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Hi, my name is Igor Kheifets and this is the List Building Lifestyle, the only podcast which delivers cutting edge conversion strategies from the online trenches straight to your earbuds. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at listbuilidnglifestylesshow.com. I also invite you to grab a free copy of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival Guide” at lifebuilidnglifestyleshow.com/survival and now once again it’s time to claim your List Building Lifestyle.
Igor: On March 19, 2007, a young man had an argument with his childhood friend about what it takes to get rich. The boy was only 19 at the time and insisted the only way to become wealth was to go to school, get a degree, get a secure job, and work hard. He was convinced that formal education is the key to riches because that is what his mother told him and he never questioned her. His young friend on the other hand who did not excel in school claimed the best way to become a millionaire wasn’t taught by the public school system and that the only thing they teach in school is how to work hard to make other people rich and to prove it he gave the young man a book with a weird title and said he should read it before they continue their talk. So he did. He read it cover to cover, three times. He couldn’t believe the secrets this book revealed about the rich teach their kids about financial wealth. It completely transformed the way the young man thought about money. It taught him how to think like a rich person. But most importantly, it presented him with a plan to get his family out of the rat race. Armed with this new way of thinking about money against his parents’ wishes, the young man quit school and started a home-based business with $10 in his pocket. He was determined to become a millionaire before he turned 25. The young man had no plan, no start up capital, and no idea what he was doing. He had no mentors. So he had to learn through trial and error. The next three and half years were the most challenging years of his life. He went in and out of debt, failed four different businesses, and even lost a few childhood friends in the process but two month after turning 22, he finally made enough money to quit his day job. He made his first million by the time he turned 25. This young man is me, your host Igor Kheifets. Rich Dad Poor Dad is the title of the book that forever changed my life. I decided to share this story with you because on today’s episode of List Building Lifestyle, I’m hosting none other than the world’s most influential financial literacy activist, a bestselling author, motivational speaker, investor, radio personality, the founder of the Rich Dad company and the man who changed my life, Mr. Robert Kiyosaki. Robert, thank you so much for being here.
Robert: Man, that’s a fantastic intro. You’re a great, great orator and storyteller, great skill sets.
Igor: Thank you. Thank you. That means a lot coming from you. I’m honestly and genuinely excited to host you on my show.
Robert: Well, thank you. I’m excited to talk to you.
Igor: Sweet. So my first question, Robert, the Rich Dad Trilogy has made it to the top of the virtually every bestseller list when it was published. However, in the book you co-authored with Donald Trump, The Midas Touch, you mentioned that nobody wanted to publish it when you wrote it which is why you ended up self- publishing the book. Now most people aren’t willing to deal with such rejection, to the best of my memory, I think you said 24 different publishing houses refused to publish Rich Dad Poor Dad but you never really let this rejection get in the way so this is way more rejection than most people are willing to deal with so I’m curious what’s your secret? How do you deal with that?
Robert: I don’t think it’s any secret. It’s just basic success. Like if I want to be a professional golfer, I’m going to hit probably a million bad shots before I become a good golfer. So there is just this process a person goes through. So I never expected to be a successful author on my first book but I also knew that if I didn’t write and I didn’t try and sell it. I wouldn’t get there anyway. I think that speaks to what most people think is that success should be instantaneous or overnight or should be easy. I don’t know about you but nothing has ever been easy for me. There are things that I enjoy doing which makes it easier but I don’t expect anything to be easy and I know that the more mistakes I make the closer to success I become. For example, I did a video; it was called “A Man Who Could See the Future” and most of my friends criticized it and yada yada yada. It was no fun being criticized but I said, “Well, I’m getting closer to the next video.” I mean that’s all I can say. So I got better at the next one. That’s why business is a team sport. It’s my advisors and all that. I don’t do the video, it’s my personal assistant on this project, Darren Moore but he and I worked together and I had I let bad comments get me down, there wouldn’t have been a second video. So you can’t have a second video without a first video. That’s my kind one step in front of another process. That’s how I get to where I want to go.
Igor: This is very interesting because video marketing is a big part of our industry, right, the list building industry. A lot of people use video to promote their brand to establish themselves and basically allow the audience since we are mostly doing online marketing. It’s really hard sometimes to establish trust so video really helps with that and many people struggle with this same problem, doing the videos. I remember starting doing videos myself, I had a horrible just a horrible like Russian/Israeli accent, I didn’t have any decent video equipment. I think I recorded my first video on an Akai phone. It was just horrible. But today, my videos make me a lot of money and it all started just like you said with that one crappy video.
