Book Review: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

I read a lot, and lately have been focusing the majority of my reading on books that deal with entrepreneurship and business.  Reading about success stories has always inspired me and kept me motivated to stay hungry.

My father recommended this book to me some years ago so I decided to pick it up and I’m glad I did.  The book is a very easy read and Kiyosaki’s writing style is quite easy to understand.  You can tell he writes in a very similar manner to the way he talks, so he doesn’t come off as sounding like a pompous prick or arrogant douche bag.

He more or less talks about his life as a child, and how he had two fathers; his actual biological dad and the father of one of his good friends.

His actual biological father was extremely well educated and specialized.  He continued to study for advanced degrees so that he could acquire pay raises and live what he thought was a more secure financial life.  However his father never got ahead financially, and was for the most part living from paycheck to paycheck.

The father of his good friend was somewhat different.  He did not hold any advanced degrees, but he was a business owner and extremely wealthy.  Everything that his biological father told him to do was the complete opposite of what his good friend’s father would tell him.

It’s interesting to see the completely different dynamics of the two fathers.  The one who has the specialized degrees sounds very much like what the “majority” of the population strive to become.  While the millionaire/wealthy father was completely different.

He also talks about how investments, and how the way you spend money falls into two basic categories; assets and liabilities.

An asset is anything that produces income for you, such as a business, while a liability is something that costs you money.  Your cars, house etc.  He makes a great point of stating how most people tend to think that their home is an asset when it in fact is not.  Unless you own that home free and clear, and have built equity in it, it’s not an asset but a liability.  You are constantly pumping money into it for repairs, mortgage payments, taxes and so on.

All in all I thought it was a great book and an easy read, and I definitely recommend it.

Book Cover

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Caffeine Addiction

I seriously need an energy drink sponsor because this shit is getting ridiculous.  I have a mini fridge in my office that I keep stocked with whatever energy drinks happened to be on sale at the local gas station.  Several years ago, what started out as an occasional harmless indulgence of Red Bull, turned into a full blown addiction.  I feel like a fuckin crack head trying to score this shit when my stock is running low.  The brands don’t even matter anymore.  Rockstar, Monster, you name it, I’ve tried it.  

This job can get monotonous at times and I’m not going to lie, it can get boring.  The energy drinks help me stay alert and upbeat when doing sales; which is important.  No one wants to buy something from a mopey salesman.

“Which ones are 2 for $3?  Ok, I’ll take 6 of those please…”

So if any of you have the insiders deal with energy drinks, hook a brother up.  It won’t be forgotten.

I just picked up 4 of these bad boys and am gulping one down right now.  Good times!

Crack

I need a breakout month!

Since I started my company things have been going extremely slow.  I’ve never had an issue with production while working for other people in this industry, but when I decide to work for myself, everything is a pain in the ass.  Go figure.

Its mostly do to a budget issue, and not having enough money to buy adequate leads so I can produce enough business for growth.  Watching my bank account slowly dwindle from 40k to under 4k has been extremely difficult; not to mention, given me hardcore anxiety.

Both months of January and February were expected to be huge, and they completely flopped, which fucked me royally.  I decided to change things up completely with the leads I was getting for March.  Thank god I’m getting my tax refund this month or I do not know if I’d be able to continue onward.  I’m planning on using my tax refund to buy as many leads as possible so there won’t be this issue of not having enough leads to produce adequate business.  As of right now, I just need that one month of breakout production to put me over the top and it needs to be this month.

The new leads start this upcoming Monday so things have been extremely slow this week.  I’m just sitting in my office going crazy, anxiously awaiting the start of next week.  These times are the most difficult to stay motivated, so I try not to over extend the amount of time I’m in the office.  Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem working long hours and busting my ass, but I’m not going to sit at my desk for 12hrs doing absolutely nothing.  When things are rocking and rolling, I have no problem putting in the time.  In the meantime, I’ve cut my hours short this week to help keep my sanity.  Just spending a lot of time in the gym and trying to keep an upbeat and positive outlook so when Monday comes around, I’m ready to kick ass.

You have to work smart and hard, not just hard.  You can run 10 hours on a treadmill and when you are done, you are still in the same spot you started at.  Remember that.

Who am I? Why am I blogging?

I find writing to be therapeutic. A lot of times it’s my only way to vent my thoughts and emotions since my social life is lacking due to a hectic work schedule. I’ve decided to start a blog to document my success, failures, and progress during my attempt to achieve my ultimate goal of becoming a millionaire by the time I turn 30 years old. As I write this, I’m 28 years old…

I graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2005 and immediately moved out west to Arizona to try and make something of myself. The journey has been fucking hell in some instances, but I’m still here pressing forward.

Once I got settled into my new home in Arizona, I got a job working in sales in the “corporate world.” All I can say is that I knew almost immediately that lifestyle wasn’t for me. The people that advanced were the ones that kissed the most asses, and there was nothing but bullshit politics in the office place. Not only that, but I quickly came to the conclusion that I would never earn the type of income I desired working for someone else. Instead I was making my employer all the money, while I was living paycheck to paycheck. From that point forward I knew I was going to start my own business and be my own boss. I just did not know how it was all going to happen or what I was going to do; but the decision had been made.

While working for my employer I became friends with a coworker who was feeling the same way I was, and we decided to go into business together. My first business venture! I was extremely excited. We started a real estate investment company, and I quit my job and began working at the new office that we had rented.

