Robert Kiyosaki reflects on how as a child he was sent to a public school comprised of mostly upper-class youth. He was jealous of the material goods his classmates possessed, such as new baseball gloves and bicycles.
He decides he wants to start his own business and asks his best friend, Mike, to be his partner. They concoct a scheme to make money out of their neighbors’ lead toothpaste tubes by melting them down and using a nickel as a template. Kiyosaki’s poor father catches them making counterfeit nickels. He applauds their ingenuity, but informs them that their operation is actually illegal and won’t work.
His father suggests that they talk to Mike’s dad if they truly want to learn how to be rich. Mike’s father had a reputation in town for his business acumen and talent with earning money. The two agree to meet with Mike’s father the following weekend.
Their education with Mike’s father (aka “Rich Dad”) begins. He offers to help them learn to be rich if they agree to work at one of his superettes for 10 cents an hour, three hours every Saturday. Kiyosaki works for four shifts and finds the work boring and the pay disappointingly low. He decides he wants to quit. He confronts Mike’s dad and informs him that he has not held up his end of the deal – he hasn’t taught him anything.
He blames Mike’s dad for paying him poorly and treating him unfairly. Mike’s dad explains to him that he has just taught him a lesson, a lesson that mirrors real life. He goes on to say that you can’t blame your employer for your economic troubles and that ultimately you are responsible for your own well-being.
He summarizes his first lesson: “The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.”
Mike’s dad informs Kiyosaki that if he wants to keep learning from him, he will return the next week and continue to work at the superette – for no pay. Kiyosaki is angry and bewildered, but returns the next week nonetheless.
After several more weeks of working for no pay, Mike’s dad shows up at the end of one of their shifts. He offers to pay them 25 cents an hour, but Kiyosaki can tell that he is testing them. He then offers to pay them up to $5 an hour and although Kiyosaki is tempted, he resists.
Pleased, Mike’s dad agrees to teach them more about money. He advises them to lose their fear of not having money and their greed for large amounts of money. He explains that an attitude somewhere in between these two extremes is ideal.
Mike’s dad advises them to look for opportunities everywhere, even if you’re working for free.
Several weeks later, Kiyosaki notices that the superette discards old comic books if they don’t sell. He asks if he can have the comic books and is told that he may take them, but that he can’t resell them. Kiyosaki and his friend devise a plan to create a comic book library and “rent” out comic books to kids in the neighborhood for a 10-cent fee. They employ Mike’s sister to work in the library and collect payment, as well as monitor the comic books. Their business is successful and they earn $9.50/week without even being present in the library.