The Business of the 21st Century

The Business of the 21st Century

by Robert T. Kiyosaki

I read this book on the recommendation of a friend who loaned me his copy. While I’ve read several books from the Rich Dad, Poor Dad series, I hadn’t read this one yet.

The premise of this book is fairly simple, just like most of the Rich Dad books. This is good, because Robert Kiyosaki has a talent for taking sometimes difficult concepts and making them easy to understand. The premise is that the world has changed and so business has changed. During the Industrial Era, starting a business was difficult and risky. But now, not so much.

That isn’t to say that starting a business in this day and age is free from risk. Far from it. But Robert contends that a new business model makes starting your own business easier. That model is network marketing.

Now, I know what you are thinking because I was thinking it, too. Network marketing? Doesn’t that just mean selling to your family and friends until you get uninvited from next summer’s family reunion? It could be, and I’ve had experience with those types of network marketing. However, Robert makes a good case for why network marketing companies are not all bad and why you might even want to get involved if you are new to entrepreneurship or trying to start your first business.

Anyone that has read any books in the Rich Dad series know that Robert is obsessed with building assets. Assets, by Robert’s definition, is anything that puts money into your pocket. Anything that takes money out of your pocket is a liability. Robert contends that “Network marketing is not about earning more income; it’s about building an asset.” And not just one asset, but eight assets.

The first asset is “A Real-World Business Education”. A good network marketing company will provide education for not just their specific business, but business in general. Related to that, the second asset is “A Profitable Path of Personal Development”. Network marketing provides a platform where you can make money while learning the ropes of business and developing your own savvy. The third asset is “A Circle of Friends Who Share Your Dreams and Values”. Your income tends to average about the same as the five people you spend the most time with. Getting a new circle of friends who are working hard and putting in the sweat equity to become wealthy can only help you on your own journey to wealth. The fourth asset is related and is “The Power of Your Own Network.” Kiyosaki contends that the greatest successes in history were not because they had the greatest products or the greatest inventions. Sometimes that was true, but the real power came from their networks.

The fifth asset is A Duplicable, Fully Scalable Business. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Network marketing companies are successful partly because the result of their top performers can be duplicated by the newest associates if they are willing to put in the effort. There is no reinventing of the wheel necessary, enabling new associates to get up and running quickly. The sixth asset is “Incomparable Leadership Skills.” If you can’t even lead a horse to water, then you’ll never be able get him to drink. Leadership skills are as critical in this day and age as they ever have been and network marketing teaches people to lead others on the path to wealth that they all are treading.

The seventh asset is “A Mechanism for Genuine Wealth Creation.” Kiyosaki defines wealth as how many days you could support your current lifestyle if you were to suddenly stop working. For most people, the number of days could be measured on just their hands. But network marketing creates a system of passive income, which is income that will come in whether you are working or not. Passive income greatly increases the number of days that you could support your lifestyle without working, and thus greatly increases your wealth. The eighth and final asset is “Big Dreams and the Capacity to Live Them.” Kiyosaki says that, “One of the most valuable things about network marketing companies is that they stress the importance of going for your dreams.” You are encouraged to dream big and then achieve those dreams. This pushes you constantly upward, evolving and growing, which is not only good for your business, but also good for you personally.

Kim Kiyosaki, wife of Robert, writes her own chapter specifically for women. Kim states that network marketing can be a great opportunity for women, especially for those who may not be able to work a full-time job. Network marketing is much more flexible and can be done from home, making it ideal for stay-at-home mothers and such. I appreciate that Kim took the time to write this chapter because too often women who are wholly dependent upon their husbands for support find themselves in dire straits when their husband becomes hurt, sick, or dies. Our futures are uncertain. The only way we can safeguard our individual futures is to take charge of it ourselves.

Overall, I think this book is worth a read. If you are new to business and entrepreneurship, then network marketing is worth exploring. This book gives a kind of overview of how it works and why it might be a good choice for you. If you are already well-established in business, well, this book could also be good for you. Networking is still among the best ways to grow your business and you might be able to learn something from the network marketing model.

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