Vincent Pugliese

The Rich Don’t Work For Money

Andrew is walking towards me. He has a tarantula in one hand and a plastic red Solo cup filled with money in the other. 

In that moment, it was obvious that he was on to something. Andrew is our oldest son- a sixteen-year-old who who was fifteen at the time. He has always had an affinity for bugs, arachnids and anything that freaks out most adults. But the kids love them. So when we went to Clearwater Beach last February on Super Bowl Sunday to check out the festivities because the game was being played in Tampa, Andrew decided to bring his tarantula. 

We watched in awe as people began approaching him before we even made it to the beach. A waitress at a restaurant had always wanted to hold one, and told her boss to cover her table while she came out to the sidewalk to face her fears. On the way back to the car a few hours later, she saw Andrew and pulled her boss outside so he could face his fears. I think we know who the real boss was that day. 

The next day, Andrew and I went to the beach with a different purpose. He wanted to claim a spot between the beach and the food stand to see if more people were interested. I agreed, but only if he brought a tip cup. 

“I’m not doing this for the money,” he said. 

” I know. And that’s why you will be successful,” I told him. 

Rich Dad, Poor Dad, written by Robert Kiyosaki, is one of the books that changed my thinking about work and money. It’s a book that we have our kids read and we discuss together. I won’t discuss the inner workings of the book but one of his cornerstone ideas is that the rich don’t work for money. There is a chapter in the book where, as a child, he goes to work for his “rich dad”. His real dad was a government employee who believed in higher education but didn’t learn about money, and was always poor. His other dad- the father of his friend- had little formal education but was well versed in the world of business and finance. 

Kiyosaki went to work for his “Rich Dad” but became angry by the way he was being treated. He had to work on Saturdays while his friends were playing baseball. He was being paid ten cents and hour while he was expected to work hard in a difficult environment. He finally got fed up and went to tell his rich dad off. But his rich dad made him wait outside of his office. And wait. And wait some more. 

Finally, his rich dad let him in. And Kiyosaki let him have it. He griped and moaned and complained. 

“Congratulations,” Rich Dad said. “You already sound like most of my employees!” 

Kiyosaki was confused. By the end of the conversation, he realized that his rich dad was trying to teach him a giant life lesson. Rich Dad then challenged him. What if I offered you a dollar an hour? What about two dollars? What about five dollars? In the 1950’s, he would be rich! 

Rich Dad’s point was clear. As soon as you accept that salary, you are done. You now work for the money. But the rich. They don’t work for money, he carefully explained. They invent money. 

It led to a funny story about Kiyosaki and his friend physically attempting to invent money- which was taking the lesson way too literally. But the point was that they got the point. The rich create businesses out of thin air- ideas, thoughts, solutions- that don’t rely on a steady paycheck from an employer. 

According to the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley, 75% of millionaires are self employed yet only 25% of the population are self employed. That’s an astonishing stat. Essentially, the odds of becoming wealthy as an employee are remarkably lower compared to those that are self employed. And that doesn’t even factor in the time freedom aspect, as well as the possibilities of creating the work that you love. 

As I watched Andrew walking towards me with the tarantula and the cash, I thought of the lesson that Kiyosaki’s rich dad taught him. Was Andrew learning the same lesson? He just “invented” a cup full of cash. Now, Andrew is not nearly as interested in getting rich as Kiyosaki was. At this point, he doesn’t really care about money. I wish he would a little more but something tells me that life will show him that earning money does matter.

But the idea that he can create an idea out of thin air that others are happy to give him money for is the cornerstone to this idea. He didn’t rely on a paycheck. He didn’t expect a salary just because he showed up. He added value first. He saw a need that wasn’t being filled. He gave something that was worth more to others than that amount of money in their pockets. 

Ten days later, he had a duffle bag filled with $1,600 in cash from the tips that he received at the beach. Now, I don’t know if this lesson will sink in for him the way it did for Kiyosaki. I hope it does but my job is to be a teacher and a guide. Sometimes we need to feel what it’s like on the other side to appreciate these lessons. Right before I went to write this story, a friend who is in a traditional job messaged me. His kid is sick and needs more attention and his employer basically told him to go pound sand. They need him and he will get no special treatment. He’s now desperate to build the business that he has been delaying growing for the past three years. 

The best way to build wealth is to invent it. Make it up. Create something that isn’t here now. Make something that is here better. When we realize that we have interests and skills that can serve, entertain or educate others, we can take the unique blend of that we possess individually and turn it into something where money can be created out of thin air. 


