Dateline: Bogota, Colombia
One of the challenges that entrepreneurs face – especially young entrepreneurs and Nomad Capitalists living as global citizens – is how to choose the right friends.
The friends that we have dictate the growth, the success, and even the mindset that we have. We are who we are surrounded with. I found an article recently by Robert Kiyosaki about how to choose friends to be successful. I loved it and wanted to share some of the key points as well as some of my own experiences. (To watch an interview I did with Robert Kiyosaki, you can go here.)
I have been running my own businesses and doing things on my own for about 16 years – since I was 19 years old. I know there are times that can be lonely and times when you’re not sure who to have as your friend.
What’s interesting is that the more successful you become, the harder it gets. I work with folks who have an ultra-high net worth. They often say that it’s lonely at the top.
Mr. Kiyosaki wrote the book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad – along with many others – and has introduced and popularized the concept that there are people who come from wealth and who surround themselves with wealth who think and act differently than people who are from the middle and lower classes.
This is not designed to pick on anyone. But there is a truth that the right mindset and environment will go a long way in promoting you.
I feel this is so important to the Nomad Capitalist way of life that I asked Robert Kiyosaki to speak at our live conference, Nomad Capitalist Live. He’ll be there sharing some of these principles and answering some questions.
But for now, let’s talk about this topic of knowing how to pick your friends.
The words that Mr. Kiyosaki used are, “Birds of a feather, flock together.” You’ve also heard the phrase, “Your network is your net worth.” The point is that, in this day and age, it’s easier than ever to be successful. I work with people from all over the world who have built multi-million dollar businesses from a laptop. It’s easier than ever to be successful. If you associate with people who are not successful, you put yourself at a real disadvantage.
Success is a choice.
If you choose to associate with people who are not successful, you’re going to have a very hard time being successful. But on the flip side, putting yourself in places where you are surrounded by successful people will put you on a path to success.
So, now you know you need good friends, but how do you find the right ones? In this article, we will use some of my favorite Robert Kiyosaki’s quotes to point out some important points in choosing your friends. To choose the best people to surround yourself with and call friends, you must:
- Invest in yourself by intentionally investing in good mentors,
- Not associate with people who live in fear, and
- Find friends who know how to delay gratification.
Invest in Yourself by Intentionally Investing in Good Mentors
Robert Kiyosaki Quotes
“The richest people in the world build networks. Everyone else is trained to look for work.” Robert Kiyosaki
“Your mentors in life are important, so choose them wisely.” Robert Kiyosaki
“The most successful people in life are the ones who ask questions. They’re always learning. They’re always growing. They’re always pushing.” Robert Kiyosaki
When I started hanging around people who intentionally invested in themselves, I balked at how they could spend $70K a year joining mentorship societies. I thought that was just what suckers did. However, the longer I was with people like this, the more I could see how it was working. I eventually started joining in myself.
I invested a lot of money into mentorship and learning new skills. It helped me become far more successful at that time. I got to the next level.
It’s always interesting hearing from some of my acquaintances who have not invested in themselves – those who don’t invest in mentoring, coaching, growing their self-awareness, or learning new skills. They’re just out there trying to sell stuff. They often comment about how it’s hard to keep clients or complain about small amounts of money required to invest in important things.
Now, I’m not trying to criticize anyone at any point in their journey. We’ve all had to go through a point where $1,000 was a lot of money. Early on in my business career, I was very cautious about spending $1,000. That being said it was also part of what was holding me back because I was too cautious for too long.
Robert Kiyosaki talks about the importance of investing in knowledge. By associating with others who invest in themselves, you’ll interact with important mentors, but also learn how to do things by yourself.
One point Robert Kiyosaki makes about investing in knowledge is that he has several friends with multi-billion dollars of net worth and they’re constantly bombarded with people pitching them ideas, asking for things, and wanting a loan or a job. Almost no one ever comes to them and says, “Tell me how you did it.”
Getting started can certainly be a difficult transition. What can you do if you don’t have the money to invest in yourself yet? Start asking questions!
We had one young man reach out to me before our first conference. He emailed me and said he was a really young guy in his late teens and wanted to learn. He offered all his services to run our website or to sell tickets, whatever.
I’m a guy who knocked on doors from 8 years old and I respect the hustle. I told him to come up to our conference in Las Vegas and we put him to work.
At that conference, he helped us out, but he also learned from being around people who were at a far higher level than he would have associated with just hanging out with people in his hometown.
