Relationships are the most important thing for any entrepreneur, according to Robert Kiyoaski, author of the best-selling Rich Dad Poor Dad series of books, because every business person needs key suppliers like lawyers, accountants and a mentor, not to mention people who can do the things in a business that a founder and visionary cannot.
But entrepreneurs can outgrow those people he warned when he spoke to My Business in Sydney and outlined the methodologies in a new book he co-wrote with Donald Trump, Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don't.
The book describes four things a successful business needs, namely:
- Leverage, the ability for a business to grow without its founder having to be the sole source of its products;
- Expandability, the quality of having a market beyond the first operation;
- Predictability, in terms of generating revenue even when the economy is performing poorly;
- The ability to attract finance, which Kiyosaki says is a consequence of achieving the three items above.
Midas Touch says entrepreneurs can achieve these four things using a model that assigns a value to each of the five fingers.
“Your thumb stands for strength of character,” Kiyosaki told My Business. “When you go into business you are on the streets” and character is critical to thrive in the face of adversity.
“Your index finger is about focus,” and Kiyosaki and Trump have an acronym to describe focus, namely ‘follow one course until successful.’
“Everyone knows what your middle finger stands for,” Kiyosaki quipped, quickly adding that it is about forceful and distinct branding. “People need to know who you stand for. Donald Trump stands for being the highest and best and opulence. Rich Dad is about making learning fun.”
“The ring finger is relationships. As the entrepreneur, you don’t need to be smartest by you do need good relationships.’
The little finger, he concluded, is “the little thing you do that no-one else does” and Kiyosaki said FedEx’s overnight delivery guarantee is an example of a unique offer that other entrepreneurs will do well to emulate.
As our conversation progressed, Kiyosaki repeatedly stressed the importance of relationships.
“I would say entrepreneurs should always seek good mentors,’ he said. “As I improved I had to seek mentors who had been to where I had not gone yet. Most people ask inexperienced people to be mentors.”
“Find someone who has gone where you want to go.”
Kiyosaki says his relationship with Trump works along those lines. “I feel fortunate that when I have a question I call Donald and ask,” he said.
For those of you who don’t have The Donald’s number in your mobile, Kiyosaki said you should at least be thinking about the need to one day upgrade your mentor – and the advisers to your business – to a Trump-grade source of support.
“The hardest thing about going through the process of growth is that you always have to upgrade your relationships,” he said. “I’ve had friends I loved dearly but you have to move on. My college friends did not go on to become my professional friends.”