The best-selling co-author of Rich Dad Poor Dad and the former CEO of Rich Dad (Sharon Lechter) shares how the concept for the Rich Dad Poor Dad book series was developed.
All right, thrive nation. On today’s show, I have the pleasure. We have the pleasure of interviewing the Certified Public Accountant, an entrepreneur that many, many people know she’s become a household name. Her name is Sharon Lechter. You see, she is the CEO Behind Rich Dad poor dad. She’s The lady who, uh, created the book with Robert Kiyosaki. I’m not sure if you, if the listener is out there, if you’re aware of this, but the whole rich Dad, poor dad book series really started as a result of Robert Kiyosaki wanting to make a board game and Sharon Lechter writing and elaborate sales brochure that mutated or was changed and transformed into the book known as Rich Dad Poor Dad. In fact, they sold the first 1 million copies of that book out of her home. Ladies and gentlemen, in 2009, Sharon Lechter was appointed to the national CPA financial literacy commission as a national spokesperson. This right here, folks is the same council that served both President Bush and President Obama and Sharon today has a team of over 5,000 people around the world who help her with her various assets and entrepreneurial endeavors and in her free time, she was approached by the Napoleon hill foundation to take the domain you script to a book that was written in the 19 thirties called outwitting the devil and to refresh it, so she’s worked with the Napoleon Hill Foundation now to release a multiple books including thinking grow rich for women and outwitting the devil.
Ladies and gentlemen, family and friends don’t any further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you my friend, Ms Dot Sharon Lechter. Sharon Lechter misled her. How are you doing today?
I am fantastic, clay. Thank you so much.
Hey, I have a question for you. I think a lot of listeners would like to to to to know off the bat here is with your. When you guys created the rich dad poor dad series, what was your role with that book it and how did that. Where did the idea for that book come from?
Well, at the time Robert Kids back, and this is back in 95, Robert Kiyosaki had gotten to see my husband, Michael Lechter, who is an intellectual property attorney with an idea for a board game and it was drawn out on a piece of paper, but he needed somebody to help really make it happen. And so we went to see my husband about getting that copy copyrighted and, and patented. And in that process I had already been working in the area of financial literacy. And so my husband introduced us thought that I would enjoy seeing the potential of the game, which I really did. So I met Robert at the first Beta test for the game and um, it was a drawn out on a piece of butcher paper. And the plane pieces were different caliber bullets. So first impression is everything right out of the three tables. I was the only person who got out of the rat race.
But at the same time I really saw the value of the messaging, which is consistent with my messaging and understanding the importance of passive income. The importance of building assets and not relying on a job or a paycheck for your financial health. And so I volunteered to help him. My background had been, I’ve helped build the talking book industry and then that we also had an electronic game so I had a network of influence that I could draw on and as we were looking at it, Robert wanted to charge $200, should the board game and I said, well maybe we need a brochure. We need a brochure that kind of talks about the philosophy so that people will be convinced to invest $200 [inaudible]. And in that process he asked me to be as partner and the brochure was rich. Dad, poor dad never expected it to be the huge success in his own right.
It was written really as a brochure to sell the game. And of course the world came and said, no, your brand is not only cashflow, your brand is rich dad. And so we thought, well, okay, maybe we should write a. decided to write three books, Rich Dad, poor dad cashflow quadrant and guide to investing. And we did those. And then, oh no, that people show wanted more. So we wrote a total of 15 books during the 10 years that I was his partner. We own the company and I let it as a ceo and then we had a second brand of books that we’d launched the rich dad advisors books along with all of our other programming. And so that’s really how it got started. I, you know, he, he was interested in the fact that my background and my philosophy was consistent with his, the fact that I was a CPA, um, and the fact that I had the experience and the connections to help build the business. And so we became partners and um, you know, 10 years we built the rich dad brand globally.
No, I understand, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe that you sold the first 1 million copies of the. Now we know brochure slash book out of your actual house. Is that, is that true? Did you actually sell a million copies of a book out of your house?
Yes, we did. We had, we really ran the company out of my own for the first three years and in fact, um, the, our local post office got to the point where they said, Sharon, we can’t handle your volume anymore.