He got to be around the attendees. He learned from Peter Schiff, myself, a good friend of mine in marketing and messaging, and a lot of other successful speakers. He got to be around this type of people and absorb their knowledge – just by volunteering to help.
If you’re just starting out or don’t already have the income, this is one way to do it.
How many people reach out to Robert Kiyosaki’s billionaire friends, or even reach out to Nomad Capitalists and ask if they can do something to help? Think about how you can make it worthwhile to the other person. How do you add value to get in and add to your knowledge?
If you can’t invest at a high level, find a way to give at a high level.
That’s one way of getting in and surrounding yourself with these kinds of people in these kinds of environments.
The number one rule of what Robert Kiyosaki talked about was to choose friends based on what you can learn. Just because someone has a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean anything. You want to be constantly learning and growing.
It’s the old saying, “If you are the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” You want to have friends and mentors based on what you can learn from them.
Now, it’s not a one-way street. Obviously, you should be sharing things as well, but you want to be expanding your knowledge, experiences, and your mindset. Find people who have succeeded in what you’re interested in and ask how they did it. Ask what they did that you can then apply.
Those are the type of people you should seek out to be friends and mentors.
Don’t Associate with People Who Live in Fear
Robert Kiyosaki Quotes
“The primary difference between rich people and poor people is how they handle fear.” Robert Kiyosaki
“One of the primary reasons why people struggle financially is because they cannot control their emotion of fear.” Robert Kiyosaki
“Nice guys do not finish last. Last place is for cowards and those too full of fear to take action.” Robert Kiyosaki
“Successful people don’t fear failure but understand that it’s necessary to learn and grow from.” Robert Kiyosaki
A second important consideration for choosing friends is to not associate with friends that live in fear. Things done out of fear and things not done because of fear will never help you reach your goals. If you’re around people that live like that, they will drag you down in their fear and cause you to doubt your dreams.
One particular story that Robert Kiyosaki told – which made me chuckle – was how he revealed to a friend of his that for years he had been earning 16% interest. Meanwhile, his friend was making investments that were much more conservative out of fear.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong in investing in something conservative – putting your money in a term deposit for example. There’s not great value in putting your money in a term deposit in the US where you earn .5%. I might choose to bank in an emerging market that I feel comfortable with and earn 4-6%.
There’s nothing wrong with having some of your money in stuff like that. But you should also put some of it in things that are a bit higher earning.
The point that he was making is that if people around you are fearful, you’re going to have a problem.
This is one thing I see consistently when people come to us for help, especially when I’m meeting people that we’re working with in person. They’ll come and meet me at a certain place and I’ll ask if they’ve told their friends and family where they are. What I’ve increasingly heard is that they don’t bother telling.
No one knows where they are because others don’t get it.
What happens is that people get into this Nomad Capitalist lifestyle of investing, banking, and living overseas and they get excited. Whenever you learn something new you want to go tell everybody. They’ll tell their friends and their friends will say, “You’re moving to where?! Malaysia? You’re going to be killed!”
What Nomad Capitalists learn is to just stop talking about it because their friends and family live in fear.
Even when I’m in Malaysia, people will say, “You’ve invested in Cambodia? You’re an idiot.” Ok, I’ll put my results up against anyone.
If you surround yourself with people who live in fear, then you’re going to get dragged down into fear.
One of the things that I’ve dealt with in past years is self-doubt. It’s a big issue for a lot of entrepreneurs and successful people. If you allow yourself to be surrounded by people who are jealous of you or who want something from you or they’re just not clear on their own path, they might say things that will cause you to doubt yourself.
If you’re not totally solid in where you’re going, then that’s going to drag you down.
You have to know where you’re going and be confident in yourself. You have to be confident that you’re doing the right thing.
This is especially true when living a Nomad Capitalist lifestyle because very few people around you, perhaps even none of your friends, are going to understand why you’re going to live in Malaysia. They’re not going to understand why you want to travel the world and get a second passport. After all, you were born in the only place that God shined upon. Why would you ever want to leave?
Some people aren’t going to get it. The reason deep down is that they’re afraid.
Beneath the anger and rational arguments is a fear that if they leave, something is going to happen to them – they’ll lose all their money or whatever. Meanwhile, I haven’t seen any news articles about everyone in Singapore losing their money because they put it in the bank there.
If your friends live in fear, they’re eventually going to drag you down with them. That’s one issue that I’ve dealt with – people who live in fear and instill self-doubt – it hampered me from being at my full potential at times.
Mr. Kiyosaki also encourages people to not be friends with people who want to change them. Again, people have a fear of things they don’t understand and if you’re living a different lifestyle, they might seek to change you.
