It may sound a little bit harsh but criminals in business tend to be the ones who lack the character needed in order to be an entrepreneur.
Most people get uncomfortable with the idea of developing your character which is about delaying gratification and also about confronting obstacles.
Life is hard and, as Dan Peña says, the new generations are having a hard time because they’re weak. This is a new weak generation due to very bad parenting. A lot of parents thought that by being overly nice to their kids then the kids will enjoy life better and that’s not the case. They’re so weak that they’re suffering in life.
I can even say that it’s my case. I’m part of that weak generation. Therefore, I’ve been working on that aspect where I need to improve my own character. Although, I think that developing our character is a process that we have to go through our entire life because there are so many aspects of our character that we need to improve.
For example, you may have learned to overcome today’s challenges but what if tomorrow there’s a whole new experience you have never being through. One of those is to experience the death of a family member. Something like that can mess up your whole emotions and finding the way to overcome it will be challenging.
Every single situation is different and there are some very demanding. Hence, I’m sure you will also have to keep developing your character on a frequent basis. That’s why I say it’s a lifetime process and if you can start soon in life then it will be better for you.
In other words, in business, the biggest criminals you will meet are often honest, well-educated people who lack emotional maturity and strength of character. They turn into criminals when things do not go their way.Robert Kiyosaki
Let me tell you the context for that phrase. Robert used to have a company with other two partners and the company got some great seasons but the bad times arrived.
The company needed more capital to continue working and Robert was able to get that amount of money through the investors. The problem was that one of Robert’s partners took the money and gave it to the early investors. Robert confronted his partner because He used the money without telling the other partners and also that money was for stock because they got a great demand for their product. After getting the stock they will be able to pay the investors with the profits.
Robert’s partner reacted really bad and started spreading the rumor that Robert didn’t want to pay the investors and gave the impression that Robert wanted to rip them off. Hence, Robert was unable to get the capital they needed to continue with the company.
Things got really messy and the two partners took whatever money was left and disappeared.
Robert went to his mentor who reminded him what He told him about those partners of his. Rich Dad (as Robert called him) said that they were nice guys but awful partners because they didn’t have the character needed as an entrepreneur. In other words, Robert partnered with cowards.
That’s the story behind the phrase. Well, Robert is not saying so only because of that experience. He says so because there have been many other occasions alike.
What we can notice from that story is that it makes sense because we can understand how fear can make people do stupid things when they don’t have the character to control their emotions. That’s how most of them turn into white-collar criminals.
We don’t need to experience something like that. Actually, that’s the benefit of having a mentor like Robert because we can learn from his mistakes. We can notice this toxic behavior in our society.
When our nation goes under economic inflation you can see how the former kind and honest person become a criminal by ripping other people off.
They tend to justify themselves by saying that the government is not doing anything for them. That’s what we’ve talked about in the article [Social Revolution] which also concluded by talking about the lack of character in our society.
As you may notice, having character is one of the most important factors to achieve wealth which is not only useful for our entrepreneurial life but also for many other areas and goals of our personal life.
How to recognize a white-collar criminal?
Robert shares a story that is weird and also funny that talks about this. One time Robert and his wife went to their friend’s house but this time with the idea of making business together. When Robert and Kim arrived at their friend’s house there was a very annoying dog who welcomed them which is kind of normal.
They talked about business and had a good time. Over time Robert discovered that his friend was dishonest with him. Kim also got shocked because they were friends and they trusted them.
When Robert tells the story he also says that he noticed that his friend’s dog have an interesting attitude. The dog tended to have good behavior in front of the owners but as soon they leave the dog starts to bite and destroy things.
Some of you may think “that’s not how the story goes” and that’s sad because you lose focus very easily. The important thing is not the story but the message that it conveys which is that pets copy their owner’s behavior.
In order to identify the white-collar criminals, you can analyze their spectrum of influence or what I call their reflections.
Criminals are always in disguised so you may not recognize them directly. Therefore, you should analyze their reflections.
In the context of Robert’s friends, their reflection was their dog because pets follow their owner’s pattern of behavior. Since the owner was dishonest, so was the dog. Their pet followed their conduct of betrayal and fake appearances.
