This review first ran in the Nov. 11 edition of The Hamilton Spectator.
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Show him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
Be the one who supplies the fish, poles and tackle and you’re set for life.
It’s the lesson we need to start teaching our kids, according to author Robert Kiyosaki, who’s also penned the best selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad series.
“The world of the future belongs to those who can embrace change, see the future and anticipate its needs and respond to new opportunities and challenges with creativity and agility and passion,” says Kiyosaki.
So are we preparing our kids for that future? Are we training them to be employees or entrepreneurs? Are we teaching them to climb or build corporate ladders? And are we showing them how to work for money or have money work for them?
Kiyosaki says we need to stop telling our kids to go to school to get a good job. The focus should be on going to school to learn how to create high-paying jobs.
“The problem is that our educational system trains students to be ‘A’ students – academics – or ‘B’ students – bureaucrats. Our schools do not train our young people to be ‘C’ students – capitalists. Furthermore, it’s these ‘C’ students who so often follow an entrepreneurial path, carrying the torch of capitalism and creating new jobs.”
True capitalists are entrepreneurs. They fundamentally believe that the more people they serve, the more effective they become. They risk everything to launch companies, create jobs and build prosperity.
“Capitalists serve people in many ways, the least of which is stepping up to the challenge of free marks in producing more with less…including better products and services at better prices,” says Kiyosaki. “From my point of view, that’s not greed. It’s ambition and drive. They’ve enriched other lives on the road to becoming rich and I have a hard time labeling that as greed.”
So how do we help more of our kids think like entrepreneurs rather than employees?
Give your kids a head start and unfair advantage with a solid financial education at home, says Kiyosaki. Prepare them for the real world of money where financial statements matter far more than report cards. Make income, expenses, assets and liabilities the foundation of their financial vocabulary. Drive home the importance of building assets that put money into their pockets. And foster their entrepreneurial spirit.`
Reading Kiyosaki’s book and playing Monopoly, with its rent-generating green houses and red hotels, are good places to start.
“Every child has the potential to grow into a rich person, a poor person or a middle-class person,” says Kiyosaki. “Parents have the power to influence which one their child becomes.”