“This book is either going to excite you, or it is going to floor you”. The prediction uttered from the guy across from me at the Starbucks table as he pushed this piece of writing in my direction. Days earlier, I had met the gentleman in my place of work. He was nice enough. Very personable. Good communication and people’s skills. Easy to connect with. Traits that he felt he also found reciprocated in meeting me. Something that was evident when after I assisted him to the best of my ability, he asked the question that any person worth their weight in sales is asked by patrons like this gentleman. “How long have you been doing this?”. Followed by the expected, “Is this a long term thing for you or something you are committed to?”. . .
What can I say. I had fended off queries like this in year’s past, but this charming soul caught me on a rare kind of day. So flash back forward after I agreed to a sit down with him. He speaks of secretive projects, people he wants me to meet, random success stories of people who run in his circle, and it all stems from the question after he hands me this book. “What do you know about network marketing?”.
I was given a couple days to breeze past this before I met with the guy again to discuss what I thought and where this might lead to. And while I didn’t know much about network marketing before hand, I can attest after reading the book, I still didn’t know really that much after either. But I definitely know enough. Walking right into his prediction, it definitely floored me and I couldn’t help but give my two cents.
The “WOW Reads” library is what I call the collection I have over the years put together for my work family full of self help literature. Ranging from inspirational and motivational, to sales and leadership, to just plain personal development, it is a wonderful variety. Blessed by the names like Steve Farber, Og Mandino, John C. Maxwell, Stephen Covey, John Wooden, Jon Gordon, Brene’ Brown, and a fabulous list of historical figures we can learn from, you will not find Kiyosaki anywhere near this library. . .
It started to turn about the time Kiyosaki was explaining his trials and tribulations in 1985 when he and his wife were living in their old brown Toyota and doing little jobs here and there to put food in their bellies and “their home” (gas in their car purposefully alluded to for dramatic effect). Ever so often a friend would step up and help them out in their time of need. And when these friends would ask them why couldn’t they just get a job to steady their lives out, this would have been the time your typical self help writers would depict an inspirational message of how they were in dire straights and a positive mindset with a solid work ethic helped them get out of it. Not Kiyosaki. . .
In so many words in all the pages that followed, Kiyosaki’s response to his friends, his readers, and to everyone was, “why would I waste my time with work when I’m above it. . .”
Friend or no friend, you may have a good idea how wide I would open my door for a person that has that kind of mindset. But all things considered, by 1989, as Kiyosaki loved to gloat, he was a millionaire. . . Congratulations, well done, you figured out a system somehow and made your buck. And now he is here to share the secrets of his success for the small price to pay of his book (to which he gloats he has now 7 New York Time’s Best Sellers) or one of his seminars (you don’t want to know what those run for). I wish not do delve too deep into his theories or egocentric misleadings that he truly does care about you getting rich, but I will sum up some his rhetoric. Most of this brainwash derives from a four corner chart that all professionals can be chalked up to. The “E” quadrant stands for employees and the working class. The “S” quadrant for self-employed, small business owners, and career specialists (lawyers, doctors, firefights, etc). The “B” quadrant regards big business and corporate heads. The “I” quadrant is for investors and investment opportunities. From hearing that, one could assume that majority of the population resides in the E and the S quadrants while the prestigious few like Kiyosaki and his friends like the frequently name-dropped Donald Trump belong to the B and I quadrants. And according to Kiyosaki, the working class of the E and S who trade their time and energy for money are doing it wrong.
It’s a tough pill to swallow when you actually sit down with one of these I and B quadrant people and actually ask them “what is it that you actually do?”. A simple question, but you’ll find it complex, complicated, or down right difficult to get a straight answer. And not because you just might be an E or an S person and your small brain can’t possibly grasp it like they will lead you to believe. When it comes down to it, they're gamblers. They deal in just as much monopoly money as they do legitimate currency, and they strategically build their house of cards businesses/projects/systems in hopes that the slightest of friction doesn’t send it toppling down.
Yes, Kiyosaki played with the house money and became the rare exception to come out on top. He, like Trump, and so many other mogul’s sit atop the Forbes list and preach their “swing for the fences” propaganda with how they risked everything to get everything. The book further preaches that in order to be a B or an I person, you need to have the determination to take those chances and throw all caution to the wind. . . But do I need to remind you that less than 1% of total population in the world controls over 99% of the wealth? So how many of those thousands, millions, billions of people out there are struggling for the pipe dream of becoming the 1%, risking it all, and losing. Only to be told, “oh well, I guess you are just an E or an S person after all”. Barring the rare exception, and even those moguls on the Forbes list get tagged with a bankruptcy every now and again, the house always wins. . .
So here again is Kiyosaki, who after blathering for some time about his self-made success introduces the brilliant idea of “network marketing”. Turn the next page after he introduces it, I kid you not, the first thing he confesses is “I didn’t really make my money from network marketing nor do I technically. . . . DO . . . . network marketing”. And yet, here he is dedicating an entire book about it and pocketing the profits. To all the I and B quadrant thinkers out there reading this now, this is what he refers to as creating an “asset” that makes money for you. . . And damn am I glad the dude who had me read it just pushed his copy my way instead of making me buy my own and make my own contribution of supporting the problem.
I am personally all for letting people believe what they want to believe and to do what’s in their rights to do. However, I begin to have problems when someone is attempting to force what they believe onto someone else and flat out tells them they are bad or they are wrong if they are not doing it their way. Kiyosaki and all his B and I cult, yes cult followers, are free to shoot for the dream and go for their wealthy lifestyles. But don’t you dare look at the working class people who make this world turn and tear them down or make lesser of their lives. Especially when majority of the doings of this so-called cash cow being preached about here is typically chalked up to a bunch of shady dealings, pyramid scams, ponzi schemes, or whatever sham is being devised to cheat the working class they’re slamming at the same time.
It should be no shock that when this guy sat back down with me the second go around, the false empathy in his happy-go-lucky positive outlook demeanor couldn’t shake that I had just called his “bible” flat out pretentious and condescending to decent human beings. To my credit, I said it with a smile and in the inviting fashion to engage in the ever dying form of debate. But like most people these days, they are right, you are wrong. And when I gave the chance for him to explain what this project actually “does”, on came the I and B quadrant mumbo jumbo to tip-toe around the question that he simply chalked up to “I wouldn’t get because I was stuck on the other side of the chart and people like me would never understand”. He told me that it wouldn’t be a great fit, he wished me well with my job, and that if I ever changed my mind to give him a call and he would refer some names since he wouldn’t most likely be looking for anybody at that point anymore. . . Kiyosaki would be so proud.
Life lesson learned and my first Fail grade of the year on a book. WOOT