Long story short, the business did not end up working out. Call it divine intervention or just poor timing, but shortly after we started our company, the real estate market crashed. I had invested nearly 30k of my own money into it and had to take it as a loss. I spent the next couple of years struggling before I ultimately declared bankruptcy in December of 2008.

Looking back at that whole experience, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It taught me a lot about myself and was a valuable learning experience. You will never know what it’s like to be in that situation unless you go through it yourself. There is simply no way to describe it.

Just one quick example: I remember at one time, I was so broke, that I had $6 to buy myself groceries for an entire week. My checking account was at zero, I literally went through my entire car and home searching for loose change, and came up with 6 bucks to last me until payday. I took that money and bought nothing but ramen noodles, and a couple of 50 cent cans of beans. I ate ramen for breakfast, lunch and dinner until I got paid…

After the failure of my first business venture, I got back into the business that I was working in prior to starting my own company. It was sales, and I was good at it, so I made it my goal to work hard and save every penny possible so that I would have money to start my next business venture. While working for my new employer, I helped build their sales staff to 19 employees producing over a million dollars a month in revenue. I was earning about 15k a month in bonuses and saved every single cent. I knew, even though I was earning good money, the time would soon come for me to start my own company.

That time happened in June of 2009. Since then I’ve been 100% self-employed working out of my own small office. Putting in long hours to generate as much sales as possible. There have been some roadblocks and speed bumps, but its heading in the right direction!

And this is where I leave you all… March 2010, 9 months since starting my company, and still struggling but I’m not willing to give up on my vision. My goal is to have 3 to 5 employees working for me by the end of the year, and to be generating 50k in monthly sales before 2011.

I close my eyes everyday and think about the lifestyle I want to live, the things ill own, the freedom I’ll have, and it’s gotten to the point where I almost feel as though I’ve already achieved it. I’m looking forward to keeping you all updated throughout my journey and everything I go through while achieving my ultimate goal; to become a millionaire.

Hopefully you all can find inspiration from my writings, or can learn something from my mistakes and apply these things to your life, so that things may be more enjoyable and fruitful for yourselves.

I will post as I feel I need to, and am looking forward to the next several years!

Make sure you pick the right business partner

It’s a cruel world out there folks and I guarantee you that a person whom you thought was trustworthy will fuck you over in a heartbeat in certain situations; especially when there’s a lot of money involved.

I got fucked over in the past because I have a tendency to be too loyal and trustworthy.  My thought process is that I’d never do that to someone; unfortunately I made the mistake of thinking everyone else had the same mindset.

Building a healthy business relationship with the right person is the key to whether or not you will make it.  You need to surround yourself with people that are supportive, have been through what you are going through, and that can offer guidance (in some instances mentor) you down a road of success.  Self-made millionaires are very rarely 100% self-made.  Generally they’ve met someone along the way or partnered up with someone who helped them achieve their goals.

The job I had prior to starting my own company was manager of a sales force.  I took over an office that was bleeding and about to go under.  At the time I took it over, the business owners were 140k in the red.  I had numerous conversations with one of the owners prior to me being promoted to management about my work ethic and how hard I was willing to work for him.  His response was that if the company took off, he would not forget the individuals who helped it get to that point.  To me, he sounded sincere.

Within 2 months of officially taking over management, I increased production 400%.  I was working 6 days a week 60-70hrs and busting my ass to get this thing going.  I had an override based on my sales reps production, so it was obviously in my best interests to get them producing as much as possible.  The more money they made the owners, the more money I made.  I continued to hire and train sales employees and I took the office from 4 employees to 19 employees within 7 months.  Towards the end of my of my tenure there, the sales force that I built for my employer, was generating over a million dollars a month in sales.

At that time I was extremely excited and took the 3 owners out to lunch.  I felt as though I deserved a raise but did not ask for it.  Instead I asked them what their feelings were on everything and they seemed extremely pleased.

The next couple of months we hit a plateau.  Sales did not go down but they did not increase, and we did not hire any new employees.  We were also having issues with marketing and generating adequate leads for the sales force.  I was not in charge of marketing so that was not my responsibility, however I could tell that the owners were starting to get annoyed at the fact that the sales numbers were not going up.  Only making a million dollars a month on piss poor fucking leads wasn’t good enough for them.

In April of 2009 they called a meeting with me.  I thought it was going to be a discussion of a pay raise and maybe a brain storming session on how we could take the company to the next level.  Unfortunately that’s not what happened at all.

That motherfucker, after telling me to my face on numerous occasions that “you don’t forget to take care of the people that helped you get to where you are,” gave me a pay cut and a demotion.  I was no longer sales manager, but a “team lead.”  They eliminated my override almost completely(which is how I made the majority of my money) and cut my salary, all while informing me that I’d more or less have the same job responsibilities as the sales manager.  They brought in someone else who they felt was more qualified to take over the management position, after I busted my ass building their company in the first place.

I turned in my resignation papers the following day.

So what’s the moral of this story?  People will fuck you over in a heartbeat.  They will stab you in the back the first chance they get, and people change when there’s money involved.  Make sure you know who you are dealing with when it comes to business, whether it’s a partner or boss, because it’s a fucked up world out there and people only care about one thing; themselves.

Make it a point that when you conduct business you don’t fall into that trap.  When you say you are going to do something, fucking do it.  And always stand by your word.  People may not like it but they will respect you anyways and you will find that you will attract business partners who have a similar mindset; which is who you want to be doing business with in the first place.

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