Igor: I appreciate you sharing that.
Robert: It’s really kind of funny that these guys, they weren’t ripping me apart but they were trying to tell me to quit. I’m going since you suck at what you do, I said, well I didn’t expect to be good at the first one. You know what I mean? I think a lot of people think that you pick up a golf club you start hitting holes in ones. That’s not life. But I don’t know where people are at so I fail until I succeed. That’s the secret to my success.
Igor: This like a very common answer to this question that I hear. Same thing for example from John Carlton when I was interviewing him, he said that the best thing that I could have done was go out there and make every single possible mistake I could make fast to get it out of the way so then I could finally achieve success.
Robert: Yeah, it’s a little bit more than that too. Sometimes you have to do what you don’t want to do for example; I flunked out of school several times because I can’t write. And I still can’t write but it doesn’t mean I don’t write. I write and I have my editor clean it up and all of this but writing is not my natural talent. So there is a whole other part to everything is just not failing but how badly do you want to succeed and which avenue can you get there. I got very, very lucky my first book was a homerun and everybody expects the next book to be a homerun but that’s not the way life works. Sometimes it’s like the Cleveland Cavaliers, the basketball team, they haven’t won in years and now they finally won again but they don’t stop. I think that is the difference. They don’t stop.
Igor: Something to think about there. Okay, so here is another thing I’m personally curious about because I work with a mentor who’s just like you, a Marine, and who also sold Xerox machines. So basically my question is after leaving the Marine Corps, you went into direct sales, you sold all kinds of stuff starting with Xerox machines all the way to Velcro surfer wallets so my question is what made you decide to get into this noble profession, selling and what part did it play in the making of the Rich Dad and the CASHFLOW™ brands?
Robert: Well, if you can’t sell you have no money because sales equals income. So when I meet somebody who has no money, it’s because they can’t sell. Either they can’t sell their services to their boss or they can’t sell a product and it also says something about them that they quit too early. I’ve had more failures. I’ll tell a quick story; one of the reasons I went into the nylon and Velcro surfer wallet business was because this quasi friend of mine borrowed $30,000 from me and back in the ‘70s $30,000 was a lot of money. He said I will pay you 20% interest, this was in Hawaii. So I said in six months you can come and I’ll pay you 20% interest on $30,000 which is $6,000 so I went back after a few months and I said okay I’m here to collect my $36,000, he said I don’t have it. Now I want to kill the guy. At that point, you have no idea what it does to your senses because this guy screws me. I’m stupid. I’ve lost my money. I had this whole wrath of emotional things coming out. I said to my self, this could be the best opportunity of your lifetime, I mean now you have to do something because you’re out of money. I was working at Xerox. I just got screwed. I’m talking to this liar. But how can I make this into something good. So what I did was I quit my job at Xerox and I went to work for this not worthless company. I said, look I’m going to pull you guys out of this mess and that’s how I got into the company. I looked around and the company had these guys, one was an attorney and one was an accountant, they are all smart guys but they couldn’t sell. They were sucking $80,000 salaries. $80,000 back in the ‘70s was a lot of money. These guys sit there with their college degrees and their JDs and CPAs; they think they are God’s gift to humanity or something. I sat there that was one of the biggest lessons I learned. The reason I lost my $30,000 is I loaned it to a company with incompetent arrogant smart people. Then that’s when I got in. The only way I can get my money back is I can fix this company. So that’s how we invented our – or I invented the nylon wallet. I mean they had already done it before but I started the wallet business and the shoe pocket and all this just to get my $30,000 back. Eventually I had to fire the two guys because they were incompetent. They were just like my Poor Dad. If I hadn’t lost my money, I wouldn’t be so smart today. I lost so much respect for the so called academic types who are accountants and attorneys but they can’t sell but they think they are God’s gift to people that think that they are better than you and all this but they can’t sell. The long way of saying is that stupidity was now I got to be successful. I just took over that company and rebuilt it and took it way up and then it crashed again because we were so successful, I couldn’t supply all the demand for our products. So that’s how I got successful. I wish I could say it was because I went to college, I went to Harvard or Oxford and I’m really smart but I just went there and I looked at everything good or bad that happened to me as an opportunity to get smarter. So I started a nylon wallet company because I lost $30,000 loaning it to a company. Now I’m a millionaire because of it. So it’s wonderful stuff.
