By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine
Real estate entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki calls two men “Dad.” His natural father was a diligent former civil servant whose middling pay and business failures seemed incongruous with his advanced education. His best friend’s father (and Kiyosaki’s mentor), became a multimillionaire, despite dropping out of high school. Kiyosaki believed that the different ways the two men viewed money largely accounted for the disparity in their financial fortunes. He contrasted the lessons that he learned from each in his best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In the sequel, CASHFLOW Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to Financial Freedom, (Warner Books, 2000. $17.95) Kiyosaki (with Sharon L. Lechter) continues to explore how perspectives on money subconsciously affect our chances for financial success.
The four quadrants in the book’s title are the four basic types of workers: employees, self-employed, business owners, and investors. While Kiyosaki contends that it’s possible to become rich in any of the quadrants, he believes that the business owner and investor quadrants are the best places to get ahead. These quadrants produce wealth more easily because other people are working to make your money grow. Kiyosaki also believes that since your quadrant is a reflection of your core values about money and life, successfully moving into the high-wealth quadrants requires a major shift in attitude.
An important element in making this transition, says Kiyosaki, is to change your cash flow allocations—it’s not what you make (the inflow); it’s what you spend and what you save that matter. No matter how much money you make or how hard you work, your financial future looks bleak until you start building your assets for tomorrow. The idea of working smarter, not harder, is hardly a ground-breaking concept, but the book does raise interesting points in describing how our preconceptions can prevent us from recognizing opportunity and keep us from focusing on our own long-term financial goals.
But making the decision to invest your money is just the first step toward wealth; you have to invest smart. “Most people invest 95 percent with their eyes and only 5 percent with their minds,” Kiyosaki’s rich dad advised him on a real estate deal. In other words, people buy emotionally instead of rationally. In Kiyosaki’s case, it was a hot property “too good to pass up.” But he had failed to ask all the pertinent questions about the terms of the deal. Consequently, his hot property would soon have became a cold fish. His rich Dad helped him to restructure the deal so that it would become profitable. The book doesn’t provide much in-depth advice on analyzing specific types of investments, but it does sketch out the fundamental issues you need to keep in mind.
Writing in an conversational, anecdote-laden style, Kiyosaki makes a persuasive case for the idea that achieving financial success depends on rethinking your views about money. Fear holds people back, he says. They limit their financial success because they are unwilling to take a gamble. But simple willingness to take a risk does not immediately translate to financial independence. It also requires an awareness of the means through which you are spending and earning money.
Although Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant may oversimplify some points, its basic idea—that our conception of money influences how much wealth we accumulate—is worthwhile. Its most valuable role is not as a step-by-step blueprint for running your life, but rather as a compass to evaluate whether your personal financial strategy is taking you in the right direction. Just remember, father knows best… as long as you pick the right one.
By Christopher M. Leporini, REALTOR® Magazine
Do you feel like your life is frittered away by detail? By the time you’ve put out four “for sale” signs, copied the home inspection report six times, and picked up Junior at soccer practice, is it any wonder you don’t have the energy left to do any long-range planning to improve your market share? What you need to do is simplify.
There is genius in simplicity, claims Ron Chénier. His book, How to Become an Entrepreneurial Genius! Your Blueprint to More Money, More Respect and More Freedom is a guide to reducing selling and marketing to its basic elements. Writing at the point where feel-good and how-to intersect, the author packs lots of sales tips, motivational advice, and strategic insights into a slender volume.
At the heart of the book is the idea that you are nothing without goals. After all, as Chénier points out, if you take an idiot and motivate him, all you have is a motivated idiot. The author teaches you how to design, then execute your goals by developing a plan on which to base your personal and financial success.
Real estate professionals should find Chapter 3, “How to Maximize Your Growth,” especially helpful in improving selling skills. Chénier points out that some people mistakenly equate salesmanship with pressuring or manipulating customers. In fact, selling comes down to solving problems, he says. Excellent service, not real estate, is your real product. A key component of this service is developing a solution specifically tailored to your client’s needs. For example, you should now know such issues as what type of house buyers can afford, any special financial needs they might have, and how quickly they need to relocate.
But even sound research requires a good presentation. Chénier reminds you how your wording can subconsciously influence your clients. For example, he says, people hate to talk about “buying” but love to talk about “owning.” Stressing phrases such as “investment” vs. “cost,” or “OKing an agreement” vs. “signing a contract” creates a lower-pressure atmosphere for your presentation.
The book also contains quite a bit of feel-good material, including reprints of inspirational pieces from other authors. One story, “Obvious Adams,” by Robert R. Updegraff, focuses on a marketing “genius,” whose solutions always seemed so obvious to others… once he’s thought of them. Chéiner also provides scores of motivational quotes that can help get you through those tough selling periods.
Overall, the book provides a crash course in the essentials of selling. Much of this information is commonsensical, but useful, such as the author’s observation that the most important step in gaining instant respect is to become genuinely interested in your clients. If you’re looking for a one-book source to remind you about selling basics, you’ve come to the right place.