It may sound a little bit ridiculous but not so much because that’s the power of influence. As the phrase says “the monkey sees and the monkey does”. Another great example of a reflection is kids because they inherit the parent’s attitude.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do business with someone whose dog is mischievous or whose son is irresponsible with their homework. What I’m saying is that you should use all these additional information in other to make a wiser decision.
If Robert had known who his friend really was then maybe he would have been wiser about the type of business relationship he created with his friends. At least, Robert wouldn’t be so reliant on his friend.
In any case, that’s your decision. The important thing is to have all the information needed to make better decisions. As Robert can tell you, shit happens. Learn from your mistakes.
I left the topic of emotional maturity for last because I think this is the most important part of the message and it’s most likely for you to remember it.
From the first story, I told you about Robert’s partners you can notice that they were afraid. That’s one of the worst emotions in business because it makes you do stupid things as they did. Probably I will be talking more about fear in coming posts because there’s a lot of things we can learn from it.
Some people use fear as a tool for leadership. Some parents use fear as a tool for respect or as a tool for punishment. There are also people who use the fear of the unknown as an excuse to avoid responsibility.
There are two types of fear. The first one is a rational fear as the fear of falling when learning to ride a bike. The second one is an irrational fear as the fear of your airplane falling.
Basically, the rational fear is the one with high probabilities of happening meanwhile the irrational fear is the one with the low probabilities of happening. As you can notice, both could happen so it’s not about the risk itself but about how you control it.
The thing here is that fear is just a matter of probability, in other words, an assumption of what could happen.
Professional bikers fall down frequently and still, they keep riding bikes and don’t let fear stop them. Pilots fly very often and yet they don’t freeze by thinking that their flight will fall down.
The key (if there’s any) is to control your fear so you can take risks. Not any risk, but risks with purpose in your life. Fear can be useful in these cases because they don’t control you, you control them, and they can show you what areas are risky and which of those risks you can reduce.
One way to reduce those risks is by practicing and also practice gives you confidence which helps you to control your fears. That’s what professionals do.
In terms of investment, Robert recommends to study and practice because that’s what gives you control and confidence. In this way, you become a professional investor (if there’s such a thing).
Learning and practice work the same for any other area in life and with any other fear.
What you should never allow yourself is to use fear as an excuse to don’t even try something that you know is good for you.
Over time we get emotional maturity (at some level) which is very useful for business. Although, don’t expect that it will develop by itself. You need to force that growth in you and the best way to do that is through experiences.
Until now I have talked about fear and no other emotion even though is obvious that we need to control all the emotions. Sadness and anger can also affect our businesses because they can disrupt our judgment.
In Robert’s story about their partners being weak in character the main emotion that drives them to make awful decisions was fear. I’m sure that’s the most difficult emotion you will need to control.
Now you will understand better why Elon Musk is so outstanding. In the beginning of Space X and Tesla as companies, there was a lot of problems and financial hell. Elon had to endure that hard experience where his companies needed millions of dollars just to keep alive.
Since the companies didn’t have that amount of capital, Elon had to knock on investors doors and make his pitch. He got the money needed until a moment when there were not many things left to do. He says that it was a horrible season and I believe it. Before the companies enter bankruptcy, he got a contract with NASA which allow him to keep the companies alive. Without that contract maybe Tesla and Space X wouldn’t exist as we know them today.
This is what makes Elon better than most of the competition and the reason why people admire him. Definitely, not everyone can handle that amount of pressure. Just think how hard it is to collect millions of dollars just to keep your business alive.
I don’t think I will be able to do that and that’s exactly the reason why I need to force myself into situations that helps me boost my physical, emotional and psychological resistance.
Most of us wish to encounter great opportunities but the thing is that most of us are not prepared to endure the battle. It’s a fact that in life we are going to get great opportunities but do you have the character needed to be successful on those opportunities? Otherwise, you will just waste the opportunity.
If Elon had not been prepared for his opportunity with Space X and Tesla, then maybe we wouldn’t know him as we do today. The great part is that he didn’t mindfully prepare for his opportunities. He prepared indirectly. Hence, we only need to focus on giving the best of us in what we do. That’s how we improve and grow.
