Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki was a transformative book for me. It teaches you to think about money, jobs, and life differently than you likely learned in school. The basic premise is that Robert has two primary role models in his life.
First was his biological father (poor dad), who had a successful career in academia, but never amassed any wealth or much financial knowledge. Poor dad struggled financially despite his large salary and generous benefits.
His second role model was his friend’s dad (rich dad), who was a successful and rich business man. Rich dad took Robert and his friend under his wing to teach them about business, money, and how to live life.
While both men were influential and respected, Robert saw the financial freedom that rich dad enjoyed and the legacy he was able to leave to his family. This book is a simple but insightful look a how rich dad lived and provides an interesting contrast to how poor dad lived. Enjoy these 35 incredible Rich Dad Poor Dad quotes.
1. “Opportunities come and go. Being able to know when to make quick decisions is an important skill.”
Being able to make quick, solid decisions is so important to being able to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Many people tend to go over and over information and analyze every detail, while an opportunity passes them by. An important skill is being able to quickly assess an opportunity, seek good information or advice, consider your intuition and make a decision.
2. “Most of the time, life does not talk to you. It just sort of pushes you around. Each push is life saying ‘Wake up. There’s something I want you to learn.’”
What an amazing journey this is, and it is all the more amazing that the world pushes us and wants us to WAKE UP. Also, the more you listen and act on these wake up calls the more clear and frequent they seem to become. Like the universe is leading you in the best direction.
3. “Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push back against their boss, or their job, or their husband or wife. They do not know it’s life that’s pushing.”
The biggest waste of time is blaming others for things not going well in your life. You are 100% responsible for your life. You are the only one who can find a better job, learn new skills to increase your salary, spend time building relationships with your spouse and kids, change your attitude, eat better, exercise, or [insert whatever thing you need to do to build a better life]. As soon as you decide you can and will take responsibility for everything that happens, the sooner you can start moving in a new direction that will bring meaningful change to your life.
I’ve read so many books with this same advice said different ways, but here is how Jack Canfield puts it in another great book:
”If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reasons why you haven’t up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. You have to give them all up forever.”
4. “Deep inside, you and only you will know you didn’t go for it. You chose to play it safe.”
This happens to all of us to some extent. Most of us can’t get the courage up to make a needed change, take a certain risk, or forgive a certain person. The goal is to have as few of those regrets as possible.
5. “Stop blaming me and thinking I’m the problem. If you think I’m the problem, then you have to change me. If you realize that you’re the problem, then you can change yourself, learn something, and grow wiser.”
Again, you are 100% responsible. This is a major theme in so many great books. I tell myself this every morning as I am getting ready. And it changes how I go about my day.
6. “Let me tell you, it’s easier to change yourself than everyone else.”
And changing your thoughts will change you. I recommend anyone who really wants to take control of their life start with some kind of mindfulness or meditation practice. Mindful.org is an incredible resource for beginners, providing tons of information, meditations you can try, and answers to FAQs.
The Art of Living also offers free courses and sessions to learn meditation and mindfullness.
“The Art of Living is more of a principle, a philosophy of living life to its fullest. It is more a movement than an organization. Its core value is to find peace within oneself and to unite people in our society – of different cultures, traditions, religions, nationalities; and thus reminding us all that we have one goal to uplift human life everywhere.”– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
7. “The poor and the middle class work for money. The rich have money work for them.”
This book points out over and over again that the rich get income from their assets, not from their jobs. Robert even tells a story about selling copy machines for years in order to build assets that generate income (in his case, real estate). The point is, make your goal to, over time, buy assets that generate the income you need to live.
8. “Most people become a slave to money – and then get angry at their boss.”
But I NEED that new car, that fancy suit, that dream vacation. And I can afford it…right? No, you can’t afford it. Unless that money came from assets you own and not your own labor.
9. “Most people go to college for four years, and their education ends. I already know that my study of money will continue over my lifetime, simply because the more I find out, the more I find out I need to know.”
Keep learning, keep growing, keep striving for your best. There are so many amazing books out there and so much knowledge. There has never been a time when knowledge was more accessible. I read constantly, and listen to audio books when I’m driving to and from work. Listen to podcasts, read the news paper, talk to smart people. Open your eyes to the wonderful world that surrounds us.
10. “Most people have a price. And they have a price because of human emotions named fear and greed. First, the fear of being without money motivates us to work hard, and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire starts us thinking about all the wonderful things money can buy.”
It happens to all of us to some degree. You start getting that big paycheck and the options for spending it seem endless. After all, expensive shoes are more comfortable, expensive bags do increase your confidence, and flying first class feels amazing! However, it is all about priorities. If you delay buying those fabulous shoes for a few years while you reduce debt and acquire assets, it will feel oh so sweet and then your options for living life on your own terms will be so much greater.
11. “Be truthful about your emotions and use your mind and emotions in your favor, not against yourself.”
This is simple in theory but difficult in practice. You can start with simple steps. One idea is to spend 10 minutes writing in a journal every day with a commitment to being 100% honest with yourself.
12. “The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, not the economy or the government or the rich. It’s self-inflicted fear and ignorance that keep people trapped.”
Luckily for all of us, it is easy to overcome ignorance. Start by reading this book.
13. “It’s just like the pictures of a donkey dragging a cart with its owner dangling a carrot just in front of its nose. The donkey’s owner may be going where he wants to, but the donkey is chasing an illusion. Tomorrow there will only be another carrot for the donkey.”
