Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job: Ten Real-Life Lessons Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Building a Multimillion-Dollar Business

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The tenth book in the series provides firsthand accounts of the author's startup companies, what he learned from his successes and failures, and other topics a reader needs to know in order to start a company and quickly develop it.

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2005 Trade paperback First edition. NewNew/ ADVANCED READING COPY /Sept 2005 BR2412BZ217 Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 259 p. Contains: Illustrations. Rich Dad's ... (Paperback). Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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The tenth book in the series provides firsthand accounts of the author's startup companies, what he learned from his successes and failures, and other topics a reader needs to know in order to start a company and quickly develop it.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Everyone knows that few people achieve great wealth while being an employee, but being an entrepreneur is a tricky business that requires money, planning, and initiative. In this paperback original, Rich Dad's wise man, Robert Kiyosaki, writes candidly about his own start-up business successes -- and failures. Rich Dad's Before You Quit Your Job tells you how to determine whether your idea is marketable; how to write a winning plan and how to find OPM (Other People's Money) to finance it; how to incorporate yourself; how to find key advisers to develop your concept; and how to best launch your product or service.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780446696371
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/14/2005
  • Series: Rich Dad's Ser.
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert T. Kiyosaki
Robert T. Kiyosaki
After growing up watching the financial lives of his "two dads" (his own father and his best friend's) unfold, Robert T. Kiyosaki turned the lessons he learned into the bestselling Rich Dad, Poor Dad line of personal finance guides. No doubt both dads are proud.

Good To Know

On his success, Kiyosaki told us, "I've had all six of my books reach the New York Times bestseller list, which is especially rewarding seeing as I flunked out of high school twice because I couldn't write. It just goes to show you that we learn from our mistakes."

In our interview, Kiyosaki said that his time in Vietnam was "a great experience for me.... I learned that to live in fear of dying was not living. I crashed three times in Vietnam -- but my crews always came back alive."

A major rugby fan, Kiyosaki has played all over the world.

According to Kiyosaki, "the power behind Rich Dad is women -- my business partners Kim Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter."

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    1. Hometown:
      Phoenix, Arizona
    1. Date of Birth:
      April 8, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Honolulu, Hawaii
    1. Education:
      B.S., U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
    2. Website:

First Chapter

Chapter 1

What Is the Difference
Between an Employee
and an Entrepreneur?

Starting with the Right Mind-set

When I was growing up, my poor dad often said, "Go to school, get good grades, so you can find a good job with good benefits." He was encouraging me to become an employee.

My rich dad often said, "Learn to build your own business and hire good people." He was encouraging me to become an entrepreneur. One day I asked my rich dad what the difference was between an employee and an entrepreneur. His reply was, "Employees look for a job after the business is built. An entrepreneur's work begins before there is a business."

99% Failure Rate

Statistics show that 90% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. Statistics also show that 90% of the 10% that survive the first five years, fail before their tenth anniversary. In other words, approximately 99% of all startup businesses fail within ten years. Why? While the reasons are many, the following are some of the more critical ones.

1. Our schools train students to be employees who look for jobs rather than train entrepreneurs who create jobs and businesses.

2. The skills to be a good employee are not the same skills required to be a good entrepreneur.

3. Many entrepreneurs fail to build a business. Instead they work hard building a job that they own. They become self-employed rather than business owners.

4. Many entrepreneurs work longer hours and are paid less per hour than their employees. Hence, many quit out of exhaustion.

5. Many new entrepreneurs start without enough real life experience and without enough capital.

6. Many entrepreneurs have a great product or service but don't have the business skills to build a successful business around that product or service.

Laying the Foundation for Success

My rich dad said, "Starting a business is like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. In midair the entrepreneur begins building a parachute and hopes it opens before hitting the ground." He also said, "If the entrepreneur hits the ground before building a parachute, it is very tough climbing back into the plane and trying again."

For those of you familiar with the rich dad books, you know that I have jumped out of the plane many times and failed to build the parachute. The good news is that I hit the ground and bounced. This book will share with you some of my jumps, falls, and bounces. Many of my failures and successes were small ones, so the bounce was not that painful-that is, until I started my nylon and Velcro wallet business. I will go into further detail throughout the book because I made many mistakes, and learned from them along the way. The success of that business was sky high and so was the fall. It took me over a year to recover from that powerful bounce. The good news is that it was the best business experience of my life. I learned much about business and about myself through the process of rebuilding.

