"Being a product of two strong dads allowed me the luxury of observing the effects different thoughts have on one's life," Robert Kiyosaki writes in the personal finance classic, "Rich Dad Poor Dad."
The two dads he refers to are his real father — his "poor dad," who struggled financially his whole life and died with bills to pay — and the father of his best friend — his "rich dad," who started with little before becoming one of the richest men in Hawaii.
"I noticed that my poor dad was poor, not because of the amount of money he earned, which was significant, but because of his thoughts and actions."
Even the way he spoke was tremendously different from Kiyosaki's rich dad. Here are seven things the author heard his poor dad say often — but rich dad never did.
"I can't afford it."
"How can I afford it?"
Rich dad would say, "How can I afford it?"
"One is a statement, and the other is a question. One lets you off the hook, and the other forces you to think," Kiyosaki writes. "By automatically saying the words 'I can't afford it,' your brain stops working. By asking the question 'How can I afford it?' your brain is put to work."
This doesn't mean you should buy everything, he emphasizes. The point is that you should constantly exercise your mind, because the stronger your brain gets, the more money you'll make.
"I work for my money."
"My money works for me."
Rich dad would say, "My money works for me."
There is a difference between how rich people and average people choose to get paid. Average people choose to get paid based on time — on a steady salary or hourly rate — while rich people generally own their own businesses, work on commission, or choose stock options and profit sharing over higher salaries. "If you work for money, you give the power to your employer," Kiyosaki writes. "If money works for you, you keep the power and control it."
"When it comes to money, play it safe. Don't take risks."
"Learn to manage risk."
Rich dad would say, "Learn to manage risk."
Rich people play to win, which requires an element of risk-taking and a level of comfort with uncertainty.
As important as it is to take risks to accumulate wealth, it's equally important to be smart about risk-taking, which is why rich dad emphasizes "managing" risk. Blind risk won't get you anywhere, but intelligent risk — in which education and experience play a key role — is the mother of reward.
"My house is an asset."
"My house is a liability."
Rich dad would say, "My house is a liability."
"If you stop working today, an asset puts money in your pocket and a liability takes money from your pocket," Kiyosaki writes. "It's important to know the difference between the two."
At the end of the day, owning a house is expensive, and they do not always go up in value, Kiyosaki points out.
"I am not saying don't buy a house," he writes. "What I am saying is that you should understand the difference between an asset and a liability. When I want a bigger house, I first buy assets that will generate the cash flow to pay for the house."
"Study hard so you can find a good company to work for."
"Study hard so you can find a good company to buy."
Rich dad would say, "Study hard so you can find a good company to buy."
The wealthiest people aren't afraid to think big. They set their expectations high and expect to make a lot of money.
Meanwhile, the masses expect to struggle and tend to settle for less than what they're worth because of it.
"I'll never be rich."
"I'm a rich man."
Rich dad would say, "I'm a rich man, and rich people don't do this."
"Even when [my rich dad] was flat broke after a major financial setback, he continued to refer to himself as a rich man," Kiyosaki writes. "He would cover himself by saying, 'There is a difference between being poor and being broke. Broke is temporary. Poor is eternal.'"
"I'm not interested in money."
"Money is power."
Rich dad would say, "Money is power."
Most of us are taught to get a good education, find a job, and be grateful for what we have. Essentially, most of us are taught to settle.
Rich people, on the other hand, think about money logically and see it for what it is: a powerful tool that can present options and opportunities.