Igor: Wow! Now my question is – I guess the question that some people are wondering right now hearing this story – were you a natural? Because there is a belief out there that in order to sell well, you have to be a natural.
Robert: Absolutely not. I don’t think that I’m good at anything, Igor. Sometimes I wonder what I’m good at and there is really nothing. [laughter] I write books and I suck at writing books but I sell a lot of books. I sit there and I struggle and I’m in pain when I’m writing. It’s not good. Then when I started to sell, it’s because I had to sell. Because I took over this company which was in Honolulu and once I got rid of the accountant and the attorney then I had employees and that meant that they wanted me to sell so that I could pay them a paycheck. I went holy mackerel. Then I found out how it expensive employees are. So I couldn’t take a paycheck but I had still had to go and sell so I went to what we call a swap meet in Hawaii and I would go out there and sell on Friday and Saturday and I would hustle around town and I would put deals together and all of this and I learned how to hustle. I learned how to hustle to make enough money to pay other people’s salaries and today I’m a rich man because I learned how to hustle. I find out that people with paychecks are some of the most incompetent people because they are not hungry. The best thing about being stupid and lending $30,000 to this company and finding out that it was top heavy with incompetent people then I had to go and pay them salaries is that I learned how to hustle. So if I was out of money which I’m out of a lot of the times, I just go out and hustle make a few dollars and do what I have to do to survive. So I wish I could say that I was a natural and all that but it wasn’t, I had employees to feed and pay their benefits, that’s why I learned. I had to hustle like a wild man.
Igor: The late Zig Ziglar defined income security as the ability to produce which in turn of course means the ability to sell. I honestly believe that anyone who knows how to sell and who well teaches themselves how to sell through trial and error and reading book and studying this art form or science will never struggle for money in today’s economy where everything is based on money exchanging hands. Yet no matter how many times do I have to mention this to people and even to my coaching clients and it doesn’t really matter if they are just friends or coaching clients or whatever, it seems like people have negative feelings about sales and about the whole skill set so did you struggle with that? Did you struggle to educate yourself and just to get okay with selling? Or was it more of a seamless and more streamlined process for you?
Robert: No, I suck at selling. I almost got fired so many times from Xerox. The story that I tell is I went to see my Rich Dad and he says your going to get fired from Xerox, I said yeah. He said how many sales calls are you making a day? I said at best maybe three sales calls a day. He says that’s why you’re not selling is because you’re not failing enough. He said if you want to be successful, you need to make at least 20 sales calls a day. In other words, face rejection 20 times so that is when I was – it was tough at Xerox because I had to knock on doors and we call it cold calling, selling Xerox machines. So I found a job working for free at a non-profit organization sitting on the phone dialing for charity dollars. So my goal was just to get rejected 20 times a night that was it. I didn’t sell anything I just had to make contact with 20 people a night. I did that 3 to 5 nights a week and miraculously my sales went up at Xerox. So failure – I really believe in failing for success. I will say this much, the reason most people are not successful is that they are addicted to that paycheck. The other thing that makes people not successful is to actually sell but they send the money, they sell for. They got to convert the money you sell like when I was selling wallets, I was converting it back into real estate. So the reason that I’m a rich man is because I have tons of real estate. I have assets that produce cash flow. Most sales people, they just sell a couple of shoes or something, they make 50 bucks, and they spend it that’s why they’re not rich. They may be good salesmen but they don’t become rich and in today’s economy, you got to convert your income into assets and then cash flow and that’s the secret to success. So all day long I either making money or I’m investing my money so I have passive income called cash flow. I don’t want to work that hard but I learned how to hustle because I didn’t have a paycheck but I had employees who needed paychecks and today when I talk to people who are successful or unsuccessful most of them have a paycheck and it’s one of the most damaging things you can do yourself because you get comfortable. My wife and I were in Hawaii and we were just talking to a couple about my age and they’re highly educated and all this and all they could talk about was Social Security. Social Security – they were wondering if they would have enough money to retire on. I mean this it’s just not part of my thoughts or my vocabulary but they were just so worried that they got to have that paycheck from the government and that’s why people are not successful. They are not hungry. That’s just my opinion. So I learned to hustle when I came out of the Marine Corps and I had employees to feed and benefits to pay and all that stuff and a company to build. So I learned how to sell because if I didn’t sell there would be nothing. I wouldn’t have an asset. So that’s really kind of my story.