The Crack in the Dam

One of the reasons I fell so hard in the nylon surfer wallet business was that I did not pay attention to the little things. There is some truth to the age-old statement, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall." My little surfer wallet business grew so fast that the business was a lot bigger than the capabilities of the three entrepreneurs who created the business. Instead of creating a business, we had created Dr. Frankenstein's monster and did not realize it. In other words, our sudden success was accelerating our failures. The real problem was we did not know we were failing. We thought we were successful. We thought we were rich. We thought we were geniuses. To the extent that we bothered to consult expert advisors (like patent attorneys), we did not listen to them.

As three successful entrepreneurs in our late twenties and early thirties, we took our minds off the business and partied into the night. We actually thought we had built a business. We actually thought we were entrepreneurs. We actually believed our own story of success. We started bragging. Champagne started to flow. It was not long before we each had fast sports cars and were dating even faster women. Success and money had blinded us. We could not see the cracks forming in the wall of the dam.

Finally, the dam broke. The house of cards started tumbling down around us. Our parachute did not open.

Too Much Success

The point in sharing my entrepreneurial stupidity is that many people think that it is the lack of success that kills a business. And in many cases that is true. The failure of my surfer wallet business was a valuable experience because I found out early in my career as an entrepreneur that too much success can also kill a business. The point I am making is that a poorly conceived business can fail whether it is initially successful or not.

Hard Work Covers Up Poor Design

A poorly conceived business startup may be able to survive as long as the entrepreneur works hard and holds the business together with sheer determination. In other words, hard work can cover up a poorly designed business and keep it from failing. The world is filled with millions of small business entrepreneurs who are able to keep their leaky business afloat with hard work, sheer willpower, duct tape, and baling wire. The problem is, if they stop working, the business breaks apart and sinks.

All over the world, entrepreneurs kiss their families good-bye and head off to their own businesses, their pieces of the rock. Many of them go to work, thinking that working harder and longer will solve their business problems- problems such as not enough sales, unhappy employees, incompetent advisors, not enough free cash flow to grow the business, suppliers' raising their prices, insurance premiums' going up, landlords' raising the rent, changing government regulations, government inspectors, increasing taxes, back taxes, unhappy customers, nonpaying customers, and not enough time in the day, to name a few of the daily challenges. Many entrepreneurs do not realize that many of the problems their businesses face today began yesterday, long before there was a business.

One of the primary reasons for the high failure rate of small businesses is sheer exhaustion. It's tough to make money and to keep going when so much of your time is tied up in activities that do not make you any money or that cost you money without offsetting income. If you are thinking about starting your own business, before you quit your job, you might want to talk to an entrepreneur about how much time he or she spends on non-incomeproducing activities to run his or her business. Also ask how he or she handles this challenge.

As a friend of mine once said, "I'm so busy taking care of my business I don't have time to make any money."

Do Long Hours and Hard Work Guarantee Success?

A friend of mine quit his high-paying job with a large bank in Honolulu and opened a tiny lunch shop in the industrial part of town. He had always wanted to be his own boss and do his own thing. As a loan officer for the bank, he saw that the richest customers of the bank were entrepreneurs, and he wanted a piece of the action, so he quit his job and went for his dreams.

Every morning, he and his mom would get up at four o'clock to begin preparing for the lunch crowd. The two of them worked very hard, scrimping, cutting corners, in order to serve great-tasting lunches with generous portions at low prices.

For years I would stop by, have lunch, and find out how they were doing. They seemed very happy, enjoying their customers and their work. "Someday we'll expand," said my friend. "Someday we'll hire people to do the hard work for us." The problem was that someday never came. His mom passed away, the business closed, and my friend took a job as a manager of a fast-food franchise restaurant. He returned to being an employee. The last time I saw him he said, "The pay isn't great but at least the hours are better." In his case, his parachute did not open. He hit the ground before he built a business.

Now I can hear some of you saying, "At least he went for it." Or, "It was just bad luck. If his mom had lived, they might have expanded and gone on to make a lot of money." Or, "How can you criticize such good hardworking people?" And I agree with these sentiments. My intent is not to criticize them. Although not related to them, I loved the two of them dearly. I knew they were happy yet it pained me to see them work so hard and not get ahead, day after day. I only relate this story to make the same point. The business began to fail before there was a business. It was poorly conceived before he quit his job.

Is Being an Entrepreneur for You?

If this story about working long hours or failing if unsuccessful and possibly failing if successful or jumping out of a plane without a parachute and bouncing frightens you, then being an entrepreneur may not be for you.

But if the stories intrigue you or challenge you, then read on. After finishing this book, at least you will have a better idea of what entrepreneurs need to know to succeed. You will also have a better understanding of how to create, design, and build a business that grows with or without you, and possibly makes you rich beyond your wildest dreams. After all, if you are going to jump out of a plane without a parachute, you may as well win big if you are going to win at all.

