Gaining Wealth and Success Without Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Many people fall into depression because no matter how hard they work and no matter how much time they spend in the office, they are still far from being successful.

While many see their jobs as a means of finding personal expression and fulfillment, majority of people define their success in terms of money. They try to put up with the endless loads of work, impossible deadlines, and work pressures — yet doing all these have not brought them closer to financial security. To make matters worse, many successful executives and highly driven young professionals find themselves sick and tired all the time.

The enormous toll on the their health had made their job seem like a curse instead of blessing. It is no wonder that millions of dollars are spent on health care each year due to stress and other work-related anxieties. The uncontrolled drive for success had brought not a few people to the emergency room or to the hospital to get both medical and psychiatric care.

In America, millions of people work at least 40 to 60 hours a week. They do so because their success beliefs are anchored on the following premises:

Get good grades in school in order to get a good job.

Find a job in a large company or corporation.

Work hard in the office in order to get recognition and a promotion, which entails getting a high salary.

Get the children through school and have enough retirement and pension money.

This formula for success has been tried by millions yet not everyone gets to achieve their goals, at least in financial terms. In fact, some success finance and success gurus question the wisdom of the said formula. They think that there are other ways to attain success without the stress and anxiety of climbing the corporate ladder.

One such guru who questions the effectiveness of the traditional approach is named Robert Kiyosaki. He is an investor, businessman, author, and motivational speaker. He is best known for his book entitled Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In his book, he tackles the two different set of advices he received from his “rich dad” and “poor dad.” According to Kiyosaki, his “poor dad” was a smart and highly educated individual, who, nevertheless, failed to succeed financially. He said that his “rich dad” was not academically inclined but was very street-smart and financially adept. In his book, he also discusses the depression, stress, and anxiety that are encountered by many people who thought that their education and jobs would automatically guarantee financial success.

Kiyosaki said that one of the most important questions that his “rich dad” asked him is: “Why do you work so hard for something you’ll never own or can never pass on to your children,” That question, said Kiyosaki, somehow leads one to think that having a stable job may not be the key to financial success after all.

Kiyosaki also writes about a concept which he calls the ‘Cashflow Quadrant.” The Cashflow Quadrant, according to Kiyosaki, spells out how money or wealth is generated by different types of people. To better understand the concept, picture a simple cross on a blank sheet of paper. On the top left quadrant, write a letter ‘E” which stands for Employee. On the lower left quadrant, write a letter “S” which stands for the Small Business Owner or Self-Employed. On the upper right quadrant, write the letter “B” to mean Big Business. And on the lower right quadrant, right the letter “I” which stands for Investor. Kiyosaki says that many “E” people are resource-oriented in terms of their approach to work and their lives as well. To succeed, these people rely on their current resources: their academic degrees, cash on hand, the secure job, physical health, etc. According to Kiyosaki, employees usually have this mindset. The “S” people, on the other hand, are able to generate their own income by having their own business. But according to Kiyosaki, the “E” and “S” people rarely succeed enough to have real wealth that would allow them to retire comfortably. These people are able to retire with some money but only after decades of hard work. Kiyosaki argues that being in these quadrants is not the best option since an employee can lose a job and his health which would then prevent him from doing his job. Small businessmen can encounter severe changes in the market that affects profit; or one’s own company can fall into bankruptcy.

In contrast, the people who belong to Big Business (“B”) and the Investors (“I”) are the ones who can really gain wealth. Where lies the difference, Big Business and investors achieve financial success because they are able to harness the expertise of other people. Unlike the self-employed or small business owners, the members of the “B” and “I” quadrants do not do all the work by themselves. They let the experts do the work based on their desired objectives or financial goals. Unlike people from the “E” and “S” quadrants who “work hard for the money,” the “B” and “I” people let their money work for them. In his books, Kiyosaki cites some financial instruments, strategies, and anecdotes on how people can make their money work for them. He discusses this concept using the term “active income vs. passive income.” The main point of his financial advice is that people should learn how to invest their money on assets such as real estate property that can be rented out so that they would have regular income even without working. He also mentions that since the value of the property depreciates, the amount of tax to be paid also decreases and does not pose any financial difficulty on the part of the investor in the long-term. Kiyosaki says that financial literacy and having the right mindset are important in order for people to know how they can choose the best path towards financial freedom. While Kiyosaki’s books do not exactly show the step-by-step approach to financial success, he does provide very good motivational thoughts on how to avoid financial self-destruction. He focuses on improving one’s mindset which includes moving from being resource-oriented to being opportunity-oriented. In a typical financial counseling session, Robert Kiyosaki would usually say that:

“The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire…the size of your dream…and how you handle disappointment along the way.”

Indeed, the ability to handle disappointments is essential to one’s emotional stability and physical health. Having the right mindset when it comes to finances and to life itself is the key to real success. After all, financial success without health is simply a bad deal.

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