Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The first difference between entrepreneurs and employees is:

Entrepreneurs are opportunity-oriented.

A person with an employee mindset might say, “I would start my own business but I don’t have the money.” Or “I’d love to invest in that piece of real estate, but I don’t have the down payment.” In both of these examples the person focuses on their resources, in this case their lack of money, rather than the opportunity.

In a similar situation, a person with an entrepreneur’s mindset might say, “Let’s start the business and we can finance the business from the cash flow.” Or “Tie up the property and we’ll find the money later.”

My poor dad was a man who saw many opportunities, but failed to act on them simply because he was resource-oriented. Instead of taking action, he often said, “I wish I could do it, but I can’t afford it.” Or “I would go into business for myself, but I need a steady job. I have a mortgage and you kids to feed.”

My rich dad, an entrepreneur and my best friend’s father who taught me a lot about how the rich think about money, was a man who started with nothing, but eventually became one of the richest men in Hawaii. Today, when you look at Waikiki Beach, you see some of the biggest hotels along the ocean on land his family owns. He said, “If you do not have resources, you need to become resourceful.” That is why he forbade his son and me from saying the words “I can’t afford it.” He said, “Poor people say ‘I can’t afford it.’ That’s why they’re poor.” Instead he insisted we learn to say, “How can I afford it?” He believed that when we said, “I can’t afford it” our minds were turned off and went to sleep. When we asked ourselves, “How can I afford it?” our minds, our greatest resource of all, were turned on and put to work