Moving from employee to Entrepreneur
When I was a kid, my poor dad often said, “Go to school and get good grades so you can get a safe secure job.” He was programming me for the E (employee) quadrant.
My mother often said, “If you want to be rich, you should become a doctor or lawyer. That way you’ll always have a profession to fall back on.” She was programming me for the S (self-employed) quadrant.
My rich dad said, “If you want to be rich, you should mind your own business.” Rich dad recommended I learn to become a business owner and an investor in the B (big business) and I (investor) quadrants.
Making my choice
When I returned from Vietnam, I had to make up my mind on which dad I would listen to. Looking at the CASHFLOW Quadrant, I asked this question: “In which quadrant do I have the most chance of financial success?”
Knowing that I did not want to be an employee all my life, nor did I want to go to school to become a doctor or lawyer in the S quadrant, I knew that my best chances were in the B and I quadrants.
Today, the question you may want to ask yourself is, “Which quadrant or quadrants are best for me?”
Real change is hard
If you believe your best fit is in switching to a new quadrant – specifically to the B or I quadrant from the E and S quadrants – it will be hard to make the change. But it will also be worth it.
One of the reasons many people fail to become successful, is because they do not change quadrants…most people only change jobs. That is why you hear of people going from job to job, or people saying, “I’ve found the perfect job.” Even if they find the perfect job, they haven’t changed much because they haven’t changed quadrants.
For most people, changing a job is easy. It’s comfortable and familiar. A real change, however, a move from one side of the CASHFLOW Quadrant to another…that’s extremely hard to do.
A lot of people think they can make a quick jump. The reality is that you cannot move from being an employee (E) or self-employed (S), to big business (B) or investor (I) overnight.
If you are serious, it will take commitment. The following are three-reasons why.
Reason #1: It takes time
It took years for Starbucks to be built. It took years for McDonalds to be built. It was years before Sony became an entertainment giant. In other words, it takes years to build great companies and great business leaders. Most people do not think in terms of years. Most people think in terms of immediate gratification and getting rich quick. That is why there are so few people in the B quadrant. Most people want money, but are unwilling to invest their time.
Reason #2: You have to unlearn to learn again
There is a statement that goes, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, thankfully, we are humans and not dogs. Yet there is some truth to the idea that the older we get, the harder it is to unlearn things we have spent years learning. One of the reasons so many people feel more comfortable in the E and S quadrants is because they feel secure there. After all, they spent years learning how to be there. So, many people return there because it is comfortable, even though that comfort is not good for them in the end.
Take your time to both unlearn as well as learn. For some people, the hardest part of switching from the left side of the Quadrant to the right side of the Quadrant is unlearning the point of view of the E and S quadrants. Once you have unlearned what you have learned, I think the change will go much faster and easier.
Reason #3: This is a transformation, not just a change
All caterpillars make a cocoon before becoming butterflies. Flight school was my cocoon. I entered flight school as a college graduate, and exited flight school as a pilot ready to go to Vietnam. It took me nearly two years to get through basic flight school in Florida. I received my wings, which meant I was a pilot, and I was then transferred to advanced flight training at Camp Pendleton, California.
About eight months into the program at Camp Pendleton, something changed inside of me. During one training flight, I finally became a pilot who was ready to go to war. Up to that point in time, I was flying mentally, emotionally, and physically. Some people call it “flying mechanically.” On that one training mission, I changed spiritually. The mission was so intense and frightening that suddenly, all my doubts and fears were forced out of the way, and my human spirit took over. Flying had become a part of me. I felt at peace and at home inside the aircraft. The aircraft was part of me. I was ready to go to Vietnam.
My process of becoming a businessperson and investor has followed much the same process as becoming a pilot ready to go into battle. It took my failing twice in business before I suddenly found my spirit…a spirit often called the “entrepreneurial spirit.” It is a spirit that keeps me on the B and I side, no matter how tough things get.