Robert Kiyosaki, in his bestselling book Rich Dad: Poor Dad introduces the idea of the Cashflow Quadrant®.
The Cashflow Quadrant is a concept and diagram that simply organizes how we generate income into 4 distinct categories. These categories are E for the employed or employee, S for the self-employed/professional which are on the left-hand side of the quadrant and B, the leveraged business owner, and I, the sophisticated investor on the right -hand side of the quadrant.
Kiyosaki makes it clear that most of us need to do whatever we can do to get on the “right side” of the quadrant if we ever aspire to become financially free. Otherwise the probability of ever achieving true financial abundance is too slim if we stay on the left side of the quadrant.
Interestingly enough, we get to choose which section and side of the quadrant we want to ultimately wind up in if we are aware of them. Our choice largely depends on how we are “wired,” our temperament and our level of drive an ambition.
Regardless of what you do, you can choose to do it in the section of your choice. For example, suppose you are a translator for Chinese (i.e.Mandarin)
If you are in this section of the quadrant, you might:
E – Work for a firm where you are an employee translating and working with Chinese customers and clients. You like the comfort of being told what your next assignment is and what you will be doing. Financial Definition: You are swapping time for money and getting paid what the JOB is worth.
S – Be an independent translator for hire where you would translate materials, correspondences and conversations between Chinese and US clients. You are the best so you do the translating as you believe it’s too risky to have someone else do translation for you. Financial Definition: You are swapping time for money and getting paid what YOU are worth, but are restricted by YOU and your available time maximized at 24 hours.
B – Start a small business or company that would provide a variety of services to companies or entities looking to work in China or that are Chinese or Chinese speaking. Language and document translation may be your main services, but you have many other translators and support team members that work for you that allow your business to continue to produce income and grow even when you are not there. Financial Definition: You are leveraging people’s skills and time and creating synergy between their skills and time that can provide you with unlimited income, but still may require some of your time.
I – Take the income that you have produced in either the S or now the B quadrant and begin to invest in both active and passive investment opportunities. Many of these opportunities may have become available through the relationships created through your activities in either S or B. The key here is your financial assets are now invested to produce more financial income (and thus more assets) for you and your estate. Financial Definition: You are leveraging your own money to create other financial assets that produce income which allow you to buy even more income producing assets. When you have enough assets, you can do absolutely nothing or anything you want and can afford to do…best of all with more and more money continuing to pour in.
So you can clearly see that a person can take their skill and/or passion and choose to use it in any of the four sections of the quadrant, but if you want to be truly free financially your goal and focus should be getting to the I quadrant as soon as you can work yourself up to that level. There is no more direct pathway in doing this as there is in starting a home based business. When you consider the low cost of entry, the many legitimate opportunities available and the U.S. tax code written to provide tax savings for home business owners that could pay for some if not all your upfront expenses, you just can’t beat starting a home based business.
I have been blessed to have made millions in personal income starting my own small business in the S quadrant (Network Marketing is one of the few S businesses where you get all the upside leverage and 7-figure income potential without the financial and loss-of-time risk associated with most S businesses.) and have had the joy of participating actively in the I quadrant, but there are some important things I have learned along the way that I would like to share with you.
- Moving toward the S and I quadrants are a process. There is an old entrepreneurial maxim that goes like this. In the early days you work a lot and get paid a little so in the later days you get paid a lot and work a little.
- God’s delays are not God’s denials. Don’t make the mistake and not see the important value in the delays in YOUR timing. What you will find usually in hindsight is that if you would have gotten it when you wanted it, you wouldn’t know what to do with it. This is hard to “buy” while you are feeling delayed, but it is the truth. Delight in your delays. Remember God IS ALWAYS ON TIME!
- You have to invest to be an investor. Don’t be scared of losing…especially money. If you do your best and learn from your losses, you will ultimately start to win. Losing is part of the process of winning. Fear goes away when you realize this and are diligent and energetic in your learning and preparation. Once you get in the practice of winning…you will get better at winning and continue to win…Lord willing.
- A road map is good, an experienced guide is better. Always seek to find a mentor who has gone to where you are going, done it in the style that you want to emulate and TODAY are where you ultimately want to “pass through” in fulfilling your created intent. Mentors are out there and the good ones love to share…don’t be scared to pay the price they may ask you to pay.
- The quicker you make mistakes the FASTER you succeed. In other words, if you want to succeed quickly…double your failure-rate.
- Learn to manager your time. You can ALWAYS replace your money, but you can never replace your time. You might be interested to know I have written an Ezine Article on something I call the Six List, a fast and easy way to manage your time efficiently.
- Last BUT most important is trust in yourself…SECOND. Trust in God…FIRST. You will fall-short from time-to-time, be deceived and just make plain stupid mistakes. However, and hear this…GOD NEVER MAKES MISTAKES, IS ALWAYS ON TIME, TOTALLY RELIABLE AND WILL NEVER FAIL YOU. It may seem like this previous sentence is not the case if you take a page out of the story of your life and read ONLY that page. However, if you will read the whole book that is your life or even look back to chapters that you have already lived, you, if you look hard enough, will see that the previous sentence is absolute.
Your challenge this week is:
- Identify where you are on the Cashflow Quadrant. Ask yourself where are you ultimately committed to going and why.
- Read my 7 sure-fire guidelines above and ask yourself which of the 7 you already buy into. Then ask yourself what you might need to learn, see or believe to buy into the others.
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