educating yourself by finding an expert in the field or find a book on the subject.

Continue to Chapter 9

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