Robert Kiyosaki is a man who needs no introduction. Big in stature, presence and expertise, the bestselling author and businessman started a revolution with the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series. Robert has written over 15 books that have combined sales of over 26million worldwide. Robert’s business interests include property, precious metals and natural gas.
My business partner Kurt Won and I were fortunate enough to catch up with Robert recently for an exclusive interview for readers of The Huffington Post.
Is now a good time or a bad time to grow a business?
The state of the economy is not the issue when it comes to growing a business. The relevant questions are always: What business are you in? Furthermore, is it adapting to the times? For example, when the real estate bubble in the United States was getting ready to pop, it was a bad time to be in the business of buying investment real estate. However, when the bubble popped, it was a great time for buying investment real estate.
Look at my own company, The Rich Dad Company, as an example. We started as a company where books were our primary product. Since 1997 when Rich Dad, Poor Dadwas published, things in the market have changed. People read less and they read differently… thanks to technology. That’s why we’re moving into digital tools, like our Clutch Learning system, where we’ve taken our books and made them into interactive apps. We’re meeting the market and its changes head on and putting every possible tech tool to work for our customers and the company’s future.
How can medium sized businesses attract the finance needed to grow?
It’s said that money follows management. It’s the strength and experience of the leaders and managers of a business that inspire confidence. People invest in businesses that they believe have the leadership, mission and team to grow and operate profitably. That is why those three components make up the support structure of my B-I Triangle, what I call the 8 Integrities of a Business. Most businesses think that product is the most important thing, but without great leadership, mission and a team that deliver results at a high level even the best product won’t make a company successful. So invest in great people, become the best leader you can be and have a vision that will move people. With those strong elements you’ll have a solid foundation on which to build.
How can businesses procure staff on a limited budget?
There are many ways. One method is to find entrepreneurial people who want to help build something in return for small stakes of ownership in the company. This allows them to work at a lower wage while still being fully committed to the success of the company because they’ve tied their ‘success’ to that of the company’s. Another way is to become skilled in seeing raw talent and hiring people not based on experience but instead on the way they think and the potential they have.
What has been your biggest business challenge and how did you overcome it?
My first business was a Velcro wallet business that licensed rock band logos. My partners and I did not manage the business well and it failed. After that failure, I was personally in debt for over $1 million. At one point, my wife Kim and I were even living in a car. The temptation was to follow the conventional financial advice and to find a good job with a steady salary; but I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to rebuild and start another business. It took a lot of humility and fortitude, but I paid back all of that debt and built a successful company, using many of the lessons I’d learned from my failures.
What is the best way to build a world class brand?
Be passionate about what you do and why you do it. Mission is the foundation of every successful business. Hire talented people who share your vision and your passion.