Igor: Thank you for sharing that. Now based on this story, obviously this topic is very dear to your heart, people who kind of refuse to educate themselves about their finances and how to become wealthier. Now why is it in your opinion is it that with such an amazing amount of information and just an abundance of free information that teaches you how to become wealth, how to manage your assets, how to acquire assets, how to get out of the rat race, how come the vast majority of the people walking God’s green earth are still stuck on the left side of that quadrant?
Robert: Well, because most of them went to school and they were taught not to make mistakes. The only way you learn is by making mistakes. I didn’t become a great – hell I played pretty high level All-American football but I practiced five days a week that’s where I made my mistakes, I practiced. If I was going to be a rock n’ roll singer I would rehearse. You know its called practice. But the average person is just too damn comfortable. They have a paycheck, they collect Social Security, and mommy and daddy are going to save them. They don’t enter into what I call the unknown, the dark side. The part where you might fail so the average person just takes that paycheck and then they go and shop, spend it. They are never going to be rich that way, they are just too comfortable. They say when I retire then I will get my Social Security check or my 401K and all this so really, it’s very passive middle class attitude and nothing is going to change. See we have two brains, a primal brain which is when I see a pretty woman, I go primal, or if I’m afraid I go primal. We also have a pre-frontal cortex brain that is called the executive brain. If I’m going to be rich, I have to educate my executive brain so then I take classes, hire coaches and all this and I study and I practice because I’m training my executive brain to overcome my primal brain. Executive brain what is called the pre-frontal cortex is what separates us from dogs. When it comes to money and sex, most people are just dogs. They just sit there and they sniff around and make enough money and get their paycheck. They don’t want to go into the executive brain where they might actually have to think and do things differently, make mistakes and stuff like that. They just keep doing what’s comfortable to do. That’s it.
Igor: Interesting. You know Robert, a few years back you had done an interview with Time Magazine where you were asked whether you quit on a business project. Now your answer was, “I’ve got an unfair advantage. I went to war. I’m alive because other guys died for me. When you see stuff like that how can I quit. Most guys are just wimps, pussies, cowards so they just get a job.” Now my question is how does one get this level of mental strength and the ability to deal with everything that today’s world basically throws at you without having to go to war?
Robert: Well the first thing you can do is join a network marketing company and they will train you or you can just quit your job and then get hungry for awhile and then hit the streets. You know what I mean, there are things you can do. Years and years ago, I used to teach people to be entrepreneurs and the graduation process was men and women came up, they turned in all of their watches, rings, wallets, identification and I threw them on the street could be in Canada or Australia or something like this and they actually had to go out there and do something to earn some money to buy a dinner. So they are out there with no ID, no wallet, nothing, women could not talk to men because you know men are really easy, men will buy them a dinner so women had to talk to women so for a whole night they had stand out there and figure out ways to either to beg, borrow or steal or make promises for some money to buy an elegant dinner. Let’s say I threw 100 people on the streets probably 20 would make it, 80 would fail. Just because the fear was so intense and they never went through that fear so the thing that I say to people is you personally have to look for the next challenge if you want to get ahead. People just do what they know they can do and then they don’t get any better. Every day, you take on a little bit different challenge that you haven’t done before that’s how you get better.
Igor: Wow. Again, I’m noticing that these common threads like for the most part you’re saying get out of your comfort zone, that fear is just an illusion that it locks us up but in reality we can overcome it and it’s amazing just what you can achieve as soon as you let go.
Robert: That’s good. Mentally, like I said that’s the primal brain thinking and all that stuff but when you actually have to do it, it’s two different things so action beats inaction. I meet so many people who are just lazy and comfortable. There’s nothing wrong with that but don’t get upset if you don’t have what you want. If you teach internet marketing, very few people really make it. They make some dollars and they spend it. They make some dollars and they spend it. They got to take it one more level, is what I do is I’m going to buy an apartment house so that I have to go hustle to make the money to buy the apartment house. But when I buy the apartment house, I’m still broke but I’m richer because I have an apartment house now. So most people I notice, they just make money and spend it that’s why they are not going to make it. They make a lot of money but they just spend it.
Igor: Most people I talk to in our industry they don’t even go beyond making the money. The dream of making the money usually the goal is around $10,000 a month passive income, everyone wants passive income, like that’s where their imagination kind of ends. Like I want to make 10K per month, I want to live on the beach, I want to wake up in the morning and check the sales I made overnight and then I’m going to go to dinner. Pretty much that is the dream people have, they don’t even think about taking it to the next level.
