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Review: Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job by Robert T. Kiyosaki

Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business (Rich Dad's (Paperback))Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: 10 Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business (Rich Dad's by Robert T. Kiyosaki
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is full of general but practical advice on planning, launching, and growing a business. The focus is more on growing a large business than on becoming self-employed. In fact, Kiyosaki seems to view self-employed professionals as underachievers, as if those people fall short by not building large businesses. Kiyosaki speaks a lot from firsthand experience, but he also draws lessons from businesses and entrepreneurs.

I’m a Robert Kiyosaki fan, so despite his low opinion of the self-employed, I found several points to remember as I grow my part-time web design company, OptimWise. With my company, I’m already following his advice to keep your day job but start a side business. I liked the point that the most successful businesses are those on a mission, pursuing a higher calling than profit.

3 skills for a successful business
1. Be able to sell.
2. Attract, build, and motivate a great team.
3. Teach others to sell, be team players, and succeed.

The B-I Triangle
(B is for Business Owner, I for Investor)
The B-I Triangle

Framework
Mission: purpose and direction of business
Team: people with necessary expertise and skills: owners, employees, outside advisors, business partners
Leadership: business owner’s guidance

Levels
Product: goods or services the business sells
Legal: business entity, intellectual property protection, agreements
Systems: processes and procedures: billing, accounting, customer service, etc.
Communications: interaction and relationships within the business, and between business and the world: reputation, PR, marketing, sales
Cash Flow: capital to operate and execute

• Product isn’t the most important; it’s just the top of the pyramid, supported by the foundation.
• Be the expert in one level, and build a team of experts in the others.

3 types of money
1. Competitive money, from competing for jobs, raises, customers, market share, employees.
2. Cooperative money, from cooperating with a business team.
3. Spiritual money, from doing work for a higher calling; not necessarily because you want to do it, but because it must be done and you know you’re the one to do it. It can be because you love the work, or to become the best version of yourself, or because you’re on a mission in life to serve others.

One type of money isn’t better than the others.

Entrepreneurs
• Entrepreneurs aren’t necessarily born; they can be trained.
• Freedom and security are opposites. Entrepreneurs value freedom over security. Entrepreneurs thrive on risk; employees avoid it.
• Entrepreneurship is “the pursuit of opportunity without regard to resources currently controlled.”
• Most entrepreneurs own a job, not a business. If you can’t leave your business for a year, it’s probably a job.

Additional advice
• “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.” This sentiment has become popular with Web 2.0, agile development, and the lean startup movement.
• Don’t fear mistakes. Experiment and learn from failure.
• Be a smart spender rather than a saver. Spend money that makes you money.
• Spend over 50% of your time working on the business’ future. This involves marketing, PR, R&D, strategic partnerships, new deals, and making financial projections.
• Aim to be the most expensive. A higher price is perceived as more valuable. The higher the price, the more precise your marketing must be.

• Successful businesses have a mission, to solve a problem or fill a need. They serve others. To be rich, serve more people.
• Scale the business to become rich. Move from self-employed to big business. Take the “self” out of “self-employed.”

Final tips
• Be willing to ask for help.
• Find a mentor.
• Join an entrepreneur’s network. Find these through the SBA, or chambers of commerce. Consider the Entrepreneur’s Organization.

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