To be an Entrepreneur is to be a Fighter: What cage will you climb into?
If I had to summon up what "entrepreneurism" meant to me in one word, it would be FREEDOM! It’s a different kind of freedom than the average person knows and one that most people never get to experience because they never give themselves permission to do so.
Let me give you a little background on myself. I grew up in a small city called Hazel Park, which is right next to Detroit, Michigan. At age 12, I visited a martial arts school, and was hooked after trying out a class. From that moment on, martial arts became my passion. I wanted to train it day in and day out.
Shortly afterwards, I was introduced to my first ever UFC® (Ultimate Fighting Championship) event on TV and I immediately knew that was my calling. At that moment, my dream to fight in the cage of the UFC, and become the UFC World Champion, was planted in my soul.
My parents divorced when I was young. Even though many wouldn’t think it, I was fortunate enough to consider having both a stepfather and my biological father in my life as a privilege. Neither one of them had an advantage starting out their lives.
Even though I consider each of them as my "father," they had totally different views on money and overall success.
My biological father believes in being an employee, working a 9-5 job, and collecting a paycheck at the end of the week. He has been a roofer since he was 16-years-old and is hoping to retire by the age of 55 so he can collect his pension.
My father worked hard for his money, sometimes so hard that his body was banged up and completely exhausted. Even though he worked extremely hard, it always seemed he only had just enough money to get by.
One of his favorite sayings was, "Son, we are survivors. No matter how hard it gets, we will always make it through." Those words have stuck with me ever since. Those words provided me with an attitude of hard work and the determination that nothing will ever get me down.
On the other hand, my stepfather believed in being his own boss, building a business, and having people work for him. I remember my stepfather working early in the morning out of our garage, which he had converted to a small auto repair shop – or “The Shop” as he liked to call it.
Over the years, I saw him build his business from that small garage in our house into a bigger building. He continued to improve his auto repair business and used it as a springboard to add separate, successful businesses.
As my stepfather started making extra money with The Shop, I noticed him do something very interesting with his money. He started to buy real estate investment properties and rent them out to people that needed a place to live.
Growing up, my family never had regular discussions about money. In hindsight, it wasn’t needed because I could see the different mentalities in each of my fathers’ daily habits.
As years passed, different lifestyles emerged from both fathers.
My real father always lived paycheck to paycheck and never seemed to have any freedom to enjoy the pleasures of life. He always depended on his job for security.
My stepfather gradually became more financially free and had the freedom to do whatever he wanted, such as: Spending time with family, going on vacations, and restoring old muscle cars.
My stepfather has been financially free for years. He is the perfect picture of health, very positive, and enjoying the fruits of life. My real father is worn out and hoping to retire in the next year I believe their health and outlook on life are a result of their financial choices.
Both of my fathers are great men and raised me with lots of love and comfort, which is all I believe a kid could ask for. Eventually, I made a choice to follow in my stepfather’s path when it came to money, investing, and business.
When it came down to it, I wanted a life of abundance not scarcity. I wanted to thrive, not just survive. I wanted a life of freedom and to be able to do what I love on a daily basis.
I wanted to be able to chase my wildest dreams whether that meant a nice house on the beach, being able to spend time with my family, being able to help people in need, or becoming a UFC World Champion. I’m sure there are a few of you who have similar aspirations.
When I read Rich Dad Poor Dad, the points that really hit home with me were "The rich don't work for money" and "The rich invent money." Just like many of you I’m sure, I’ve seen from my own personal experience that many people only have one thought in their mind: "Get a job."
Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a job - as long as you understand it is not the end-all-be-all of your financial journey. I made a choice many years back to invest in my own financial intelligence. That meant I looked up to mentors who had taken a path I wanted to be on, researched anything on the subject of money, read countless books, and, most importantly, took small steps to apply what I had learned.
My favorite investment vehicle these days is real estate. I love everything about it because of the leverage it provides. I could talk or think about it for hours, but we’ll save that for another day.
Just like rich dad, I truly believe that my brain is my greatest asset and I’m always looking to make it stronger.
I take the same approach to my career of being a fighter in the UFC. The name of the game is evolution and I am always trying to learn new skills to make me a better fighter so I have a competitive edge. Sometimes these skills are physical and other times they are mental.
The UFC has given me a unique platform to make some money with my fighting skills and it is because of the Rich Dad philosophy that I will keep that money and ensure it is working hard for me! My strategy has been, and will continue to be, buy assets with my earned income, keep track of my financial statement, and continue my financial education.
I took the dream in my head of fighting in the UFC and worked incredibly hard until it manifested itself into reality! I took my thoughts and made them a reality through hard work, courage, guidance (by mentors), and faith. To me, this is what Robert Kiyosaki is talking about when he said, "The rich invent money."
I have made many mistakes on my journey to financial freedom. I continue to make mistakes and the biggest one is allowing the "poor voice" inside my head take over. It’s the voice that tells me, "I can't afford that. I can't do that. Who are you to want or deserve that?”
This voice has cost me numerous opportunities that had the potential to improve my life. I still battle this poor voice. With each investment and each business deal, I am learning and gaining the confidence to squash that poor voice.
I know that my dreams of one day achieving financial freedom are worth the fight. I use courage and make my personal decisions on a daily basis to live my life - and to not allow the "poor voice" live it for me.
I know freedom is something worth fighting for. Just as our Founding Fathers fought for the freedom of this country, I will continue to fight for my own financial freedom!
No matter where you come from, no matter what you’ve experienced, it’s your attitude and determination that will decide the level of success you can achieve. Whether it’s starting your own side business, being a full-on entrepreneur, an investor, or even a fighter, whatever “cage” you decide on, pursue it with everything you’ve got!
With the tools Rich Dad has provided me, and with my own personal experiences, I know I'm on the right path to follow in the wonderful footsteps of Robert and Kim Kiyosaki.
Note from Rich Dad:
Myles Jury is 14-0 in the UFC and continues to test himself. He is putting his undefeated record on the line against one of Japan’s most popular fighters in PRIDE MMA, Takanori Gomi, this Saturday, September 20th. Tune in Live or watch the Replay on www.UFC.tv.
In addition to his real estate investments, Myles Jury has created his own brand and affiliate company. Check out www.TheTeamFury.com and www.JuryJJ.com for more information.
Myles was a guest on The Rich Dad Radio Show with Robert Kiyosaki.