Today I want to tell you about what I believe is the most dangerous investing lie of all. I've got my gloves off and I'm going to come out swinging, because I want to smack this lie square in the face. The lie is simply this: “It takes money to make money.”
Even though the world is filled with example after example of people who started with nothing and have created tremendous wealth, many people still believe this lie. Even though we know if we took a billionaire like Richard Branson and stripped him of all his wealth, he would become wealthy again… and even though there's evidence all around us to the contrary, there are still scores of people who believe it takes money to make money.
Why is this lie such a big problem? Because it steals a person's hope. If I have no money and I choose to believe this lie, then in my view all is lost. So many people these days feel that without money they have no power. They feel trapped in the rat race because they feel that money is the key to escape. And without that key, they believe they have a life sentence. My heart goes out to these people not because they're short on cash, but because they feel hopeless. My heart goes out to them because they're looking in the wrong place.
Another danger that this lie throws on the world is that it can make some people bitter. It makes them feel that other people have a big advantage over them. So instead of being inspired by the success of others, they tend to hate them. And instead of gaining confidence knowing that they can also achieve success, they see the achievements of others as impossible obstacles.
When coaching my third grader's basketball team, I like to inspire them with this saying: "One evidence of pure teamwork is finding joy in the success of your teammate."
Some people who feel frustrated because they have no money are robbed of joy by their envy of other successful people. The lie can steal your social sunshine, leaving too many days cold and gray.
But this is probably the most dangerous trap of all: many people use it as an excuse to not work to improve their investing. So instead of moving forward, bit by bit, they decide to stop their progress. Then, gradually, they slide backwards into laziness.
Yet the moment we admit that it does not take money to make money, we are giving ourselves new power. If we choose to sit on the sidelines and refuse to run into the game, that's now our choice -- it’s NOT our fate.
If a billionaire had all her wealth taken away, she would almost certainly gain it all back again, probably faster than before, because now she knows how to get to the starting line much more quickly than when she first started.
I've traveled the world extensively both as a student and a teacher of financial literacy. I've had the unique opportunity to speak face-to-face with thousands upon thousands of people who were eager to improve their lives. I have come to realize that the vast majority of people who are starving for financial information are starting their investing journey with virtually nothing.
To those who may be in this same situation of having no money to invest, remember this: most people who are self-made success stories are hard workers. They work hard to accomplish their dreams. They work hard on their mission. The rich don't work for money, but they do work to learn. In the book Rich Dad Poor Dad you'll find that those are the first and last lessons of the book. So an essential personal characteristic we can develop is that willingness to work and learn.
I love when Robert pushes us to get comfortable being uncomfortable. For many people, starting their journey of investing can be very uncomfortable. But getting comfortable with new kinds of activities that will help us achieve our goals can make all the difference. It might look like something as simple as making a business phone call rather than a social phone call. A simple difference, but a huge shift in context -- to realize that becoming rich has to do with my willingness to make a phone call and nothing to do with how much money is in my bank account.
Imagine what the starting line looked like for Rich Dad Advisors Josh and Lisa Lannon. Once they were clear on their mission, they started making phone calls to raise money because they didn't have any of their own. They realized that the world is full of wealthy people always looking for investing opportunities. So they developed a plan to begin creating a rich new life even though they had virtually no money to start with.
I've often heard Robert Kiyosaki say that "entrepreneurs solve problems." So the life of an entrepreneur is all about tackling problems head on and solving them. The rich get rich not because they have money, but because they roll up their sleeves and slay dragons one at a time. Yes, some of those dragons breathe fire. I know this because I've been vaporized before. These learning experiences are severe, but they also offer huge rewards.
I haven't learned all the secrets of the rich yet. But I've learned many of them through making mistakes and by learning from mentors like my fellow Rich Dad Advisors. I know that it takes willingness and work to make good things happen. And I can say with 100% confidence that it does not take money to make money.
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