â€œThe 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,â€ says Robert Kiyosaki.
With 18 books under his belt, and 26 million copies sold combined around the world, this millionaire self-help investment guru must have had a very strong dream.
Indeed, three of his books have been on the best sellers lists of The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times simultaneously. From his humble beginnings in Hawaii, Kiyosaki has today become one of the most respected â€“ and controversial â€“ businessmen and motivational speakers in the world.
Robert Toru Kiyosaki was born on April 8, 1947 in Hilo, Hawaii, the islandâ€™s largest coastal city. He is a fourth-generation Japanese American, whose father was a respected educator in Hawaii and served as state superintendent of schools while the young Kiyosaki was growing up.
After graduating from Hilo High School, Kiyosaki debated about whether he should attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, or the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Finally, he decided on enrolling in the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York.
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Kiyosaki graduated from the Merchant Marine Academy in 1969 as a deck officer. Soon after, his brother volunteered to join the Air Force as part of the Vietnam War effort. Kiyosaki began to question his own nerve. â€œAm I a coward or not?â€ he asked himself. No, he decided. He was not a coward. â€œI didnâ€™t have to go,â€ says Kiyosaki. â€œI volunteered not because I liked the war, but because it was the right thing to do.â€
Kiyosaki began to look into joining one of the Armed Services, when a Marine Corps recruiter told him, â€œIf you talk to them, donâ€™t talk to me.â€ With that, Kiyosaki had made up his mind. He immediately enlisted in the Marine Corps in what would prove to be a life changing decision. â€œIf youâ€™re going to be successful in business, you have to find a place to develop character,â€ says Kiyosaki. â€œThe Marine Corps did that for me.â€
Living in Arizona at the time, Kiyosaki was sent to Vietnam as an officer and a helicopter gunship pilot. During his very first flight, he came into close contact with tracer bullets. After letting out a few expletives, a nearby sergeant told Kiyosaki that â€œhis typeâ€ would not last long. â€œMariners actually lost people in the war,â€ says Kiyosaki. â€œIt was what was called a battle standard.â€
Kiyosaki did survive his time in Vietnam, and in fact, was even awarded the distinguished Air Medal. In 1974, Kiyosaki ended his service at the Marine Corps Air Station in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
After leaving the Corps, Kiyosaki went to work as a salesman for the Xerox Corporation. It was a less than glamorous career, and a drastic change from the war. Kiyosaki wanted more, and it would not be long before he got it.