The Tale of Two Dads

LukeLewis

Active Member
  • #1
In Robert Kiyosaki's book, Rich Dad Poor Dad, he discusses having two fathers. Of course, he only had one real father; the other father was a friend. Or a friend's father. I haven't gotten that far yet. One of the things Robert focuses on in the first chapter of his book is the duality of his two fathers. How one was rigid and educated, only to focus more on his job and prestige than earning wealth, and how the other was flexible and liberal in his approach to money. Robert's fiscally conservative father actually said, "The love of money is the root of all evil." The fiscally liberal father said quite the opposite; "The lack of money is the root of all evil." Personally, I have to agree with the latter's statement. Throughout my life, I've come to learn that those who don't make good money talk to themselves in regards to how evil money is. They say that greed is ruining the world and that money can or will never make anyone truly happy. I disagree with both of those things. If you want to experience true misery, give away all of your money and never borrow a cent from anyone as long as you live. Also, be sure to quit your job and to reject any handouts from anyone. That'll teach you a thing or two about money. And while you're living on taxpayer funded streets, think about all of the wildlife rescues that have been funded by grants and donations. And about all the money that's used to set up orphanages and hospitals in developing countries. Telling yourself that money is the root of all evil is an ignorant thing to do. Money has done a lot of good around the world. Just ask the Roman Catholic church. They're asking for it all the time. And they do charity work often.

Robert's story about his two fathers reminds me of a personal experience I've had myself. I have a father who has worked hard and who was quite entrepreneurial in his own right. I also have an older friend who was an entrepreneur through and through. Of the two, I have to say that it was my friend who taught me more about money. Or actually, more about how to earn money. Real money. How to approach earning it. How to handle it. How to love the effort put into acquiring it. Believe it or not, making money is something that needs to be gotten used to. If you ask someone who's used to their 9-5 job to do some work for you for pay, believe it or not, they'll likely reject the offer, no matter how much you're willing to pay them. With their limited view of getting paid, they, for some reason, think that the only source of money need come from their employer. Both my father and my friend made money from individuals. Clients and customers. When an offer of getting paid came about, they both jumped at the chance. It was my father who initially got my friend into the money making thing. My friend took the bull by the horns and ran with it farther than my father ever had. That's why I say it was my friend who taught me more about money.

My father's view of money had more to do with preserving it. He didn't like to use electricity or drive around in cars wasting gasoline. I don't want to say he was cheap because he wasn't. It was just that he didn't splurge very much. When he made money, he held onto it. My friend, however, would take his friends out to dinner many times a month. When we asked why he wanted to take us out, he'd say, "Because I made $2,500 today. Why wouldn't I?" My friend loved his earning potential. He loved thinking of money in a big way. He wanted more and more of it and he was willing to take on much more risk to get it than my father ever was. After hanging around my friend for a number or years, I began to view money the same way as he did. No more nickels and dimes. I began to think in the thousands and the tens of thousands. I would brush off small quantities and think big as well. That put things into perspective and it truly helped me make more money on my own. Instead of working at a business, I'd want to own the business. It changed my life.

What I enjoyed most about spending time with both my father and my friend was the same thing that Robert enjoyed about spending time with his two fathers; opposing financial perspectives. It wasn't so much about listening to and taking advice from one or the other. It was more about listening to the both of them and then making the decision that was best for me. I enjoyed learning that certain opportunity was out there to be had and those types of ideas came from my friend. My father was always far too safe to think that way. Granted, he had a family to take care of, so he may not have been in the position to take certain risks. My friend was single. But then again, so was I. Risk it was.

I sometimes wonder how I would have turned out if I didn't think the way my friend taught me to think about money. Today, my father has a good chunk of change sitting in his retirement account. That's true. My friend, however, is a millionaire many times over. He never thought about retirement. I don't know if that was a good way to think or not, but that's the way he did things. He told me that he could fill my father's retirement accounts in a month if he wanted to. And that he'd do the same for himself when the time came. Talk about risk! When I was young and when I was being raised by my father, something felt wrong about what my friend was telling me. It wasn't until I became older and made nearly $40,000 in one month with my own business that I became comfortable with his philosophies. Small money thinkers would always be small money thinkers. It's not until these people break free from those chains that they'll go after the more lucrative opportunities in life. To make money in this world, a person needs to think of opportunity at every turn. They need to work hard and to take many risks. No one ever said it was going to be easy, but if someone has a work ethic and an entrepreneurial mind, they'll go far.

