The Power of Heroes image

The Power of Heroes

Why the Rich Understand Emulation is the Secret to Success

When I was a kid, I greatly admired Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, and Yogi Berra. They were my heroes. I wanted to be just like them. I collected their baseball cards, and I knew all their stats—the RBI's, the ERA's, and the batting averages. I knew how much they got paid and their story coming up from the minors.

As a young child, when I stepped up to the plate or played in the field, I wasn't me. Rather, I pretended I was my heroes. As adults, we often lose the ability to pretend, even to dream, but the truth is that emulating our heroes is one of the best ways we learn. As adults, we lose our heroes, and that's to our disadvantage.

Modern day heros

Today, I watch young kids playing basketball by my house. On the court, they're not little Johnny. They're pretending to be someone else, someone better than they are. They understand what most of us forget: copying and emulating our heroes is one of the best ways we learn.

Now that I'm older, I have new heroes. I have golf heroes, and I copy their swings and do my best to read everything I can about them. I also have business and investing heroes such as Donald Trump, Warren Buffett, Steve Jobs, Peter Lynch, George Soros, and Jim Rogers. I know their stats just like I knew the stats of my favorite baseball players as a kid. I follow what they invest in and how they build their businesses. I read everything I can about them and by them. I want to emulate how they invest and how they negotiate deals.

Just as I wasn't me when I was up to bat as a child, when I'm investing in the market or negotiating a deal, I subconsciously act with the bravado of Trump. When I analyze a trend, I look at it as though I were Warren Buffett. By having heroes, we tap into a tremendous source of raw genius—and we make it our own.

The Power of Emulation

One of the most powerful phrases in human history is, "If they can do it, so can I."

Rather than think something is too hard to accomplish, the rich understand that it's important to find those who make it look easy and to follow their lead.

The rich have heroes, and they emulate them. The funny thing is, when you do that, you often become someone else's hero in the process. That is the power of emulation.

Who are your heroes? Who does what you want to do and makes it look easy? Get to know everything about them and begin copying what they do. That's an integral part of financial education.

Today, your heroes may be different than mine. Perhaps you admire Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, or Marissa Mayer. Each generation has its own heroes. The point is not who they are but what they do. And if they can do it, so can you. Eventually, you'll find your own style, but no one starts ready for the majors. The good news is that you can and will get where you want to be. We all just need a little help—and a little hope—along the way.

Begin by checking out Rich Dad’s free, financial education community here for more information.

Original publish date: March 12, 2013

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