In 1997, Robert Kiyosaki self published his acclaimed work, “Rich Dad Poor Dad“, that would go on to change the way millions of people think about financial intelligence.

Officially published in April of 2001, I was given my first copy in the summer of that same year by a network marketing upline of mine. I’m forever grateful!

Robert Kiyosaki was the first voice that spoke into my life concerning financial intelligence and taught me about increasing my Financial IQ.

If you haven’t read Rich Dad Poor Dad, I hight recommend that you buy a copy now and start to learn about his CashFlow Quadrant. It will change your life!

In a recent article in Business Insider, Kathleen Elkins discussed 6 timeless lessons that those of us who have followed Robert for years have learned from his teaching. I’m going to share them with you here from my own perspective.

#1: IT’S NOT HOW MUCH YOU EARN – IT’S HOW MUCH YOU KEEP

This lesson took me far too many years to learn. I had spending addictions. I was not a good manager of my personal finances. I thought the answer was to work harder and harder to make more money. But more money solves no problems whatsoever when we’ve programmed ourselves to spend everything we make.

Robert taught us, “Money often makes obvious our tragic human flaws, putting a spotlight on what we don’t know. That is why, all too often, a person who comes into a sudden windfall of cash — let’s say an inheritance, a pay raise, or lottery winnings — soon returns to the same financial mess, if not worse, than the mess they were in before.”

Most of my clients want me to teach them how to make more money. When I suggest spending some sessions learning how to keep more of what they are already making, the resistance never ceases to amaze me.

If you want to get rich, find a way to keep more of what you are already making.

#2: THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS WORK FOR MONEY – THE RICH HAVE MONEY WORK FOR THEM

Robert taught us, “If you work for money, you give the power to your employer. If money works for you, you keep the power and control it.”

Over the last 17 years I’ve learned that wealthy people value very different things and very different ideas than the 98% that comprise the poor and middle class.

The 98% want a bigger salary. They want security in the form of health care. They will trade their time for money and 2 weeks vacation.

The 2% are not interested in getting paid based on time. The prefer stock options and equity over higher wages. They prefer commissions over a salary. They would rather own their own company and work long, hard hours without pay for a season of time, than to take those 2 weeks off.

If you want to mimic the wealthy 2%, find a way to leverage time and money to your advantage.

#3: IT’S NOT THE SMART WHO GET AHEAD – IT’S THE BOLD

There is a streak of brilliance found somewhere within all of humanity.

How many amazing musicians have you met that are the proverbial “starving musicians”?

How many people have you met that are really good artists, but they do not control an art empire?

How many handy men do you know that can fix anything, but they are living paycheck to paycheck?

Smart, talented people are everywhere in every town of every state and every nation of the world.

The valedictorian of every graduating high school class made the best grades possible. No one would contest how smart they are. But few of them ever become wealthy, because they have been programmed to think a certain way about success and succeeding. (You should also check out Robert’s “Why “A” Students Work for “C” Students and “B” Students Work for the Government“.)

Kiyosaki says, “In the real world outside of academics, something more than just grades is required. I have heard it called many things: guts, chutzpah, balls, audacity, bravado, cunning, daring, tenacity, and brilliance. This factor, whatever it is labeled, ultimately decides one’s future much more than school grades do.”

#4: THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL ASSET WE HAVE IS OUR MIND

Napoleon Hill corroborates and perhaps even fuels Kiyosaki’s perspective on this point. Hill taught us in his book “Think & Grow Rich”, that the our thinking patterns are what lead us to our ultimate station in life.

The rich get rich because they think about things and learn things that lead them to wealth and success.

Kiyosaki taught us that “financial intelligence is simply having more options. If the opportunities aren’t coming your way, what else can you do to improve your financial position? If an opportunity lands in your lap and you have no money and the bank won’t talk to you, what else can you do to get the opportunity to work in your favor? … It is not so much what happens, but how many different financial solutions you can think of to turn a lemon into millions.”

This idea stands diametrically opposed to the fatalist view that teaches our society “the rich will just get richer and the poor will always get poorer”, that causes so many in the 98% to just give up hope.

As long as you have a brain in your head and you are willing to use it, there is always hope, possibility, and great potential for success.

#5: THE RICH FOCUS ON THEIR ASSETS – EVERYONE ELSE FOCUSES ON THEIR INCOME

Even in my beloved industry of network marketing, the prevailing mantra is “Make More Money”!

I’m not opposed to making more money. I’m sure that Robert isn’t opposed to it either.

Kiyosaki’s point is simply that if we focus on keeping more of what we are already making, get that extra cash going to work for us, take calculated risks, exercise informed thinking…that with time and good decision making, anyone can build an cash-flowing asset portfolio that will generate a passive residual income.

A focus on increasing W-2 income leads to longer hours, more stress, and in most cases zero cash-flow generating assets, because the higher earning harder working employee doesn’t have time to invest in their financial intelligence or in implementing a plan with a high Financial IQ.

Robert’s lesson to us is, “The long-term rich build their asset column first. Then the income generated from the asset column buys their luxuries. The poor and middle class buy luxuries with their own sweat, blood, and children’s inheritance.”

#6: THOSE WHO AVOID FAILURE ALSO AVOID SUCCESS

Just yesterday afternoon I had lunch with a gentleman who confessed to living most of his adult life with a fear of failure. He said that he avoided taking risks, because he didn’t want to face the shame of failure.

Our educational system teaches this way of both thinking and feeling. “A” students are celebrated and put on the “honor roll”. “D” and “F” students are made to believe they are stupid. They are put in remedial classes where they socialize with other students like themselves who are made to feel less than smart, creating a culture of oppressed thinkers and feelers.

In truth, failure is among our best teachers. It’s great when we can learn from the mistakes of others; but it can be supremely powerful when we truly learn from our own mishaps.

Don’t loose because you are afraid you may not win! Lose enough times, and winning becomes almost inevitable.

Robert says, “If you look at the way humans are designed to learn, we learn by making mistakes. We learn to walk by falling down. If we never fell down, we would never walk. The same is true for learning to ride a bike … The same is true for getting rich … Failure is part of the process of success.”