Sunday, December 3, 2006

How Do I Get Started? 12 Steps to Financial Freedom

Below are 6 steps from Robert Kiyosaki that will help you increase your financial IQ and assist you on your journey to financial freedom.

1. Control Your Thoughts
Your life is a reflection of your thoughts. To control your thoughts, simply control what you say. Don’t say what you don’t want to think. Positive thoughts bring about positive results. Don’t say you can’t… because you can.

My poor dad would always say, “I can’t afford it!” My rich dad, on the other hand, forbade me from saying, “I can’t afford it!” and challenged me to ask instead, “How can I afford it?” The word “can’t” closes your mind, while the phrase “How can I?” opens your mind.

2. Learn the CASHFLOW Games
Have fun learning and increasing your financial IQ. The more you play the CASHFLOW games– the richer you become. They will change the way you think. The games teach you to have money work for you so you don’t have to work for money.

Too often, people just can’t see great opportunities in front of them. Playing the game helps you to open your mind and the more you play, the better you get. You will see your thoughts change.

3. Teach the CASHFLOW Games
Teaching the CASHFLOW games, in addition to playing often, is the Fast Track to learning. Give and you shall receive… it’s the law of reciprocity.

Make an agreement with yourself to teach the game to others. Agree to teach the games on a regular basis and see YOUR learning accelerate. Volunteer to teach at schools, clubs, classes and groups.

4. Look at Your Friends
When you look at your friends, you look in your mirror. Tell me who your friends are… and I’ll tell you where you’re going.

Who are the six people you spend the most time with? Make a list and next to each name, write what quadrant of Rich Dad’s CASHFLOW Quadrant they are in (Left side: E= Employee; S= Self-Employed or Specialist or Small Business Owner; Right Side: B= Big Business - 500+ employees; I= Investor). If they’re Es… do they want to become Bs and Is? Do they - like you - want to have their money work for them?

You can tell a lot about a person from the friends they have. The same is true for a partner or spouse. It’s important to grow and learn together.

5. Keep Accurate Records
To be successful, you need good records. At a minimum, that means a bookkeeper.

As your team expands, it should include an accountant and an attorney. If you have accurate records, it is easier to get rich.

6. Understand the Asset Classes
The wealthiest people know how to acquire assets in all three classes. There are three asset classes: Business, Real Estate and Paper Assets.

Business is the best asset of all. The richest people in the world own businesses.

Real Estate investment has great tax advantages – and your banker will lend you money to buy real estate. The tax code offers great tax incentives for businesses and real estate investors.

Paper assets are the easiest to get into, but carry the highest risk.

The best plan is one that has investments in all asset classes. The richest people have investments in all three asset classes. The least successful investors focus on only one asset class. Even two of the three is better than only one.

7. Find your Passion and Have Fun!
What are you good at? What are you passionate about? You will find greater successes if you play to your strengths. Think about what you enjoy most and how those skills and talents can support your dream of financial freedom.
Most importantly: Have Fun!

8. Never Stop Learning
The world is changing - fast. And the only way to keep pace is to never stop learning. Keep educating yourself and insist that your team does, too. Read books, attend seminars and surround yourself with friends and partners who share your commitment to life-long learning.

9. Look at Deals
Start looking at deals! And not just a few - hundreds of them! Look at 100 real estate deals and 100 companies you could invest in. Train your mind to see opportunities that your eyes don't see.
• Business Deals
Call a business broker and ask for information on a business that is for sale.
• Real Estate Deals
Call a real estate broker and ask for proformas on a real estate property that's on the market.
• Paper Asset Deals
Call a stock broker and ask for a financial report from a public company.

10. Start a Wealth Library
Every time you hear a word you don't know - look it up! Then use it. Every type of investment has a vocabulary that you need to master. And starting a Wealth Library is a good beginning.
Build your wealth library - build your financial IQ - build your wealth.

11. Attend Seminars
Attend one seminar or course each year to open your mind and keep it open!
Education is a life-long process and attending seminars is both educational and energizing. Your goals should include attending seminars that help build your financial IQ as well as those on personal development. If you have a partner or spouse, it's important to learn and grow together.

12. Keep Score
It's important to know your goals and to keep score so you know how you're doing. As they say, "Out of sight, out of mind." Your future is determined today - not tomorrow.
I might not always be happy with the returns I'm getting on my assets, but I know what they are.
Keeping score is a way of measuring, and goals need to be measurable.

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