Reviewed by L.D.Y.
Trade, 259 pages, 2005
Reason for Reading: I’m playing catch-up on everything to do with business and finance after years of English courses.
Synopsis: Tired of feeling like you do all the work while your boss reaps all of the benefits? Maybe it’s time to consider starting your own business. But wait – as Robert Kiyosaki cautions in this book, there’s a lot more to consider the product or service you’re considering offering. You can work as hard as you want, but unless you know all of the areas you should be working on, as outlined in the book, you may be dooming your business to become one of the many companies to hit the market and fail within a year. The purpose of Before You Quit Your Job is to teach you to change your thinking mentality from that of an employee to that of an entrepreneur.
Why you should read this book: Just because you have an amazing idea for a product doesn’t mean people will be pounding on your door to make you a millionaire – you have to have the knowledge and research to back yourself up. So what is involved? And more importantly, are you ready, willing, and able to do everything necessary, or to delegate tasks to someone that can competently accomplish them? Kiyosaki is helpful because he’s both brutally honest and encouraging, with an attitude along the lines of, ‘If you can’t do X, your business will fail, likely sooner rather than later. So go learn how to do X, or hire someone to do it for you.’ There are valuable lessons here that Kiyosaki learned the hard way, such as realizing that legal services are a requirement from the offset, not something that should be found after another company has stolen your idea because you didn’t have a proper patent. If you want to learn about being an entrepreneur without getting bogged down in business lingo, you’ll find Before You Quit Your Job‘s conversational tone will be a handy tour guide, as Kiyosaki teaches you to learn from your mistakes, as well as his own. There are some valuable lessons about business and even life in general, so even if you finish the book and decide you’re not up for the entrepreneurial life, you’ll have learned something useful.
Why you should avoid this book: There’s no question that the advice in Before You Quit Your Job is wise, which is why the complaints about the book stem from the filler/blatant advertising. I’m sure some people would connect to Kiyosaki after reading his tales about fighting in Vietnam, but for me, the stories strayed too far away from the purpose of the book. This book is more for people trying to decide if they’d like to become an entrepreneur than people wanting to know how to handle all of their business problems, which is all too clear from constant badgering to “buy this Rich Dad’s book to find out how to do X; buy this other book from the Rich Dad’s advisor to find out how to do Y”; and on and on until it feels like you’re reading a really long advertisement for the books/games you should have bought if you wanted something more practical. There’s good information in the book, but the presentation could have been cleaned up to make it more satisfactory.
One of the most frightening days of my life was the day I quit my job and officially became an entrepreneur. On that day I knew there were no more steady paychecks, no more health insurance or retirement plan. No more days off for being sick or paid vacations.
My rich dad believed in learning from your mistakes. He did not view mistakes as bad but simply as opportunities to learn something about business and yourself. He said, ‘Mistakes are like stop signs. Mistakes say to you, ‘Hey, time to stop…take a moment…you don’t know something…It’s time to stop and think.’ Rich dad also said, ‘A mistake is a signal that it’s time to learn something new, something you did not know before.’
As rich dad advised Robert, you may want to consider focusing your efforts on becoming an expert in one of the five jobs. Like Robert, you may want to focus on the communications level. Generally the entrepreneur will be the most passionate and effective salesperson for his or her company. Being able to sell is essential in convincing investors to invest in your company as well as selling your company’s products to consumers.
Also recommended: Nice Girls Don’t Get Rich by Lois P. Frankel; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Personal Finance in Your 20s and 30s for Canadians by Sarah Young Fisher; The Money Book by Kevin Cork.
Also by this author: Rich Dad Poor Dad; Rich Dadâ€™s CASHFLOW Quadrant; Rich Dadâ€™s Guide to Investing; Rich Dadâ€™s Retire Young Retire Rich; The Business School for People Who Like Helping People; WhyÂ We Want You to be Rich (with Donald Trump).
Author’s website: richdad.com
Fun tidbit: Kiyosaki actually didnâ€™t earn – and lose – his first million dollars with the Rich Dadâ€™s series, but with a company making nylon surfer wallets.
Would I read more by this author? Doubtful – I found the writing style a bit too casual for my tastes, considering the topic. Iâ€™d rather have all the information packed in with minimal storytelling so I can get through it as fast as possible.
Â© Lisa Yanaky 2003-2007