We never know what would happen but we do know what we should be doing to make it happen. In this particular context, we should be learning and practicing.
I mean, we should constantly be learning more advanced things that are related with what we want to achieve and it’s not about learning for the sake of learning. You have to learn and put it into action. That’s how you create valuable experiences.
If you like writing then the next thing is to learn about copywriting and applying it into your work. The next step would be learning about other writing styles, diagramming, new distribution platforms, monetization, editing software, and maybe style correction. This is just an example of writing but you can see the idea.
In your case, it will be the same. There’s always something new to learn and something new to try. In this way, you stop fear from controlling your decisions and also you take more control of the situation.
The more you try, the more you will encounter failure. For a lot of people, that’s something awful but it is not. Every single failure has a deep impact on our character which means that each error will help us develop our character.
For that reason I was able to write a whole book of 600 pages in Spanish called “Salud Empresarial” meanwhile there are people that keep wondering if they should write a book. Up to this point is not a matter of being successful but a matter of just doing it.
A lot of people who haven’t done anything like this started to criticizing my book and my mistakes. Sure, I did a lot of fucking mistakes but that doesn’t change the fact that I got a book out there. Those people who criticize are trying to give feedback without doing it first. The rule is Only highlight the feedback that comes from people who have done what you want to achieve.
In any case, for me, it doesn’t make any sense to stop my content production in order to fix any mistakes in the already published books. Call me crazy but I think it is better for me to move on and make the corrections for the next books that I will be writing. Actually, that’s what I’m doing right now.
I’ve learned that mindset about content creation from Romuald Fons. He used to say that it’s better to apply the corrections in the future contents instead of going back to the old ones. In this way, you don’t lose traction and you will be more productive. Besides, the problem with going back is that you will tend to be a perfectionist so it will consume a lot of time trying to make them perfect.
When you focus on creating more content, you would get a lot of experience. Even more than those who are way older than you but haven’t done anything worthy in their life.
Dwayne Clark says something very useful that I want to add into this whole idea. By the way, I don’t know much about him because I just heard of him through some of Dan Lok’s videos but he says some very interesting things. One of those things is that success and risk is something very relative for each person.
For some, being successful is about being recognized, having financial freedom, being a millionaire, having a family, and so on. Therefore, you need to think about what is a success for you.
Risk is also relative since the risk of making an investment is not the same for someone who’s single than someone who has a family. Having a family means much more responsibility and the risk is also greater because it will affect your family too. So, if you are a parent you need to consider the factor of how your decisions would affect your kids. Therefore, every single situation has its own factors that can change the value of risk.
Gary Vaynerchuk keeps saying that we should know ourselves because it’s stupid to follow a general recommendation ignoring that you have some other factors to consider for your specific situation. You need to mold any suggestion into your own situation and that applies to whatever I share with you.
I know I’m getting a little bit off topic but I wanted to make it clear and it’s actually connected because if you don’t know yourself then you will not recognize what are you lacking. A lot of people are not sincere with themselves and they tend to think that they are better than everyone else which is sad because it’s the whole opposite.
I’m going to summarize the whole message by saying that you should analyze your life and you should be totally honest with your character flaws. The way you will improve those flaws will be by learning and practicing every single day.
The content I publish on the website and in all the other platforms can be used with the purpose of learning so there’s no excuse. It’s not only my content, but there’s also a lot of other options out there. The important thing is to learn something new that you can apply in your life as soon as possible. The only thing you will need is determination.
In [Instagram] I will continue talking about this topic so if you want to enter into the conversation be my guest. Although, you should know that I use Instagram as an Elite community so the content will be exclusive and also I will be easily reached.
This post was sponsored by Ulysses which is the app I’m using to write this article and it’s also the app I use for writing my books which I’m sending for free to the Elite community. If you want to be part of this community then the only thing you need to do is to add your email into the [Newsletter].
As I already mentioned, I wrote a book with more than 100 chapters about entrepreneurship and several of those are about emotional maturity. Sadly, it’s only available in Spanish but you can get it if you want. Here it’s in [Amazon]. It’s called “Salud Empresarial”.
Finally, don’t forget to stay healthy and to subscribe.
See you in the next post.