A local, a filament house. It would store the inventory and shipped for us. But yeah, we sold the first million bucks. We made it to the New York Times best seller list. The original book was published by a company that my husband and I own called tech press and it was so that we could control the book if we wanted to give it away. We could traditional publishers. That’s not something you can do with them. And as we built that success and got all the lists, all of the sudden we had all these other publishers coming to us wanting to help us. And it was a good thing because when we really hit the stride m and we had a phone call from Oprah, one spin opera, we knew we needed to have more depth of distribution and it was in the middle of these conversations. So we were able to do a deal with warner books and the rest is history, seven and a half plus years in the New York Times best seller list.
That’s phenomenal. Shearing. This is Robert Zellner by the way, love your books. And so, so excited to have you on the show. And when you were riding a pamphlet for the game, when did it morph into the book? I mean because that’s a big pamphlets or gay. But when did, so you’re starting to write the pamper then. And then at what point did you say, I think this is a book.
Well we, we said we need a brochure, but the brochure became the book and it’s really the to tell the story and to really be able to give it to people for free. Um, and really to have a $15 product that would lead to the $200 board game and west. Why it was not originally published in hardback. It was originally published in paperback.
Uh Huh. Now, Sharon, we have a, uh, I know you’ve met probably thousands of people all around the world as you become more of a face, you know yourself now. No longer behind the scenes. You’re out there and do more interviews and being more scene. I’m still, I’m sure you’ve run into people all around the world who’ve said to you, Sharon, your book really did change and impact in my life. Well, we have one listener who’s one of my current clients who’s the head of marketing for Shaw homes, and if you check it out there, sharing it. It’s a shaw homes.com. It’s the largest home builder in Oklahoma. And he claims now again the he claims no sharing you’ll have to get ahold of at some point to verify this, but he used to deliver pizzas for dominoes and he said that the Book Rich Dad, poor dad changed his life and he told me, he said, you’re going to interview her. Are you kidding me? He said, so he asked me if I would ask you a question on today’s show. So he wanted to know
Aaron aunt is the head of marketing for the largest home builder in Oklahoma. Shaw homes a Dotcom. And Aaron said he wanted me to ask you. You said, when did you have your Aha moment in your life sharing that changed your view of your financial world? When did you Miss Sharon Lechter have your Aha moment that changed the way you view the financial world?
Well, I think our lives are a series of Aha moments, but I think first I want to address Aaron because um, a lot of people come up to me and around the world and say the rich Dad, poor dad changed their life. And Aaron, I want to tell you, nobody changed your life, but I’m honored and thrilled that something that I wrote him inspired you, gave you the motivation to take action, but I want you to own it and I want you to stand in the fact that you, you, you sought out the information, but then you actually took action and deployed it. And so I’m rich. Dad, poor dad as a book doesn’t change anybody’s lives. Hopefully it inspires people to take action to change their own lives, but as it relates to me on my financial Aha, there’s probably been quite a few of them, but I’m the first one probably was having grown up in a very entrepreneurial home and we lived in a house between my dad’s used car lot and my mom’s beauty shop.
My Dad also owned orange groves and rental properties. I swore I would never be an entrepreneur because I grew up in that environment and I was going to go be a partner in a large CPA firm and retire with a gold watch. I was following that dream and then when there was, I was on the fast track in coopers and lybrand in Atlanta, Georgia and I realized that I was working way too many hours for other people and I said, if I’m going to work this hard, I should be working for myself. And that was in 1979 and that’s really when the entrepreneurial bug bit me and I’ve never looked back. So
your father, now, correct me if I’m wrong, I tried to spend a copious amount of time researching use so that I’m well prepared. Maybe some of the things that you hadn’t talked about in some of your books and I had read or actually watched an interview that you did where you’re talking about, I believe that your father only had a third grade education in terms of formal education, yet he went on to teach the engineering school for the United States Navy. Is that accurate? Did I get that wrong? Is that correct?
He did. He was born in the hills of Alabama. His father died when he was very young and so he had no formal education passed the third grade, but he joined. The navy is early as he could and ended up becoming. He was a master chief in the navy and his last five years he. We were in great lakes and he was running the engineering school for the navy.
No, you. You actually have sold. I’m not sure if you’re aware of this, but I probably could tell. I’ll read you. I guess you sold 26 million copies of the rich dad books when you were, while you were ceo, is that correct? Did you sell 26 million copies of that book
of the Rich Dad series? Primarily Rich Dad, poor dad of course was the greatest one, but yes, globally. And it was over 50 languages and over 100 countries.
Well Sharon, you, you could probably stop, you know, so why, why are you so passionate about a financial literacy? I apparently you’re doing pretty well. I mean, why are you still continuing to, at the young age you are to go out there and travel around the world and passionately teach financial literacy when you could have obviously clearly been done years ago.