An Introduction To The 80/20 Rule

What I want to bring to you, each week in this blog, is a topic that will help you gain the freedom that you want in your life. So many people crave financial freedom. But what is overlooked is the concept of time freedom.  When you can learn to free your time, and be less

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How (And Why) We Should Accept Compliments

I’ve never been good at accepting compliments. Now don’t get me wrong. I want the compliments- sometimes way too often. I have craved the compliments but I was never good at accepting them. WIth that,  I was called out publicly a few years ago on a mastermind call that I was on with John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneurs on Fire. I don’t remember who it was, I think it was Roger Whitney, the host of the Retirement Answerman Podcast who gave me the compliment. Roger is my friend yet the compliment took me by surprise. Others in the group agreed with him and I responded with a very muted, okay, thanks, or the whole ‘it’s no big deal’ type of thing. And John called me out on it, which I so appreciated as painful as it was in the moment. And this is why I love masterminds. And why I love accountability. I don’t respond well when people complain about judgment or they say ‘who are you to question me on what I did’? You can have a great life- go do your thing-  but we’re not going to relate. I like challenges,. Especially when they come from people care about me. And if you can’t take constructive criticism from somebody who cares about you, you’re always going to be limited in your growth. So some people can call it criticism, but it was one of the best pieces of advice.  John basically said to me, don’t do that. You need to be able to handle compliments better than you do. And he explained that we are diminishing the other person’s gratefulness by doing that. And I’ve never really thought of it that way. Actually, I know I’ve never thought of it that way. I always thought that I was being humble. I didn’t want to brag. I didn’t want to pound my chest and say, yeah, I did do that. Nobody loves somebody that does that. But there’s a big difference between being quiet, defensive, and evasive than there is from the bragger. It’s actually two ends of the spectrum and neither of them are good. So I’ve met John many times. I’ve seen him at conferences. He gets swarmed by people, often people that want to tell them how much he’s helped them with this podcast. And he mentioned to me how he handles compliments. He handles it with a lot of gratitude and appreciation and he makes sure that there’s the big smile that goes with it. As well as a giant, thank you. And the appreciation for this person to go out of their way to give him a compliment. You have to understand the true thankfulness does not give off an appearance of vanity or excessive pride. What you are doing is you are appreciating that person’s compliments and giving them recognition. Now I’m going to guess that if you’re listening, you probably don’t go overly crazy on self praise. It’s just a guess. I’m also going to guess that you might go way on the other end and you might deflect or even feel uncomfortable but what’s even worse is if you reject it. But when you reject the compliment, you are not only  downplaying yourself, but you’re downplaying them as well. And without meaning it you’re downplaying their intelligence because if they truly believe in what you did and they’ve truly given you a great compliment, and you tell them that it wasn’t any good or it really wasn’t worth it, Basically what you’re telling them is that their opinion is an accurate. It’s an insult to the person giving you the compliment. So when you reject or deflect a compliment, what you’re really doing is you’re projecting the idea that you have low self esteem. I’m sure you’ve had it where you’ve given a compliment and it’s been blown off. It’s happened to me. And I don’t know about you, but I feel that way. I feel like I gave a compliment, I believed in them and they didn’t believe in themselves. And it made me feel like maybe I was wrong in thinking that way. Somebody else we might want to avoid when you’re in that spot is to get into a compliment comparison. Have you ever done it? When somebody gives you a compliment and you have to give them a compliment right back. Someone says, ‘Your hair looks great! And you immediately respond with ‘Oh, your hair looks great too!’. And they’re like, I’m wearing a hat. And you might think, why couldn’t I just accept their compliment? Instead, I needed to give it right back. And now it seems phony because what will happen is you’ll come across insincere. So to begin with you’re deflecting, you’re getting it away from yourself, which goes back to what we talked about earlier. But you have to think about this- were you really going to compliment that person on what you did compliment them on? Would you have just walked up to that person and said, ‘Your hair looks great today’ when they’re wearing a hat? No, of course you wouldn’t. It’s got to be sincere. It’s got to be meaningful. And it’s got. to be honest. So stop doing that.

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The Price of Perfection

The price of perfectionism. According to author Valerie Young, perfectionists who hit 99% of their goals still feel like a failure. These are the people who are the ones who need to know every piece of information before they can start. I am sure that there are people that are cringing as they’re reading this. Even in our mastermind calls, there are people that will say- no- I need to get this thing done perfectly before I can move on to that next thing. They are the ones that who say things like ‘I’m not an expert enough to teach people what I know’ and that I need to learn more. You need to study more before you can even start to put anything out there. Does that sound familiar? That in essence is perfectionism. These are the ones that are always looking for new certifications or a new skills to learn before they can go forward. The perfectionist just need that next certificate, that next course or or if they can get this next part just right then I can get started. So in the episode of The Total Life Freedom Podcast, I talked about my book and self-sabotage. Today I’m going to give you a lesson that I learned that forced me to actually finish and publish my book and get over my own perfectionism. So when I first had the idea of writing a book, I went to different book clubs to learn. I wanted to meet with other authors, to see what they’re doing and soak it all in. I was hoping to learn from them, get inspiration for them and maybe possibly help. But I really wasn’t sure who or how I could

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How To Reinvent Yourself

And Then Covid Happened… That is a book title if you’d like to run with it. And I’m not talking about anything to do with health. But I am talking about how so many businesses and careers were tossed around and flipped on their side like a swath of boats strewn along the land after

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The Rich Don’t Work For Money

Andrew is walking towards me. He has a tarantula in one hand and a plastic red Solo cup filled with money in the other.  In that moment, it was obvious that he was on to something. Andrew is our oldest son- a sixteen-year-old who who was fifteen at the time. He has always had an

Read More »

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