I have read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” several times and with each reading, I discover a new lesson that I missed in the previous readings. For those who have constantly followed updates on this business blog, you will come to acknowledge the fact that I don’t review books until I have read and consider that book worthy and its lessons practicable to be shared with you.
If the lessons of a book hit me so hard, then I just go ahead and do multiple reviews on it highlighting all the lessons learned. I have read a lot of business books that challenged my spirit and I have reviewed two of these books here on these blog; which are “The Mafia Manager” and “Rich Dad Poor Dad.”
I have done a lot of review on the Rich Dad series and other business books but I think it’s high time I share a more personal experience focusing on the impact of such books in my life. Before I go into explaining the details of how Rich Dad Poor Dad affected my life, let me give a brief overview of the book just in case you are hearing of it for the first time.
Rich Dad Poor Dad is a personal finance book that teaches financial literacy in a very easy to understand manner. The author of this book “Robert Kiyosaki” took a complex subject and broke it down in a layman’s term; he made accounting and financial literacy fun to learn.
However, the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and its author “Robert Kiyosaki” have come under heavy criticism; thereby making the book one of the most controversial books in history. While a lot have been said about the book and its author; I think two critics caught my attention. One was John T. Reed and the other was an unknown member of a forum in which I belong. You can read their criticisms below:
- John T. Reed’s analysis of Robert T. Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Rich Dad Poor Dad: An Impractical Book
I want to state clearly that I am not here to challenge, criticize or support the ideas published in the book but to share my candid experience of its impact in my life. I first read the book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” based on recommendation from a female friend.
After reading the book and seeing a drastic transformation in my life; it baffled me to see the friend who recommended the book to me still remain the same. I know many people also share the same situation with this friend of mine.
Before I go further, I want to share my reading strategy with you. I don’t read books to challenge or support the author’s opinion; I read with an open mind to learn and apply the lessons learned to my life. So whether the author is a scam, racist or whatsoever; I don’t really care. The lessons are more important to me than the author.
How Rich Dad Poor Dad Changed my Life
There are several ways “Rich Dad Poor Dad” affected my life but I am going to share only a few. Most people have argued that the ideas contained in Rich Dad Poor Dad are impracticable in some countries and economy.
While I can’t attest or contest that fact, I want to say that I am a Nigerian and yet, I found the ideas of the Rich Dad Poor Dad very applicable to my life and environment. Now how has the book “Rich dad Poor dad” changed my life? You are going to find out below.
1. I began to challenge conventional wisdom
I grew up in an environment where the subject of education was held in high esteem. Coming from a strict Christian family, I was groomed under the strict supervision of my parents. I wasn’t exposed to social life the way most of my peers were, so I was focused academically. I remember coming either first or second position in class primary school and was occasionally awarded the best student of the year.
My parents were happy because they could see a bright future; on my part, I began to nurse the dream to become an engineer. Along the line, I came across Rich Dad Poor Dad and I began to see a different side of the world I never knew existed; the world of money.
After my contact with Rich dad Poor dad, I began to ask questions; I began to challenge conventional wisdom. “Why, how, where, what and when became my most frequently used words. I began to challenge the wisdom of my parents; after reading Rich Dad Poor Dad, I knew other answers existed that were way out of the scope of my parents.
It thrilled me to discover that a subject existed where I could outsmart my parents and that subject was money and financial literacy. I wanted to know why I was given only the option of going to school when other options existed. I wanted to know if success in life was limited only to getting a college degree, getting a good job and earning a decent salary.
I began to question the cash flow pattern of my family. While these questions were important to my young mind; it occasionally put me on a head to head collision with my dad. Our discussions mostly ended in heated arguments because my dad wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I was challenging his wisdom and thinking pattern but over time, my dad’s respect toward me increased.
I attribute my courage to ask questions and challenge the laid down conventional wisdom to the empowerment I received from the book “Rich dad Poor dad.” If not for Rich Dad Poor Dad, I would have been subjected to a way of life and thinking pattern without knowing that other options existed.
2. My core value changed
After reading Rich dad poor dad, my core value changed. I began to value freedom over security; and as my core value changed, so also did my friends change. I wasn’t excited any longer by the talk of earning a college degree and getting a good job. I was more interested in taking charge of my life; I was more interested in having multiple options to choose from.