The Job of an Entrepreneur

The most important job of the entrepreneur begins before there is a business or employees. The job of an entrepreneur is to design a business that can grow, employ many people, add value to its customers, be a responsible corporate citizen, bring prosperity to all those that work on the business, be charitable, and eventually no longer need the entrepreneur. Before there is a business, a successful entrepreneur is designing this type of business in his or her mind's eye. According my rich dad, this is the job of a true entrepreneur.

Failing Leads to Success

After one of my demoralizing business failures, I went to rich dad and asked, "So what did I do wrong? I thought I designed it well." "Obviously you didn't," rich dad said with a smirk.

"How many times do I have to do this? I'm the biggest failure I know." Rich dad said, "Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed." Shuffling the papers at his desk for a moment, he then looked up at me and said, "The world is filled with want-to-be entrepreneurs. They sit behind desks, have important sounding titles like vice-president, branch manager, or supervisor, and some even take home a decent paycheck. These want-to-be entrepreneurs dream of someday starting their own business empire and maybe someday some of them will. Yet I believe most will never make the leap. Most will have some excuse, some rationalization, such as, 'When the kids are grown.' Or, 'I'll go back to school first.' Or, 'When I have enough money saved.'"

"But they never jump from the plane," I said, finishing his thoughts. Rich dad nodded.

What Kind of Entrepreneur Do You Want to Be?

Rich dad went on to explain that the world was filled with different types of entrepreneurs. There are entrepreneurs who are big and small, rich and poor, honest and crooked, for-profit and not-for-profit, saint and sinner, small town and international, and successes and failures. He said, "The word entrepreneur is a big word and it means different things to different people."

The CASHFLOW Quadrant

As I mentioned in the introduction, the CASHFLOW Quadrant explains that there are four different types of people that make up the world of business and they are often technically, emotionally, and mentally different people.

E stands for employee.
S stands for self-employed or small business owner.
B stands for big business owner (over five hundred employees).
I stands for investor.

For example, an employee will always say the same words, whether he or she is the president or janitor of the company. An employee can always be heard saying, "I'm looking for a safe secure job with benefits." The operative words are safe and secure. In other words, the emotion of fear often keeps them boxed in that quadrant. If they want to change quadrants, not only are there skills and technical things to learn, in many cases there are also emotional challenges to overcome.

A person in the S quadrant may be heard saying, "If you want it done right, do it yourself." In many cases this person's challenge is learning to trust other people to do a better job than he or she can. This lack of trust often keeps them small, since it's hard to grow a business without eventually trusting other people. If S quadrant people do grow, they often grow as a partnership, which in many cases is a group of Ss binding together to do the same job.

B quadrant people are always looking for good people and good business systems. They do not necessarily want to do the work. They want to build a business to do the work. A true B Quadrant entrepreneur can grow his or her business all over the world. An S quadrant entrepreneur is often restricted to a small area, an area he or she can personally control. Of course, there are always exceptions.

An I quadrant person, the investor, is looking for a smart S or B to take care of his or her money and grow it.

In training his son and me, rich dad was training us to first build a successful S quadrant business that had the capability of expanding into a successful B quadrant business. That is what this book is about.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2006

    A Good Reminder

    The book has some good reminders about things to think about when jumping into the world of entrepreneurism. I did like some of his analogies. For example, he talks about how he took a racecar driving class and describes how the driving rules for driving on a racetrack are completely different than the rules of the road for your regular neighborhood street. The things you do in a racecar would get you killed on a regular street and vice-versa. He compares this to being an employee as compared to an entrepreneur and how a whole different set of rules apply. I found that interesting and a great analogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2006

    A must read for people thinking of taking the leap into business ownership

    I have always enjoyed Kiyosaki's books, but this one is by far his best work - except for Rich Dad/Poor Dad. The book goes over almost everything you need to ask yourself before you quit your job. The part I really enjoyed was the insight behind your own motivation when becoming an entrepreneur. The book encourages and inside look into oneself and then gives you the basic tools to make a solid and lasting business.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    Mind-set of owning a business.

    For once, Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter give a step by step account about what mind-set a person needs to have before quitting their job and owning their own business. Typically, books give theories and projections about owning a business. We are truly fortunate to have Robert and Sharon give a blow-by-blow account of running a business. They include the highs and the lows. If there is a person thinking of running a business either at home or traditionally, this book will clarify most of the demands in business ownership.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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