“Where do I get started…Tell me how to get rich quick!” The Story of the Richest Businessmen
This is a powerful excerpt of an article written in the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I want to share this because the story illustrates valuable insight we all need on building a strong foundation. Truly, the best way to build great sums of wealth is on a solid and strong foundation. Really, those who get rich quick either inherit the money or win the lottery. All too often, a person who comes into a sudden windfall of cash, by an inheritance, a pay raise, or lottery winnings, soon returns into the same financial mess, if not worse than the mess they were in before they received the money. The problem spurs out of lack of foundation in discipline, responsibility, and financial literacy. The importance lies not in how much you make, but how much you keep, and how many generations you keep it, emphasizes Robert Kiyosaki.
This is the story of “The Richest Businessmen”
In 1923, a group of our greatest leaders and richest businessmen held a meeting at the Edgewater Beach hotel in Chicago. Among them were Charles Schwab, head of the largest independent steel company; Samuel Insull, president of the world’s largest utility; Howard Hopson, head of the largest gas company; Ivar Kreuger, president of the International Match Co., one of the world’s largest companies at that time; Leon Frazier, president of the New York Stock Exchange; Arthur Cotton and Jesse Livermore, two of the biggest stock speculators; and Albert Fall, a member of the President Harding’s cabinet. Twenty five years later nine of those ended as follows. Schwab died penniless after living for five years on borrowed money, Insull died broke living in a foreign land. Kreuger and Cotton also died broke. Hopson went insane. Whitney and Albert Fall were just released from prison. Frazer and Livermore committed suicide.
I doubt if anyone can say what really happened to these men. If you look at the date, 1923, it was just before the 1929 market crash and the Great Depression, which I suspect had a great impact on these men and their lives. The point is this: Today we live in times of greater and faster change than these men did. I suspect there will be many booms and busts in the next 25 years that will parallel the ups and downs these men faced. I am concerned that too many people are focused too much on money and not their greatest wealth, which is their education. If people are prepared to be flexible, keep an open mind and learn, they will grow richer and richer through the changes. If they think money will solve problems, I am afraid those people will have a tough ride. Intelligence solves problems and produces money. Money without financial intelligence is money soon gone.
Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much m9oney you make, it’s how much money you keep. We have all heard stories of lottery winners who are poor, them suddenly rich, then poor again. They win millions and are soon back to where they started. Or stories of professional athletes who, at age 24, are earning millions of dollars a year, and are sleeping under a bridge by age 34.
If you are going to build an Empire State Building, the first thing you need to do is dig a deep hole and pour a strong foundation. If you are going to build a home in the suburbs, all you need to do is pour a 6-inch slab of concrete. Most people, in their drive to get rich, are trying to build an Empire State Building on a 6-inch slab.
My challenge to you today is to strengthen your mind and start thinking. Most people don’t realize that it’s their emotions doing the thinking. Your emotions are your emotions, but you have got to learn to do your own thinking. The human brain is the most powerful computer on earth. But don’t take it from me or from the world’s greatest leaders and entrepreneurs – try it for yourself!