Igor: What would you tell someone who thinks like that?
Robert: Well, if they can do it and it makes them happy, do it but that’s not really my MO. My MO is I got a lot to learn, everyday I’m challenging myself, I wouldn’t say everyday, I would probably say 4 days out of a week. I challenge myself with something new and all that because I have more than enough money. As we were talking about before we started this program, because I was always out of money because as soon as I made some money, I would invest it so I was still broke so even when I had a lot of investments and making lots of passive income, I was still broke. It’s hard for people to understand that being broke keeps you hungry. Although I have a lot of money and you and I were talking and I said I have three Ferraris and I was going to buy another one and it was $750,000 and all my wife says to me is figure out how you’re going to pay for it. So I figured it out, I’m going to buy an office building and I’m going to do this and all this, one day as I was actually going to buy it, I got to the dealership and as I was going to buy this $750,000 car which is ¾ of a million dollars, I said what the hell are you doing? I had gone too far. Why do I need a ¾ of a million dollar car? That’s what you and I were talking about, it’s kind of depressing, okay now what’s next? Because I have every toy, everything I want. I have all the money I want because I never think I have any money anyway. [laughter]
Robert: That’s real strange, you know?
Igor: Well, it’s a Catch 22, like you shared with us, you hustled the hardest when you don’t have anything so this fear of being broke or this fear of – I guess fear of being broke is very similar to fear of dying for most people. I know that is how it was for me. That’s why I hustled so hard to get out of that place.
Robert: Yeah, I noticed that you have a picture of your daughter. If you have fear, do it for your daughter. If you have fear, do it for somebody else. That’s what the Marine Corps taught you. When I was afraid, I said okay then who am I doing this for and it’s my fellow troops. But too many people are just greedy, they think of only themselves. So when I thought about flying and things like that in Vietnam, I looked at my two gunners, they are 19 and 20 year old guys and they have kids like you have and I said that is who I’m flying for not me. I had a crew chief, he was married, and had a family, and I said that is who I fly for, not about me. Too many people are just selfish, greedy, and lazy. So you know if you have a daughter and you have kids and all that you do it for them and that will get you going.
Igor: You know before - as I embarked on this journey, I didn’t have a family. I was too young for that. I didn’t even have a girlfriend at the time but I did notice that as soon as hooked up with my girlfriend at that time, Anastasia who is my wife and the mother of my child, my income went up like I hustled so much harder because now there were two people in the picture.
Robert: Yeah, that’s the secret to success like I said when I had employees suddenly I really had not choice but to work harder. It wasn’t about my paycheck; it was about their paycheck and their benefits and all the insurance and all the crap I had to put up with. If I didn’t have that, I would have never made so much money because it was easy to make enough money for myself. I could make my 10,000 a month and sleep on the beach and that is where most people’s ambition lies.
Igor: There you have it List Builders; either do it for yourself or do it for your loved one but do it anyway. Do not stay in your comfort zone. So if you would like to get more from the Rich Dad go ahead and visit richdad.com, again on their free strategy session, I hear right now you can get on one for free for a limited time and see if you can work with the Rich Dad coaches to get your finances together and Robert, it was a tremendous pleasure for me personally to interview and to have this call with you today. I thank you so much for your time. Any last word of advice for the List Builders?
Robert: I created this CASHFLOW™ game for people to teach people. Look, today is a day like [inaudible0:27:25.3] said England just left the European Union, I think we are going to go down economically and I saw this coming so I created the CASHFLOW™ game so people could teach people. If you really want to get smart, help other people, just go and teach other people. Get a CASHFLOW™ game, start a CASHFLOW™ Club, teach them don’t try to cheat them like a lot of other people do. But the more you teach, the more you give, the smarter you’re going to get, that’s the way it works. But too many people are lazy and greedy and they get their paycheck and it’s easy enough to go home and watch the Kardashians. I really have no time for those people. But I always have a lot of time for you and you teaching other people, coaching them and getting them going because that’s how we change the world, we help other people get what they want. Thank you.
Igor: Thank you, Robert.
Thanks for listening to The List Building Lifestyle Show, make sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play to never miss an episode because who knows just one conversion tactic we share on the show might double your list and double your business. Download the transcript of today’s episode and all future episodes at listbuilderslifestyleshow.com and don’t forget to claim your complimentary copy of “The Wealthy List Builder’s Survival Guide” a listbuildinglifestylesshow.com/survival. This is Igor Kheifets until next time we talk, have a good one.
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