And this change in core value affected my relationship with my childhood friends. I was no longer interested in talks about social life and other irrelevant things; I wanted to discuss money and how to attain financial freedom with them but they were not interested in it. So I went searching for friends who share the same core value with me and I came to know that people who value freedom over security are rare.
Finding friends who are interested in attaining financial freedom and discussing the subject of money was a little bit difficult but I am happy to have fewer friends who share the same core value and goal to attain financial freedom. Thanks to Rich Dad Poor Dad.
3. I broke the rules
After reading Rich Dad Poor Dad several times and pondered deeply on its lessons, I decided to break the rules. I broke away from the path laid down for me by my parents; I decided to take the road less travelled by many.
I want to sincerely state that Rich dad Poor dad aroused my entrepreneurial spirit; I became an entrepreneur after digesting three lessons from Rich Dad Poor Dad which are:
- Mind your own business
- Work to learn, don’t work for money
- The rich invent their own money
These three chapters challenged me to drop out of school to take the entrepreneurial path and even though it did not go down well with my parents; I am proud I took that decision. Today, I am a successful entrepreneur and investor; thanks to Robert Kiyosaki who challenged my thinking pattern.
4. I redefined my life
After reading Rich dad Poor dad, I redefined my lifestyle and thinking pattern. My thinking pattern moved from dependency to taking control; what I mean in essence is that I took charge of my life. I learned to control my emotions and act despite fears. I learned to take calculated risk while others avoid it.
5. I gained greater control over my finances
Another way Rich dad Poor Dad influenced my life is in the area of my personal finance. Prior to reading Rich dad poor dad, I admired individuals who had exclusive cars and live comfortably. I also admired the top corporate employees because I thought they were living the lifestyle of their dream. I associated luxury with wealth until I read Rich dad poor dad.
Reading Rich dad poor dad opened my understanding with respect to knowing the difference between assets and liabilities. I also came to the knowledge that true wealth manifests when assets buy and maintain your luxuries.
Today, before I make any large expenses; I always ask myself: “Am I buying an asset or a liability? And one of the reasons I became an entrepreneur was to build an asset that will help me acquire other assets.
6. I became thirsty for knowledge
I have been a voracious reader right from childhood; thanks to my parents that developed my reading culture. Though I was a voracious reader, my reading was limited to just science subjects but after reading Rich Dad Poor dad; I began reading broad. I read books ranging from business, accounting and economics to personal development and investing.
Rich dad poor dad also made me realize that when it comes to real life skills and experience, I had nothing. This self realization made me attend seminars and workshops while my mates partied. I began to spend time learning things I never knew and before long, I began to prefer the company of my books and tapes than friends because I realized I had a lot to learn.
I also became humble because I realized that I knew nothing; I studied hard all in a bid to develop my real life skills such as public speaking, negotiation, sales, accounting and leadership. Rich dad Poor dad made me realize that school education alone wasn’t enough; so I had to be humble to learn and learn fast.
7. I developed a greater love for my country
This is probably the most important change the book “Rich dad poor dad” brought to my life. As known by every one, the United States has built an image as God’s own country; a land of tremendous opportunities. I also had the perception that Nigeria; my country was saddled with problems and lacked opportunities.
The perception of youths in Nigeria is that you have to go abroad (probably to the U.S, U.K, Canada, Malaysia, Qatar, South Africa, etc) to make it big; and this single perception made those who had the opportunity of going abroad became gods. In fact, they are almost worshipped by their family and friends, just because they have gone overseas and made some bucks.
But after reading Rich dad Poor dad, I came to understand that a country saddled with problems is also a goldmine of opportunities. After reading the book, I began to see the hidden potentials of Nigeria and my patriotism increased; I became an advocate of the need to invest in Nigeria. I thank Robert Kiyosaki for making me realize that you cannot see money with your eyes; rather, money is seen with a trained mind.
As a final note, I want to recommend the book “Rich dad Poor dad” to you; that’s if you’ve not read it. And for those who have gone through the book, I will advice you go back to it; read it again with an open mind and apply its ideas. I bet you that you will see a drastic change in your life and finances.