Rich dad would tell me that there are many ways a person can become rich, and each one has a price.
1. You can become rich by marrying someone for his or her money.
And we all know what that price is. Rich dad would scrunch up his face and say, "Both men and women marry for money, but can you imagine spending your life with someone you don't love? That is a very high price."
2. You can become rich by being a crook, a cheat, or an outlaw. He would say, "It is so easy to become rich legally. Why would people want to break the law and risk going to jail unless they really enjoyed the thrill of it all? To risk going to jail is much too high a price for me. I want to be rich for my freedom, so why risk going to jail? I would lose my self-respect. I could not face my family and friends if I were doing something illegal. Besides, I am a bad liar. I have a poor memory, and I could not keep track of all my lies, so it is best to just tell the truth. In my opinion, honesty is the best policy."
You can become rich through inheritance. Rich dad would say, "Mike often feels like he did not earn his keep. He wonders if he could have become rich on his own. I have therefore given him very little. I have guided him as I guide you, but it is up to him to create his own wealth. It is important for him to feel he has earned it. Not everyone fortunate enough to inherit money feels that way."
As Mike and I had grown up together, both our families were relatively poor. By the time we were adults, however, Mike's dad had become very rich, while my real dad was still poor. Mike stood to inherit a fortune from his dad, the man I call my rich dad. I was starting with nothing.
4. You can become rich by winning the lottery. All rich dad could say to that was, "It's OK to buy a ticket now and then, but to bet your financial life on winning the lottery is a fool's plan on becoming rich."
Unfortunately, winning the lottery is how many Americans say they plan on becoming rich. Living your life with odds of one in a hundred million is a very high price to pay.
And if you do not have a plan on how to handle the problem of too much money, you will go back to being poor. Recently, there was a story in the paper of a man who won the lottery. He had a great time but was soon so deeply in debt that he considered filing bankruptcy. He was doing fine financially before he won the lottery. So to solve his problem, he went out and played the lottery again—and won. This time, he has financial advisors helping him with his money. So the moral of the story is: If you win the lottery once have a plan for the money. Not too many people win it twice.
You can become rich by being a movie star, a rock star, a sports star, or someone outstanding in one field or another. Rich dad would say, "I am not smart, talented, good looking, or entertaining. So becoming rich by being outstanding is not realistic forme."
Hollywood is filled with actors who are broke. Clubs are filled with rock bands dreaming of cutting a gold record. The golf courses are filled with golfers dreaming of becoming a pro like Tiger Woods. However, if you look closely at Tiger Woods, you will notice that he paid a high price to get to where he is today. Tiger started playing golf at the age of 3 and did not turn pro until he was 20. His price was 17 years of practice.
6. You can become rich by being greedy. The world is filled with people like this. Their favorite saying is: "I got mine and I am going to keep it." Greedy with their money and assets usually means they are also tight with other things. When asked to help other people, or to teach other people, they often do not have the time.
The price for being greedy is that you have to work even harder to keep what you want. Newton's Law states, "For every action there is a reaction." If you're greedy, people will respond to you in kind.
When I meet people who are having a tough time with money, I ask them to start giving money away on a regular basis—to their church or favorite charity. Following the laws of economics and physics, give what you want. If you want a smile, first give a smile. If you want a punch, first throw a punch. If you want money, first give some money. For greedy people, opening up their fist or wallet can be very hard to do.
7. You can become rich by being cheap. This is the one that set rich dad's blood boiling. He said, "The problem with becoming rich by being cheap is that you are still cheap. The world hates rich people who are cheap. That is why people hated the character Scrooge in Charles Dickens' famous story, 'A Christmas Carol.'" Rich dad would say, "It is people who become rich like Scrooge that give the rich a bad name. To live poor and die poor is a tragedy. But to live poor and die rich is insanity."
After he calmed down, he would say, "I think money is meant to be enjoyed, so I work hard, my money works hard, and I enjoy the fruits of our labor."
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