Like Robert, I remember my father telling me that we couldn't afford this or that. That we shouldn't splurge on that thing because he worked too hard for the money that was necessary to purchase it. He was right, in a way. When it came to times like those with my friend though, he'd say things like, "You want it? Go get it. And then think of a way to pay for it ten times over. Do it!" There was no resting on my laurels with him. It was all action. He had a hustle and everyone knew it. I'm just glad I was along for the ride.

When it came to views, my father and my friend were very different. For instance, my father loved the fact that he was going to get a pension after he retired. He loved entitlements. To this day, he loves his social security check. He goes out to the mailbox every month to find it in the mail and he tells me about it when he does. He likes "systems." He likes fighting for the little guy. He likes unions and protection. He liked taking it easy after he got home after after work. As Robert mentioned in the first chapter of his book, his father didn't like talking about money at the dinner table. Mine didn't either. He did tell my mother about his day though. Every day.

Conversely, my friend only talked about money pretty much all the time. He was doing financial mental gymnastics on a daily basis. He never talked about the day that passed. He always talked about the day yet to come. I first began discussing business and making money with him when I was 18 years old and he was 22. By 24 years old, he had already made his first million. I think my father had been making $30,000 per year forever. It was a mindset, I learned. My friend used to tell me that people had a certain mentality about money that they'd never be free from. He was certainly right. My friend told me that unions did nothing but hold people back from their full potential. He told me that no one in the world other than me was going to make me my money. No one was going to hand it to me. That I needed to come up with ideas and to seek out opportunities. He was correct about all of those things. I have yet to find anyone approach me with an offer to get rich. That sort of thing simply doesn't happen.

One of the best lines from chapter one of Rich Dad Poor Dad is, "Broke is temporary, poor is eternal." I love that line. Robert explained that his rich dad said that to him once after a tremendous financial setback. Robert also mentioned his rich father's mentality when it came to money. About how his rich dad often referred to himself as a "rich man." And how rich men do or don't do certain things. Personally, I adore that way of thinking. I so very much dislike the entitlement mentality. I love entrepreneurs. I like the fact that his rich dad perceived himself to be something, whether or not he truly was. It was almost as if he was laying the groundwork for the day he'd finally arrive. Whether it would be the first time or again. It reminds me of how my friend often thought. He'd bring me places where the wealthy went. He so very much wanted to be one of them. I could see the desire in his eyes. Those people and those places were what drove him. He eventually became one of them and he loved every minute of it. And he worked hard to get there, that's for sure.

The thing is, his body didn't get him there. His mind did. It was the way he thought. Have you ever wondered why some of us are stuck in our situations and blame others for it while others are hustling around us succeeding? Both types of people look relatively similar, so what's the difference? It's their thoughts that differ. For whatever reason, one type of person thinks they're a loser and the other thinks they're a winner. Even entrepreneurs who have failed so often try, try, try again. I have another friend whose father tried and failed at a number of businesses. It wasn't until he got it right later in life that he succeeded. Perhaps it's something in our culture, perhaps it's something else. Perhaps parents teach their children how to become only marginally educated about money. We need to do better than that. Especially when so many of us are fully capable. We can't have talented and educated people walking around completely oblivious to how money works. Can we?

I enjoyed reading chapter one of Robert's book. It was a great introduction into how he thinks and how he developed into the person he is today. What a great read.

Here's a question for you. How do you perceive money? Do you like it? Do you think it's the root of all evil? What would you do if someone offered you an opportunity to make $1,000,000? Are you a hustler? Who taught you what you know about money? I guess that was more than one question. You get the idea. Share your thoughts below!
 
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