A Word on Success

A Word on Success

How what we say informs how we live

“If you want to see a person’s past, present, and future, just listen to his or her words.” – Rich dad

Many people like to say, “It takes money to make money.” Rich dad believed nothing was further from the truth.

“The idea that it takes money to make money is one of the worst ideas there is, especially if a person wants more money,” he said.

Rather, rich dad believed that what it took to make money was something everyone had access to—something completely free but very valuable: Rich dad believed it took words.

Listen carefully

The power of words to make one successful is one of the more counterintuitive things my rich dad taught me. To drive it home, he gave me an assignment to go to dinner with my poor dad and listen to what he said, the words he used, and the message behind them.

After the dinner, rich dad asked what I heard. The basic premise that I heard from my poor dad was, “I’ll never be rich.” I explained how I realized I’d heard him say this nearly my whole life.

Words have power

Other things my poor dad used to say were things like:

  • “Do you think money grows on trees?”
  • “Do you think I’m made of money?”
  • “The rich don’t care about people like I do.”
  • “Money is hard to get.”
  • “I’d rather die happy than rich.”

My poor dad talked like a schoolteacher. He used words like:

  • Test scores
  • Grants
  • Grammar
  • Literature
  • Government appropriations
  • Tenure
  • Security
  • Safe

Conversely, my rich dad talked like a businessman. He used words like:

  • Cap rate
  • Financial leverage
  • Producer price index
  • Profits
  • Cash flow

“It doesn’t take money to make money,” said rich dad. “It takes words. The difference between those who are rich and those who are poor is their financial vocabulary. And the best news is words are free.”

Increase your vocabulary

During the 1980’s, I spent a lot of time teaching entrepreneurship and investing. Rich dad’s lesson on the power of words became evident to me. I was acutely aware of people’s vocabulary and how their words related to their financial well-being.

Words represent knowledge. Success in a certain investment begins with increasing your financial vocabulary in that subject.

In school, lawyers learn the vocabulary of law, medical doctors learn the vocabulary of medicine, and teachers learn the vocabulary of education.

Most people, however, are not taught or do not learn the financial vocabulary of investing, finance, money, accounting, corporate law, and taxation. Given that it’s an absolute certainty that these things will impact a person’s entire life, that borders on criminal.

Start your financial education

Kim and I started The Rich Dad Company to help people increase their financial vocabulary through financial education.

One reason I created my tabletop game, CASHFLOW, was to familiarize people with a financial vocabulary. Kim and I could only reach so many people with our seminars. It’s not just a game; it’s a seminar in a box (well, now an app too).

In all our games and apps, people quickly learn the relationships behind the words of accounting, business, and investing. By repeatedly playing the games and using the apps, the players learn the true definition of misused words such as asset and liability.

Other ways you can increase your financial education is through books, seminars, classes, and coaches. All of which are a modest cost for the value they can return.

Sometimes, I get blasted for pushing my own products and services. That’s fine. My ultimate goal is to spread financial education. If a person gets it through a local class or coach and not my own products and services, I whole-heartedly encourage you to check them out.

Ultimately, the world is better served with financially educated people – no matter where they received their education.

Change your vocabulary. Change your life. I encourage you to start now.

Original publish date: April 01, 2014