Certainly, we can have honest disagreements with friends. I’ve had friends for 15 years who live in the US and don’t plan to leave. They don’t entirely get my lifestyle and business choices, but the more they’ve seen me doing what I’m doing, the more they respect it.
They are the rare good friends with whom I can have honest disagreements on things. We can make different lifestyle decisions and still be good friends.
But if people are trying to change you, shame you, make you doubt yourself, or they want you to be like them in order to be their friend, then that’s a problem.
Find Friends Who Know How to Delay Gratification
Robert Kiyosaki Quotes
“Rich people buy luxuries last, while the poor and middle class tend to buy luxuries first.” Robert Kiyosaki
“If you want to be rich, be friends with people who have the same mindset as you, or who at least won’t try to change your mindset to be more like theirs. Life is too short to spend time with people who don’t help you move forward.” Robert Kiyosaki
“The philosophy of the rich and poor is this: The rich invest their money and spend what is left. The poor spend their money and invest what is left.” Robert Kiyosaki
If you have friends who want you to be more like them in the sense of only spending money on experiences or certain things, there’s going to be pressure on you to keep up. This is the keeping up with the Joneses idea.
Being friends with people who can’t delay gratification and require you to follow along to remain their friend can be a dangerous thing for your dreams and aspirations…and also your pocketbook.
I’ve told this story so many times about the guy in Denmark who says he has friends who make €300,000 a year and have saved zero because they drive the nice car, go on the nice vacation, and live in the nice house in the right neighborhood.
Let me be clear, talking to 7- and 8-figure entrepreneurs – particularly when you keep more of your own money by going offshore where you’re not paying 50% tax anymore – it’s ok to go and invest in something that you like for lifestyle reasons.
Go out and rent a sports car for the day and go around the racetrack. Or go out and buy a pair of Gucci sneakers. Go take a nice trip.
But in my case, I’m saving the vast majority of my income and investing that into various channels. I spend very little even though I spend more than most people.
I don’t want 7- and 8-figure entrepreneurs to think that they have to constantly delay gratification.
For those of us who grew up in what I call the Protestant work ethic homes – where we’re only taught to keep working, keep working, keep working – sometimes you need to go out and you need some gratification. You need to enjoy what you’re doing and not just squirrel it all away.
You can eat avocado toast even if it costs more than 22 cents. It’s ok, you’re doing alright for yourself.
But what you don’t want to do is be surrounded by people who want you to spend your last dollar, or even worse go into debt, to go on a cruise with them. You’re going to have a hard time telling those people no.
More importantly than even the fact that you’re going into debt and not saving anything, is that you’re building the wrong habits. You’re building the wrong mindset by being around those people because you’re not teaching yourself how to delay gratification.
What I love about the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle is that, not only will you dramatically reduce the taxes on your business but you’ll also create opportunities to keep more of your money. You can put the money you save back into your business. You’ll then be more motivated to work harder because you’re no longer giving 52 cents on every dollar to a government that wastes it.
You’ll make more and keep more by going offshore.
Not only that, but once you are personally offshore and not in my Denmark example, you no longer have to live in the right neighborhood.
Do you know where I live in the places I go? Wherever I want.
I don’t have to worry about what the local people are saying about certain trendy neighborhoods. I’m looking at properties in Belgrade, Serbia right now. The wealthiest people live in a neighborhood called Dedinje. I don’t want to live in Dedinje! I don’t want to have a car. I want to walk where I’m going. And because I’m not immersed in the local culture, I don’t have to worry about it.
If I don’t want a car, I don’t buy a car. Now you could buy a car if you wanted to, I choose not to.
I don’t have to send my kids to “the right school.”
I don’t have to go on vacation to the right resort in the right place if that’s not what I want to do and it costs what I don’t want to spend just because John and Cathy and Tim and Jenny are going there and I have to keep up with them.
The cool thing about the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle is that this ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ pressure gets reduced because you don’t live in an environment like that anymore. You’re living with people who are much more intentional.
That’s what I would add to Robert Kiyosaki’s tips for choosing friends – find people who are living intentionally.
You don’t want to be around people who have these ideas in their mind that you always have a mortgage and car payment. That the little guy can’t get ahead. Or that people can’t become successful.
As Dave Ramsey says: “Wealth is weird, it’s uncommon, it’s unique.” Being successful is not a common trait. So, the key to having meaningful friendships in your life is to choose friends who are intentional.
Those are Robert Kiyosaki’s tips. You can read his book and you can see him at Nomad Capitalist Live.