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Robert Kiyosaki a.k.a Rich Dad

Employee vs. Entrepreneur Part 3:
Can Anyone Be an Entrepreneur?

An excerpt from Robert Kiyosaki's latest book, Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job

Rich Dad wanted his son and me to understand that anyone could be an entrepreneur. Being an entrepreneur was not that special. He did not want the idea of being an entrepreneur to go to our heads. He did not want us looking down on anyone or thinking we were better than other people if we became successful entrepreneurs.

To this he said, "Anyone can be an entrepreneur. Your neighborhood babysitter is an entrepreneur. So was Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Anyone with a little initiative can be an entrepreneur. So don't think entrepreneurs are special or better than other people. Your job is to decide which entrepreneur you most want to be like-the babysitter or Henry Ford? They both provide a valuable product or service. Both are important to their customers. Yet they operate in very different spectrums, different bandwidths of entrepreneurship. It's like the difference between sandlot football, high school football, college football, and professional football."

With that example, I understood the point rich dad was making. When I was in college in New York, playing college football, our team had the opportunity to practice with a few players from a professional football team, the New York Jets. It was a very humbling experience. It was soon obvious to all of us on the college football team that while we played the same game as the pro players, we were playing it at a completely different level of play.

As a linebacker, my first rude awakening was trying to tackle a New York Jets running back coming through the line. I doubt if he even knew I hit him. He ran right over me. It felt like I was trying to tackle a charging rhino. I did not hurt him but he definitely hurt me. That running back and I were about the same size. But after trying to tackle him, I realized the difference was not physical. It was spiritual. He had the heart, the desire, and gift of natural talent to be a great player.

The lesson I learned that day is that we both played the same game, but we were not playing at the same level of play. The same is true in the business world and the game of entrepreneurship. We can all be entrepreneurs. Being an entrepreneur is not that big a deal. A better question to be asked in designing a business is, "At what level of play do you want to play the game?"

Today, older and wiser, I do not have illusions that I would ever be as great an entrepreneur as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Steven Jobs, or Walt Disney. Yet I can still learn from them and use them as mentors and role models. And that is rich dad's entrepreneurial lesson #1: "A successful business is created before there is a business."

The most important job of an entrepreneur is to design the business before there is a business.

Laying the Foundation for Success-Design the Business

Most new entrepreneurs get excited about a new product or an opportunity they think will make them rich. Unfortunately, many of them focus on the product or opportunity rather than invest the time designing the business around the product or opportunity. Before quitting your job, it might be a good idea to study the lives of entrepreneurs and the different types of businesses they created. Also you might want to find a mentor who has been an entrepreneur. All too often, people ask business advice from people who have business experience as an employee but not as an entrepreneur.

Later in this book, we will introduce the B-I Triangle, which outlines what components are required to create any business, regardless if it is big or small, franchise or individually owned, Mom and Pop or publicly owned. Once a person understands the different components that make up a business it becomes much easier to design businesses as well as evaluate good ones and bad ones.

Also, we always recommend keeping your daytime job while starting a part-time business-not for the money but for the experience. That means, even if your part-time business does not make any money, you are gaining something far more important than money-real life experience. Not only will you learn about business, you will learn a lot about yourself.

A Bonus

One of the reasons for the success of The Rich Dad Company was that the business was started by three already successful entrepreneurs, Sharon, Kim and me. Each of us brought our own experiences and perspectives to the team. Sharon came from the background of the proverbial A student, a certified public accountant who had migrated into the realm of entrepreneurship. She had started and grown several companies of her own prior to starting The Rich Dad Company with Kim and me. As a bonus for you, Sharon will provide her unique perspective and will share her own insights and experiences related to each lesson.

SHARON'S INSIGHTS
Lesson #1: A Successful Business Is Created Before There Is a Business.

The path to entrepreneurship is like a trek through the wilderness. If you want to survive and successfully reach your destination you must prepare beforehand. Before you go hiking through the woods, you pack carefully to make sure that you have all of the things you need to survive the trip. You think about the obstacles and dangers that you are likely to encounter. You check the weather report. You make sure you bring the right clothing, equipment, food, and water. The journey into entrepreneurship requires the same sort of careful planning. What preparation is necessary to put yourself in the best position to succeed?

  • You start by being sure that you have the right mind-set-that you think like an entrepreneur instead of an employee.

  • You do your homework-study the market, your target customers, and the competition.

  • You identify the skills needed for a successful business in that market, and assemble a team of co-venturers and advisors that provide the skills you need.

  • You identify some advantage over the competition and ways to distinguish yourself from them in the minds of potential customers.

  • You put together a business plan mapping out your route to success.

  • You lay the proper legal foundation for your business. What do we mean by legal foundation? Here are some examples:

    • You choose a form of legal entity for the business that provides the best limitation of liability and minimizes taxes (refer to Garrett Sutton's Rich Dad Advisor book Own Your Own Corporation, Warner Books).

    • You obtain all necessary licenses and permits, making sure that clear and complete written agreements are in place to avoid any future misunderstandings.

    • You put the appropriate legal protections in place so that you can sustain your competitive advantage. As my husband, Michael Lechter, puts it: You build a fort around your intellectual property so that you can fight off the spoilers and pirates among your competitors (refer to Michael's Rich Dad Advisor book Protecting Your #1 Asset, Warner Books).
Discuss & Learn:  We hope this article was meaningful to you, and we invite you to participate in a special Thought Leaders discussion forum available to everyone logged into the Rich Dad Global Community. Follow this link to the forum and immediately acquaint yourself with the Code of Honor.  Discover what this learning experience holds for you.

Enter the forum here:  Employees vs. Entrepreneurs Forum

 

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Learn more about Kiyosaki's Best Selling Book: Rich Dad 2 - The Cashflow Quadrant 

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