On that bright Saturday morning, I was learning a completely different point of view from what I had been taught by my poor dad. At the age of 9, I grew aware that both dads wanted me to learn. Both dads encouraged me to study... but not the same things.
My highly educated dad recommended
that I do what he did. "Son, I want you to study hard, get good grades, so you can find a safe, secure job with a big company. And make sure it has excellent benefits." My rich dad wanted me to learn how money works so I could make it work for me. These lessons I would learn through life with his guidance, not because of a classroom.
My rich dad continued my first lesson, "I'm glad you got angry about working for 10 cents an hour. If you had not gotten angry and had gladly accepted it, I would have to tell you that I could not teach you. You see, true learning takes energy, passion, a burning desire. Anger is a big part of that formula, for passion is anger and love combined. When it comes to money, most people want to play it safe and feel secure. So passion does not direct them: Fear does."
"So is that why they'll take a job with low par?" I asked.
"Yes," said rich dad. "Some people say I exploit people because I don't pay as much as the sugar plantation or the government. I say the people exploit themselves. It's their fear, not mine."
"But don't you feel you should pay them more?" I asked.
"I don't have to. And besides, more money will not solve the problem. Just look at your dad. He makes a lot of money, and he still can't pay his bills. Most people, given more money, only get into more debt."
"So that's why the 10 cents an hour," I said, smiling. "It's a part of the lesson."
"That's right," smiled rich dad. "You see, your dad went to school and got an excellent education, so he could get a high-paying job, which he did. But he still has money problems because he never learned anything about money at school. On top of that, he believes in working for money."
"And you don't?" I asked.
"No, not really," said rich dad. "If you want to learn to work for money, then stay in school. That is a great place to learn to do that. But if you want to learn how to have money work for you, then I will teach you that. But only if you want to learn."
"Wouldn't everyone want to learn that" I asked.
"No," said rich dad. "Simply because it's easier to learn to work for money, especially if fear is your primary emotion when the subject of money is discussed."
"I don't understand," I said with a frown.
"Don't worry about that for now. Just know that it's fear that keeps most people working at a job. The fear of not paying their bills. The fear of being fired. The fear of not having enough money. The fear of starting over. That's the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money. Most people become a slave to money... and then get angry at their boss."
"Learning to have money work for you is a completely different course of study?" I asked.
"Absolutely," rich dad answered, "absolutely."
We sat in silence. My friends would have just been starting their Little League baseball game. But for some reason, I was now thankful I had decided to work for 10 cents an hour. I sensed that I was about to learn something my friends would not learn in school.
"Ready to learn?" asked rich dad.
"Absolutely," I said with a grin.
"I have kept my promise. I've been teaching you from afar," my rich dad said. "At 9 years old, you've gotten a taste of what it feels like to work for money. Just multiply your last month by fifty years and you will have an idea of what most people spend their life doing."
"I don't understand," I said.
"How did you feel waiting in line to see me? Once to get hired and once to ask for more money?"
"Terrible," I said.
"If you choose to work for money, that is what life is like for many people," said rich dad.
"And how did you feel when Mrs. Martin dropped three dimes in your hand for three hours' work?"
"I felt like it wasn't enough. It seemed like nothing. I was disappointed," I said.
"And that is how most employees feel when they look at their paychecks. Especially after all the tax and other deductions are taken out. At least you got 100 percent."
"You mean most workers don't get paid everything?" I asked with amazement.
"Heavens no!" said rich dad. "The government always takes its share first."
"How do they do that." I asked.
"Taxes," said rich dad. "You're taxed when you earn. You're taxed when you spend. You're taxed when you save. You're taxed when you die."
"Why do people let the government do that to them?"
"The rich don't," said rich dad with a smile. "The poor and the middle class do. I'll bet you that I earn more than your dad, yet he pays more in taxes."
"How can that be?" I asked. As a 9-year-old boy, that made no sense to me. "Why would someone let the government do that to them?"
Rich dad sat there in silence. I guess he wanted me to listen instead of jabber away at the mouth.
Finally, I calmed down. I did not like what I had heard. I knew my dad complained constantly about paying so much in taxes, but really did nothing about it. Was that life pushing him around?
Rich dad rocked slowly and silently in his chair, just looking at me.
"Ready to learn?" he asked.
I nodded my head slowly.
"Learning how to have money work for you is a lifetime study. Most people go to college for four years, and their education ends. I already know that my study of money will continue over a lifetime, simply because the more I Find out, the more I find out I need to know. Most people never study the subject. They go to work, get their paycheck, balance their checkbooks, and that's it. On top of that, they wonder why they have money problems. Then, they think that more money will solve the problem. Few realize that it's their lack of financial education that is the problem."
"So my dad has tax problems because he doesn't understand money?" I asked, confused.
"Look," said rich dad. "Taxes are just one small section on learning how to have money work for you. Today, I just wanted to find out if you still have the passion to learn about money. Most people don't. They want to go to school, learn a profession, have fun at their work, and earn lots of money. One day they wake up with big money problems, and then they can't stop working. That's the price of only knowing how to work for money instead of studying how to have money work for you. So do you still have the passion to learn?" asked rich dad.
I nodded my head.
"Good," said rich dad. "Now get back to work. This time, I will pay you nothing."
"What?" I asked in amazement.
"You heard me. Nothing. You will work the same three hours every Saturday, but this time you will not be paid 10 cents per hour. You said you wanted to learn to not work for money, so I'm not going to pay you anything."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"I've already had this conversation with Mike. He's already working, dusting and stacking canned goods for free. You'd better hurry and get back there."
I stood there still not believing what a raw deal I had been handed. Here I came to ask for a raise, and now I was being told to keep working for nothing.
Rich dad tapped me on the head and said, "Use this. Then get out of here."