This is a good reminder to step back, look at the big picture of your life, and ensure you are going in the direction you want to go in.
14. “Fear pushes you out the door, and desire calls to you. That’s the trap.”
What an accomplishment it would be to overcome this fear.
15. “…once a person stops searching for information and self-knowledge, ignorance sets in.”
Learning is a life long journey, and we must all constantly pursue our own growth.
16. “To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams, is cruel. To work hard for money, thinking that it will give you things that will make you happy is also cruel.”
This one quote sums up why I love this book! You have a responsibility to chase your dreams. If you choose not to pursue your dreams, you are being cruel to yourself and you aren’t giving the world the benefits of your unique gifts.
17. “History proves that great civilizations collapse when the gap between the haves and the have-nots is too great.”
I will just leave this chart here for you. Not a comforting thought…
18. “…schools focus only on teaching people to work for money, not how to harness money’s power.”
Until we change that, we are each responsible for teaching our kids about money. Robert has a game called Cash Flow 101 that might help.
19. “Confronting fear, weakness, and neediness by choosing our own thoughts is the way out.”
Choosing your own thoughts is an important first step in changing your life for the better. Meditation helps so much with this.
20. “Most people are too afraid to rationally think things through and instead run out the door to a job they hate.”
Life is busy. The responsibilities of raising children, paying the mortgage, keeping up with your extended family and social obligations takes so much energy. However, maybe it makes sense to take a step back and think about where you want to be in 10 years. What will really make you happy? You were put here for a reason. Figure out what it is and make sure you are living your purpose.
21. “Keep using your brain, work for free, and soon your mind will show you ways of making money far beyond what I could ever pay you.”
All of us have this inside of us. The ability to solve problems and the ability to see things from our own very unique angle. The faith rich dad has in the two boys here and their ability to think through anything is inspiring.
22. “Most people fail to realize that in life, it’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you keep.”
In other words, live below your means (just like grandma told you). There is only one way to create space to breathe (financially speaking), and that is to find a way to spend less than you have coming in each month. Invest or pay down debt with the difference. It will change your life.
23. “If you want to be rich, you need to be financially literate.”
Alexa von Tobel, founder of LearnVest and the New York Times bestselling author of Financially Fearless, reveals in this TEDx talk why financial literacy is so important.
24. “…my educated dad stressed the importance of reading books, while my rich dad stressed the need to master financial literacy.”
I personally think both are incredibly important, but the financial literacy piece is just not something that most people want to invest in. Robert’s point is that you must master financial literacy if you want to be free from your financial burdens and live your best life.
25. “Accounting is possibly the most confusing, boring subject in the world, but if you want to be rich long-term, it could be the most important subject.”
As a Certified Public Accountant, I disagree that accounting is boring.
26. “Rich people acquire assets. The poor and middle class acquire liabilities that they think are assets.”
Robert has taken a lot of flack for declaring that your home is not an asset, but rather a liability. This is because assets generate income and liabilities generate expenses. Since a home generates expenses, in the form of repairs & upkeep, taxes, mortgage interest, etc., it is in fact a liability and should be treated as such.
27. “You mean all we need to know is what an asset is, acquire them, and we’ll be rich?”
Yes! I believe each of us is better off knowing how money works, acquiring assets, and generating income off of those assets that we can use to live off of. This is one of the best ways to truly start to have financial freedom and the choices that come along with that.
28. “If you want to be rich, you’ve got to read and understand numbers.”
Whether you are an entrepreneur, an executive, or a stay at home mom, it is important to understand the numbers.
29. “It’s called financial aptitude – what you do with the money once you make it, how to keep people from taking it from you, how to keep it longer, and how to make that money work hard for you.”
Start with reading this book, and then read more on money.
30. “A person can be highly educated, professionally successful, and financially illiterate.”
Financial literacy isn’t something everyone is interested in, but without knowing the basics, life can feel out of control. You have to know where you stand financially, and that includes having a detailed monthly budget.
31. “Schools were designed to produce good employees, instead of employers.”
Again, it is on us to help our kids navigate and learn. And we have to educate ourselves first.
32. “Most people work all their lives paying for a home they never own.”
Check out the graph below from money.com showing average debt per age for the entire population. What is shocking is that the average debt does reduce closer to and in retirement, but never goes anywhere near zero! Also read about my debt free journey.
33. “Financial struggle is often directly the result of people working all their lives for someone else. Many people will simply have nothing at the end of their working days to show for their efforts.”
When you know better, you can choose to do better.
34. “Often in the real world, it’s not the smart who get ahead, but the bold.”
I see it over and over. The bold people do thinks that no one else will do to achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. Get out there, take a risk, do something that feels a little bit crazy. You will look back and realize those moments of boldness changed everything.
35. “We all have tremendous potential, and we all are blessed with gifts. Yet the one thing that holds all of us back is some degree of self-doubt.”
I struggle with tremendous self doubt myself. When I am doing something big that makes me feel inadequate, I remind my self of three things:
1. Many other people don’t know what they are doing either (or didn’t when they started), but the successful ones push through moments of self doubt.
2. People want to help me, all I have to do is be brave enough to ask for help to achieve my dreams.
3. If you don’t sometimes feel self doubt, you must be sticking too close to your comfort zone, and nothing big or daring or inspiring comes from your comfort zone.
That’s a Wrap!
There is so much knowledge in this book. I hope you enjoyed these Rich Dad Poor Dad Quotes, but I encourage you to read it, think about it, and change the way you manage your finances. To read more about how I manage my finances, check out this post. Enjoy!