A book that really had an impact on me in 2013 is: “Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money-That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not!” by Robert T. Kiyosaki.
Money was not a motivational force in my career, and I never had to worry about having extra money beyond living expenses. A common sense approach to money management worked fine. Besides, I found financial information rather complicated to understand, so I had never read a book about money before. In college, I was disillusioned by a society that focused on material things to the exclusion of things which I thought more important. As life has gone by, I have come to understand that money surely does come in handy sometimes. It enables things to be accomplished and can provide security. Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it is nice to be able to buy things sometimes. Eventually, I decided it was time to become more financially literate. For the first time I looked for books that might be able to communicate the concepts clearly, and I came across this book. It made two points that were eye-openers for me:
Point One: There are two main ways to really make money: 1)investing in real estate, or 2)starting your own business.
Point Two: When people build businesses, the driving force is most likely the fun and excitement of turning ideas into assets. While making money is hopefully a side effect, the real joy comes from creating something!
It inspired a desire in me to create something of value, something that people want to be part of! However, it takes lots of skills to build a business, entrepreneurial skills I don’t have, like: financial, sales & marketing, production & distribution, business models, and market research. Also, both of these options involve some risk. Once upon a time, you could count on an investment in real estate to appreciate, but times have changed. According to the SBA, 50% of new businesses fail in the first five years. It’s important to consider the risks involved.
Can these entrepreneurial skills be learned? I’ve been exploring some great resources for learning entrepreneurial skills, just for the fun of it! Here’s some:
- Kauffman Founders School
- Kauffman Foundation on Pinterest
- What’s Your Business Model? series by Strategyzer on YouTube
- How To Build a Startup Course at Udacity by Steve Blank
- MaRS Entrepreneurship 101
- Interviews with entrepreneurs at Khan Academy
- Tools to Research a Market from DuctTapeMarketing
- Five great online courses for start-ups
- Project Eve Ultimate Startup Founder’s Toolbox
- Entrepreneur online videos
- Business Planning at hurdlebook.com