Friday, May 29, 2009

Before you Quit Your Job, Robert T. Kiyosaki

Mr. Kiyosaki is the author of the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series, and while I got a lot out of the first book, I've avoided the sequels in his series simply because I felt that many of them might just be milking the first, very solid ideas of the core book. I also often got the same feeling from the sequels to "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" by Steven Covey. However, because I've been conisdering starting a business lately, I decided to give this book another look.

There are 10 lessons in the book, each of which is in 10 chapters. The basic formula of each chapter consists of a personal anecdote, a series of lessons or principles based on the main lesson, a summary, and then a 'distilation' by his partner Sharon Lechter. I found the lessons in the book useful, and as someone who is going to start a business (well another one since technically the Gaming stuff was a business, even if it was an abominable failure) I found their advice helpful.

Some criticism I've heard on the book is that he's light on specifics and heavy on slogans. While there is some of that, the point the book makes is an excellent one. Which is to say, enteprenurship is a skill, just like learning to ride a bike or use a computer. And you have to fail a lot, which means you have to be WILLING to fail a lot, and the way you look at the world can't be the same as it was while you are drawing a steady paycheck from your job.

As someone who is about to enter this world, I feel that these lessons are invaluable. There is nothing malicious in them, indeed there is a genuine benevolent desire to educate as many people as possible in this way of thinking. Of course, I can already tell there are some things I'm not going to agree with Mr. Kiyosaki on in his other books, such as his belief in the Gold Standard (I read it on another one of his books that I got from the library) but of the two books I've read, I think they are very very useful.

Essentially, his mission in creating the Rich Dad books is to make the world a better place. He also talks about the importance of a mission. On the surface, that might seem like meaningless corpspeak. I can certain identify someone who has been in sales by the 'corporaty' quality of their voice almost all of the time. And while there is a bit of that in Mr. Kiyosaki's narrative, there is also a stark resonance of truth. He helps you ask yourself tough questions that you need to be prepared to answer before you leap off of a cliff and take that step forward, while at the same time ENCOURAGING you to leap forward and take that risk.

I found the book to be extremely helpful, but it is primarily useful to those who truly want to start a business in my opinion. It is most useful to those who have no experience being an entrepenur, but have already made that leap in their minds that that is what they want to do and need a bit of help with specifics. It is not a how to guide on how to start a business, but rather a how to guide on how to change your world paragidm to think like people that make serious money at business, while at the same time not become a money troll who lives for nothing else.

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