Well, it’s a true statement. I’ve been financially free for 20 years. Um, but I think what drives us is not necessarily for me, it’s never been about the money. Um, I believe as growing up as a little child, my father would ask me each night have I added value to someone’s life? And I still asked me. I felt that I lost him in 2006, but I continue to feel that each of us has a responsibility to support others and I think that I have a gift and a responsibility that I have the ability to teach people about money, how to change their mindsets about money, how to go from scarcity to abundance, realizing that the opportunity is there, you just need to learn how to teach yourself how to recognize it and seize it and take action. And it was literally, um, you know, what I’m doing this year with a big movement is really me coming back in and to focus on what I want to do.
I really thought about retiring last year and it didn’t sit too well with me and I said, you know, this is what I’m, I was, I’ve been given a gift and an opportunity and as long as I can continue supporting people taking control of their financial lives, um, that’s what, that’s what I wanna do. So I’m back in the game and I’m literally doing it and sharing with people what I’m doing. I’m doing it and inviting them to come along with me in the play big movement. There’s a private facebook page called the play by play, a big movement with Sharon Lechter that’s joined it for free and come along with us.
No Sharon, you know, we have a whatever, one of my clients based in Canada and he actually is a CPA. His name is Josh and Josh wanted me to ask you a question because he has an accounting firm that is designed to be very, um, you know, it’s designed to help their clients steer their clients financially, not just pay their taxes. They’re based up in Canada and he wanted to know, um, because he listened to our podcast all the time. He wanted to know from your perspective as a CPA, where do you see most cpas missing it when it comes to actually helping their clients? Not just teaching them theory, but where do you see most cpas or, or, or, or do you see cpas missing it when it comes to helping their clients?
Well, Josh, I appreciate that question because I, and I applaud you for going the extra mile and, and all CPAS are not created equal and CPAS, you know, we can kind of fall into the category of being a service provider. Give me your stuff. I’ll do your tax returns, giving your financial records and I’ll give you some financial statements, but a, as a CPA has the opportunity to use their depth of experience of looking at multiple different companies and really become true advisor to business owners or to individuals financially and to help steer them in the right direction. You all certified public accountants are not personal financial planners. They don’t necessarily have that designation, but many of them do. And so to ask them to sit down and have them walk you through your tax return both as a business or as an individual and to find out things that you should be doing or should things that you should stop doing is very important.
And I think many cpas or should do that. Many of them do and others don’t. So I applaud Josh for going the extra mile because we have. We bring to the table, my, my years of public accounting stilled are a huge benefit to me each and every day because I saw how many companies did it right, but probably even more importantly, I saw the mistake so many companies made and isn’t a tremendous education. And B, being able to share that education through my books, through my games, through my mentoring, um, is, is as a true gift for me. And so when you are a CPA, you have that experience, you have the opportunity to share that wisdom with your clients and hopefully they all do. But I know that not all of them do
up right behind you there. And the man-cave studios, there’s a book on the shelf, it’s going to be the very, very top shelf and you’re gonna see a book with all these post it notes coming out of it. I’d like if you’d take a photo of that insurance, photos of that and share that with listeners on today’s show notes. But before you do that, can you explain to the listeners what you’re looking at there? What, what book that is,
uh, this says guide to investing what the rich invest in that the poor and middle class do not look at that book. It’s Robert Kiyosaki with Sharon Lechter and that book, this thing looks like it could be a miniature version, maybe, maybe a small rural towns. Phonebook pretty, pretty good size for a book and I don’t know what you’ve done with this tagging system here, but there’s tabs stapled, taped, stuck, highlighted, checkmarked, crossed out, circled drawings, everything. You’ve got this thing
that book, that book. I could not put that thing down. I read grilled stuff, Burrito wrestled with that book for probably a year just to get wrestled back. I mean seriously, it was probably, I mean maybe six months and just reading the same book over and over and over and that, that book was a game changer. And what’s so exciting is it Sharon Lechter has agreed to be with us on six shows chapter. We’re going to have her on six separate shows. So if you enjoyed today’s interview, you are going to definitely not going to want to miss out on the future interviews. So how do you make sure you never miss out on an interview? Well, if you never want to miss out on an interview, just go to the thrive time, show on Itunes, find the thrive time, show on Itunes, and then click the subscribe button and after you subscribe, you’ll never miss an episode.
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